The recent police killing of George Floyd sparked a series of protests around the country and around the world. With more and more citizens wanting to educate themselves on black history and culture, books written by authors of color are gaining popularity.
The Red & Black has compiled a list of books written by black authors detailing the black experience in America.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (2020)
“The New Jim Crow” calls out the modern-day criminal justice system for establishing a caste-like system which targets black people in the U.S., demoting them to seemingly second-class citizens. The Chronicle of Higher Education labeled the tenth-anniversary edition as “one of the most influential books of the past 20 years,” according to its Amazon listing.
Kindred by Octavia Butler (2004)
In this fictional novel, a black writer spontaneously travels back and forth through time from 1976 California to the antebellum South, where she is forced to live and work like her ancestors on a plantation. “Kindred” compares the impacts of racism, sexism and white supremacy from generations ago to the present day.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1992)
Malcolm X was an African American Muslim minister known for his activism during the civil rights movement. His autobiography tells his life story and depicts how the black Muslim movement developed under his influence. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” was one of TIME’s ten most important nonfiction books of the twentieth century, according to its Amazon listing.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (2015)
A young black lawyer’s practice is put to the test when he picks up the case of Walter McMillian, a black man charged for a murder he didn’t commit. “Just Mercy” was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other esteemed publications, according to its Amazon listing
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2018)
A critically-acclaimed young adult novel, “The Hate U Give” focuses on the life of Starr Carter, a teenager who balances between two worlds, attending a predominantly white private school while living in a predominantly black neighborhood. When her childhood best friend is fatally shot by a police officer right in front of her, she is faced with the decision to come clean or protect the safety of herself and her community.