February is Black History Month, a time to recognize black history and acknowledge the achievements of black Americans. The We Need Diverse Books campaign advocates for changes in the publishing industry so that the lives of all people are reflected in the books they read. By publishing more books by diverse authors with diverse characters or themes, more readers, especially children, will be able to identify with characters and feel as though their voice is being represented.
During this Black History month, we’re highlighting a few black women who are best-selling authors. Their books explore diverse themes across many genres, ranging from memoirs, self-help, romance, and young adult.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
In her compelling memoir, former First Lady Michelle Obama tells the story of her greatest accomplishments and must difficult challenges. From the South Side of Chicago to the White House, Michelle describes the moments that shaped her into the powerful woman she is today. Despite constantly being in the public eye, Michelle raised two humble daughters, supported her husband throughout his presidency, and still made her own mark on history. Becoming gives us an inside look into the inspirational live of the first African American First Lady and encourages us to defy expectations, while making our mark on the world around us.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Celestial and Roy, young ambitious newlyweds, must face an uncertain future when Roy is convicted for a crime he did not commit. Uncertain about the future, Celestial confides in her lifelong friend Andre and struggles to keep the love for her husband alive in the face of a daunting twelve-year sentence. After only five years, Roy’s conviction is unexpectedly overturned and he is excited at the chance to reconnect with his wife. Struggling to maneuver a love triangle created by forces outside of their control, An American Marriage takes an insightful look into the lives of these characters as they grapple with the past and try to move forward into the future.
The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
A stand-up comedian and actress, Tiffany Haddish shares a series of hilarious and unapologetic personal essays in The Last Black Unicorn. Tiffany describes how humor helped her navigate foster care, school, and growing up in an extremely poor neighborhood. When talking about her recent rise to fame, Tiffany uses comedy to connect with readers and show how laughter can solve almost anything.
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
After some reflection, Shonda Rhimes realized that she never tries new things or opens herself up to opportunities. In a bold attempt to change this, she decided to spend a full year saying “Yes” to every opportunity that came her way. She soon discovers all the experiences she had been missing out on, found a new confidence in social settings, and learned how to love herself by accepting compliments without hesitation or trying to be humble. The book Year of Yes uses Shonda’s personal experiment as encouragement for readers to step out of their own comfort zones and become more open to all of life’s possibilities.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
While trying to keep her family from being deported, Natasha Kingsley must also decide what to do about Daniel Bae, someone she just met but may have a connection with. Looking at life through science and facts, Natasha analyzes pros and cons, while Daniel follows his heart and is willing to drop everything to convince her of their connection. In a fun and romantic way, The Sun is Also a Star tells the story of “love at first sight” within a modern context.