Celebrating Black History With Audiobooks

Celebrate Black History Month with memoirs, biographies, historical perspectives, and cultural analyses on audio. From a many-voiced anthology encompassing four hundred years of African American history, to President Obama’s intimate memoir, these audiobooks are a part of the vast diversity of Black history, and the diversity of Black Americans.

A chorus of extraordinary voices comes together to tell of the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present—edited by Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, and Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire. Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans assembled by ninety brilliant writers and read by eighty-seven extraordinary narrators. See the complete cast list of this production here.

Civil Rights titan John Lewis was a visionary and a man of faith. Drawing on decades of wide-ranging interviews with Lewis, Jon Meacham calls Lewis “as important to the founding of a modern and multiethnic twentieth- and twenty-first-century America as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and Samuel Adams were to the initial creation of the Republic itself in the eighteenth century.”

“This stirring audiobook offers a memorable merging of author, subject, and narrator. JD Jackson voices John Lewis with an authentic and nuanced nod to his rural Alabama roots.”–AudioFile Magazine

Author: Barack Obama
Read By: Barack Obama

A New York Times Bestseller. In the first audio volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama narrates the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world. A Promised Land captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

“President Obama’s distinctively deliberate delivery, singular cadence, and love of words are all fully on display.”—AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner

Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Isabel Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.

“Miles’s warm, clear, unrushed narration combines passion with a calm that helps listeners cope with periodic ugliness.”–AudioFile Magazine

From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, economist Heather McGhee found a common root problem in the American economy: racism. The Sum of Us is a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here: divided and self-destructing, materially rich but spiritually starved and vastly unequal. McGhee marshals economic and sociological research to paint an irrefutable story of racism’s costs.

In a country that has historically afforded its citizens from the African diaspora tragically few safe spaces, the Black church has always been more than a sanctuary; it’s been a place to nourish the deepest human needs and dreams of the African-American community. Still and all, as a source of strength and a force for change, the Black church is at the center of the action at every stage of the American story, as this enthralling history makes vividly clear.

“…Punctuated by trenchant observations from Black historians and theologians, Gates’s crisp account places religious life at the center of the African American experience.” —Publishers Weekly

Author James Baldwin grew disillusioned by the failure of the civil rights movement to force America to confront its lies about race. In the story of Baldwin’s crucible, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. suggests, we can find hope and guidance through a moment when the struggles of Black Lives Matter and the attempt to achieve a new America have been challenged. Mixing biography with history, memoir, and analysis of our current moment, Begin Again is Glaude’s endeavor to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America today.

“…Baldwin’s genius glimmers throughout as Glaude effectively demonstrates how truth does not die with the one who spoke it.”—–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Further your education. Visit our Amplify Black Voices page for more non-fiction listens about Black history.