What are the best African-American books?

asked by Anonymous
406 contributors
23 solutions
  1. 39

    #1The Color Purple

    The Color Purple
    Set deep in the American South, The Color Purple by Alice Walker is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. After living a very hard life, she starts to discover joy and the power of her own spirit.
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    Kenneth Carter
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "This book I can just read the synopsis and get a feeling about this book. Child from poverty rises up and finds the power and confidence within herself to chase her dreams and so on. Slumdog Millionaire was a lot like this."
  2. 36

    #2Their Eyes Were Watching God

    Their Eyes Were Watching God

    Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is one of the most important and enduring books of the 20th century. It brings to life a Southern love story with incredible wit and pathos.

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    Laura Williamson
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "Great story how a this women seeks true love and dispite traditional ways of what a womens place is in a marriage, she eventually finds her soulmate. Ruby Dee is a great auditor in this book. "
  3. 34

    #3Beloved

    Beloved

    Beloved is a multi-award-winning historical fiction novel written by Nobel laureate for literature, Toni Morrison. It was first published in 1987 and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988.

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    William Lopez
    Written on May 21, 2018
    "Beloved is a very interesting book I've read recently about an African-American slave. After reading it, I can see why its a multi-award-winning novel."
  1. 32

    #4The Bluest Eye

    The Bluest Eye
    The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison's novel about an African-American girl who wished to have the blue eyes of a white girl. Through the eyes of Pecola, Morrison described race and gender inequality, and beauty as a social construct.
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    James Torres
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "A great African America book is The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. It's about a young black girl wanting the blue eyes of a lighter skinned person. This book is literary and deals with race and gender inequality. I found it an interesting read. "
  2. 30

    #5Native Son

    Native Son

    Native Son is an African American historical fiction book written by Richard Wright. This classic book is first published in 1940 and reproduced by Harper Perennial Modern Classics. 

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    Linda Miller
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "I thought this was a very important book to read and that everyone should probably read it. It really centers on the struggles of African Americans. You really get to understand the characters emotions as they cope with race in society. It is a book for fiction, but I still believe it is an important lesson and teaching opportunity for everyone."
  3. 29

    #6Kindred

    Kindred

    Kindred is a young adult novel with a time travel element written by Octavia Butler, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards. The book is about a modern-day black woman who was transported to the plantation in the past.

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    Karen Mitchell
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "I was browsing around for the best African-American books when I found this title. It's so good that I couldn't put it down!"
  4. 25

    #7A Raisin in the Sun

    A Raisin in the Sun

    A Raisin in the Sun is a classic play written by Lorraine Hansberry which centers on a working-class family living in Chicago connected with the psyche of black America.

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    Guillermo Vargas
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "This honestly doesn't look that good. If it is what you are looking for I guess it works though."
  5. 24

    #8I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words. This memoir is a modern classic that will touch hearts and change minds.

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    Christopher Martinez
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. This memoir is a modern American classic thet will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read. good book"
  6. 22

    #9The Fire Next Time

    The Fire Next Time
    The Fire Next Time is James Baldwin's book depicting the racial injustice he suffered in his childhood in Harlem, and through parts of the book, he made a call to the American people to end racism.
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    Zachary Lawrence
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "I think this book tells a really important story in today's society. The author does a great job of describing how the injustices facing Black Americans are prevalent from birth, and can affect a person's entire life. I think this book should be required reading in every high school."
  7. 22

    #10Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
    Frederick Douglass was born into a family of slaves, but that was no obstacle in becoming a successful statesman, writer and orator. In this book, he shares his own story, which includes a glossary to help understand better Douglass' 19th century's writing style. 
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    Marina Ramírez
    Written on May 21, 2018
    "This version is not the full-length one and is only a little over 100 pages. The 600 page version provides much more information about his life."
  8. 20

    #11The Secret Life of Bees

    The Secret Life of Bees

    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd depicts loss and betrayal. This book was a New York Times bestseller and has won the 2004 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards. In 2008, this novel was turned into a movie.

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    Jesse Wallace
    Written on May 22, 2018
    "The Secret Life of Bees is a great book. It portrays serious issues surrounding the civil rights era, including racism and religion. The story and characters are deep and compelling. The book has many good lessons, and while sometimes difficult, is realistic and heartwarming. It became a best seller for good reason."
  9. 17

    #12The Collected Poems

    The Collected Poems

    The Collected Poems is a classic fictional poetry book written by Langston Hughes. This classic fictional poetry book was published on October 31, 1995 by Vintage Books and Random House Inc.

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    Kevin Qiu
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "Langston Hughes was a seminal figure in African-American history. As a poet, he has also published a plethora of beautiful works for people of all races. This collection of his poetry is great for fans of the genre as well as those looking for work concerning race and the struggle for civil rights in the United States. "
  10. 17

    #13Push

    Push

    Push is a horrifying book written by Damien Paul that tells the haunting story of Precious Jones. She is only 16 but her father already made her pregnant. She does not only suffer sexual abuse but physical abuse too. 

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    Richard Brewer
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "This is the one time where I do not understand why this has so many negative reviews. This book is fantastic and describes rock climbing greatly. I was at the edge of my bed reading this book, and I cannot believe how much I did enjoy this book. "
  11. 11

    #14Roots

    Roots
    This book narrates the story of Kunta Kinte, an African teenager who got captured in his village and then sold as a slave to America. This man would live in America the rest of his life, where he would start a family, whose most members were slaves. The book keeps telling the story of Kinte's descendants, until he reaches Alex Haley, the author of this book. 




