10 Contemporary Black Authors You Need to Read


With everything going on in today’s society, I thought I would share a few special books that I’ve read, here is my list of books by contemporary black female authors – brilliant works by fierce women that everyone should read.

Each person picks up a book for their own reason. It may be to escape reality, to gain knowledge on a topic, to become more socially aware, etc. No matter the reason one chooses to pick up a book, reading gives you insight into a world they are not familiar with on some level.

For the most part, I read to escape but I also read to find a connection with a topic I can relate to. I’ve compiled a list of books by contemporary black authors that you should read.

Every book on this list of African American authors I have read. As a Black woman I can tell you that I can personally connect with each and every story here because, at some point in my life, I had similar experiences.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison first spoke to me as a young struggling to accept my dark skin. As the darkest girl in my entire family, I’m talking, aunts, uncles, cousin, etc., I was a difficult thing to navigate when I was considered “tarbaby” by most people.

At this point in my life, I want to share contemporary Black authors with everyone for many reasons. There is a book for everyone here. If you are looking for a way to understand the American politics within race-relations, want to connect with an African American family, to better understand what it is like for Black men and women navigating within a society that often sees them as a threat, or just have a little fun, light-hearted read, I have it all right here.

How many books have you read by contemporary Black authors? If the answer is zero or not many, I encourage you to explore this list of books by African American female authors to find the perfect one for you.

Want to know what books are coming out in 2021? Check them out here.

Book by Contemporary Black Authors

contemporary black authors

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This book is phenomenal! This book made me yell out loud in anger, nearly cry in sadness and literally laugh out loud! Most importantly, it made me think of what it really means to live in this so-called “Post racial” society of ours! You will identify with both Emira and Alix(Alex). DO NOT hesitate to buy this book. You will love it and it is a must-have for your book club. This is not a paid review. I bought this book after reading a review in People magazine and I was in no way disappointed. Kiley Reid is definitely an author to look out for! Read Details→

contemporary black authors

Read at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

This is one of those books that you love but can’t necessarily explain why. It doesn’t rely on a complicated plot—it was more a coming of age story of a girl with a family based in NYC with ties to Tulsa. I quite possibly could be biased because I love both of those cities, but I truly found Woodson’s words beautiful and poignant. Read Details→

contemporary black authors

From Scratch by Tembi Locke

This story is beautifully written. Explores loss at the rawest level, and how one woman finds a way to build a bridge between her family and her husband’s family. Her detail about Italy, and cooking, make this a delectable read. I love how she describes her husband – you feel like you know him and his lax happy go lucky attitude. Her journey is tough, but so beautiful. More Details→

contemporary black authors

contemporary black authors

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

I don’t know one little black girl who didn’t read the book and watch the movie as a child. I love it. This book is a page turner and never a dull moment. Filled with so many emotions, plight of racism between Caucasian and African American people, tragedies faced during that time when female children were bartered for some type of profit like land or to work the fields. Females were viewed as only being good enough to bear children, become a housekeeper, cook, be a replacement for a deceased wife, or take care of someone else’s, children. Physical, sexual and mental abuse/ assault was a daily routine. More Details→

contemporary black authors

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Although I’m not sure if this is based on a true story this was such an amazing example of two different life perspectives of Black lives VS White privilege. It tells the tale of two twin sisters who are light skinned one decides to marry the blackest man the other decides to change her life and attempt to pass as white. Their lives become so drastically different after- with white privilege you can have any job and any life you desire. This book really was such an inspiring and eye-opening novel I appreciated. More Details→ Don’t forget to check out this spoiler free review.

contemporary black authors

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Nic Stone weaves a powerful story about a young black teenager navigating his way in a mostly white private high school. He’s always known that his life is different from his classmates because of his skin color. It becomes more and more apparent when he’s on the receiving end of racial profiling. More Details→ Don’t forget the spoiler free review.

contemporary black authors

Powerful Books by Contemporary Black Authors

contemporary black authors

Remember by Dylan Allen

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful !! Have to start there. Millie and Dean’s love story is so very moving. They are childhood sweethearts that through no fault of their own .. adult-created circumstances, lose each other due to lies, deceit and tragedy. Millie’s father disappears from her life and is accused in a financial scheme that drives Dean’s father to take his own life. More Details→ Don’t forget the spoiler free review.

contemporary black authors

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

I read this book when I was in middle school. I was one of the darkest girls in my school and people would try to pick on me about it. A teacher of mine gave it to me and explained to me that being a dark-skinned black woman isn’t a bad or ugly thing. This book changed my life. I recommend this book for everyone. Read Details→

contemporary black authors

An American Marriage Tayari Jones

I first heard of Tayari Jones, when I read her first novel, Leaving Atlanta. After reading that I became an instant fan of Miss Jones. I would not do her the injustice of comparing her to other prominent female African-American females authors of yesteryear. However, Miss Jones writes with a voice of eloquence that seems to be a rarity in literature these days. More Details→

contemporary black authors

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give is one of those books that haunt you years after you’ve finished turning the pages. I can tell that, for me, it will be a touchstone. I reminisced, I thought about the world and my place in it, and I thought about people all over the world that, right at this very moment, don’t have the luxuries that I do. Things that I take for granted. A hot meal. A car. Electricity. My own bedroom. More Details→

What books by Black contemporary authors do you love?
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Hey there! I'm Danielle! I just a girl who loves books. I love books so much that I talk about the stories like they are real. Who knows? Maybe, they are real to me. I do love the book world, it's way better than reality. . .sometimes. . .because. . .I'm also a proud mama bear, wife, and mother!

5 thoughts on “10 Contemporary Black Authors You Need to Read

    1. I hope you love it. I’m reading The Bluest Eye again with my book club this month. It’s the book that inspired this list.

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