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Diversify Your Bookshelf: 10 Must-Read Books by Black Authors in 2023

Diversify Your Bookshelf: 10 Must-Read Books by Black Authors in 2023

Black excellence is a lifestyle!

Summer is here and what is a vacation without a good book to read? While there are a ton of self-help books on the market and Netflix adaptations pointing readers back to classic novels, we want to make sure that your commitment to growing, evolving and supporting Black authors, doesn’t get lost. To help you diversify your bookshelf, here are 10 must-read books by Black authors in 2023. 

How The Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith

Centered around the omnipresence of slavery and its impact on American society, this read explores the lasting legacy of slavery and how it is often times hidden in plain view. 

Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey

From the founder and creator of The Nap Ministry, this book serves as both guide and a call to action for those who seek to free themselves from the oppression that is Grind Culture. 

For The Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be by Marcus Collins

Pulling on both theory and practice, Collins takes readers on a journey of exploring the true meaning of culture, how it influences behaviors, and how you can maximize it in today’s interconnected world. 

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

An instant New York Times bestseller and one of Barack Obama’s chosen reads for the summer, this Southern noir crime fiction is sure to keep you on your toes!

RIDE OR DIE: A Feminist Manifesto for the Well-Being of Black Women by Shanita Hubbard

A former therapist and current adjunct professor of sociology, Hubbard uses the lens of hip-hop and pop culture to explore how Black women can undo toxic cultural norms that are impeding on their own wellness. 

That Bird Has My Wings by Jarvis Jay Masters

Written by Masters who has been incarcerated and sitting on death row for more than four decades, this book explores his own troubled upbringing and his subsequent incarceration for a crime he maintains he did not commit. Now 60 years old, Jarvis hopes that his story can inspire other young people to take a different path and learn from his mistakes. A current practicing Buddhist, you can learn more about Masters through his book and the campaign for his release at

Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead

One of the most anticipated books of the summer, this next offering from 2x Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead takes readers into a deep dive of 1970s Harlem through the eyes of a budding entrepreneur whose just trying to turn his life around and stay out of trouble for good this time. 

Rogue Justice by Stacey Abrams

Another highly anticipated thriller from political powerhouse Stacey Abrams, this story takes readers on a ride as they discover how a blackmailed federal judge, secret court and murder may contribute to an unimaginable national crisis. 

Above Ground by Clint Smith

This new collection of poetry from National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Clint Smith is an homage to fatherhood and the beauty of discovering the world through the eyes of children.

The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson

Set in 1950s Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, this book explores the lives of two women, touching on themes of motherhood, womanhood, colorism, class, and love. 

Happy reading folks!

Cover photo: Diversifying your bookshelf: 10 must-read books by Black authors in 2023/Photos Courtesy of Google