Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month is here! To celebrate I have selected 12 books that you should add to your reading list this month. Every book on the list is authored by a black woman. The list is diverse and inclusive of many different genres.
The Mothers by Brit Bennet
This novel left me with so many questions. I remember reading The Mothers and wanting to stop because the characters kept making me mad–that’s how good it was. Brit Bennet took abortion, something that occurs often and paired it with the black church and you can imagine the amount of hell that breaks loose. This novel will take you on an emotional rollercoaster that’s worth the ride.
A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
I love a generational story that’s done well and A Kind of Freedom was done really well. I finished this book rather quickly and once I was done I took a moment to think about all the characters, I placed myself in each of their circumstances and tried to figure out how things could have been different.
T.C. is the one character that I couldn’t get out of my mind because I saw so many different lives he could have lead if it hadn’t been for the generation before him. I did write a review, you can check it out here.
The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America by Tamara Winfrey Harris
“What’s wrong with black women? Not a damned thing!” -Tamara Winfrey Harris
“The Sisters Are Alright exposes anti–black-woman propaganda and shows how real black women are pushing back against distorted cartoon versions of themselves.”
Everyone should really read this book and if you’re a black woman you should definitely read this book. It’s a quick read, it’s affirming, and you walk away knowing that you are not crazy or overreacting. From case studies, statistics, to a look back in history this book shows us that not a damn thing is wrong with black women.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eye is a classic novel, it tackles colorism, self-hate, and the longing to be accepted by the “white gaze,” as Morrison would say.
It was a difficult book for me to read because I ran through a slew of emotions. I was mad and sad because even though this is a work of fiction there is a black girl out there who hates the skin she’s in. This books is an eye opener and can be used as a teaching moment for many.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Let me preface by saying, this book lives up to the hype! I read this novel is one setting and loved every bit of it. It took me back in time to my own childhood, I fell in love with Xiomara Batista, a young Afro-Latina teenager who happens to be a dope poet. The book is written from her point of view in a journal entry style format. I wrote a review and you can read it here.
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Crossing Press Feminist Series) by Audre Lorde
This is a book that you purchase, read, highlight, make mental notes, learn and grow, and keep reading throughout life. It’s not a one time read, I’m not even sure if it’s just a five-time read. I’ve read this book cover to cover and went back and still found aha moments that I overlooked or needed to be reminded of.
Sula by Toni Morrison
This novel has all the makings of a Sistah Girl read, the story follows two girls, Nel Wright, and Sula Peace who are best friends. They have been stuck together like glue since childhood and we follow them into adulthood.
There is always that one friend you can’t imagine going through life without, but what happens when that friend does something so unforgivable you can’t imagine being friends with them any longer? This is another Morrison classic that you will love.
A Good Cry: What We Learn From Tears and Laughter by Nikki Giovanni
Nikki Giovanni makes room for everyone to have a seat at the table with her words. She makes room for the dreamers, the writers, the politicians, the best friends, the scientists, she makes room for us all. Her words create little lights and they do in fact shine brightly. This book of poetry is filled with futuristic ideas and it’s also filled with poems for the here and now.
Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons & Love Affairs by Pearl Cleage
I am a firm believer that books come to you when you need them. I was at a very low point in my twenties, I was on shaky ground when it came to this writing thing and that freaked me out.
I had this memoir in my kindle for ages and kept breezing by it and then one day I opened it. After reading I felt like I could go on and be whoever I wanted to be. I also found comfort knowing that I wasn’t an anomaly (go figure) and I would eventually find my way.
The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir by Jenifer Lewis
If you love a good, raw, an honest memoir then this will definitely leave you full once you’re done. Jenifer Lewis recounts her life and doesn’t leave out one detail. She includes the good, bad, happy, sad, and horrible moments in her life. Lewis opens up about her mental illness, how she became “The Mother of Black Hollywood,” and even dishes on the loves of her life. This is a dope read all around.
Jubilee by Margaret Walker
This is the only book on the list that I haven’t read but it’s on my TBR (to be read) and I plan on reading it this month.
“Jubilee tells the true story of Vyry, the child of a white plantation owner and his black mistress. Vyry bears witness to the South’s antebellum opulence and to its brutality, its wartime ruin, and the promises of Reconstruction. Weaving her own family’s oral history with thirty years of research, Margaret Walker’s novel brings the everyday experiences of slaves to light. Jubilee churns with the hunger, the hymns, the struggles, and the very breath of American history.”
Unforgivable Love: A Retelling of Dangerous Liaisons by Sophfronia Scott
I’m currently reading this book right now and man it’s good! I’m about 75 pages in and I can’t put it down, this novel is a reimagining of the French classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses (think Cruel Intentions). Set in Harlem this novel follows Mae Malveaux who is an heiress that plays on the emotions of men and hides behind her beauty to lure them in.
In walks Valiant Jackson a man who gets whatever he wants and he wants Mae. The plots get crazy when Mae decides to make a bargain: seduce her virginal young cousin, Cecily, who is engaged to Frank Washington. This book is filled with drama and so far I’m loving it.
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