28 Books by Black Women for Black History Month

Join the #readingblackout movement and discover must-reads by WOC.


BookTrib is partnering with Bookish to bring you more great content. This February, in honor of Black History Month, readers are participating in #readingblackout, a movement started by BookTuber Denise D. Cooper that encourages readers to exclusively pick up books by black authors. The Bookish team couldn’t resist joining in, and since we can’t get enough of books written by talented women, we put together a recommendation list featuring 28 books (one for each day of February) written by black women. You’re sure to find a few familiar covers on this list, but we hope you also find some new reads for your TBR pile.

Related: 19 Facts About Black History That You Might Not Know


Here Comes the Sun

By Nicole Dennis-Benn

We were so taken with Here Comes the Sun, that we named Nicole Dennis-Benn’s debut novel about the other side of paradise as one of our recommended reads of summer 2016.


The Cutting Season

By Attica Locke

In The Cutting Season, a thriller set on a historic southern plantation, Attica Locke goes back in time to illuminate the present.

RELATED: 15 Best Time Travel Books You Haven't Read Yet 


An Extraordinary Union

By Alyssa Cole

Go undercover with a Union Army spy in Alyssa Cole’s espionage romance set during the Civil War. We recommend this for your book club, or as a solo read.



By Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is one of the most powerful voices of our times and her memoir Hunger was one of our favorite books of 2017. In it, she describes her relationship to her body with keen insight and fearless honesty.



By Yaa Gyasi

In Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi writes an extraordinary generational novel which follows the lives of two Ghanaian sisters, one of whom is sold into slavery and brought to the United States.

Related: 8 Books to Read for Juneteenth



By Nnedi Okorafor

Prepare to be spellbound by this thrilling sci-fi novella by Nnedi Okorafor, the first in the Binti series.


Men We Reaped

By Jesmyn Ward

National Book Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward stuns with this memoir of loss, poverty, and racism.


Brown Girl Dreaming

By Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson’s verse memoir won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2014, and it still shines today as one of the most gorgeous books we’ve ever read.


The Wedding Date

By Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory’s romance is a must-read, especially if your Valentine’s Day plans include curling up with a good book.

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Redefining Realness

By Janet Mock

Janet Mock does not hold back in her memoir about growing up transgender in America.



By Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins’ Old West series is not to be missed. We highly recommend reading them all, starting with Forbidden.


The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas’ young adult novel was one of the most talked-about books of 2017. Read up and join the conversation.


Little & Lion

By Brandy Colbert

Brandy Colbert’s young adult novel is one of our favorite reads of 2017 for its honest portrayal of falling in love and discovering who you are.


White Teeth

By Zadie Smith

Be dazzled by Zadie Smith’s debut novel White Teeth, which exploded onto the lit scene in 2001.


You Can't Touch My Hair

By Phoebe Robinson

We recommend getting your hands on this essay collection (and out of Phoebe Robinson’s hair).

The Color Purple

The Color Purple

By Alice Walker

Don’t let Alice Walker’s most famous novel remain on your TBR pile. If you have never read this classic, now is the perfect time.



By Tiffany D. Jackson

Inspired by a true crime, Tiffany D. Jackson’s young adult novel will keep you hooked until the very last page.


Land of Shadows

By Rachel Howzell Hall

Rachel Howzell Hall has received much praise for her crime fiction, including for the first book in her Detective Elouise Norton series, Land of Shadows.

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Keeping Secrets

By Penny Mickelbury

Playwright and novelist Penny Mickelbury’s debut mystery novel introduces a beloved character, Lieutenant Gianna Maglione.


The Fifth Season

By N.K. Jemisin

Get hooked on N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo-award winning sci-fi series, which kicks off with the The Fifth Season.


The Jumbies

By Tracy Baptiste

Tracey Baptiste will give you goosebumps and have you checking over your shoulder with this book for young readers based on the Haitian folktale “The Magic Orange Tree.”



By Nalo Hopkinson

Being a teenager can certainly feel chaotic at times. In her YA novel, Nalo Hopkinson creates a chaos that is real and threatening to obliterate the entire world of protagonist, Scotch.


Bingo Love

By Tee Franklin

Readers looking to be swept up in a romantic tale about a couple given a second chance at love will devour Tee Franklin’s comic.



By Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler’s Kindred, a 1979 novel about time-travel and slavery, remains a popular favorite today. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?


The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks

By Gwendolyn Brooks

The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks is a must-read collection of poetry by the acclaimed and beloved poet, author, and teacher.


Love is the Drug

By Alaya Dawn Johnson

Alaya Dawn Johnson builds a near-future world threatened by a global flu pandemic in her YA novel Love is the Drug. One part conspiracy novel and one part sci-fi, this book will keep you turning pages


The Red Pencil

By Andrea Davis Pinkney

In this astonishing book for young readers, Andrea Davis Pinkney poignantly examines how violence affects children in one Sudanese village.


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

By Maya Angelou

Readers will sing the praises of Maya Angelou’s powerful classic memoir.

This article originally appeared on BookTrib. 

BookTrib.com, “Where Readers Meet Writers,” is a network for readers and writers to make a connection and keep books alive in a distracted world. Created by Meryl Moss Media, a literary PR firm with a successful 25-year track record.

Featured photos of Octavia Butler, Zadie Smith, and Yaa Gyasi courtesy of Alchetron

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