Let’s be real here, there’s no single list that will ever fully capture the magic, brilliance, and range of what Black women have brought to bookshelves. That would be impossible...and limiting.
Throughout history, the literary contributions that Black women have brought to the table have often been ignored. Black women, our stories and our accomplishments, are overwhelmingly vast and often overlooked. But sometimes, it’s great to have a starting point.
Ahead, we’ve compiled a varied list of books that keep popping up in conversation in 2017. Sure we could’ve focused on fiction, nonfiction, or poetry (again: the contributions are vast), but the heart and soul of this list lies in its variety. After all it’s still commonplace to find any of these authors shelved haphazardly in one teeny “African American Interests” section at your local bookshop.
These authors illuminate us through their work and leave an indelible mark on our souls. They’ve come up in conversations over brunch; they’re books we’ve gravitated towards in an effort to better understand our political climate; they’re books that inspire.