Great Reading for Black History Month!

Not that these authors should be read only in February, but this is a great opportunity to sample authors you might not have read before. Choose any of the authors/books listed below and you can’t go wrong!


MAYA ANGELOU: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (autobiography—first of seven), Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie (poetry)


maya angelou
Maya Angelou visits York College Feb 2013 [Creative Commons]
JAMES BALDWIN: Go Tell It On The Mountain (novel), Giovanni’s Room (a novel dealing with race and homosexuality), and three collections of essays,  Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name, and The Fire Next Time


OCTAVIA BUTLER: Kindred and many others (science fiction). She’s won two Hugo Awards, two Nebula Awards, and was the first sci-fi writer to win a MacArthur fellowship.


RITA DOVE: Thomas and Beulah, Sonata Mulattica, Mother Love Poems, and others. Poet Laureate, her poems and essays are everywhere.


rita dove
Rita Dove at 2012 Fall for the Book, George Mason University [Source: S L O W K I N G (Creative Commons)]
W. E. B. DU BOIS: The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America is still an authoritative work on the subject, The Emerging Thought of  W. E. B. Du Bois: Essays and Editorials from “The Crisis” (essays)


RALPH (WALDO) ELLISONShadow and Act (essays), Invisible Man (fiction)


LANGSTON HUGHESThe Weary Blues (poetry), Not Without Laughter (novel). He’s also written plays, short stories, and several other books.


langston hughes
Langston Hughes photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1936 [Creative Commons]
ALEX HALEYThe Autobiography of Malcolm X, Roots: The Saga of an American Family.


ZORA NEALE HURSTONTheir Eyes Were Watching God, but also more than 50 published novels, short stories, plays, and essays.


TONI MORRISONThe Bluest Eye, Sula, The Song of Solomon. She’s a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist.


toni morrison
Toni Morrison lecture at West Point Military Academy in March, 2013 [Creative Commons]
ALICE WALKER:The Color Purple (novel)—she won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.


RICHARD WRIGHTNative Son and Black Boy (novels), Uncle Tom’s Children (short stories)


THIS IS ONLY A SAMPLE! Explore and read, read, read.