In observance of the Black History Month, ReadersMagnet recommends these 11 remarkable works by African-American authors.
February is Black History Month. It is an annual observance remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. Over the years, its significance has evolved and Black History Month is observed in other parts of the world. In observance of this year’s Black History Month, ReadersMagnet recommends these 11 books written by African-American authors.
It’s hard to compile a list of books by American-African authors without including Alex Hayley. Hayley’s name is almost synonymous with Malcolm X, the famous human rights activist. X and Haley co-authored The Autobiography of Malcolm X. In Roots: The Saga of an American Family, Haley tells the story of a young African boy named Kunta Kinte. Kunta was taken from the Gambia and sold to slavery into North America. It follows Kunta’s life and the lives of his descendants in the United States down to Alex Haley.
Pleze Raybon is a musician who played for different local bands and performed with several famous singers. In 1979, Pleze encountered a life-changing experience. Since then, Raybon has been relentless in spreading the gospel. The Truth hopes to expose all the misleading teachings and to encourage the people of God to study His word. This thought-provoking book is a fast-paced read and contains Pleze Raybon’s interpretation of the Bible. The book challenges readers to reflect on their understanding of the gospel as well.
Reversing Sail is a compelling work on African Diaspora, to say the least. Michael Gomez successfully transcribed all the important political, cultural, social, and economic developments that help readers know more about the experiences of black people. Published in 2004, Reversing Sail is a well-researched book. It covers the lives of the African working class, the experiences of Africans, in Latin America, and also in Europe, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf. Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora is a must-read for all African-American.
The Color Purple
This remarkable epistolary novel by Alice Walker focuses on the life of African-American women in the American South in the 1930s. The story is told through the letters of the main character, Celie. Celie is a 14-year old poor girl. Celie started writing the letters to God because her father constantly abuses her. She has a younger sister named Nettie. The Color Purple is one of the most riveting novels written by a female African-American author. Alice Walker published the novel in 1982 and won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 1985, a film adaptation was released. Steven Spielberg directed the film with actress Whoopi Goldberg playing the role of Celie.
Forty Days of Healing
Judy D. Cobb
Forty Days of Healing: A Book of Meditation, Prayers, and Testimonies of Healing is a spiritual book by Judy D. Cobb. In this book, Judy highlights the need to have a community of faith. It is a collection of real-life events of healing and acceptance. Coupled with scriptures and her personal experiences, she creates a powerful book that hopes to help others see the importance of faith and prayer. Judy D. Coobs writes from her perspective as a religious person and as a teacher. Forty Days of Healing offers a breath of fresh air from the usual literature on spiritual healing.
A Tribute to My Mother
A Tribute to My Mother: Reflections on Life, Love, and Loss is a poetry book by Sophia Blankson. The poetry is dedicated to her mother who passed away. Blankson’s poetry tackles personal emotions such as the loss of her parent, the changes she encountered, and the various adversities in life. A Tribute to My Mother also tackles the issues of cultural tension she experienced. Sophia was born and raised in Ghana. She graduated from the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana and taught high school. In 1980, she moved to California. She earned an MA in education from Claremont Graduate University.
Strong Boy, Weak Man
Robert Earl Key
Robert Earl Key’s touching story about the rise, fall, and redemption of a young African-American named Michael De Angelo Nicholas is a narrative that most blacks can relate to. Key’s novel is set in Mississippi where we follow Michael’s childhood, dreaming to become a prize-fighter to escape poverty. His story is an attempt to unravel the life and tendencies of most young African-American from rural Mississippi to the glitz and glamor of Memphis, Tennessee. Strong Boy, Weak Man is both a coming-of-age story and a social commentary that still relevant in today’s American society. It is a story that even non-African kids can relate to.
Go Tell It On The Mountain
Our list of works by African-American authors would not be complete without including one of the most prolific writers, and a brilliant mind in James Baldwin. Published in 1953, Go Tell It on the Mountain is a semi-autobiographical novel that tells the story of John Grimes. Grimes is an intellectually gifted teenager living in 1930s Harlem. This classic novel is praised for its portrayal of racial injustice which serves as a backdrop for Baldwin’s story. The main focus of the book though is the impact and influence of the Pentecostal Church in the lives of African-American living within the neighborhood.
The Holy Trinity- Three in One
Tommy C. Seay Sr.
In the summer of 1999, Tommy C. Seay felt that the Lord wanted him to write a book revealing His holy presence in the bible. Seay then spent a decade of intense research on the subject matter. The result is the book “Unveiling God’s Presence in the Bible: Acts of the Holy Trinity, Volumes I, II, and III” which was published in 2009. In 2016, he presented “The Enigma of The Holy Trinity: Unveiling Gods Presence in the Bible, Volumes I, II, and III”. Last year, with the help of ReadersMagnet, Tommy C. Seay published “The Holy Trinity—Three In One: Unveiling God’s Presence in the Bible” is a revised and expanded edition of all previous versions of these works.
Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?
Martin Luther King
Where Do We Go From Here is the last book by the charismatic civil rights leader and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King. The book features King’s thoughts on the Civil Rights Movements and the future of African-Americans. In this book, King also emphasized two important points, among many. First, that he is not a Marxist nor a socialist, but he someone who advocates for a united social movement. Second, King insists on the importance of nonviolent social action instead of black separatism. Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community is one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy to all African-Americans.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou is one of the most famous and well-respected spokesperson for African-American people. She was a poet, artist, memoirist, and civil rights, activist. Her most famous work is the autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings published in 1969. Angelou wrote the book at the age of forty. It is a coming-of-age narrative. Maya Angelou’s masterpiece is both a story of overcoming racism, trauma as well as a portrait of African identity and women empowerment. Before the book was published in 1969, Black female writers were unable to write works where the central character is a black woman. Maya Angelou also paved the way for other African-American writers to publish their memoirs and novels. As of today, Maya Angelou remains one of the most celebrated authors and her works are still very relevant today.