Juneteenth is a celebratory holiday that many of us didn't learn about in school. New books are shedding light on the origins and importance of the day, so in addition to those titles, we've pulled together a list of books that celebrate Black freedom and joy. You'll also find fiction and non-fiction that addresses the history of Black struggle in America as well as present day realities of Black struggle. Although Juneteenth is a celebration, we cannot ignore the ongoing struggles of Black people in America.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The essential, sweeping story of Juneteenth’s integral importance to American history, as told by a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and Texas native.
“Ellison sought no less than to create a Book of Blackness, a literary composition of the tradition at its most sublime and fundamental." —Henry Louis Gates, Jr., TIME
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A chorus of extraordinary voices tells the epic story of the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present—edited by Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, and Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire.
In this “urgently relevant”* collection featuring the landmark essay “The Case for Reparations,” the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me “reflects on race, Barack Obama’s presidency and its jarring aftermath”*—including the election of Donald Trump.
The instant #1 New York Times bestseller and #1 USA Today bestseller
Amanda Gorman’s electrifying and historic poem “The Hill We Climb,” read at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, is now available as a collectible gift edition.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this beautifully written masterwork, the Pulitzer Prize–winnner and bestselling author of Caste chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation, gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement—and still lights the way to understanding race in America today.
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR • MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST • “A gripping historical narrative exploring both the bounds of slavery and what it means to be truly free.” —Vanity Fair
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this #1 New York Times bestseller chronicles a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. The basis for the acclaimed original Amazon Prime Video series directed by Barry Jenkins.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner: an unflinchingly look into the abyss of slavery. This spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.
The Harlem Renaissance writer's innovative and groundbreaking novel depicting African American life in the South and North, with a foreword by National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree Zinzi Clemmons
Both a deeply compelling bestselling novel and an epic milestone of American literature.
Originally published in 1952 as the first novel by a then unknown author, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century.
Finding self-acceptance both on and off the mat.
In Sanskrit, yoga means to “yoke.” To yoke mind and body, movement and breath, light and dark, the good and the bad.
"Tubbs' connection to these women is palpable on the page — as both a mother and a scholar of the impact Black motherhood has had on America. Through Tubbs' writing, Berdis, Alberta, and Louise's stories sing. Theirs is a history forgotten that begs to be told, and Tubbs tells it brilliantly."
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A powerful study of how to bear witness in a moment when America is being called to do the same.”—Time
James Baldwin grew disillusioned by the failure of the civil rights movement to force America to confront its lies about race. What can we learn from his struggle in our own moment?
James Baldwin’s critique of American society at the height of the civil rights movement brings his prescient thoughts on social isolation, race, and police brutality to a new generation of readers.
In the first cookbook by a Black pitmaster, James Beard Award–winning chef Rodney Scott celebrates an incredible culinary legacy through his life story, family traditions, and unmatched dedication to his craft.
Across America, the pure love and popularity of barbecue cookery have gone through the roof. Prepared in one regional style or another, in the South and beyond, barbecue is one of the nation's most distinctive culinary arts. And people aren't just eating it; they're also reading books and articles and watching TV shows about it.
Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teens in love to this charming, hilarious, and heartwarming novel that shines a bright light through the dark.
A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…
Experience the joy of Juneteenth in this celebration of freedom from the award-winning team of Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis.
Through the eyes of one little girl, All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South.
Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today—Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America. A selection of the Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List.
Racism and discrimination have choked economic opportunity for African Americans at nearly every turn. At several historic moments, the trajectory of racial inequality could have been altered dramatically. Perhaps no moment was more opportune than the early days of Reconstruction, when the U.S.
Named one of the most important nonfiction books of the 21st century by Entertainment Weekly' Slate' Chronicle of Higher Education' Literary Hub, Book Riot' and Zora
In these impassioned, powerful essays, an award-winning journalist deals forthrightly with what it means to be Black in Trump’s America.
The #1 New York Times bestseller and a USAToday bestseller!
A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism--and antiracism--in America
This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.
8 starred reviews · Goodreads Choice Awards Best of the Best · William C. Morris Award Winner · National Book Award Longlist · Printz Honor Book · Coretta Scott King Honor Book · #1 New York Times Bestseller!
"Absolutely riveting!" —Jason Reynolds
"Powerful, wrenching.” –JOHN GREEN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down
"Raw and gripping." –JASON REYNOLDS, New York Times bestselling coauthor of All American Boys
New York Times and USA Today bestseller * Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor * Walter Award Winner * Goodreads Finalist for Best Teen Book of the Year * Time Magazine Best Book of the Year * Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year * School Library Journal
A New York Times bestseller
A William C.
Winner of a Coretta Scott King Author Honor
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia's epic fantasy, a middle grade American Gods set in a richly-imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.
Bestselling author Rick Riordan presents the second book in the New York Times best-selling and award-winning Tristan Strong trilogy by Kwame Mbalia.
"Mbalia's universe continues to excite through sheer conceptual brilliance, nonstop action and adventure, and--let's be honest--the comical aggression of sidekick god Gum Baby."--Booklist
An original middle-grade graphic novel from Graphix starring Brooklyn's Spider-Man, Miles Morales, by bestselling author Justin A. Reynolds and Eisner nominee Pablo Leon!Miles Morales is a normal kid who happens to juggle school at Brooklyn Visions Academy while swinging through the streets of Brooklyn as Spider-Man.
It's up, up, and away with the Tuskegee Airmen, a heroic group of African American military pilots who helped the United States win World War II.
This baseball league that was made up of African American players and run by African American owners ushered in the biggest change in the history of baseball.
Born into slavery in Maryland in 1818, Frederick Douglass was determined to gain freedom--and once he realized that knowledge was power, he secretly learned to read and write to give himself an advantage. After escaping to the North in 1838, as a free man he gave powerful speeches about his experience as a slave.
No one knows where the term Underground Railroad came from--there were no trains or tracks, only "conductors" who helped escaping slaves to freedom. Including real stories about "passengers" on the "Railroad," this book chronicles slaves' close calls with bounty hunters, exhausting struggles on the road, and what they sacrificed for freedom.
Thirty diverse, award-winning authors and illustrators invite you into their homes to witness the conversations they have with their children about race in America today in this powerful call-to-action that invites all families to be anti-racists and advocates for change.
Relive the moments when African Americans fought for equal rights, and made history.
A tender and powerful affirmation that Black lives have always mattered.
Black lives matter. That message would be self-evident in a just world, but in this world and this America, all children need to hear it again and again, and not just to hear it but to feel and know it.
Based on the research that race, gender, consent, and body positivity should be discussed with toddlers on up, this read-aloud board book series offers adults the opportunity to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe, and supported way.
A #1 New York Times Bestseller!
Winner of the NCTE Charlotte Huck Award!
An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
a nonstop ball of energy.
Powerful and full of light.
I am a go-getter. A difference maker. A leader.
Winner of the Coretta Scott King illustrator award, I, Too, Am America blends the poetic wisdom of Langston Hughes with visionary illustrations from Bryan Collier in this inspirational picture book that carries the promise of equality.
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
Coretta Scott King 2021 Honoree
A winner of the ILA 2021 Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards in the fiction category.
NCSS 2021 Notable Social Studies Book
Maine Lupine Award Winner