48 Books to Read For Black History Month and Every Other Month 

February is Black History Month and it is a great time to be reminded of works of literature that tackle The United States past and present system of racism and slavery. These books share stories that was and is a reality for Black Americans.  

The good thing about books is that you can read them whenever you want. These books are often highlighted during Black History Month but that shouldn’t stop anyone from reading them whenever they want.  

48 Books to Read For Black History Month and Every Other Month 

We highlighted many books that we believe meet the criteria for this list. But as always, some great books are going to be left out either by accident or because there was a cutoff point. You can check out some of the books that we selected below. 

Essential Reading for Black History Month and Every Other Month 

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander 
  • Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine 
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson 
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 
  • Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed 
  • Hidden Figures by Winifred Conkling 
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead 
  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison 
  • The story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles 
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston 
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson 
  • Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. By Doreen Rappaport 
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison 
  • Four Hundred Souls by edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain 
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou 
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi 
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison 
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin 
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett 
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates 
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor 
  • The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander  
  • Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford 
  • The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez 
  • Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry 
  • Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson 
  • Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford 
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley 
  • March: Book One by John Lewis 
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker 
  • Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon 
  • Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford 
  • Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford 
  • We March by Shane W. Evans 
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison  
  • A Promised Land by Barack Obama 
  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold  
  • The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones  
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
  • How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones 
  • 28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World by Carole Boston Weatherford 
  • The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop by Carole Boston Weatherford 
  • Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson 
  • Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe 
  • What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 
  • A Child’s Introduction to African American History: The Experiences, People, and Events That Shaped Our Country by Jabari Asim 
  • Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires by Shomari Wills  
  • A Taste of Power by Elaine Brown 

Amazing Reads

Many of these books are often overlooked or ignored for most of the year and that should not be the case. Some of these books have been amazing reads for me and reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead made me discover an amazing author!  

Another great author I came across on this list is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her books Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun are two of the most important works of fiction of the 21st century and I highly recommend them.  


Feel free to use this list to find some great books to read for February but don’t just stop there. You can come back to this list any month and discover new books and authors throughout the year. There is no way anyone is going to be able to read all these books in one month. I know I will be revisiting this list as often as possible and I hope you do too! 

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3 thoughts on “48 Books to Read For Black History Month and Every Other Month 

  1. Rei Clearly says:

    Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Color Purple are two of the best books I have ever read!!! I highly recommend reading them any day! Not just for black history month, and highly recommend reading more authors of color because of how interesting a different point of view is.


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