Books, Books, Books, In Honor of Black History Month

It  is Black History Month and as my city continues to honor the contributions of the children of Africa in America, I pause to add a bit of literature to that celebration.

I have literally read and reviewed lots of books that are complete, fully realized, and filled with depth about black men and women.  Some are literary fiction (I neither read nor review that urban erotica genre stereotype pushed out by some publishing houses as black female fiction) and some are non-fiction works.

Some of the books I've read, fiction and non-fiction, that I highly recommend include:

  • The Wake of the Wind by J. California Cooper
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood
  • Still Life in Harlem by Eddy Harris
  • The Street by Ann Petry
  • Let The Lion Eat Straw by Ebele Oseye
  • Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Angel of Harlem by Kuwana Haulsey
  • Fifth Born by Zelda Lockhart
  • River Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines
  • Brothers and Sisters by Bebe Moore Campbell
  • What You Owe Me by Bebe Moore Campbell
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
  • The Wedding by Dorothy West
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
  • The Seasons of Beento Blackbird by Akosu Busia
  • River Woman by Donna Hemans
  • Cane River by Lalita Tademy
  • Red River by Lalita Tademy
  • Redemption Song by Bertice Berry
  • Daughter by Asha Bandale
  • No Crystal Stair by Eva Rutland
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander 
  • Miss Ophelia by Mary Burnett Smith
  • Sula by Toni Morrison
  • Love by Toni Morrison
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
  • the darkest child by Delores Phillips
  • Sister Citizen by Melissa Harris-Perry
  • Browngirl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall 
  • The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate
  • Shifting Through Neutral by Bridgett M. Davis
  • A Million Nightingales by Susan Straight
  • The Gathering of Waters by Bernice mcFadden
  • Nowhere is a Place by Bernice McFadden
  • Wench by Doren Perkins-Valdez
  • Song Yet Sung by James McBride
  • Who Does She Think She Is by Benilde Little
  • Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange
  • Cane by Jean Toomer
  • the air between us by Deborah Johnson

There are literally hundreds of books I could recommend.  These are ones I've read and that own a place on my bookshelves.  There are so many that are stacked by my desking waiting for me to read and review.  I just finished Miss Ophelia by Mary Burnett Smith and enjoyed the coming of age novel.
Words etched on paper and bound together carry the wonder, mystery, love, hurt, pain, joy, life, and existence of a people far beyond any caricatured rendering of their experience.  One of the reasons I started reviewing black female literary works was to combat the sexualized covered my daughters and I encountered at one of the major bookstore chains.  She is a budding writer and an avid reader, we were hunting for something to read and on yet another endcap, all the titles and covers of the "African American Fiction" section were all experiences foreign to me and all the black women I know.  My quest has become my passion and sharing it with you is my purpose.
Happy reading!  
Tayé Foster Bradshaw has reviewed many of these books, they can be reached and found on this site.  Feel free to leave your comment and thoughts about the books.  


  1. Thank you! I have also been deeply appalled at the rate Black erotica has been pushed out as "Urban Literature". We are fully capable of writing stories outside of that! This is exactly what I seek to challenge with the authors that I will publish.

    1. I am delighted you found the list helpful. You have a publishing house? Please share. I have written a children's book that is currently being edited, write poetry, creative non-fiction and narratives, along with these book reviews. I'm toying with the novel. Right now, loving the great works that are out there, dispelling the myth. Please tell others about this site, Thanks so much.


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