What are the best books written by black authors?

asked by Anonymous
431 contributors
15 solutions
  1. 45

    #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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    Joshua Owens
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "This is one of the rare books you can read that holds nothing back. Centered around the inner voice of a young black child, you see everything as you would as if you were her. Its a huge shoutout towards black hatred from whites and is powerful enough that people have attempted to ban it from being read by children. "
  2. 40

    #2The 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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    Frances Ramos
    Written on May 19, 2018
    "After coming to the unfortunate realization that almost every novel I've read for entertainment has been written by a white individual, I've made a point to expand my horizons. This book is a powerful story of the horrors experienced by a young black girl in the deep South. It's excellent, and I recommend everyone to pay more attention to the diversity of their media creators!"
  3. 38

    #312 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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    Carl Cunningham
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "This story is heartbreaking, and very difficult to read at times. That being said, it is a phenomenal book. I watched the movie before reading the book, but it was still so detailed that it was like a whole new experience. I recommended it both for people who are and aren't familiar with the film."
  1. 38

    #4Parable of the Sower (Earthseed)

    Parable of the Sower (Earthseed)
    Parable of the Sower, the 1st book in the Parable series, is a futuristic dystopian novel written by Octavia Butler, a Hugo and Nebula Award winner. It tells the story of Lauren Olamina, who is trying to survive and bring order back to a chaotic world.

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    Samantha Simpson
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "I enjoyed Parable of the Sower (Earthseed). I agree that Parable of the Sower (Earthseed) is the best book written by black authors. I describe Parable of the Sower (Earthseed) as a page-turner."
  2. 34



    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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    Keith Henderson
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "time travel fiction telling story about slavery in plantation. A woman was brought back to a time where her life was no longer her own as she suffer a once thought to be long gone practices of human enslavement."
  3. 32

    #6Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
    During the Great Depression in Mississippi, this story talks about the struggle of a family to maintain pride, independence and integrity against the racism and social inequity. 

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    Joan Weber
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "The Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a breathtaking novel! A must read! The book is about the life of a Southern black family struggling to keep their land, their dignity, and their lives in the middle of the Great Depression. Highly recommend reading!!!"
  4. 30

    #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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    Nathan Owens
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "One of the classics by any author this book is captivating and extremely interesting. Written generations ago it has stood the test of time and should be on anyone's must read list. The above description might not be adequate in stating the book's importance."
  5. 29

    #8Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy)

    Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy)

    Things Fall Apart is a book by the acclaimed Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe. It tells the story of the conflict between the colonial British government and a Nigerian ethnic group, the Ibo people. It is the first book in the African trilogy.


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    Paul Kelly
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "Part one of the series "The african trilogy" lays out what became the history of what has become our current world. I found myself learning about stuff I wasn't aware of from the view of a black person. There is always two sides to every story and this book helps inform you of the other side of the story you may have never heard. "
  6. 26

    #9Their 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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    Jose Delgado
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "Book is an eye opener for many people. This provokes us to think about the way we treat others, especially women. Great piece of African American literature here."
  7. 25

    #10The Coldest Winter Ever

    The Coldest Winter Ever

    The Coldest Winter Ever is Sister Souljah's debut novel, centered on a girl named Winter, who needs to utilize her beauty and quick wit if she wants to survive the winter in the streets of Brooklyn.


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    Carl Crawford
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "When someone recommended I read this, I was a bit surprised and uncertain. I'd only ever heard of Sister Souljah in the beginning of a Public Enemy song. As it turns out, this is a uniquely new kind of novel, set in the modern New York ghetto. Eye-opening and insightful. "
  8. 22

    #11The 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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    Amalia Ríos
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "This book is a must read! It offers insight into a life I never lived. Pecola's hopes and pain come through loud and clear. It is depressing, but an important read if we are ever to understand the adversity those different from us face. I highly recommend it."
  9. 20

    #12Half of a Yellow Sun

    Half of a Yellow Sun
    Half of a Yellow Sun is a historical fiction novel by the Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Set in the now-defunct Republic of Biafra, it tells the story of five people as they fight to keep their nation alive.

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    Johnny Diaz
    Written on April 8, 2018
    "I try to find books by every race when I am reading. I like to have a variety of everything. I think the best one I have come across that was written by a black author was Half of a Yellow Sun. It has a really interesting story and really kept me reading more and more even when I needed to put it down. "
  10. 19



    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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    Brenda Alvarez
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "Very engaging story and narrative. No surprise it got a Pulitzer."
  11. 17

    #14Narrative 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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    Jack Cole
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "I've always thought highly of Frederick Douglass, so I decided to give this book a read. I was absolutely blown away at the struggles that he endured, and the way he rose above it all. There are a lot of great books by black authors out there, but this is one of the best. In addition, you'll actually gain some valuable knowledge from this one. Definitely give this a read!"
  12. 1

    #15Buck: 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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    Joseph Collins
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "this is a great Autobiography and it teaches us how we should treat others"


Best What are the best books written by black authors
1I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Books 45 Paid
2The Color PurpleBooks 40 Paid
312 Years a SlaveBooks 38 Paid
4Parable of the Sower (Earthseed)Books 38 Paid
5KindredBooks 34 Paid
6Roll of Thunder, Hear My CryBooks 32 Paid
7Invisible ManBooks 30 Paid
8Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy)Books 29 Paid
9Their Eyes Were Watching GodBooks 26 Paid
10The Coldest Winter EverBooks 25 Paid

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