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    Concepción Núñez
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "Roots is a story of family, of hope, of dreams, of trials and tribulations, a story of one man and his family. I have seen the movie twice, so I decided to finally read the book. It is SO much better! The development of characters is second to none, and I loved the storytelling quality of Mr. Haley."
  12. 10

    #15The Souls of Black Folk

    The Souls of Black Folk

    The Souls of Black Folk is a non-fiction history book written by W.E.B. Du Bois. This African American classic book is firs published in 

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    Jacqueline Coleman
    Written on May 22, 2018
    "I first read The Souls of Black Folk in high school. I think this book changed my life. It is some of the best writing I have ever seen. I don't think any other book captures the black experience in America as well as W.E.B. Du Bois does here. I also think his other works are worth reading."
  13. 6

    #16Go Tell it on the Mountain

    Go Tell it on the Mountain

    Go Tell it on the Mountain is a cultural classic African fiction book written by James Baldwin. With over 200 pages, this book is published in 2001 by Penguin Books.

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    Angela Banks
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "I have not read this particular book but I have heard a lot of positivity around the book in a while now. This book is starting to get traction again since the recent racial discrimination that is getting more frequent nowadays. I would definitely recommend this one and consider this one of the best of its kind based on the popularity it is gaining right now."
  14. 4

    #17Incognegro

    Incognegro

    Incognegro is a Sequential Art, Historical, Mystery Fiction Graphic Novel written by Mat Johnson and illustrated by Warren Pleece. It was published February 6, 2008 by Vertigo.

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    Cynthia Silva
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "Book is well written and good look at history. I think anyone that enjoys history would enjoy this book."
  15. 4

    #18Blind Corners

    Blind Corners

    Blind Corners is a Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Fiction Graphic Novel written by Jemir Robert Johnson and illustrated by Luis Sierra, Winston Blakely et al. It was published October 11, 2013 by CREATIVE Elamentz Studios.

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    Jack Scott
    Written on May 21, 2018
    "What a great book! I just finished Blind Corners by Jemir Robert Johnson and I think it's one of the best fictional graphic novels that I have read. I love the way she writes since it keeps me entertained and my mind doesn't wonder. "
  16. 1

    #195 Shots

    5 Shots

    5 Shots is a Mystery, Sequential Art, Fiction Graphic Novel written by Jemir Robert Johnson. It was published October 3, 2007 by Creative Elamentz Studios.

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    Shreyas Nair
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "This is a great murder mystery graphic novel. It wasn't as Afro-centric as I usually like from my novels, but I did enjoy reading it. I was very invested in the mystery."
  17. 0

    #20The Beauty That Remains

    The Beauty That Remains

    The Beauty That Remains is a novel by Ashley Woodfolk. It follows the story of Autumn, a talented artist and loyal friend whom comes face to face with a tragedy that connects her to other similar souls to form a band. It was published in 2018.

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    Brenda Bennett
    Written on May 20, 2018
    "This is the debut novel for this writer, so you tend to give a little more lenience for a new writer. This one is surely a box of tissue novel so get em' ready. I guess you can call this an African American book but I say it is a book for people, not of a specific race. "
  18. 0

    #21Down the River unto the Sea

    Down the River unto the Sea

    Down the River unto the Sea is a novel by Walter Mosley. It follows the story of Joe King Olver, one of NYPD's finest investigators who gets caught in a web of lies and deceit that lands him in Riker's Island. It was published in 2018.

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    Katherine Weber
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "This will keep you at the edge of your seat. It is a well written story by a prominent mystery novel author. You will be sure to enjoy the story too. The characters are engaging and you will be wanting to know what will happen next and won't be able to put the book down. This would be a great to read at a book club. You won't be disappointed the author will keep you guessing until the end."
  19. 0

    #22For Every One

    For Every One

    For Every One is a novel by Jason Reynolds. It is a story literally made for every person who has ever had a dream and for every kid who has always dreamt of being bigger than they area. It was published in 2018 by Atheneum.

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    Chirag Mehra
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "I was looking for the best African-American books and stumbled across this title. It was a great read and I highly recommend it to everyone."
  20. 0

    #23Small Country

    Small Country

    Small Country: A Novel is a novel by Gael Faye. It follows the story of ten year old Gabriel who lives in a little corner of paradise in Bujumbura, and whose life is suddenly upended by war and genocide. It was published in 2018 by Hogarth.

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    Marilyn Schultz
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "As I got a bit older I found myself really wanting to explore more African American books. My mother helped me pick out a few books from the library. I think my favorite out of them all is probably Small Country by Gael Faye. "

Summary

Best What are the best African-American books
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Color PurpleBooks 39 Paid
2Their Eyes Were Watching GodBooks 36 Paid
3BelovedBooks 34 Paid
4The Bluest EyeBooks 32 Paid
5Native SonBooks 30 Paid
6KindredBooks 29 Paid
7A Raisin in the SunBooks 25 Paid
8I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Books 24 Paid
9The Fire Next TimeBooks 22 Paid
10Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassBooks 22 Paid
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