14 Must-Read Books by Black Authors for 2024

14 Must-Read Books by Black Authors for 2024

Honor Black voices, experiences, and stories all year long, and especially during Black History Month. To celebrate this month and beyond, check out our list of 14 incredible books written by Black authors.

From memoirs to novels, each of these works offers a unique perspective, compelling storytelling, and profound insights. Let's explore why these books by deserve a spot on your reading list:

1. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

This magical book leads readers through a town where normal and extraordinary things come together with vivid storytelling and characters. This book explores magic, community, and resilience, earning its place among captivating black fiction books for adults

2. How to Say Babylon: A Memoir by Safiya Sinclair

Sinclair’s memoir explores identity, family, and the search for belonging. She uses beautiful writing and honesty to share her experiences with race, culture, and finding herself.

3. Maame by Mariama Jessica George

George’s debut novel is a powerful coming-of-age story that centers on a young Black girl's journey to find her place in the world. Maame's eyes confront readers with themes of identity, heritage, and the bonds of family.

4. Family Meal: A Novel by Bryan Washington

Washington’s novel serves up food, culture, and storytelling. Set in a restaurant kitchen, this book explores the complexities of family, ambition, and the pursuit of culinary excellence.

5. Chain Gang All Stars: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

This gripping novel shines a light on the resilience and humanity of those entangled in the criminal justice system. Through vivid prose and unforgettable characters, it explores redemption, friendship, and the quest for freedom, making it a standout choice among novels by black authors.

6. River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer

Shearer’s lyrical poetry collection is a reflection on incarceration, survival, and the power of language to transcend barriers. His words stay with you, making you think about justice and forgiveness even after you finish reading.

7. Lone Women by Victor Lavalle

LaValle’s literary horror novel is a bold and unapologetic exploration of race, womanhood, and desire. With razor-sharp wit and insight, he navigates the complexities of identity and agency in a world that often seeks to confine and define. This is our top pick among new horror books by black authors, because of how it makes the reader question and defy societal norms and expectations.


8. Leslie F*cking Jones by Leslie Jones

Jones' irreverent memoir is a laugh-out-loud journey through the absurdities of life, love, and academia. With wit and humor, she tackles topics ranging from dating to data science, offering a refreshing take on the pursuit of happiness and success.

9. Crook Manifesto: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

Whitehead’s novel is a searing indictment of systemic injustice and the enduring legacy of racism in America. Through the lens of a young Black man's life, he exposes the harsh realities of poverty, violence, and the elusive promise of the American Dream.

10. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Carty-Williams' debut novel is a witty and poignant exploration of race, love, and mental health. With Queenie as our guide, we navigate the complexities of modern womanhood, relationships, and the quest for self-acceptance.

12. The Fraud by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith’s thriller delves into the murky world of corporate fraud and the high stakes of power and ambition. With twists and turns at every corner, she keeps readers on the edge of their seats, questioning where loyalty ends and betrayal begins. Engage with a best-selling thriller by black a black author, where Zadie crafts a suspenseful plot and navigates through intricate moral dilemmas.

13. Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel by Jayne Allen

Allen's novel is a refreshing and relatable exploration of friendship, love, and the pursuit of dreams. Three Black women in Los Angeles explore their identities, ambitions, and search for happiness, providing a thoughtful perspective on life's challenges.

14. Come and Get It by Kiley Reid

Kiley Reid’s portrait is a raw and unflinching exploration of identity, privilege, and the search for meaning in world marked by inequality and injustice. He encourages readers to confront their own beliefs and prejudices, offering hope for a fairer future.

As we celebrate Black History Month and beyond, let these remarkable books by Black authors inspire, challenge, and enlighten us. Their voices and stories demonstrate the diverse and significant Black experience. They inspire us to listen, learn, and grow together. Find these books here on our site to explore these top books by black authors. 

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