Black history, as we know, is being made every day. As we reach watershed moments in modern history, it becomes even more important to tell first-hand stories from Black voices from all backgrounds.
With this in mind, we present you with this list of seven authentic Black stories told by Black authors. Some voices speak to Black motherhood and raising unapologetically Black children — others recount tales from the past. If you haven't already, be sure to add these books to your reading list.
The Boyfriend Book by Just Mike the Poet
Internet sensation Just Mike sat down with 300 women to have a chat about their love experiences. After speaking with Just Mike, 299 of the women (!) decided they never wanted a boyfriend again. The Boyfriend Book explains why and serves as a lesson for both men and women.
Your Next Level Life: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence, and Opportunity for Black Women in America by Karen Arrington
"What other people think of you is none of your business" is an easy mantra to say, but not an easy mantra to live by — and this is especially true if you're a Black woman, where professional experiences go above and beyond general cattiness and backbiting and cross into the realm of racism and "other" -ism.
But that's why Your Next Level Life is so important to read. Karen Arrington, founder of the Miss Black USA Pageant, creator of the Next Level Women's Summit, and mentor to thousands of confident, successful young Black women, is here to help you get the life you deserve.
Raising Confident Black Kids: A Comprehensive Guide for Empowering Parents and Teachers of Black Children by M.J. Fievre
Black children don't have it easy, and if they don't know it yet, they're going to know it sooner rather than later. As a mother, how do you prepare your Black child for the realities of Black life? Raising Confident Black Kids has a few ideas, and author M.J. Fievre presents the solutions in actionable, real-life ways.
Oh Sis, You're Pregnant? The Ultimate Guide to Black Pregnancy & Motherhood by Shanicia Boswell
If you're a soon-to-be mother, this is the book you've been waiting for. Think of Oh Sis,You're Pregnant? as the What To Expect When You're Expecting for Black mothers. If you're tired of prepartum books that have no idea about the realities of being Black and pregnant, Shanicia Boswell's book is perfect for you!
Notoriously Dapper by Kelvin Davis
The modern Black gentleman is a complex figure, but Notoriously Dapper by popular menswear blogger Kelvin Davis demystifies the process. Everything from proper dating etiquette to properly fitting into a suit is covered in this essential tome, making a great gift for the "Notoriously Dapper" gentleman in your life.
The Book of Awesome Black Americans: Scientific Pioneers, Trailblazing Entrepreneurs, Barrier-Breaking Activists and Afro-Futurists by Monique L. Jones
Tired of all the same stories about all the same people? The Book of Awesome Black Americans is here to help! From athletes to artists, from scientists to social justice activists, these Black Americans may not be as well known as today's pop culture figures. Still, their contributions to American history are immeasurable.
Black Man on the Titanic: The Story of Joseph Laroche by Serge Bilé
If you believe the only people who were on that ill-fated voyage of James Cameron's Titanic were people that looked like Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio Black Man on the Titanic paints a very different picture. In this book, you'll learn the story of Joseph Laroche, his part in Haiti's history, and how he, as a 24-year-old father of two (soon to be three) children, ended up on that last ship of glamourous travel. Consider him to be a "hidden figure" no more!