28 Best Books By Black Authors to Read In 2024

February marks Black History Month, a celebratory period dedicated to acknowledging and honoring the contributions, achievements, and rich history of African Americans. One powerful way to observe this month is by delving into literature written by black authors. These works offer a window into the experiences, struggles, and triumphs of black individuals throughout history, allowing readers to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the black community.

From novels of different genres, the following 28 books by black authors are essential reads during Black History Month and beyond. Each one provides a unique perspective on the black experience, showcasing the diversity, strength, and resilience of black culture. Let’s embark on a literary journey that will expand your knowledge, challenge your perspectives, and inspire your soul.

Black Authored Contemporary Fiction

Maame by Jessica George

In this contemporary fiction novel, author Jessica George tells the story of Maddie, a young woman struggling to find her place in the world. Torn between her duties as a caretaker for her father with Parkinson’s and her desire for independence, Maddie embarks on a journey of self-discovery that takes her through internet dating, office politics, and family drama. With humor and poignancy, George explores themes of identity, culture, and belonging, offering a fresh perspective on the experiences of Black women today.

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

In this biting contemporary fiction novel, Mateo Askaripour follows Darren, a young Black man who lands a job at a prestigious tech startup and reinvents himself as “Buck,” a ruthless salesman. As Buck climbs the corporate ladder, he begins to question the cost of success and sets out to create opportunities for other young people of color in the industry. With sharp wit and piercing insight, Askaripour explores themes of ambition, race, and the American Dream.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

In this celebrated contemporary fiction novel, Black author Bernardine Evaristo presents a powerful and moving portrayal of Black British women’s lives. Through the stories of 12 diverse characters, Evaristo explores themes of identity, race, sexuality, and class, revealing the connections that bind us together. With innovative storytelling techniques and sparkling wit, “Girl, Woman, Other” offers a refreshing and nuanced view of contemporary Britain, celebrating the voices of those often marginalized.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

A bold and timely debut novel by Black author Kiley Reid, ‘Such a Fun Age’ delves into issues of race, privilege, and the complexities of human relationships. When a young Black babysitter is accused of kidnapping the white child she’s caring for, her employer steps in to help, but their paths collide in unexpected ways. A thought-provoking and engaging read.

Historical Fiction Books By Black Authors

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

A sweeping historical fiction epic by Yaa Gyasi, ‘Homegoing’ traces the intertwining lives of two half-sisters from 18th-century Ghana, one enslaved and the other married to an Englishman, across eight generations. Spanning continents and centuries, this award-winning novel explores the legacy of slavery and its impact on individuals, families, and nations.

Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward

A powerful and poignant historical fiction novel by Black author Jesmyn Ward, ‘Let Us Descend’ follows a young enslaved girl named Annis on a journey from the Carolina rice fields to a Louisiana sugar plantation. Beautifully rendered and heart-wrenching, the novel explores themes of grief, joy, and reclamation through Annis’s interactions with the spirits of her ancestors and the natural world. A searing and hopeful portrayal of the Black American experience, this novel is a must-read.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

In this powerful historical fiction novel, author Colson Whitehead tells the story of Elwood Curtis, a young Black boy sentenced to a notorious juvenile reformatory in 1960s Florida. Based on a true story, the novel explores the horrors of the institution and the friendship between Elwood and a fellow inmate that helps them survive. A devastating and driven narrative that showcases Whitehead’s masterful storytelling.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

A powerful and thought-provoking historical fiction novel by Black author Brit Bennett, ‘The Vanishing Half’ explores the lives of twin sisters who grow up in a small Southern black community but follow divergent paths as adults, one passing for white and the other embracing her black identity. Spanning generations and tackling themes of race, identity, and family secrets, this engrossing page-turner is a riveting family saga and a nuanced exploration of the American experience.

Fantasy And Science Fiction Books By Black Authors

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

A groundbreaking science fiction novel by Black author Rivers Solomon, ‘Sorrowland’ combines elements of gothic fiction and Afrofuturism to create a unique and unsettling vision of a world where monsters are not just individuals, but entire nations. Following a pregnant woman who flees a religious compound and gives birth to twins in the forest, the book explores themes of identity, violence, and the legacy of American history. A New York Times Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of 2021 and winner of several other awards, ‘Sorrowland’ is a searing and thought-provoking work of speculative fiction.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy, #1) by Marlon James

A fantasy epic from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings, ‘Black Leopard, Red Wolf’ follows a skilled mercenary named Tracker as he searches for a missing child across dangerous lands filled with mythical creatures and ancient magic. With a diverse cast of characters, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard, this novel defies categorization and offers a rich, immersive reading experience.

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

A powerful and provocative fantasy novel, ‘Riot Baby’ follows Ella, a young black woman with the ability to see the future and control destruction, and her brother Kev, who is determined to protect her from the consequences of her power. Set in a dystopian near-future and rooted in the hope for revolution, this book explores themes of race, oppression, and the black American experience through a lens of magical realism.

Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

In a dystopian near future, prisoners are forced to compete as gladiators in a televised program called Chain-Gang All-Stars, where they fight for their freedom. Loretta Thurwar, a fan favorite, is nearing the end of her time on the circuit, but the corporate owners have other plans. Will she emerge victorious or will the cost be too high? A thrilling and thought-provoking fantasy novel that explores themes of oppression, resistance, and the human condition.

Romance Books By Black Authors

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

A sexy, modern romance novel by Tia Williams, ‘Seven Days in June’ follows single mother and erotica writer Eva Mercy as she reconnects with her former flame, award-winning novelist Shane Hall, throughout a steamy Brooklyn summer. As they rediscover their chemistry, Eva must confront her past and decide if she’s ready for a second chance at love.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

A romantic comedy by black author Jasmine Guillory, follows Drew and Alexa, two successful professionals who agree to be fake girlfriends and boyfriends for a wedding, but end up falling for each other. As they navigate long-distance dating and their busy careers, they must decide if they will take a chance on love.

