One of the greatest things about Labor Day Weekend other than having time off from work — enjoy the three-day weekend, y’all! — is having the free time to do, well, whatever you like!
If you’re one of the millions that daily put in that work from 9-to-5, and on occasion even going overtime, it should be a gift to yourself to enjoy the next few days of some much-needed PTO, TLC, R&R and any other acronym that will have you at peace.
Might we suggest a few books by a selection of very talented Black authors to fill in some of that free time with?
From catching sun rays on the beach to basking in the last few days of humidity with the grill fired up in the backyard, a good book can always come in handy. Novels, memoirs and works of literature that can take you into another dimension, sometimes even literally, make for a mentally-relaxing way to enjoy a captivating story or brush up on information that proves to be vital from a cultural perspective.
We wanted to take this special weekend to encourage everyone to appreciate a luxury that wasn’t afforded to those who were too busy building our nation and fighting systematic racism to know what time off meant. Our ancestors died for our right to read, so why not utilize that privilege while also stimulating the mind?
We hope you take a minute during Labor Day Weekend to enjoy one of these 15 books by Black authors that we curated below. Let us know some of the good reads we missed over on our social handles:
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1. ‘The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women Book’ by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhonda McLean
Step into your greatness, ladies!
2. ‘Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir’ by Kwame Onwuachi with Joshua David Stein
Read up before it becomes a film produced by A24 in the near future starring LaKeith Stanfield.
3. ‘How to Be Black’ by Baratunde Thurston
Most autobiographical, but Baratunde Thurston drops many relatable gems along the way.
4. ‘We Are Not Like Them: A Novel’ by Christine Pride with Jo Piazza
An engaging tale of how friendship can be tested by both tragedy and most importantly race.
5. ‘Black Buck’ by Mateo Askaripour
A satirical treat that anyone working in sales will be drawn to.
6. ‘On Rotation: A Novel’ by Shirlene Obuobi
Definitely for those who enjoyed a spicy hospital drama in the vain of ER and Grey’s Anatomy.
7. ‘Sugar: A Novel’ by Bernice L. McFadden
A modern classic that never gets old.
8. ‘You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty’ by Akwaeke Emezi
A romance novel like you’ve never read before.
9. ‘Black Labor, White Wealth: The Search for Power and Economic Justice’ by Dr. Claud Anderson
Knowledge is key!
10. ‘Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America’ edited by Ibi Zoboi
A series of tales that, put together with detail and care, create a touching ode to African-American life.
11. ‘Dear Black Men’ by Jewel Guy
We hear you, sister!
12. ‘Self-Care for Black Women: 150 Ways to Radically Accept & Prioritize Your Mind, Body, & Soul’ by Oludara Adeeyo
13. ‘Black Cake: A Novel’ by Charmaine Wilkerson
Anyone dealing or healing from family drama can use this one as relatable escapism.
14. ‘Don’t Cry for Me: A Novel’ by Daniel Black
A tear-jerker that touches on themes of acceptance, forgiveness, sexuality and losing a loved one just to name a few.
15. ‘Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature’ by Farah Griffin
A body of work that you definitely won’t mind giving a few additional reads.