Radical Books Written by Black Women to Read in 2023

Assata by Assata Shakur

Assata is an autobiography by the revolutionary Assata Shakur. She tells all the important moments of her life, including the time she spent in jail after she was falsely accused of killing an officer, to the day she escaped prison and fled to Cuba.

Assata also discusses everything from transitioning to her natural hair, learning that her skin is beautiful, and radicalizing her political and social views.

This is a MUST read for all Black women!

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

Sister outsider is a collection of essays and speeches by the great, self-proclaimed, “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet”, Audre Lorde. This book will give you an insight into intersectional feminism, specifically from the point of view of a radical Black woman.

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

Hood Feminism is a modern book about the intersectional feminist struggle. It discusses how Black women were left out of the Feminist movement, the current issues we face, and more. This book is a perfect introduction to intersectional feminism!

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

This book is a must read, and has been noted as a foundational contemporary text. Roxanne Gay explores being a feminist while loving things that could be at odds with feminist ideology. Gay also discusses what how Black women are percieved based on our appearance and dialect, and how stereotypes are imposed on us.

Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, examines the subversive history of white male American identity. Throughout the book, Oluo discusses several White men throughout history, and how their unearned power and accolades have made life difficult for everyone.

Ain’t I a Woman by Bell Hooks

Titled after Sorjourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech. In this book, the great author Bell Hooks examines the effect of racism and sexism on Black women, the civil rights movement, and the feminist movements from suffrage to the 1970’s.

How We Get Free by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

The Combahee River Collective, a Black lesbian feminist organization active in the ’70s and early ’80s is revisited in How We Get Free, a book that

contextualizes the movement via interviews with the organization’s key players, Barbara Smith, Beverly Smith, and Demita Frazier, and reflects on its legacy.” This book is a must read to learn how Black Women’s experiences are the key to building a better world.

Are Prisons Obsolete by Angela Davis

“Davis eloquently points out that mass incarceration has had little or no effect on crime, how disproportionate numbers of the poor and minorities end up in prison, and the obscene profits the system generates. Who needs it! Angela Davis challenges us to confront the human rights catastrophe in our jails and prisons. As she so convincingly argues, the contemporary US practice of super-incarceration is closer to new age slavery that to any recognizable system of ‘criminal justice’…”

—Mike Davis

Bodyminds Reimagined by Sami Schalk

Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction. This novel centers disability and Black Feminism discourse into a fictional story and discusses the intersection between ableism, racism, and sexism.

“Through literature she imagines different realities where being born disabled or developing a disability over time doesn’t means that your life is inherently considered less valuable than others.”

By jasminessaid

Creative Director + Co-Founder

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