A #BlackLivesMatter Reading List

My cousin and I discussed collaborating on a reading list. Here is what I came up with.


The Wilful Girl by Anonymous (2000 BC)

The Book of Thoth by Anonymous (5th – 1st Century BC)

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Acebe

Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Americanah by Chiamanda Ngozi Adiche

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

“Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin

“The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

The Water Dancer by Ta Nahiesi Coates

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Plum Bun by Jessie Redmon Faucet

The Conjure Man Dies by Rudolph Fisher

Bang! By Sharon G. Flake

A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

Roots by Alex Haley

“Thank You, M’am” by Langston Hughes

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Jonah’s Gourd Vine by Zora Neale Hurston

Of Mules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson

Corregidora by Gayle Jones

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones

Passing by Nella Larsen

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Jazz by Toni Morrison

“Recitatif” by Toni Morrison

Sula by Toni Morrison

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Killer Angels  by Walter Dean Myers

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers

The Women of Brewser Place by Gloria Naylor

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Cane by Jean Toomer

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker

In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Native Son by Richard Wright


“The Danger of a Single Story” [TED Talk] by Chimanda Ngozi Adiche

Why We Should All Be Feminists by Chiamanda Ngozi Adiche

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin

Between the World and Me by Ta-Naheisi Coates 

A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

Standing Up Against Hate: How Black Women In the Army Helped Change the Course of WWII by Mary Cronk Farrell

The Signifying Monkey by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

The Color of Water by James McBride

Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

A Muslim American Slave by Omar Ibn Said

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

“We Need to Talk About an Injustice” [TED Talk] by Bryan Stevenson

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley


“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

“an agony. as now” by Amiri Baraka

“In the Front Yard” by Gwendolyn Brooks

The Complete Works of Langston Hughes

“The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes

“Harlem” by Langston Hughes

“Hanging Fire” by Audre Lorde

“In the House of Yemanja” by Audre Lorde

for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange

Cane by Jean Toomer

BY WHITE AUTHORS, but have useful insight:

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (fiction)

Evicted by Matthew Desmond (nonfiction)

Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography by Robert Hemenway (nonfiction)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (nonfiction)

I would like to add to it.

What do you think is missing from this list? Comment below.

Trigger Warnings: ableism, abuse, alcoholism, anger, anxiety, blood/gore/graphic injuries; death; depression; divorce; drugs; forced marriage; guilt; incest; loss of a loved one; manipulation; medical stuff; misogyny; pregnancy; racism; rape; sexism; slavery; suicide; terminal illness; trauma; violence; war

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: