What are the best books about African-Americans?

asked by Anonymous
426 contributors
28 solutions
  1. 43

    #1Belonging

    Belonging

    Belonging: A Culture of Place is a non-fiction book for young adults written by bell hooks, whose real name is Gloria Jean Watkins. It was released in 2008. It is about the connection between land ownership and race.

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    Guo Gao
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "Belonging: A Culture of Place. Traversing past and present, Belonging charts a cyclical journey in which hooks moves from place to place, from country to city and back again, only to end where she began her old Kentucky home. hooks has written provocatively about race, gender, and class; and in this book she turns her attention to focus on issues of land and land ownership. Reflecting on the fact that 90% of all black people lived in the agrarian South before mass migration to northern cities in the early 1900s, she writes about black farmers, about black folks who have been committed both in the past and in the present to local food production, to being organic, and to finding solace in nature."
  2. 40

    #2The Ways of White Folks

    The Ways of White Folks

    The Ways of White Folks is a collection of short stories from African-American writer Langston Hughes depicting the interaction of black Americans with white Americans during the 1920s and the 1930s.

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    Rebecca Pena
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "This is a great anthology collection of african american writings. It's eye-opening, comedic at times, and heartbreaking."
  3. 37

    #3Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone

    Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
    Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone is James Baldwin's novel about the actor Leo, who just reached the peak of his career but is then hit by troubles, including a heart attack, a brother being jailed and two people fighting over Leo's loyalty.
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    Randy Garrett
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "The plot and writing of this book are completely amazing. The price is great, but it is not clear that this book is about African-Americans. This could be a great book, but is not specific enough for the query."
  1. 36

    #4Chicken Sunday

    Chicken Sunday

    Chicken Sunday is a dramatic picture book authored and illustrated by Patricia Polacco. It is about a white Russian girl and her African-American "brothers" finding a way to give their grandmother a great hat.

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    Sarah Gibson
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I think this is a great book which includes African Americans, but not truly about African Americans. This is a book for children to teach them right from wrong, fun pictures, easy to follow. This is not a book to teach anyone about African Americans. "
  2. 34

    #5We Real Cool

    We Real Cool

    We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity is a critic and philosophical book written by bell hooks, whose real name is Gloria Jean Watkins. It was originally published in 2004. It is about how society views African-American men.

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    Cynthia Kelley
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "Gloria Jean Watkins give an informative and well researched view on how African-American men are treated in her book We Real Cool. This book was published in 2004 and I just wish it was more widely read and discussed in our current society. "
  3. 32

    #6Goin' Someplace Special

    Goin' Someplace Special

    Goin' Someplace Special is a picture book written by Patricia C. McKissack and drawn by famous illustrator Jerry Pinkney. It is about how African-Americans were treated differently in the south of America during the 1950s.

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    Jesse Gilbert
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "One of the best books about African-Americans, Goin' Someplace Special is appropriate for all ages and is a must read. The story can be hard to take because it is true, but people have to learn from it in order not to repeat it."
  4. 27

    #7Invisible Man

    Invisible Man

    This book narrates the life of a nameless black man living in the US, how hard it was for him to grow up in a racist town in the South, and how he eventually became leader of the community in New York.

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    Jack Cole
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "This was definitely an outstanding book to read. It was one of those books that should become a motion picture based on how well-written the plot is and the depth of the character. I highly recommend reading this book as it deals with the issues of racism and overcoming impossible challenges."
  5. 25

    #8Buck: 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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    Ann Zhao
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "This book is a reflection of the ups and downs in life of an African immigrant. Reading it helps me appreciate that I am not the only one with problems. Although it can be a depressing read at times it tells me that all hope is not lost even in dark times."
  6. 25

    #9The 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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    Paul Henderson
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "A swing and a miss. I was recommended this book by a friend of mine but I can't quite see what she sees in this book. It wasn't particularly interesting and it was hard to finish but I just was not satisfied by it."
  7. 23

    #10The 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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    Gloria Brown
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "I recommend The Fire Next Time as the best book about African-Americans. I think The Fire Next Time is a great read and a document to reference in association with Black Lives Matter Movement. I love books that feature aspects and concepts that others consider absent. "
  8. 21

    #11The Amen Corner: A Play

    The Amen Corner: A Play

    The Amen Corner is the first play James Baldwin wrote for the theater. Considered a classic, it's about Sister Margaret and her struggles to keep her godly path despite the troubles she is facing.

