April Is Black Women's History Month

Black Women's History Month

Fiction and nonfiction by, for, or about women of African heritage, in honor of their achievements and contributions in our community and the world.


Compiled by:
Meg A. & Cole C.

Fiction

An American Marriage : A Novel

Tayari Jones
Adult Fiction – Jones

"Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control" —Publisher


Americanah

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adult Fiction – Adichie

"A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected." —Publisher


The Belles

Dhonielle Clayton
Young Adult Fiction – Clayton

"In Orleans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful. With the future of Orleans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide: save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles, or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever." —Amazon


Difficult Women

Roxane Gay
Adult Fiction – Gay

"A collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection. The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July." —Publisher


The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas
Young Adult Fiction – Thomas

"After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died." —Publisher


The Underground Railroad : A Novel

Colson Whitehead
Adult Fiction – Whitehe

"Pulitzer Prize finalist Whitehead (John Henry Days) here telescopes several centuries' worth of slavery and oppression as he puts escaped slaves Cora and Caesar on what is literally an underground railroad, using such brief magical realist touches to enhance our understanding of the African American experience. A highly recommended work that raises the bar for fiction addressing slavery." —Library Journal


Nonfiction

Black Girls Rock! : Owning Our Magic, Rocking Our Truth

Beverly Bond, editor
Adult Nonfiction – 305.4889 Bla

"From the award-winning entrepreneur, culture leader, and creator of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! movement comes an inspiring and beautifully designed book that pays tribute to the achievements and contributions of black women around the world." —Publisher


Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

Brittney Cooper
Adult Nonfiction – 305.48 Coo

"So what if it's true that Black women are mad as hell? They have the right to be. In the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting." —Publisher


A Forgotten Sisterhood: Pioneering Black Women Educators and Activists in the Jim Crow South

Audrey T. McCluskey
Adult Nonfiction – 921 Mcc

"McCluskey, a professor at Indiana University, examines the lives of a four African American activist women who gained notoriety for their dedication to educating African American youth and their mission to sustain schools among the harsh conditions of the Jim Crow era. Lucy Craft Laney, Mary McLeod Bethune, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and Nannie Helen Burroughs all succeeded in educating black girls and boys, young women and men, as well as establishing Institutions, three of which survive today." —Publishers Weekly


Household Workers Unite: the untold story of African American women who built a movement

Premilla Nadasen
Adult Nonfiction – 331.4781 Nad

"Nadasen presents a unique perspective on the history of 20th-century domestic workers as she relates the tales of a half-dozen African American activists who risked a great deal to improve the lives of their colleagues. The attempts to coordinate individuals who labor not in the factory but in the intimate setting of the home are told through narratives of strong women who fought for basic protections already enjoyed by many other types of workers. For readers interested in activism in America or an inspiring history of African American women." —Publisher


Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray

Rosalind Rosenberg
Adult Nonfiction – 921 Murray Ros

"Throughout her prodigious life, activist and lawyer Pauli Murray systematically fought against all arbitrary distinctions in society, channeling her outrage at the discrimination she faced to make America a more democratic country. In this definitive biography, Rosalind Rosenberg offers a poignant portrait of a figure who played pivotal roles in both the modern civil rights and women's movements." —Publisher


My Life, My Love, My Legacy

Coretta Scott King
Adult Nonfiction – 921 King Kin

"The life story of Coretta Scott King—wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and singular twentieth-century American civil rights activist—as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to one of her closest friends. Coretta's is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an independent-minded black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful in the face of terrorism and violent hatred every single day of her life." —Publisher


When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir

Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Adult Nonfiction – 921 Khan-Cullors Kha

"A memoir by the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement explains the movement's position of love, humanity, and justice, challenging perspectives that have negatively labeled the movement's activists while calling for essential political changes." —Publisher