8 Books You Should Read That Are Written By Black Women

5 min. read

As a First-Generation Nigerian immigrant, I often times struggled a lot to figure out my own identity and place as a Nigerian-American woman. I was often times left feeling like I didn’t belong and didn’t feel like I fit in.

February was Black History Month and March is Women's History Month and I couldn't feel like a better time to reflect on my black womanhood and highlight some of my favorite black woman authors that you should check out that have inspired me, made me laugh, challenged my perspective, or allowed me to see that I wasn't alone in this journey of life both with their own stories and the stories that they have created.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

While this book was definitely more of a slow read, there are some key takeaways that didn't go unnoticed. I loved how she discussed balancing being a mom, wife, and first lady while also making sure she left room for herself. This book is a reminder to me that you can balance it all on your own terms and make sure that you always know how to set boundaries that keep you and your family happy.

We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

I LOVE Gabrielle Union's raw honesty on her life both the good and the bad parts. This book was really funny but also shared some raw, uncomfortable and traumatic moments in her life. I admire her bravery to be able to tell her story and her drive to live the life that she wants on her terms unapologetically.

Well That Escalated Quickly by Franchesca Ramsey

Franchesca Ramsey is a comedian and her book definitely had a lot of really funny anecdotes. One thing I really liked is that she talks a lot about social media and this "call out" culture and how she tries to transform that into "call in" culture. She shares her truth in such a way that shows that all that glitters isn't gold especially on the internet.

Black is the Body by Emily Bernard

To read about a Black Woman in Vermont may not feel like the most riveting story but I honestly couldn't put the book down once I started reading it. Emily shares her story as well as the story of her mother and grandmother in away that you start to see how generations connect in so many different ways. I loved reading about her adoption story, her conversations with her classmates, and just the racial tensions that exist it what may seem like a non-racist place. I am still strongly considering moving to Vermont after reading this book.

This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jenkins

This is a recent read of mine and while some parts of the book were a little uncomfortable to read, it felt like one of the most relatable books that I read. As someone who was raised in predominantly white spaces, I really resonated with how she explains her discomfort when it came to expressing herself, showcasing her talents, and even with relationships. This book really showed me that any of the awkward moments I felt growing up, I was not alone.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

As a Nigerian American woman, this story hit really close to home. I've always been such a rebellious, stubborn person, who does things how she wants to do them and doesn't really care too much about what anyone has to say about it! I really connected with this story because it talks about the reality of trying to blend two cultures together and how to properly navigate it. Definitely recommend it to all my friends.

I almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

This story was such a good quarantine read and honestly made me excited to be in my 50s. Dr. Georgia is hit with a somewhat of a midlife crisis and is trying to figure out what she wants to do next. I think I really liked reading this book just because it covered everything from love, friendships, and just the introspection that comes when you're trying to rediscover themselves. Highly recommend you to read it if you're just looking for a book that would give you a little bit of an escape.

I'm Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi

Luvvie is hilarious and blunt. You can tell that she has put in the work to perfecting and building her craft and she honestly holds nothing back as she tells us how we can all do better as collective. I found this book entertaining as well as challenging my perspective on a variety of different things. Can't wait to read her second book.

I encourage you all to continue to acknowledge and amplify the work that Black Women have done and will continue to do around you. Understand that while we may make it look easy, the work to get there required the emotional, mental, and physical strength beyond what you could imagine.

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