What are the best biographies about black people?

asked by Anonymous
292 contributors
17 solutions
  1. 31

    #1I 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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    Adam Carr
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned. Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read. "
  2. 29

    #212 Years a Slave

    12 Years a Slave
    The book that inspired the popular film is the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man living in New York after the civil war. He was having a great and wealthy life until he got kidnapped and sold as a slave. Solomon uses this book to share its own adventures, giving detailed information about what he had to do and how he maintained his dignity during the 12 years he was forced to do everything. 




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  3. 27

    #3The Autobiography of Malcolm X

    The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a non-fiction book written by human rights activist, Malcolm X. Originally published in 1964, it tells the story of his fight for equality among the races.
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  1. 26

    #4Long Walk to Freedom

    Long Walk to Freedom

    Long Walk To Freedom is an autobiography by the Nobel Peace Prize revolutionary, Nelson Mandela. Mandela wrote the majority of it during his time in prison, and it tells of his struggles to correct the injustice done to his people.

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    Bruce Qiu
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "A thought-out, exciting display of Nelon Mandela's life. My cousin bought me this book and I didn't know Mandela wrote an autobiography! I love that this book is fact-based rather than story-oriented (I know my preference for style differs from most). It definitely could be cut down a bit . A Long Walk indeed - the book spans 656 pages and his entire life. Honestly I did have to skip around a few chapters because of waning interest but because it's not a full story my understanding of the events wasn't affected to much in my opinion."
  2. 25

    #5The Black Count

    The Black Count

    The Black Count is a biography by Tom Reiss, written on the life of General Alex Dumas, an 18th-century French general. Alex Dumas is the father of renowned French writer, Alexandre Dumas. It won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.

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    George Collins
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "I read the book "The Black Count" as an assignment at school, and I must admit that I found this book really interesting. It talks about the life of the General Alex Dumas, the father of the writer Alexandre Dumas, and it's an award winner book. Very nice one!"
  3. 23

    #6Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63

    Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63

    Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63 is a biography written by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Taylor Branch. Spanning the years of the American civil rights movement, it tells of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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    Nicholas Ortiz
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "A great book on the civil rights movement. This would be one of my favorites. Get the paperback book as in the ebook you miss out on the photos. "
  4. 23

    #7Nigger

    Nigger
    Dick Gregory was one of the first comedians to ever use comedy and jokes to talk about and criticize the social injustices of his days' society. This book is his autobiography, in which explains many anecdotes and problems he had for being a black man living in the Southern states of America. 
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    Lorenzo Mondragón
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "This was a fascinating book about a man that I had never heard of. He tells how it was being a black man growing up in a time of racism and how he overcame it. This book has it all and at times is actually very funny. "
  5. 21

    #8Narrative 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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    Willie Bishop
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "Frederick Douglass's life from the point of view of his own writings. Exactly what I was looking for."
  6. 20

    #9Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood

    Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood

    Growing up in the South of America being a black woman was very hard, and Bell Hooks learnt that the hard way. In this book, she shares many of the problems she had during her childhood, and how she relied on writing to survive those hard days. 

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    Marie Duncan
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood is written by Bell Hooks who used writing to get her through some of her turbulent and challenging childhood. This is a good way to enter into a world and an experience that many of us are not familiar with."
  7. 19

    #10The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a non-fiction book by Rebecca Skloot. It tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were unknowingly taken from her and used in medical research. These cells have outlived her for 60 years.
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    Ronald Ellis
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "This book in some cases, shows how African Americans are treated in America. I feel that Henrietta Lacks should be a household name rather than a name only known in medicine. Her cells are being sold by the billions, but what has her family received? I wouldn't quite classify this book as one of the "best" biographies about African Americans. "
  8. 17

    #11Buck: A Memoir

    Buck: A Memoir
    Buck: A Memoir is an Autobiography, Cultural and Non-fiction novels written by M.K. Asante. It was published August 20, 2013 by Spiegel & Grau. It foretells of M.K. Asante's hardships and trials.
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    Petra May
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "For African American History Month, I read Buck: A Memoir because it made the Washington Post Bestseller List two years in a row. The author's story makes you feel very connected to him and it is very moving."
  9. 9

    #12March: Book One

    March: Book One

    March: Book One is a Sequential Art, Autobiography, History, Non-fiction graphic novel written by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell. It was published August 13, 2013 by Top Shelf Productions.

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    Cherry Xiao
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "March: Book One combines history with art, autobiography, and non fiction. It's a graphic novel as well! It should be in every school for students to read. It is enjoyable and they will be able to grasp the concepts in this book."
  10. 5

    #13Ghana: The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah

    Ghana: The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah
    Ghana: The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah is an autobiography written by Kwame Nkrumah. It was originally released on March 6, 1957, the same day as Ghana's day of independence. It details the country's fight for freedom.
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    Danielle Little
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "Really interesting biography. I love getting my hands on autobiographies that I can sink my teeth into. Reading about Ghana's plight was heartbreaking at times."
  11. 0

    #14Twelve Years a Slave

    Twelve Years a Slave

    Twelve Years a Slave is an autobiography written by Solomon Northup, originally published in 1853. It tells the story of a man who suffered slavery for twelve years in Louisiana. It is the basis of the Academy Award-winning film of the same name.

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    Julie Ward
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "Twelve Years a Slave is an outstanding autobiography. It tells the story of a black man named Solomon Northup who was kept as a slave for twelve years. I was horrified by what I read, but it was such and interesting story. I really think everybody should read this book."
  12. 0

    #15The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

    The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

    The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is a classic nonfiction biography written by James Weldon. This classic nonfiction biography was published on March 1, 1991 by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.

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    Joe Jackson
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "This is a fascinating take on an Ex-Colored Man, but it is not really an autobiography. I would say it is more of a historical fiction. James Weldon did a wonderful job writing this book and I am definitely going to read it again. If you like fiction that incorporates history, you will love this book. Just look at the other reviews and you will not want to pass this one up."
  13. 0

    #16The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

    The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
    The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano is an autobiography by Olaudah Equiano, a Nigerian abolitionist. First published in 1789, it tells the story of how he was kidnapped and sold into slavery.
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    Benjamin Hernandez
    Written on May 1, 2018
    ""Interesting" is subjective and I think its not very good to put that as your book's title, especially one as uninteresting as this one. Avoid at all costs. "
  14. 0

    #17Mugabe

    Mugabe
    Mugabe: Power, Plunder, and the Struggle for Zimbabwe's Future is a historical biography written by Martin Meredith. It was published in 2007 and is about the life of Robert Mugabe and his rise and fall as a tyrant.
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    Anthony Myers
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "I found this to be a very powerful book that details the life of the African dictator. It was interesting to learn how Robert Mugabe started off as a black leader who would reconcile the shattered relationships between whites and blacks in Zimbabwe but instead ended up as a power hungry dictator. "

Summary

Best What are the best biographies about black people
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Books 31 Paid
212 Years a SlaveBooks 29 Paid
3The Autobiography of Malcolm XBooks 27 Paid
4Long Walk to FreedomBooks 26 Paid
5The Black CountBooks 25 Paid
6Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63Books 23 Paid
7NiggerBooks 23 Paid
8Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassBooks 21 Paid
9Bone Black: Memories of GirlhoodBooks 20 Paid
10The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksBooks 19 Paid
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