What are the best memoirs about African-Americans?

asked by Anonymous
243 contributors
18 solutions
  1. 46

    #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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    Ashley Boyd
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "The abuse and sadness the female character endures endeared her to me as I prayed for her survival and happiness. In a time of oppression Maya found ways to cope though her trials were long-lasting. This books helps me remember how bigotry affected millions of people for many a generation."
  2. 39

    #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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    Eric Chen
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "this is probably the best choice"
  3. 37


    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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    Brian Rose
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "This autobiography of Dick Gregory is a poignant look at a poor African-American man growing up in St. Louis during a time of massive social strife against blacks. The book follows his journey through childhood, to his struggles at becoming a comedian, to eventually joining the civil rights movement. While maybe not the most well-known autobiography of a black person, it is certainly worth a look."
  1. 33

    #4Zami: A New Spelling of My Name

    Zami: A New Spelling of My Name

    Zami: A New Spelling of My Name is a non-fiction novel written by Audre Lorde that tells the story of two women in love with each other. They will share their story in this book to inspire others.


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    Catherine Medina
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "This book is based on a true story that tells the story of two women in love with each other. This book is great and will inspire you to do what is best for you."
  2. 23

    #5Bone 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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    Amanda Douglas
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "This is a great solution. Upon further research, only the book written by Barack Obama came before this. I think this perfectly encapsulates the various experiences and hardships faced by African-Americans. The book has amazing reviews and I think the solution fits the reviews and experiences that people have had with this book. "
  3. 16

    #6Angela Davis: An Autobiography

    Angela Davis: An Autobiography
    This is the story of Angela Davis told by the political activist herself. It covers her life until 1972, and many of her scandals are explained in the pages of this book, one of the many Angela Davis wrote. 


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    Jordan Garrett
    Written on April 10, 2018
    "Angela Davis: An Autobiography is a enjoyable read. "
  4. 13

    #7The 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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    Tang Zhou
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "Thinking about this author's life and accomplishments is truly humbling. He grew up and lived through the "Jim Crow" era and became the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. The introduction of the book frames the book very well: "Du Bois achieves in his text a rare combination of pathos and dignity, presenting a portrait of black culture that demands respect." A must read. "
  5. 8

    #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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    Michelle Allen
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "This is a great book that I initially read after a bunch of high school kids' parents were outraged when their kids were assigned to read it. I think it is a very important book and is a very good glimpse into inner city life growing up and how different it can be from the perspective of the suburban bubble. The kids should all be reading this, and the adults too."
  6. 5

    #9Brother, I'm Dying

    Brother, I'm Dying

    When she was only four years old, Edwidge Danticat was forced to live with her uncle Joseph, as her parents left Haiti and went to America. Many years ago, she joined them, but she could never forget about the beloved family she left behind. 


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  7. 4

    #10Soul on Ice

    Soul on Ice

    Written by Eldridge Cleaver, one of the most prominent members of the Black Panthers, this classic yet timeless memoir changed the way American society saw the civil rights movement and how the black community was approached. 


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    Arthur Knight
    Written on April 5, 2018
    "An excellent insider look into the Black Panther Party from the 60s and how it changed and shaped the civil rights movement. Worthwhile read and look back on a part of American history."
  8. 1

    #11Narrative 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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    Danielle Spencer
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "This book is perfect for students, or anyone interested in African-American history. The life and memoir of Frederick Douglass is incredibly interesting, and sure to draw you in from page one."
  9. 0

    #12The 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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    Madison Harper
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "This book is interest to read."
  10. 0

    #13Blue Rage, Black Redemption

    Blue Rage, Black Redemption
    Blue Rage, Black Redemption is a true crime memoir written by Stanley Tookie Williams. This African-American non-fiction book is first published in 2004. 

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    Harini Chattopadhyay
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "If you want books on memoirs about African Americans this is it. It is easy to understand and you really feel a connection to the author."
  11. 0

    #14Fire!!: 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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    Sharon Liang
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "Peter Bagge is at it again with another captivating biography of historic 20th century figures. "Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story" is a must read for those looking for a best memoir about African-Americans. Hurston herself approves highly of this graphic novel! Once I started reading I could not put it down, as I was engrossed by not only her story but the writing styles as well."
  12. 0

    #15A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

    A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

    A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is a memoir written by Ishmael Beah. Published in 2007, A Long Way Gone narrates the author's experiences about his life journey, from the time he fled from attacking rebels in Sierra Leone.


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    Brenda Davis
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "This story is riveting and the thoughtful way he writes makes this an incredible read. Highly recommend."
  13. 0

    #16A Desperate Road to Freedom

    A Desperate Road to Freedom

    A Desperate Road to Freedom is a book written by Karleen Bradford that tells the story of Julia May. They are slaves of a tobacco farm and they fled for their freedom. This book is her diary and it tells all the challenges she faced. 


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    Randy Jimenez
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "This history book is very interesting. This book is based on real story and its described so vividly, and it has a very unique style of writing. I can say that this is a book that is worthy reading it, and knowing this story, problems and challenges of that time."
  14. 0

    #17Wounds of Passion

    Wounds of Passion

    Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life is a memoir and autobiography written by famous author bell hooks, whose real name is Gloria Jean Watkins. It was originally released in 1997. It is about the author's struggles. It is a San Fran Chronicle best-seller.


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    Lin Hou
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "this is a great read and it is better since it is about my race so read it "
  15. 0

    #18Nine Hills to Nambonkaha

    Nine Hills to Nambonkaha

    Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village is an African non-fiction memoir written by Sarah Erdman. It is first published in 2003. 


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    Alexander Rivera
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "this is a great read and it is better since it is about my race so read it "


Best What are the best memoirs about African-Americans
1I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Books 46 Paid
212 Years a SlaveBooks 39 Paid
3NiggerBooks 37 Paid
4Zami: A New Spelling of My NameBooks 33 Paid
5Bone Black: Memories of GirlhoodBooks 23 Paid
6Angela Davis: An AutobiographyBooks 16 Paid
7The Souls of Black FolkBooks 13 Paid
8Buck: A MemoirBooks 8 Paid
9Brother, I'm DyingBooks 5 Paid
10Soul on IceBooks 4 Paid

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