Sistah Girls, I’ve noticed a trend, whenever I see one of us show off our coffee tables…they almost always have books on them. This is a good thing. But they are not just any coffee table books, they are the same exact ones.
Now I love to see a good Chanel, Tom Ford, or Vogue coffee table book just like the next girl BUT there are so many dope by Black authors that deserve the same amount of play on your tables.
There are coffee table books by Black authors that cover fashion, photography, history, and even farming. I’ve rounded up some of my faves below…
Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art by Antwaun Sargent
This book surveys the work of a new generation of Black artists and also features the voices of a diverse group of curators who are on the cutting edge of contemporary art.
As mission-driven collectors, Bernard I. Lumpkin and Carmine D. Boccuzzi have championed emerging artists of African descent through museum loans and institutional support. But there has never been an opportunity to consider their acclaimed collection as a whole until now. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers by
In words and photographs, Power to the People is the story of the controversial Black Panther Party, founded 50 years ago in 1966 by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton.
The words are Seale’s, with contributions by other former party members; the photographs, including many icons of the 1960s, are by Stephen Shames, who also interviewed many other members of the party—including Kathleen Cleaver, Elbert “Big Man” Howard, Ericka Huggins, Emory Douglas, and William “Billy X” Jennings—and supplements his own photography with Panther ephemera and graphic art.
Read the full synopsis HERE.
Supreme Models: Iconic Black Women Who Revolutionized Fashion by Marcellas Reynolds
To date, there has never been an art book devoted exclusively to black models.
Supreme Models fills that void, paying tribute to black models past and present: from the first to be featured in catalogs and on magazine covers, like Iman, Beverly Johnson, and Donyale Luna, to the supermodels who reigned in the nineties–Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell.
The book also observes the newest generation of models–Adwoa Aboah, Jourdan Dunn, and Joan Smalls–who are shaking up the fashion industry by speaking out about racial prejudice and becoming social media sensations. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats by Michael Cunningham
An acclaimed photographer and award-winning journalist provide an intimate look at black women who would rather attend church naked than hatless.
For countless black women, a church hat, flamboyant as it may be, is no mere fashion accessory; it’s a cherished African American custom, one observed with boundless passion.
A woman’s hat speaks long before its wearer utters a word. It’s what Deirdre Guion calls “hattitude… there’s a little more strut in your carriage when you wear a nice hat. There’s something special about you.” If a hat says a lot about a person, it says even more about a people—the customs they observe, the symbols they prize, and the fashions they fancy. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Unseen: Unpublished Black History from the New York Times Photo Archives by Dana Canedy
This book includes those photographs and many more, among them: a 27-year-old Jesse Jackson leading an anti-discrimination rally of in Chicago, Rosa Parks arriving at a Montgomery Courthouse in Alabama a candid behind-the-scenes shot of Aretha Franklin backstage at the Apollo Theater, Ralph Ellison on the streets of his Manhattan neighborhood, the firebombed home of Malcolm X, Myrlie Evans and her children at the funeral of her slain husband, Medgar, a wheelchair-bound Roy Campanella at the razing of Ebbets Field. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Movie Moments (Photography Coffee Table Book, Perfect Gift for Classic Hollywood Movie Lovers) by Carell Augustus
Black Hollywood is a groundbreaking reimagining of Hollywood’s most beloved films, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Singin’ in the Rain, Mission: Impossible, Forrest Gump, and more.
Visionary photographer Carell Augustus has created a “who’s who” of today’s Black entertainers recreating iconic cinematic scenes, renewing readers’ appreciation of the past while asking questions about representation in media and inspiring the artists of the future.
Compiled over the course of more than ten years and highlighting more than sixty-five stars such as Vanessa L. Williams, Dulé Hill, Karamo Brown, Shemar Moore, and others, Carell Augustus says, “Black Hollywood is not just a book for Black people―it’s a book for all people about Black people.