Stars in Your Eyes by Kacen Callender

A romantic debut novel by black author Kacen Callender, ‘Stars in Your Eyes’ follows two Hollywood actors, Logan and Mattie, who are forced to fake a relationship for publicity purposes. As they navigate their growing feelings for each other, they must confront their personal demons and the harsh realities of the entertainment industry. A raw and emotional love story about finding authentic love in a world that often values image over substance.

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

A romantic and poignant novel by author Akwaeke Emezi, ‘You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty’ follows Feyi Adekola as she navigates her way back into the dating scene after a tragic loss. Through a series of steamy encounters and luxurious experiences, Feyi must confront her past and embrace her future, all while juggling her growing feelings for two men – one who is perfect for her, and the other who is strictly off-limits. A heartfelt and passionate love story about embracing second chances and the power of love to heal.

Also Read 20 Most Anticipated Contemporary Romance Novels Releasing in 2024.

Young Adult Books By Black Authors

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

In this powerful young adult debut by black author Jas Hammonds, seventeen-year-old Avery Anderson must navigate family secrets, racial tensions, and a budding romance in small-town Georgia. When Avery’s grandmother becomes ill, she’s forced to move in with her and uncovers a web of lies and mysteries that threaten to destroy everything she thought she knew about her family and her town. With the help of her new friends Simone and Jade, Avery must decide whether to pursue the truth or keep the peace in a community steeped in racism and silence.

The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1) by Angie Thomas

In this critically acclaimed young adult novel by black author Angie Thomas, sixteen-year-old Starr Carter witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed childhood friend Khalil by a police officer. As tensions rise and protests spread, Starr must decide whether to speak out against the injustice, even if it means putting herself in danger. A powerful and timely story about race, police brutality, and the struggles of growing up black in America.

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

In this epic young adult fantasy novel by black author Tomi Adeyemi, Zelie Adebola must restore magic to her kingdom and defeat the ruthless monarch who destroyed it. With the help of a rebellious princess, Zelie must outsmart dangerous foes and confront her own powers. A thrilling adventure inspired by West African mythology, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury

In this haunting psychological thriller, two teen girls navigate the treacherous past of a mysterious mansion ten years apart. Daisy, a black girl who sees dead people, escapes her complicated life in Toronto by visiting her mother’s inherited mansion, where she discovers dark secrets and faces her fears. A decade later, Brittney, a young black woman desperate to expose her abusive mother’s lies, investigates the mansion for her popular Haunted web series, and must choose which story matters most – Daisy’s or her own. A twisting tale of family, trauma, and redemption.

Mystery Books By Black Authors

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

In this darkly comedic young adult novel, Nigerian sisters Korede and Ayoola navigate a tangled web of love, loyalty, and murder. When Ayoola’s latest boyfriend turns up dead, Korede must cover up the crime and protect her sister’s secret. But as their bond falters, Korede must confront her own feelings for a handsome doctor and decide how far she’ll go for family. A witty, atmospheric thrill ride from a fresh black voice in a thrilling mystery novel.

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

In this gritty mystery novel, two former cons – a black father and a white father – team up to avenge their murdered sons, who were married to each other. As they seek vengeance, they confront their prejudices and ultimately find redemption. A fast-paced, provocative read from a fresh black voice in the genre.

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

Ray McMillian, a young Black violinist from rural North Carolina, discovers his family’s beat-up fiddle is a priceless Stradivarius. As he takes the classical music world by storm, his violin is stolen and a ransom note for five million dollars is left behind. With the renowned Tchaikovsky Competition approaching, Ray must recover his instrument and prove his talent to the world. A thrilling mystery from a rising Black author.

All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris

In this twisty thriller, a black lawyer named Ellice Littlejohn finds her boss dead and becomes embroiled in a dangerous conspiracy. With secrets from her past threatening to surface, Ellice must navigate a complex web of deceit and protect her brother from harm. A page-turning mystery from a fresh black voice in the genre.

Horror Books By Black Authors

The Year of the Witching (Bethel, #1) by Alexis Henderson

In this haunting horror debut, a young black woman named Immanuelle Moore discovers dark powers within herself and must confront the dark history of her puritanical society. Set in a repressive religious community, this feminist fantasy delves into themes of conformity, rebellion, and the power of the marginalized.

When the Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen

In this haunting horror novel, a black woman named Mira returns to her hometown for a plantation wedding, only to find herself confronting the dark history of the land and the ghosts of the past. As she reconnects with her old friends and a lost love, Mira must face the terrifying legacy of slavery and racism that threatens to consume them all. A chilling and powerful read from a fresh black voice in the genre.

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

In this terrifying horror novel, a black resistance fighter named Maryse Boudreaux battles against the Ku Klux Klan as they spread fear and violence across America. With the help of her allies, Maryse uses a blade, bullet, and bomb to fight back against the Klan’s demonic forces and prevent them from bringing about an apocalypse. A gripping and intense read, perfect for horror and historical fiction fans.

The Reformatory by Tananarive Due

In this haunting horror novel, a young black boy named Robbie Stephens Jr. is sent to a segregated reform school in Jim Crow Florida, where he encounters the terrors of racism and injustice. With the help of his ghostly abilities and newfound friends, Robbie must survive the school’s brutal conditions and uncover the truth behind the disappearances of his classmates.

You may also like to read 16 Most Exciting Paranormal Romance Books Releasing in 2024.

Leave a comment