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    Carolyn Wagner
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "THIS IS MY FIRST TIME READING A JAMES BALDWIN NOVEL AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT . IT ADDS NEW EXCITEMENT TO FAITH HEALING STORIES. ONE PRO ABOUT THIS NOVEL IS IT GIVES INSIGHT TO THE DAILY STRUGGLES OF AFRICAN AMERICANS AND ONE CON ABOUT THIS NOVEL IS THE FACT THAT IT DOES NOT HAVE A UNIQUE VIBE TO IT."
  9. 20

    #12Sisters of the Yam

    Sisters of the Yam

    Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery is a critic book written by bell hooks, whose real name is Gloria Jean Atkins. It was originally published in 1994. It is about sexism and racism make it hard for African American women to succeed.

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    William Alexander
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "More self-help than historical, although history isn't overlooked, this solution is a classical treatment of the subject matter, if only for African-American females. I give it medium marks because of it's lack of inclusiveness of the entire African-American population."
  10. 19

    #13Skin Again

    Skin Again

    Skin Again is a picture book written by famous author bell hooks, whose real name is Gloria Jean Watkins. It is illustrated by Chris Raschka. It is about going beyond skin color to define one's true identity.

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    Kyle Mendoza
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "Some parts of this book are pretty good but a lot of it also fell flat for me. Just lots of empty platitudes and typical boring overdone sentiments about race. Though the parts that are written well are quite clever and worth a read."
  11. 8

    #14The 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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    Gregory Hunter
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "This book could be one of the "best" books because it is #68 in category Books > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Regional & Cultural > United States > African American. However the description above cuts off mid-sentence (not sure if that's intentional or not). Depending on if the searcher is looking for fiction or non-fiction, this book could be relevant to their wishes."
  12. 5

    #15The New Jim Crow

    The New Jim Crow
    This book shares the idea that America's society has achieved a new era of colorblindness, which starting point is the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Michelle Alexander says that this doesn't mean that racism is over, society has just redesigned. 
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    Andrew Garrett
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "A typical narrow sighted view of a larger problem. Some interested in this specific point of view may find it worth a read."
  13. 3

    #16The Warmth of Other Suns

    The Warmth of Other Suns
    The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration is a multi-awarded non-fiction history book written by Isabel Wilkerson. It was first published in 2010 by Random House. 
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    Christian Lynch
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "Excellent non-fiction book that talks about the migration of many Africans to America. I learned so much from this and really got a different perspective on the life of African Americans back then."
  14. 0

    #17Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion
    Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion: Including the 1831 "Confessions"  is an African American biography written by Herbert Aptheker. This history book is first published in 1966. 
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    Nicolás Anaya
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "This book just doesn't hold up against other slave-era classics, like the Grapes of Wrath. It was well written, researched, and hoisted against the backdrop of one of the most terrible periods in human cruelty, but I feel it did not bring anything new to the table."
  15. 0

    #18Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story

    Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story

    Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story is a Sequential Art, Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Fiction Graphic Novel written by Mat Johnson and illustrated by Simon Gane. It was published August 24, 2010 by Vertigo.

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    Joshua Valdez
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "This is an interesting graphic novel. New Orleans has a rich history, full of colorful events and lots of really cool style, so it makes for a great backdrop to a murder mystery. Costumes and rituals make for great illustrations on the page, along with the inherent flash New Orleans enjoys. The story itself is a little pedestrian, but the skill and appeal of the art helps make up for it tremendously here. I did like the way it ended though, that helped make up for a bit of the boring factor I slogged through at the beginning."
  16. 0

    #19Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story

    Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story

    Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story is a Sequential Art, Biography, Adult, Cultural, History, Non-fiction Graphic Novel by Peter Bagge. It was published March 21, 2017 by Drawn and Quarterly.