GLORY: Magical Visions of Black Beauty by Kahran Bethencour and Regis Bethencourt
With stunning images of natural hair and gorgeous, inventive visual storytelling, GLORY puts Black beauty front and center with more than 100 breathtaking photographs and a collection of powerful essays about the children.
At its heart, it is a recognition and celebration of the versatility and innate beauty of black hair, and black beauty. The glorious coffee-table book pays homage to the story of our royal past, celebrates the glory of the here and now, and even dares to forecast the future. Read the full synopsis HERE.
The Black Book by
In 1974, Middleton A. Harris and Toni Morrison led a team of gifted, passionate collectors in compiling these images and nearly five hundred others into one sensational narrative of the black experience in America—The Black Book.
We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy by Natalie Baszile
In this impressive anthology, Natalie Baszile brings together essays, poems, photographs, quotes, conversations, and first-person stories to examine black people’s connection to the American land from Emancipation to today. In the 1920s, there were over one million black farmers; today there are just 45,000.
Baszile explores this crisis, through the farmers’ personal experiences. In their own words, middle-aged and elderly black farmers explain why they continue to farm despite systemic discrimination and land loss.
The “Returning Generation”—young farmers, who are building upon the legacy of their ancestors, talk about the challenges they face as they seek to redress issues of food justice, food sovereignty, and reparations. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Makeover from Within: Lessons in Hardship, Acceptance, and Self-Discovery by Ty Hunter
In this nuanced mix of memoir, photographs, motivational musings, and wisdom, legendary celebrity stylist Ty Hunter recounts both the trying times and brightest moments of his life.
Faced with physical, mental, and emotional obstacles that range from a gunshot wound to caring for his sick parents to simply existing as a Black, gay man in America, Ty channeled his energy into surmounting the unconquerable, along the way developing a resilient spirit—one that begs to be shared with the world.
In overcoming his own hardships and blossoming in his career as a stylist, where he worked with superstars like Beyoncé and Billy Porter, Ty has developed a knack for inspiring self-confidence in others.
Perfect for the unstoppable badass in your life, this book tells the story of a vibrant soul who defeated the odds and whose goal is to guide you to a brighter and more positive future. Read the full synopsis HERE.
I Can Make You Feel Good: Tyler Mitchell by Tyler Mitchell
In his first published monograph, Tyler Mitchell, one of America’s distinguished photographers, imagines what a Black utopia could look like.
I Can Make You Feel Good, is a 206-page celebration of photographer and filmmaker Tyler Mitchell’s distinctive vision of a Black utopia. The book unifies and expands upon Mitchell’s body of photography and film from his first US solo exhibition at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York.
Each page of I Can Make You Feel Good is full bleed and bathed in Mitchell’s signature candy-colored palette. With no white space visible, the book’s design mirrors the photographer’s all-encompassing vision which is characterized by a use of glowing natural light and rich color to portray the young Black men and women he photographs with intimacy and optimism.
Woman of Color by LaTonya Yvette
LaTonya Yvette, the blogger and stylist behind the eponymous site, is unapologetically candid about life’s trials, including motherhood, love, death, and racism.
Her first book, Woman of Color, is part memoir, part lifestyle guide—packed with moving essays, gorgeous original and archival photographs, and practical style and beauty advice. At the very heart, though, it’s about LaTonya’s experience growing up as a woman of color in Brooklyn. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Inside Bridgerton by Shonda Rhimes
Inside Bridgerton is the intimate behind-the-scenes story of the hit Shondaland series on Netflix. Shondaland executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers offer exclusive insights, and introduce you to the series writers, producers, directors, cast, crew, and talented creatives who brought Julia Quinn’s beloved novels to the screen.
Full-color and beautifully designed, Inside Bridgerton is the official book about the show, and includes never-before-seen photographs, firsthand accounts on casting, insight into the decisions behind the costumes and sets, directors’ accounts on filming your favorite scenes, and more from the creative minds that launched a cultural phenomenon. Read the full synopsis HERE.