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 50 Indispensable African-American Novels, A Day Late And A Dollar Short, African-American Novels, Albert French, Alex Haley, Alice Walker, And This Too Shall Pass, Ann Petry, April Sinclair, Autobiography Of An Ex-Colored Man, Beloved, Betsey Brown, Billy, Booker T. Washington, Cane, Charles Johnson, Charles W. Chestnutt, Chester Himes, Clotel: Or The President’s Daughter, Coffee Will Make You Black, Colson Whitehead, David Anthony Durham, Devil In A Blue Dress, Donald Goines, Dorothy West, Drake, E. Lynn Harris, Edward P. Jones, Elsie B. Washington, Entwined Destinies, Eric Jerome Dickey, Ernest J. Gaines, Frederick Douglass, Friends And Lovers, Gabriel’s Story, Gloria Naylor, Go Tell It On The Mountain, Harriet E. Wilson, Harriet Jacobs, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Iceberg Slim, If He Hollers Let Him Go, In Search Of Satisfaction, Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl, Incognegro, Invisible Man, J. California Cooper, James Baldwin, James Weldon Johnson, Jean Toomer, John Edgar Wideman, John Henry Days, Kalisha Buckhanon, Kaplan University, Langston Hughes, Mama Black Widow, Mama Day, Mat Johnson, Maya Angelou, Middle Passage, Monster, Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, Native Son, Never Die Alone, Not Without Laughter, Novels, Ntozake Shange, Octavia E. Butler, Our Nig, Parable Of The Talents, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Push, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Roots: The Saga Of An American Family, Sandra Kitt, Sapphire, Sounder, South Street, Tananarive Due, Tayari Jones, Terry McMillan, The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman, The Between, The Blacker The Berry, The Cattle Killing, The Color Of Love, The Color Purple, The Known World, The Living Is Easy, The Marrow Of Tradition, The Street, The Uncalled, The Untelling, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Toni Morrison, Up From Slavery, Upstate, Wallace Thurman, Walter Dean Myers, Walter Mosley, Warren Pleece, William Gardner Smith, William H. Armstrong, William Wells Brown, Zora Neale Hurston