10 Books by inspiring women of color

These 10 powerful women of color are so inspiring we had to make a list of their incredible books to share with you!

This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins

In This Will Be My Undoing, Morgan Jerkins addresses one of the hardest, most controversial, and most relevant questions in American society today – what does it mean to be a black woman in America? Disenfranchised by both race and gender, Jerkins discusses the exclusion of black women in society and even in movements working toward equality like mainstream feminism.

Swallow the Fish by Gabrielle Civil

A memoir that examines the medium of performance art, Swallow the Fish is Gabrielle Civil’s addition to the black feminist conversation. Diving into everything from audience, motivations, fears and vulnerability, her book pushes readers to expand their thinking by asking tough questions.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

This is the inspiring and heartbreaking memoir of how Maya Angelou’s life was shaped by the bigotry and racism that ran rampant in America. Overcoming trauma, hatred and abandonment, Angelou learns that happiness and freedom often come from within and her own strong spirit gets her there.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming is an enthralling collection of poetry that makes readers instantly connect with Jacqueline Woodson. Telling the tale of growing up in the racially charged 1960s, just after the Jim Crow era, young Woodson comes to realize that racism still hung heavily over America.

No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts

JJ has attained a fortune since he left his hometown of Pinewood, North Carolina. When he returns home to build a mansion in order to woo his now-married high school sweetheart, he stirs up quite a bit of commotion. This look at an extended black American family and their versions of the American Dream is all too relatable.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay 

Bad Feminist leaves no stone unturned as it examines politics, feminism, criticism, racism and almost every other controversial societal issue that America is currently facing. Funny, sharp and unapologetic, Roxane Gay gives terrific insight into the state of America from the perspective of a young, black woman.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Sing, Unburied, Sing follows 13-year-old Jojo as he figures out what it means to be a man while dealing with his drug-addict mother and convict father. The men in Jojo’s life teach him some of the harsh lessons about the realities of having a white father and black mother on his journey toward manhood.

This Is It by Daria Peoples-Riley 

Daria Peoples-Riley’s debut picture book, This Is It follows a young dancer as her shadow takes her on a journey to discover herself. The girl must learn to trust and believe in herself and her dancing abilities. This inspiring story teaches a lesson about believing in your own ability to succeed.

What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

What I Know For Sure was written by Oprah over the course of 14 years as she addressed the question “What do you know for sure?” for a column in her magazine. This collection of all these columns are organized by theme into the categories joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power. A thoughtful and inspiring read.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple tells the story of two sisters who took incredibly different paths in life. One is a missionary in Africa, the other is a child wife living in the South. The two sisters retain their close relationship of trust and loyalty despite the distance and differences in their lives.

Courtney Paasch

Courtney Paasch is a book enthusiast and has been known to spend full days in the library. She worked as a digital producer at Cronkite News where she fell in love with digital media and website design. Courtney loves to find creative and innovative ways to push social media campaigns and draw reader engagement. Her favorite thing to do on a day off is load up her Jeep with her wife and two rescue dogs, Jaxson and Rosie and head out on an adventure.

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