2020 Black Girls Still Read Book List

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

Happy New Year! Is it too late to still say that? Anyway! A new year means a new me and I am so ready for this decade! I plan on traveling more with my family (like we don’t do that already), welcoming a new baby, starting new ventures, strengthening my connection with my wife, and being a better version of myself!

Just like everyone out there (or almost everyone), I made a list of goals and New Year’s Resolutions that I am determined to accomplish in the next 12 months; one of which so happens to be getting back into my reading habit!

It seems with the raise of social media and the decline of talks around good books, I’ve caught myself slipping into reading short news articles and CliffsNotes of stories. I am not proud of the number of books I read last year or rather the lack of. It just isn’t like me at all. My love for writing (treat yourself to a copy of my book KATRINA: When God Closed His Eyes on New Orleans) links right back to my love for reading. So maybe it’s about time for me to get back to what I enjoy!

I read not too long ago, yes that too was a short article, that big CEOs and well-known leaders read about four or five books a month. While we all want to be boss babies, I just don’t have time for 48 to 60 books a year. Not yet anyway. So, I’ve come up with a list of 12 books for 2020 to start me on my path for a more extensive list next year. Come take the 2020 Black Girls Still Read journey with me by clicking on the links and getting your very own paperback or Kindle version of each book!

**All of the following synopsises are directly from the description of each novel**


Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

Mildred D. Taylor

Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family's struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. And it is also Cassie's story—Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to the Logan family, even as she learns to draw strength from her own sense of dignity and self-respect. Get you copy here.


Black Girls Must Die Exhausted

Jayne Allen

“Black girls must die exhausted” is something that 33-year-old Tabitha Walker has heard her grandmother say before. Of course, her grandmother (who happens to be white) was referring to the 1950’s and what she observed in the nascent times of civil rights. With a coveted position as a local news reporter, a “paper-perfect” boyfriend, and a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, Tabitha never imagined how this phrase could apply to her as a black girl in contemporary times – that is, until everything changed. Get yours on Amazon now.


I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé

Michael Arceneaux

Equality for LGBT people has come a long way and all, but voices of persons of color within the community are still often silenced, and being black in America is…well, have you watched the news? With the characteristic wit and candor that have made him one of today’s boldest writers on social issues, I Can’t Date Jesus is Michael Arceneaux’s impassioned, forthright, and refreshing look at minority life in today’s America. Leaving no bigoted or ignorant stone unturned, he describes his journey in learning to embrace his identity when the world told him to do the opposite. Paper and digital copies are available here.


The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

Issa Rae

In this universally accessible New York Times bestseller named for her wildly popular web series, Issa Rae—“a singular voice with the verve and vivacity of uncorked champagne” (Kirkus Reviews)—waxes humorously on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits and black as cool.

I’m awkward—and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?

Available on now by clicking here.


The World Doesn’t Require You

Rion Amilcar Scott

The World Doesn’t Require You announces the arrival of a generational talent, as Rion Amilcar Scott shatters rigid genre lines to explore larger themes of religion, violence, and love—all told with sly humor and a dash of magical realism. Get yours now by going to Amazon!


Unchain Me Mama: Lessons Learned On My Journey to Healing & Restoration

Audra R. Upchurch

Pain. Abandonment. Neglect. Judgment. Pressure. Abuse. At first glance, these words don’t bring to mind the elements of a relationship between a mother and her daughter—but these hardships are often involved as a mother and daughter each navigates her way through transformative experiences. Your copy is waiting!


Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir


Common believes that the phrase “let love have the last word” is not just a declaration; it is a statement of purpose, a daily promise. Love is the most powerful force on the planet and ultimately, the way you love determines who you are and how you experience life. Kindle and hardcopies can be found here.


Things I Wish I knew Before My Mamma Died

Ty Alexander

Ty Alexander has touched many lives with her popular lifestyle blog, Gorgeous in Gray. But in her early 20s, her own life was upended when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Ty was suddenly forced to become not just a loving daughter, but a caregiver, patient advocate, and researcher. And when her mom passed the pain was overwhelming. Though she still grieves every day, her experience has taught her how to move on while still honoring the love that endures.Get it now!


When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down

Joan Morgan

Still fresh, funny, and irreverent after eighteen years, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost gives voice to the most intimate thoughts of the post-Civil Rights, post-feminist, post-soul generation. Click here to get yours today.


Every Little Step: My Story

Bobby Brown with Nick Chiles

In Every Little Step, Brown will for the first time tell the full story of his life and set the record straight, particularly about his relationship with Whitney Houston.

Want to start reading now? Click here for a link to buy today.


Thick: And Other Essays

Tressie McMillan Cottom

In eight highly praised treatises on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom—award-winning professor and acclaimed author of Lower Ed—is unapologetically “thick”: deemed “thick where I should have been thin, more where I should have been less,” McMillan Cottom refuses to shy away from blending the personal with the political, from bringing her full self and voice to the fore of her analytical work. Thick is a book you should get today now right here.


Five Golden Rings: A Christmas Novella K.L. Brady

Kristie fell out of love with Christmas in D.C. when her father died three years ago. But this Christmas is different now that she’s engaged to Zach. She’s ready to embrace the spirit of the season again, at least until she catches Zach doing the unthinkable on her way to the National Tree Lighting. Get your copy here from Amazon.

BONUS: Finished all 12 already or want something extra to read? Maybe you've read one of the 12 books already? Try reading Becoming by Michelle Obama


In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. Also take a look at her Becoming Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice here.

Know any good books you would add to the list or switch out with one already here? Drop a comment and share below!

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