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Any recommended books by African American authors?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
We're currently studying African American literature in my English class. The teacher passed asked every student to add the name of any book they read by an African American to a list; the list ended up only having like 3 books. So, he wants us to all check out and read a book by an African American for the next few weeks. I'm really ignorant when it comes to good literature, and even more ignorant when you're talking about good literature by authors of a specific race. So, are there any specific African American books that you recommend I look into? Of course, this has to come from my somewhat crappy high school library, so I need as many recommendations as possible to make up for the fact that we don't have as many books as a public library. I honestly don't know what to look for at the moment. I'd prefer it not to be too long as well (Nothing like ROOTS, please; I'd like it under ~250 pages).

Thank you and happy reading
post #2 of 30
Toni Morrison
post #3 of 30
"Manchild of the Promised Land"

Claude Brown 1965

I thought it was an amazing read about a young black mans life and escape from poverty and dispare.

"Manchild in the Promised Land (1965) is an autobiographical novel written by Claude Brown. It tells about the author's coming of age amidst poverty and violence in Harlem during the 1940s and 1950s and has frequently appeared on banned book lists."

post #4 of 30
Anything by Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams...
post #5 of 30
wow@only 3 books, how sad, but i will refrain from commenting further, anyways...i've got some for ya:

1. Return To The African Mother Principle Of Male & Female Equality Volume 1 by Oba T'Shaka
2. Who Is Black? One Nation's Definition by F. James Davis
3. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment by Patricia Hill Collins
4. The Isis Papers: The Keys To The Colors by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
5. The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told To Alex Haley

look for the following people as well:
1. Assata Shakur
2. Alice Walker
3. Maya Angelou
4. Zora Neale Hurston
5. Toni Morrison
6. Langston Hughes
7. James Baldwin
8. Ralph Ellison
9. Nikki Giovanni
10. Lorraine Hansberry
11. Audre Lorde
12. Michael Eric Dyson
13. Paul Robeson
14. Gwendolyn Brooks
15. Saul Williams
16. Jessica Care Moore
17. Sonia Sanchez
18. W.E.B. DuBois

etc etc
post #6 of 30
I highly reccomend Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Vernon Can Read! is a decent auto biography if that's the sort of thing you might like to pick up.
post #7 of 30
Twelve Years a Slave


Please do your self a favor and read this. It's a stunning autobiography, and it may be nice to have a little non-fiction in your list.

I'll order it for you if you want. I have Amazon.com Prime, so you know how cool I am.

Edit: Amazon claims 336 pages. My copy is only 252.
post #8 of 30
Check out Native Son by Richard Wright. It is often mentioned as required reading for undertanding the Afro-American experience.
post #9 of 30
seconded Native Son.
Read it for a Sociology class, also visited a Max security prison, boy was that something.
post #10 of 30
having read the complete autobiography and the complete collected poems of Maya Angelou I would recomend her.

I've taken a glimpe at a W.E.B. Dubois book when I was in Cambridge two years ago and it also looked interesting.

I liked reading Angelou's work and would like to read more African American literature. I'll pay close attention to this thread.

Let us know what you choose

ps: 1350th post
post #11 of 30
"Monster" by Sanyika Shakur, aka Kody Scott.

post #12 of 30
Things Fall Apart is a good African book
post #13 of 30
^^Can't recommend this one. Unemotional language, and pretty much flat to me. X3 for Native Son.
post #14 of 30
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself

I didn't want to put it down when I read it.


IIRC, around 200 pages.
post #15 of 30
I read Toni Morrison in High School, remember enjoying her work very much.
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