February is Black History Month. This originated as “Negro History Week,” which historian Carter G. Woodson began in 1915. It was the second week of February because it coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Since 1976, every President has designated February as Black History Month. The month celebrates achievements by African Americans, as well as their roles throughout US history.
Here at Dissertation Editor, we believe that Black History should be celebrated and recognized throughout the year, but in honor of Black History Month, we put together a list of must-reads for your TBR pile.
March (The Trilogy Set) by John Lewis
This graphic novel trilogy tells the story of the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of one of its most iconic leaders, John Lewis. This is a fantastic trilogy and you won’t be able to put down these books. It’s a must-read for everyone.
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories From the Harlem Renaissance by Zora Neale Hurston
When you think of Hurston, you might think of one of her most famous works, Their Eyes Were Watching God. But Hitting a Strait Lick with a Crooked Stick was recently released in January and has eight never-before-seen stories. Hurston is at her best in this book with a variety of voices and stories that address themes of racism, class, gender, love, and sexism.
The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love With Me by Keah Brown
In this collection of essays, Brown (the creator of the hashtag #DisabledAndCute) writes about her experiences as a disability rights advocate and a Black woman. She writes about pop culture and representation, community and stereotypes, dating, identity, and much, much more. Brown’s insights are funny, brilliant, and incisive, and are much needed in today’s world.
Crossfire: A Litany for Survival by Staceyann Chin
This book of poems from LGBTQ spoken-word artist and writer Staceyann Chin is her first full-length poetry collection – and well worth the wait. The emotion and language in these poems is beautiful, gut-wrenching, and striking. Although it’s possible to read the book quickly, you’ll want to sit and savor each poem, reading it over and over as the language trips off your tongue.
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
This is a classic for a reason. Read it and find out why – or re-read it and admire Ellison’s storytelling.
What are your favorite books to read during Black History Month?
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