The Black Experience:  A List of  Books, Documentaries, and Films to Educate Yourself on Racism and Black Oppression

Plenty is surfacing online via social media. However, black books are the ultimate source to immerse ourselves in the resilience and wonderment of blackness past and present.

June 11, 2020

I contemplated on whether or not I was going to write a blog post this week or even this month if I’m being honest. I wasn’t sure what to say or if what I had to say was going to be interesting enough or well received by my readers. However, too many times have I received DM’s, texts, or engaged in conversations stating that “I wanted to say that” or “I wanted to talk about that?” from other people after I made a post or a statement.

Fear of people and their opinions seem to keep us silent. Not in this season! And not moving forward! We all have voices, we all have gifts,we all have stories to tell, and knowledge to share so I pray that something that I say or a resource that I share in today’s blog post resonates with you or prompts you to dig deeper, to see brighter, and promote healthy dialogue.  Yesterday on my Instagram feed I talked about how during this time and even thereafter, it is imperative that we refrain from and be mindful of belittling, bullying, judging, suppressing,or ridiculing our fellow black counterparts, friends, and/ or family merely because of the difference in perspective.

Going through graduate school and now journeying through my second year of a Doctoral program,research has naturally become a part of who I am.   Anything that you hear, whether you saw it in a movie, documentary, in class, or in conversation, you have to do your own research as all of these mediums are merely sources. That goes for your Pastor's and teachers also. They’ve done their research in order to share and teach you and therefore, we must reciprocate that same energy! So today, I have compiled this list of books, documentaries, and movies as a resources for you to be enlightened, aware, and educated yourself and others. I have also included a list of over 50 independent black-owned bookstores which I also was able to locate from Corinne Sega over at the Lit Hub. We so appreciate the list Corinne. Please support and purchase from them.  You can also get a PDF list to reference here as well.  

Self Help Books for Every Black Mother:

Black Pearls for Parents: Eric V. Copage

To Black Parents Visiting Earth: Raising Black Children in the 21st Century: Janet Christine Stickmon

Black Pregnant and Loving It: Dr. Suzanne Greenidge- Hewitt& Yvette Allen- Campbell

Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America- Nefertiti Austin

My Brown Baby: Oh the Joys and Challenges of Raising African American Children


Black Excellence Reads:

The Measure of Our Lives: Toni Morrison

I am Not your Negro: James Baldwin and Raoul Peck

Ordinary Light: Tracy K.Smith

Narrative of Sojourner Truth: By Sojourner Truth

I know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Maya Angelou

Between the World and Me: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Dreams from My Father: Barack Obama

Becoming: Michelle Obama

The Portable Frederick Douglass: Frederick Douglass

The Souls of Black Folk: W.E.B.Du Bois

Sister Outsider: AudreLorde

On the Other Side of Freedom: DeRay Mckesson


The Black Conscious:

Conversations of a Conscious Black Girl: C.M. Fox and K.C. Dillon

The Mis-Education of the Negro: Carter Woodson

Black Feminist Thought: Patricia Hill Collins

Women, Race, Class: Angela Y. Davis

The Sisters are Alright: Tamara Winfrey

White Fragility: Robin Diangelo

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness: Michelle Alexander

Black Rage: William H. Grier and Price M. Cobbs

Killing Rage: Ending Racism- Bell Hooks

Racism without Racists: Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Racist America: Joe Feagin

Ain’t I a Woman: Bell Hooks

Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD

The Fire Next Time: James Baldwin


What to Watch:


The Black Panthers

The Black Power Mixtape- 1967-1975

Dark Girls

What Happened, Miss Simone?


LA 92

Strong Island

Through a Lens Darkly

The Black Godfather

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

Freedom Riders

Maya Angelou: And I Still Rise

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Slavery by another Name

Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement

Chisholm’72: Unbought and Unbossed

Hidden Colors: The Untold History of People of Aboriginal, Moor, and African Descent

Just Mercy

The Great Debaters

12 Years of Slave

Black- Owned Independent Bookstores:

Urban Knowledge Bookstore, LLC

Timbuktu Book Store

Book Exchange Va. Beach

Black Swab Books

Positive Vibes

Mahogany Books (DC)

Everyone’s Place African Culture Center (Baltimore, MD)

Black and Nobel (PA)

Sister’s Uptown Bookstore (NY)

Harambee Books and Artworks(Chesapeake, VA)