One of the things I need to do is read more books by black authors. Truth be told, I’ve typically come across most black writers’ works through either assigned classroom coursework or a quick perusal of who shows up on bestseller lists. I know, I know, I’ve got to do better.
"I'm just sayin' ... do better ..."
Fortunately, Kaplan University’s Accredited Online Colleges blog has put together a rather comprehensive list of what they feel are the 50 indeispensable African-American novels. They state in their article:
The ones listed here were picked based on general consensus, an eye for genre diversity and a desire to make sure some highly important reads don’t entirely flounder in obscurity … taking offense to any exclusions or inclusions isn’t really going change much of anything. Just try to have fun and not think too hard about how a specific author or book received no recognition. It doesn’t mean they have nothing to say, just that there wasn’t enough space to mention everyone.
The list is arranged chronologically, from 1845 right up to the present day, and includes the usual names (such as Frederick Douglass, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, and Colson Whitehead) as well as a few who may have slipped under the radar (like Ann Petry, Tananarive Due, David Anthony Durham, and Kalisha Buckhanon).
I’ve read a good number of the books on this list but, as I mentioned before, it’s mostly been because it was on someone’s syllabus. Not only am I to try to read (or re-read) as many of these books as possible, I’m also going to seek out some of these authors’ other works.
Check out the complete list below: Continue reading
Posted in Books
Tagged Toni Morrison, Beloved, Terry McMillan, Colson Whitehead, Drake, Sapphire, Push, The Color Purple, Kaplan University, Novels, 50 Indispensable African-American Novels, African-American Novels, Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass, Clotel: Or The President’s Daughter, William Wells Brown, Our Nig, Harriet E. Wilson, Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs, The Marrow Of Tradition, Charles W. Chestnutt, The Uncalled, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Up From Slavery, Booker T. Washington, Autobiography Of An Ex-Colored Man, James Weldon Johnson, Cane, Jean Toomer, The Blacker The Berry, Wallace Thurman, Not Without Laughter, Langston Hughes, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston, Native Son, Richard Wright, If He Hollers Let Him Go, Chester Himes, The Street, Ann Petry, The Living Is Easy, Dorothy West, Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison, Go Tell It On The Mountain, James Baldwin, South Street, William Gardner Smith, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou, Sounder, William H. Armstrong, Mama Black Widow, Iceberg Slim, The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman, Ernest J. Gaines, Never Die Alone, Donald Goines, Roots: The Saga Of An American Family, Alex Haley, Entwined Destinies, Elsie B. Washington, Alice Walker, Betsey Brown, Ntozake Shange, Mama Day, Gloria Naylor, Devil In A Blue Dress, Walter Mosley, Middle Passage, Charles Johnson, Billy, Albert French, In Search Of Satisfaction, J. California Cooper, The Between, Tananarive Due, Coffee Will Make You Black, April Sinclair, The Color Of Love, Sandra Kitt, The Cattle Killing, John Edgar Wideman, And This Too Shall Pass, E. Lynn Harris, Friends And Lovers, Eric Jerome Dickey, Parable Of The Talents, Octavia E. Butler, Monster, Walter Dean Myers, A Day Late And A Dollar Short, Gabriel’s Story, David Anthony Durham, John Henry Days, The Known World, Edward P. Jones, The Untelling, Tayari Jones, Upstate, Kalisha Buckhanon, Incognegro, Mat Johnson, Warren Pleece