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20 Books That Every Black Woman Should Own

This is not an exhaustive list and surely, there can be many more added, however, here are twenty of the most essential books by Black women writers that every Black woman should own, according to me….and I ain’t no junk, ya dig? 🙂 

1. Their Eyes Were Watching God — Zora Neale Hurston

2. Sula — Toni Morrison

3. Mama Day — Gloria Naylor

4. The Wedding — Dorothy West

5. Some Love, Some Pain, Sometimes — J. California Cooper

6. Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine — BeBe Moore Campbell

7. Lillian: Resurrection of a Daughter — Ntozake Shange

8. The Street — Ann Petry

9. Passing — Nella Larsen

10. The Chinaberry Tree — Jessie Redmon Fauset

11. The Farming of Bones — Edwidge Danticat

12. Kindred — Octavia Butler

13. Sapphire’s Grave — Hilda Gurley-Highgate

14. The River Where Blood is Born — Sandra Jackson-Opoku

15. Jesus, Jobs, & Justice: African American Women & Religion — Bettye Collier-Thomas

16. Erotique Noire — eds. Miriam DeCosta Willis, Reginald Martin, and Roseann P. Bell

17. Best Black Women’s Erotica — Blanche Richardson

18. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl — Harriet Jacobs

19. Shake Loose My Skin — Sonia Sanchez

20. A Voice from the South — Anna Julia Cooper


About Chandra Kamaria

Chandra Kamaria is a playwright, essayist, culture maven, educator, entrepreneur, and activist. To learn more, visit


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