21 Books Every Black Girl Should Read

Whether you’re sitting under the dryer at the hair salon, riding in the car toward your family’s weekend beach trip, or passing time in class after finishing your assignments early, there’s nothing better than delving into a good book — especially a good book filled with vibrant characters and stories of people who look like you.

Not sure where to start? No prob. We’ve created a list of 21 books — in no particular order — every Black girl should read to help get you started.

Read on, girl.

1. Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper

2. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

3.  Native Son by Richard Wright

4.  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

5. The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake

6. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

7. Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self  by Danielle Evans

8. Caucasia by Danzy Senna

9. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself by Harriet Jacobs 

10. Kindred by Octavia Butler

11. Cane River by Lalita Tademy

12.  145th Street by Walter Dean Meyers 

13. Roots by Alex Haley

14. The Watsons Go to Birmingham –1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

15. The Ways of White Folks by Langston Hughes

16. The Known World by Edward P. Jones

17. Mama Day by Gloria Naylor 

18. Who is Carrie? by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

19. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

20. Naughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman 

21. The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson 

BONUS #22: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Did we miss any of your favorites? Add them in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out Sesi TV contributor, Russia, break down a few of her favorites from this list here!


11 thoughts on “21 Books Every Black Girl Should Read

  1. Great list and great additions. And Ntozake’s For Colored Hirls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf

  2. The Coldest Wonter Ever by Sistah Souljah is definitely a must Read. I would also add Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye.

  3. The is a wonder ful book called “The Ditch Diggers Daughters” by Yvonne Thornton. It was so inspiring to me.

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