So you've had your fill of romances for Valentines day. Now maybe you're ready to read some books for Black History month or books to read anytime because you can read these all year around. I'll be doing two lists for this. The one today is going to be classics (to narrow it down, I'll be sticking to books written before 1980). Next week, I'll be doing a list of more modern books to look into. I'm going to assume most people know about the books by Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B Du Bois etc. If you don't, I highly recommend looking into those authors.
Black History Month Reads: Classics
Passing by Nella Larsen
A novel from the late twenties that is often considered one of the best to come from the Harlem Renaissance that came about during this time.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
This classic, written in the 1930s is still widely read today. I hear it's very good. I need to get to it myself.
Native Son by Richard Wright
Written in the early forties about what it was like to be black in America in the 30s.
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
One of the most important novels from the fifties.
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
A play from the late fifties about a family living in the south side of Chicago.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Angelou has a ton of books to choose from, including many wonderful poems. But if you're looking to read her for the first time, I recommend her auto-biographies first.
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Pretty much all James Baldwins books are great reads, but this collection of essays is probably the best of his work.
The Collected Poems by Langston Hughes
Hughes was a prolific poet who wrote up until his death in the late sixties.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
The entire Logans series is great, but I especially recommend this award winner from the seventies.
Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley
Written in the mid-seventies if you're looking for family sagas, this is your book.
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Looking for some more sci-fi in your black history month reading? Then check out all of Octavia Butler's books, but especially this standalone written at the end of the seventies.
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange
A play from the 1970s that won several awards.
Note: if you're looking for The Color Purple or The Autobiography of Malcolm X, those were written in the eighties, so will be included in the modern book list next week.