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    Brandon Hill
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "Very unknown and is very odd to say the least. Is not the best, nor does it have any reason to justify it being the best. It's relatively new in terms of it being a book and the author."
  17. 0

    #20Bayou

    Bayou

    Bayou is a Sequential Art, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Young Adult Fiction Graphic Novel written by Jeremy Love. It was published June 2, 2009 by Zuda.

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    Nicole Fisher
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "Bayou is really the best book that I have read that deals with African-Americans and has everything you could want in a book. It was something that I passed around to my friends and wanted them all to read as well. Everyone loved it!"
  18. 0

    #21Native 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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    Gregory Jenkins
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "It took me some time before I realized where the author was leading me. The book is a must read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of our behavior toward one another and how pre-conceived, often incorrect, ideas about our self and those around us shape our lives."
  19. 0

    #22The Harlem Hellfighters

    The Harlem Hellfighters

    The Harlem Hellfighters is a Sequential Art, History, War, Non-fiction Graphic Novel written by Max Brooks and illustrated by Caanan White. It was published April 1, 2014 by Broadway Books.

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    María Ortega
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "This is a very special fiction book, it is written very nicely, it tells an entertaining story, and has many different characters and everyone of them has something to tell, and i can say that it is a reality based story. I have had a very good time reading this book, and i am sure that it will be the same for many of the readers. "
  20. 0

    #23The 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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    Keith Lee
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "This is a pretty good black history book. If you haven't read it and you like historical black history I would check it out. "
  21. 0

    #24The World and Africa

    The World and Africa

    The World and Africa is an African American non-fiction book written by W.E.B. Du Bois. This classic history book is first published in 1947. 

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    Kyle Murray
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "If you want to know about the history of Africa, you won't do better than this book. You'll learn about some of the amazing contributions Africa has made to the world and the incredible devastations they have incurred as well."
  22. 0

    #25Come Juneteenth

    Come Juneteenth
    Come Juneteenth is a book by Ann Rinaldi that tells the story of Sis Goose. She is a slave that was loved dearly by the family she serves, but she will discover a secret that will ruin her relationship with the family.  
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    Gloria Wood
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "This is an interesting work of historical fiction, and a good read for the Young Adult genre. If the plot sounds interesting to you, I'd recommend it. However, if you're looking for the best in stories about African-Americans, there are a lot of others out there I'd suggest first."
  23. 0

    #26I Speak of Freedom

    I Speak of Freedom

    I Speak of Freedom is an African non-fiction book written by Kwame Nkrumah. This cultural book is first published in 1961 and reproduced by Panaf. 

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    Rachel Carr
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "This book might fit the bill, but there is no description included on the website about it. I would like to see a good description before buying."
  24. 0

    #27The Restless

    The Restless

    The Restless is a novel by Gerty Dambury. It is a lyrical novel structured like a Creole quadrille which contains an account of police violence in French Guadeloupe. It was published in 2018 by The Feminist Press at CUNY.

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    Joyce Hernandez
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "With the current climate surrounding police and African-Americans I just wouldn't bother with a novel. Stick to the news and non-fiction on this topic please. It couldn't be more important for us to stay current."
  25. 0

    #28Separation

    Separation
    Separation is the debut novel of Babette Brown set in South Africa during the era of great apartheid. The story follows Jessica and her relationship with Ben amidst the atrocities brought about by the political turmoil.
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    Sandra Porter
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "This book was just okay for me. I would not have read it it it wasn't free."

Summary

Best What are the best books about African-Americans
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1BelongingBooks 43 Paid
2The Ways of White Folks Books 40 Paid
3Tell Me How Long the Train's Been GoneBooks 37 Paid
4Chicken SundayBooks 36 Paid
5We Real CoolBooks 34 Paid
6Goin' Someplace SpecialBooks 32 Paid
7Invisible ManBooks 27 Paid
8Buck: A MemoirBooks 25 Paid
9The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksBooks 25 Paid
10The Fire Next TimeBooks 23 Paid
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