Must-Listen Non-Fiction by African American Authors Black History Month
7 Must-Listen Non-Fiction Audiobooks by African American Authors

Award-winning narrative nonfiction, urgent social commentary, personal memoir, and effervescent essay collections: it’s all here, and there’s so much more. Start listening to clips below, and then visit the Black Stories Have Power website and click on the “Audiobooks” tab to find more outstanding listening recommendations to celebrate Black History Month every month.

Read by the author. Hear the #1 New York Times bestseller that was named one of the most influential books of the decade by CNN, and one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, and Esquire. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of a gifted young lawyer’s coming-of-age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

“Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so…a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books

Read by the author. Named a best book of the year by NPR and Kirkus Reviews. In these twelve deeply personal, connected audio essays, Bernard sets out to discover a new way of talking about race and of telling the truth as the author has lived it. In her words, “Blackness is an art, not a science. It is a paradox: intangible and visceral; a situation and a story. It is the thread that connects these essays, but its significance as an experience emerges randomly, unpredictably…Race is the story of my life, and therefore black is the body of this book.”

One of the New York Times‘ 100 Notable Books of 2019, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2019, and finalist for the NAACP Image Award in Nonfiction Literature. A profound new rendering of the struggle by African-Americans for equality after the Civil War and the violent counter-revolution that resubjugated them, as seen through the prism of the war of images and ideas that have left an enduring racist stain on the American mind.

“In [Gates’s] signature lucid and compelling approach to history…a fresh, much-needed inquiry into a misunderstood yet urgently relevant era.”—Booklist, starred review

Author: Toni Morrison
Read By: Bahni Turpin

A nonfiction collection from one of the most celebrated and revered writers of our time—a rich gathering of essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades.

The Source of Self-Regard speaks to today’s social and political moment as directly as this morning’s headlines…Morrison tackles headfirst the weighty issues that have long troubled America’s conscience…profoundly insightful.”
—NPR

Read by the author. In her searing collection of essays, Kendall has written a clarion call to all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement in thought and in deed. A potent and electrifying critique of today’s feminist movement announcing a fresh new voice in black feminism.

“Kendall is a highly knowledgeable and inspiring guide, and she effectively builds on the work of black women who have, for ages, been working to better the lives of themselves and their communities…A much-needed addition to feminist discourse.”—Kirkus Reviews

Read by the author. From the creator of Elle’s “Eric Reads the News,” a heartfelt and hilarious memoir-in-essays about growing up seeing the world differently, finding unexpected hope, and experiencing every awkward, extraordinary stumble along the way. Here for It will resonate deeply and joyfully with everyone who has ever felt pushed to the margins, struggled with self-acceptance, or wished to shine more brightly in a dark world. Stay here for it—the future may surprise you.

God-Level Knowledge Darts
Author: Desus & Mero
Read By: Desus & Mero

Read by the authors! A wild, hilarious guide to life from the hosts of the hit late-night show Desus & Mero and the Bodega Boys podcast.

“Desus & Mero getting famous is one of the greatest cultural blessings in recent history. They are quite possibly the only acceptable source of popular wisdom, and this book is wonderful and ridiculous—these motherfuckers make me laugh until I choke.”—Jia Tolentino, bestselling author of Trick Mirror

Discover More: 8 Audiobooks From Black Writers You Should Know