Celebrate Black History Month with this selection of books written by black authors. We have included a range of titles and genres to properly showcase the diversity of black writers today.

Compiled by:
Bobby Overman
The City We Became

N.K. Jemison
Bookmobile Adult Books-on-Cd (BOCD)
Series: Great Cities #1

"The City We Became is Jemisin's first book in her Great Cities series, a series that asks: What if a city had a soul? What if it could come alive, embodied in a human avatar?" The book is a valentine to New York City, depicting a city under attack by a infectious invader aided by the fears and prejudices of those who live there.

Conjure Women

Afia Atakora

A work of historical fiction, the novel is set in the interbellum rural South. Spanning eras and generations, it tells the stories of three unforgettable women; Miss May Belle, the wise healing woman; her daughter Rue who is precocious and observant and reluctant to follow in her Mother's footsteps as a midwife and their master's daughter Varina. Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, NPR, Parade, Book Riot, and PopMatters.

Hidden Figures : The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

Margot Lee Shetterly
Adult Non-Fiction 921 Lee

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture. —New York Times

Homie: Poems

Danez Smith
Adult Non-Fiction 811.6 Smi

"Homie is Danez Smith's magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith's closest friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer." This book celebrates our homies who in troubling and scary times will help us survive.

Invisible : The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster

Stephen L. Carter
Adult Non-Fiction 921 Carter Car

Bestseller Carter (Back Channel) narrates the life story of his exceptional grandmother, Eunice Carter, an African-American attorney who masterminded the sting operation that resulted in the imprisonment of mobster Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Invisible tells the true story of a remarkable woman who often found her path blocked by the social and political expectations of her time but persevered to become one of the most famous black women in America in the 1940's.

Parable of the Sower

Octavia E. Butler
Science Fiction-SF Butler

Parable of the Sower is the odyssey of one woman who lives in a world that has become dehumanized and unfeeling while she is twice as feeling. The book is set in 2025 in California where small communities are walled in order to protect them from hordes of desperate scavengers and roaming bands of people addicted to a drug that activates a desire to burn, rape and murder. Lauren Olamina, an 18 year old black woman with "hyperempathy" causing her to feel other's pain as her own—sets off on foot along the dangerous coastal highways, north to the unknown. A powerful story of hope and faith, elegantly written and deeply felt.

The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food

Marcus Samuelsson
Adult Non-Fiction 641.59296 Sam

The Rise is a celebration of Black excellence in the culinary world—and the many Black cooks who have influenced American food, often without credit. Recipes are presented in clusters of honor of a Black chef who inspired Samuelsson to create them along with a profile of the honored chef. The Rise is not only a cookbook that offers great recipes along with a culinary and educational journey, it also inspires.

So We Can Glow

Leesa Cross-Smith
Adult Fiction -Crossm

Forty-two short stories ranging from Kentucky to California, from the 80's and 90's to the present day,  exploring female obsession and passion. Leesa Cross-Smith tells stories of friendships between teenage girls, bonds between mothers and the first heady rush of desire all while celebrating the wild souls of women. A book that will remind you of summer nights and sultry days and make you nostalgic for times gone by.

Thick: and Other Essays

Tressie McMillan Cottom
Adult Non-Fiction 921 Cottom

Thick is a collection of essays that deals with very personal issues, including body image, sexual abuse and the loss of a child. In the book's first essay, "Thick," McMillan Cottom writes, "I was like many young women expected to be small so that boys could expand and white girls could shine. When I would not or could not shrink, people made sure that I knew that I had erred.... I was thick where I should have been thin, more when I should have been less."

Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award; Named a notable book of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review, Chicago Tribune, Time, and The Guardian. Featured on the Daily Show, NPR, PBS, CBC, Time, Vibe Entertainment Weekly, Well-Read Black Girl and Chris Hayes.

The Vanishing Half

Brit Bennett
LP Bennett

The Vanishing Half is partly set in a mythical town in the Jim Crow South offering a critique of whiteness from the perspective of someone who passes for white by choice. This choice is motivated by a desire for financial stability, privilege, and safety. The book focuses on twins who are living on different sides of the color line. Bennett was interested in passing because of how it both exposes and strengthens the artifice of race. “On the one hand, if you can perform whiteness, then what does it mean to be white? If you can move between these categories because you decide that you will, what does it actually mean that we have systems that are built on reinforcing those categories?” she asks. “On the other hand, these characters who pass usually end up reinforcing the hierarchies that they are potentially destabilizing. The tension within passing stories is between this idea of destabilizing race and then reaffirming race at the same time.”

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

Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Adult Non-Fiction 323.092 Khan-Cullors Kha

The emotional and powerful story of one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter and how the movement was born. When They Call You a Terrorist 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 change.