8 Books to Read for Black History Month

godhelpthechildEach year during the month of February we turn our attention to the history and contributions of African Americans as we celebrate Black History Month.

This year check out one of these books, written by African American authors, that explore the complexity of black lives through fiction and personal experience:

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison – Traces the impact of childhood trauma on the lives of a beautiful multiracial woman, the man she loves, and an abused white girl who looks to her for help.

Disgruntled by Asali Solomon – Kenya Curtis, an African American girl coming of age in Philadelphia in the late 1980s and early 90s, grows increasingly disgruntled by her inability to find any place, thing, or person that feels like home.

Only the Strong by Jabari Asim – The lives of a reformed hit man, a crusading doctor, a genteel mobster, and a headstrong college student cross in a sweltering Midwestern city in 1970.

All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu – Coming of age during an African revolution, a brilliant university student-turned-fighter eventually flees the escalating violence of his country to resettle in America, where he is haunted by his past and the memory of a charismatic leader’s devastating sacrifice.

March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell – A first-hand graphic novel account of the author’s lifelong struggle for civil and human rights continues to cover his involvement in Freedom Rides and the 1963 March on Washington.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae – An autobiography from the Internet video star covers such topics as cybersex in the early days of the Internet, the perils of eating out alone, dealing with unsolicited comments on one’s weight, and learning to accept oneself–natural hair and all.

Who We Be: The Colorization of America by Jeff Chang – Incorporating powerful images from a range of artistic venues, an intellectual follow-up to the award-winning Cant Stop Won’t Stop considers how violent culture disputes are still occurring in spite of the past half century’s progress in race relations.

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds – Soon after his mother’s death, Matt takes a job at a funeral home in his tough Brooklyn neighborhood and, while attending and assisting with funerals, begins to accept her death and his responsibilities as a man.

About Abby Harris

Abby is the Public Communications Specialist for JMRL.

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