6 Black Authors To Read This Black History Month + Beyond

February 04, 2022

Pledge to Take Action

We’re so excited to share just five of the incredibly talented Black authors in literature today! We invite you to read their books, explore their themes, and amplify their voices within your schools, homes, and communities.

Jason Reynolds – Author of “Ain’t Burned All the Bright”
Using a combination of illustrations and powerful text, this recently released book gives an emotional look into the life of a Black family living through 2020.  “And worry is worn like a knit sweater in summer,” Reynolds writes, “and can’t nobody breathe in a knit sweater in summer.” Check out more from Reynolds below, and be sure to follow him here.

 

Leah Johnson – Author of “You Should See Me in a Crown”
Known as the “the Queer prom romance you didn’t know you needed” this YA book follows a Black teenage girl who decides to run for prom queen in hopes of obtaining the prize money. In her book, Johnson also addresses mental health issues and represents what it’s like to be a Black student in a mostly white town. You can learn more about Johnson’s creation of this book below and follow her here.

 

George M. Johnson – Author of “All Boys Aren’t Blue”
In this series of personal essays, Johnson, an LGBTQIA+ activist, explores their childhood growing up Queer and Black in New Jersey. Their book focuses on identity, sexuality, peer support, and directly addresses Black Queer boys and children who may not have someone in their life with similar experiences. You can follow Johnson here + listen to a clip of the audio version of the book below:

 

Jerry Craft –  Author of  “New Kid” + “Class Act”
In his graphic novels, Craft writes the story of a teen boy being one of the few kids of color at his school.  “What I wanted to do with “New Kid” was to have kids of color living positive lives, good humor, nice storytelling, with loving families and friends.” Craft goes on to explain that he wanted kids that looked like him to be represented + still tell a powerful story. More from Craft below + be sure to follow him here.

 

Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds  – Authors of “Stamped”
An exploration of race and racism in America, this book (and its sequel Stamped For Kids) inspires hope for an antiracist world. As Reynolds says, “This is not a history book . . . this is a book that puts you in conversation with history.” You can hear a short excerpt of the audiobook below + you can follow Kendi here.

Angie Thomas – Author of “The Hate U Give”
There’s a reason this book has been on the New York Times list for over 240 weeks.  Even though it was published in 2017, the book remains relevant today as it follows the aftermath of a teen witnessing the murder of her Black friend by a police officer. The book addresses racism, police brutality, and activism – all of which Thomas says she was inspired to write about after the murder of Oscar Grant in 2010. Check out more from Thomas below + you can follow her here.

Pledge to Take Action