Essential Reads for Black History Month (and Beyond)

Picture of Lea Plörer
book covers of all essential reads we recommend for black history month

February marks Black History Month, and while this designated period encourages focused reflection, the commitment to understanding and appreciating Black history and culture shouldn’t be confined to a single month. In this spirit, we curated a list of essential reads for Black History Month (and beyond). From acclaimed classics to recent bestsellers, each book on this list promises to engage, educate, empower, and leave a lasting impression.


Cover of the modern classic "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

“The Color Purple” has risen to become a modern classic. It follows an African-American teenager, Celie, being raised in rural Georgia in the early 1900s. Through letters written by Celie to God, we follow her struggle with an abusive father, a teenage pregnancy, and an abusive marriage. The novel documents triumphs in the face of adversity, particularly the struggle against gender inequality and racism.




“Homegoing” by Yaa GyasiYaag Gyasi's Book "Homegoing"

This is an epic historical novel that follows the paths of two Ghanaian half-sisters and their descendants, spanning generations and continents. It explores the lasting effects of slavery and colonialism on individual lives and family legacies.




James Baldwin's Book "Another Country"“Another Country” by James Baldwin

Published in 1962 by one of the most important American novelists of the twentieth century. This novel follows the lives of a collection of people in New York City in the late 1950s, exploring themes of race and sexuality, which were deemed controversial at the time of publication.




“The Hate U Give” by Angie ThomasBookcover "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas

This is a powerful novel that explores racism and police brutality through the eyes of Starr, a 16-year-old girl. It addresses themes of identity, activism, and the importance of speaking out against injustice.




"Afropean" by John Pitts“Afropean” by Johny Pitts

“Afropean” is a non-fiction book that documents the experiences of black Europeans and explores the intersection of their culture with wider European society. Through personal accounts and historical analysis, it sheds light on a complex and often overlooked aspect of European identity and history.




“The Nickel Boys” by Colson WhiteheadCover of the book "The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead

Set in the 1960s, the story centers around Elwood Curtis, a young African-American boy living in Tallahassee, Florida. Through Elwood’s eyes, Whitehead explores themes of racism, injustice, and the enduring human spirit in the face of adversity.




February might turn the page, but our commitment to learning and celebrating Black narratives shouldn’t. These gems offer journeys into empathy and understanding, and appreciation for the richness and complexity of Black experiences. Ready to delve deeper? Discover them all on Faircado! We’re readers ourselves, so connecting you with the best secondhand offers in seconds is a personal matter to us.