Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Great "Black" Read--100 Books by African American Authors You Need To Read Before You Die

Pile of Assorted Novel Books

The Great American Read List is cute but if I had my choice--these are the books I would have put on it. All of these writers are African American. This a list generated based solely off of my opinion. If there are other books by African American authors you feel should be on this list. DO NOT hesitate to share them, the more the merrier! They are in no particular order.

1. Native Son Richard Wright
2. True to the Game Teri Woods
3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou
4. Not Without Laughter Langston Hughes
5.Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
6.Between The World and Me Ta-Nehisi Coates
7. Manchild in The Promised Land Claude Brown
8. Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
9. Breath Eyes Memory Edwidge Danticat
10. The Souls of Black Folk W.E.B. Du Bois


11. Kindred Octavia E. Butler
12. The New Jim Crow Michelle Alexander
13. Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
14. The Warmth of Other Suns Isabel Wilkerson
15. Black Boy Richard Wright
16. Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime J. California Cooper
17. Flyy Girl Omar Tyree
18. Devil in A Blue Dress Walter Mosley
19. Push Saphire
20. Tyler Johnson Was Here Jay Coles

21. Long Way Down Jason Reynolds
22. If Beale Street Could Talk James Baldwin
23. Song of Solomon Toni Morrison
24. Dutch Teri Woods
25. Midnight Sister Souljah
26.Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dream Girl Sheryl Lee Ralph
27. You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have To Explain Phoebe Robinson
28. Up From Slavery Booker T. Washington
29. Ghost Boys Jewell Parker Rhodes
30. Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass


31. Brown Girl Dreaming Jacqueline Woodson
32. Monster Walter Dean Myers
33. The Color Purple Alice Walker
34. The Sellout Paul Beatty
35. Monday's Not Coming Tiffany D. Jackson
36. Calling My Name Liara Tamani
37. The Autobiography of An Ex-Colored Man James Weldon Johnson
38. A Mercy Toni Morrison
39. Coffee Will Make You Black April Sinclair
40. Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self Danielle Evans

41.The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl Issa Rae
42.Waiting To Exhale Terry McMillan
43.Little Leaders Bold Women in Black History Vashti Harrison
44. Sing Unburied Sing Jesmyn Ward
45.The Mis-Education of the Negro Carter G. Woodson
46. Born A Crime Trevor Noah
47. The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead
48. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
49. American Street Ibi Zoboi
50. The Skin I'm In Sharon G. Flake


51. All American Boys Jason Reynolds
52. Roots Alex Haley
53. God Don't Like Ugly Mary Morrison
54. Piecing Me Together Renee Watson
55. Homegoing Yaa Gyasi
56. A Piece of Cake Cupcake Brown
57. The Coldest Winter Ever Sister Souljah
58. Your Blues Ain't Like Mine Bebe Moore Campell
59. Year of Yes Shonda Rhimes
60. Sister Sister Eric Jerome Dickey

61. Invisible Life E. Lynn Harris
62. Letter To My Daughter Maya Angelou
63. Sula Toni Morrison
64. Ghost Jason Reynolds
65. Nappily Ever After Trisha Thomas
66. Silver Sparrow Tayari Jones
67. Electric Arches Eve L. Ewing
68. The Man in 3B Carl Weber
69. The Cutting Season Attica Locke
70. The Women of Brewster Place Gloria Naylor


71. Second House From the Corner Sadeqa Johnson
72. Around The Way Girls La Jill Hunt
73. Bronx Masquerade Nikki Grimes
74. A Raisin in the Sun Lorraine Hansberry
75. We are Only Taking what We Need Stephanie Powell Watts
76. A Lesson before Dying Ernest J. Gaines
77. Happy To Be Nappy Bell Hooks
78. Woman, Thou Art Loosed T.D. Jakes
79. Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
80. How To Be Black Baratunde R. Thurston


81. Salvage The Bones Jesmyn Ward
82. Mina's Joint Keisha Ervin
83. The Naked Truth Chunichi Knott
84. American Marriage Tayari Jones
85. Dreams From My Father Barack Obama
86. Zora and Me Victoria Bond, T.R. Smith
87. White Teeth Zadie Smith
88.The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X
89. Sister Betty God's Calling You Pat G'orge Walker
90.Love Honor or Stray E.N. Joy


91. A Hero Ain't Nothin' But A Sandwich Alice Childress
92. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered suicide/when the rainbow is Enuf Ntozake Shange
93. Dear Martin Nic Stone
94. Hunger Roxanne Gay
95. Land of Shadows Rachell Howzell Hall
96. The Collected Poetry Nikki Giovanni
97. A Street in Bronzeville Gwendolyn Brooks
98.Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman
99.Dirty Red Vickie M. Stringer
100.Drinking Coffee Elsewhere ZZ Packer



  1. This is such a great list, and I am adding a bunch to my TBR. Thanks for putting this together!

    1. Thanks for checking it out. I hope you find some books you love!

  2. I think I was more excited to learn that I've read about 60% of the books on this list, than the actual list itself. Although... it is a great list that covers a variety of genres!

    I would add two additional selections:

    1. True To The Game - Teri Woods (I saw Dutch and may have overlooked it... so apologies if so)
    2. Perfect Peace - Daniel Black (it was one of the most interesting books about black families I have ever read)!!

    Love your blog!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Tamara - I read this comment twice and was going to continue on with my day, but it just didn't sit well with me. " I think I was more excited to learn that I've read about 60% of the books on this list, than the actual list itself. " What was your point in stating this? If you weren't excited about Jazmen's list, why comment? This seems a bit shady and reads like a back-handed compliment. We don't do those around here ma'am. Anywho, Jazmen you know I love what you've put together and I can't wait to see what you add to the other lists you have in the works! Let's get it sis!

    3. Thanks for stopping by to check out the list. I'm glad you've read most of these books. I hope this list serves as a starter point for those not lucky enough to have been introduced to these exceptional literary works. Also, don't be a stranger!

      Oh, and True to the Game is number two, I know of Daniel Black's Perfect Peace--but didn't find that it fit my list.

  3. What an amazing compilation! I've read a few of the stories, especially the YA ones, but I definitely need to check out some of the adult fiction/non-fiction ones. I'll bookmark the post for the future and share it on Twitter! I'm sure lots of readers will find this helpful.

  4. You have a good point here!I totally agree with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views...hope more people will read this article.Read Reviews