Happy Women’s History month everybody! Are you excited? Because I am, and here’s one of the reasons why: Dear Black Girl: Letters From Your Sisters on Stepping Into Your Power by Tamara Winfrey Harris is being released this month. This book is a collection of letters received by Harris as part of her “letters to black girls” project. Her project asked black women to write honest and inspiring letters of support to young black girls between the ages thirteen and twenty-one. She received many letters from black women discussing many important topics such as identity, self-love, sexuality, etc. This book has done something beautiful in sharing those letters with the world and each chapter even ends with a prompt encouraging girls to write a letter to themselves. This book is definitely a must-read and I cannot wait for it to be released!
Since I am so excited for this amazing book to be released tomorrow, here are 5 other books by black women that you should read for Women’s History Month!
1. Caste: The origins of our discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Caste is a #1 New York Times bestseller and a pick for Oprah’s Book Club that gives a masterful portrait of the unseen phenomenon of the caste system in America. In this deeply researched narrative, she explores how America has been shaped throughout history by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings, that goes beyond race, class, and other factors and influences people’s lives and behavior. It is a must-read for everyone, but especially individuals who are American, to truly understand how the Caste system plays a role in our lives.
2. the other side of paradise: A Memoir BY Staceyann chin
The Other Side of Paradise is a memoir by Staceyann Chin, an activist, poet, and performer, who has appeared on various television and radio shows discussing issues of race and sexuality. In her memoir, she shares her story of being born to a mother who did not want her, her slim chances of survival, and her unforgettable triumph against these and all other odds stacked against her. As Chin writes of memories about coming out as a lesbian, finding the man who may be her father, and eventually discovering her voice, she inspires people everywhere who have experienced difficulties in life.
3. the misadventures of awkward black girl by issa rae
If you don’t know Issa Rae by now, you definitely should. In this book, the award-winning actress writes a collection of essays explaining what it is like to be an ‘awkward black girl.’ As this is an experience that is not often told, this is a must-read for a different perspective on a black woman navigating the world. Whether it be love, work, or relationships, Rae hilariously tells us all in this reflection of her own unique experiences.
4. black girls must die exhausted by jayne allen
Jayne Allen’s novel Black Girls Must Die is not a memoir but it is still just as important. The novel follows Tabitha Walker who has heard the phrase, “black girls die exhausted” by her white grandmother referring to what she observed happening in the 1950’s during the civil rights movement. Tabitha never imaged how this phrase could apply to her in contemporary times until an unexpected doctor’s diagnosis threatens her chances of having a family. She must explore the reaches of modern medicine as she relies on the help of her best friends with the power of laughter and love to bring healing before the phrase “black girls must die exhausted” takes a new unwanted meaning in her life.
5. black fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit BY Mary Frances-Winters
Mary Frances-Winters’ book Black Fatigue explores the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of black people. Explaining how and why society needs to do more to combat its negative effects, it touches on one of the most annoying things we do as black people: constantly explaining the inequities and atrocities we experience to white people. This book is so necessary, especially after last year, and a necessary read for people to understand why we are tired of being sick and tired. Also, being written by a black woman, it is perfect for women’s history month!
All in-text images via amazon
Featured image via UNsplash