What are some excellent African American or black books to read?
my friend told me about this thing on live journal called the 50 book challenge. you basically read 50 books in a year. one of my main themes is black history/social topics/etc. novels.
OH. JUST SO WERE CLEAR IM NOT READING ANY ZANE NOVELS OR ANY OF THAT URBAN STUFF. nothing wrong with itt but its not my style. i have friends who love those books. the coldest winter, cream in my coffee...lol i know all about that mess.
heres a list of the black novels i have so far to give you an idea of what i like and lean towards. some of them are rereads. i know. i cheat.
The Color Purple (reread)
Their Eyes Were Watching God (reread)
The Bluest Eye
The Book of Negroes
The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley
Dreams from My Father
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Their Eyes Were Watching God.... Zora Neale Houston
I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings... Maya Angelou
Raisin in the Sun... Lorraine Hansberry
Native Son... Richard Wright
The Souls of Black Folk... W.E.B. Dubois
A Lesson Before Dying... Ernest Gaines
How Stella Got Her Groove Back and;
Waiting to Exhale... Terry McMillan
Song of Solomon... Toni Morrison
Devil In a Blue Dress.... Walter Mosley (Careful, this one will entice you in to read all Mosley)
And lastly Roots... Alex Haley. The miniseries was good, but the book is better.Source(s): Peace.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The Corner: A Year In The Life of An Inner-City Neighborhood
Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets
You should know all three of these as a very accurate depiction of African American Culture after living in Baltimore City aka Baldamore Citay aka Bodymore Murdaland aka BawlmerSource(s): Native ex-Resident who is White but has read those books and seen that they are truly reflective of African American culture.
- TweetiebirdLv 41 decade ago
Where the Heart Is
I do not remember the author's name, and it is not based on an african-american person, but it is a very heart fetl book that Opra recommended (I hope that it doesn't insult anyone, it was just a tid-bit)
7 is an unlucky number for this girl. Novelee Nation is 17 years old, 7 months pregnant, with only $7.77 in her pocket for change as she runs with her lover across the country. When he unexpectedly leaves her at a Walmart in a remote town in Oklahoma, she worries about her baby but makes due with what she has. No one knows she secretly lives in Walmart, waiting for a little kindness in her very tragic history and past. The gentle townsfolk ease Novelee back into a confident, smiling self, and her life begins for what seems a whole new time.
And the book Uncle Tom's Cabin
- Ms. SwitchLv 51 decade ago
Am I understanding that you want books by authors of African descent?
Virginia Hamilton writes novels for younger readers, but some of them are pretty long, like Wiliie Lea and the Time the Martians Landed. Zeely, also by Hamilton, is an old childhood favorite of mine--gives a good portrayal of growing up black in the US.
Joyce Carol Thomas has written two books--maybe more--about an African American town in Oklahoma in the 1950s. Very moving. She's written other stuff as well, which I haven't read.
Barbara Neely's contemporary mystery series featuring Blanche White ;-) are engaging and very realistic. I highly recommend them.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs was written in the 1800s. An important book.
Alice Walker is always good! Try her short story collection In Love and Trouble and the novel The Temple of My Familiar--excellent.
Octavia E. Butler, who died a couple of years ago, wrote Kindred, an intense novel about slavery. She has also written some speculative fiction that is heavily based in biology and evolutionary science. I've enjoyed everything of hers I've read.
I haven't read Marlon James's new book, The Book of NIght Women, but it looks pretty good.
Paule Marshall is another good one. Not sure of all her titles.
Gloria Naylor's Mama Day is good too. Haven't read any of her later work.
Good luck!Source(s): avid reader
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- 1 decade ago
Anything by Toure is amazing, although I most highly recommend Soul City. His work does tend towards the modern, but it's in my mind an indispensable part of an Afro-American Lit reading list.
There is of course Langston Hughes' collected works, and I particularly liked "Go Tell It On the Mountain" by James Baldwin.
Can't go wrong with Maya Angelou, or if you can find a copy of Dunbar's complete works, you'll be in good shape. Angelou's Sula and Mercy aren't quite as... involving as Beloved (but I have never read another novel that IS) but they are good. Another must-read from Ms. Angelou is "All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes", and "Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now".
Oh, forget all that. Just read everything Angelou has written :)
I would also advise reading W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington at the same time: two brilliant men with two brilliant outlooks, both of whom were right in their own ways.
The Autobiography of An Ex-Colored Man, by James Weldon Johnson is something also... there's just so much to choose from.
EDIT: Same Kind of Different As Me is one of the most uplifting things I have read in a long time, and as a jaded old English major, I can honestly say it's an inspirational story worth reading.
EDIT II: Be wary of Alex Haley. The man "borrowed" quite heavily from Harold Courland in an act of such blatant plagiarism that it was taken to court (and settled out of it). Read the original, "The African" as written by Courland. It's just as amazing, but never got the press "Roots" did.
- DBLv 61 decade ago
Women of Brewster Place
Men of Brewster Place
This Bitter Earth
If the Living Ain't Easy
If Beale Street Could Talk
Go tell it on the Mountain
What looks like crazy on a ordinary day
I wish I had a blue dress
A lesson before dying
Diary of Miss Jane Pittman
A long way from home
Big girls don't cry
Your blues ain't like mine
What you owe me
I know why the caged bird sings
I wish I had a red dress
The Good House
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Black Boy by Richard Wright..trust me its good
im not much of a novel reader but i got through this book in 2 weeks with a great amount of interest....i read their eyes were watching god and didnt like it at all
- nissieLv 44 years ago
Black hard artwork, White Wealth: the seek for potential and fiscal justice. by employing Claud Anderson The Isis Papers by employing Frances Cress Welsing The Wretched of the Earth by employing Frantz Fanon The Mis-training of The Ne-gro by employing Carter G. Woodson
- 1 decade ago
Read Maya Angelo's autobiographies. There are five different books, moving chronogically from her childhood into late adulthood. She is so real in her writing and completely inspiring. It's amazing the challenges she has overcome. You'll love them.
- 1 decade ago
Just finished "Say It Loud: Speeches by Barack Obama" myself, It's kind of a must read...
also from seeing what you read try "The Willie Lynch Letter and The Destruction of Black Unity" it's a very sadding, but great historical book...