We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community which books written by people of colour they think everyone should read. Here are some of their recommendations.
1. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
"It is such a raw examination of the experience of Black women in America and what it means to be beautiful. It takes place in the Midwest post-WWI, but the themes are still so relevant especially in today’s racial climate."
Submitted by whitneyburrisw.
2. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
"All the parallels I drew between the book and my own life were found in the little things; it brought me a whole new perspective and appreciation for my parents through details I don’t think they would have even thought to share with me.
It was comforting to see some of my own thoughts and my own life written out in a book. It wasn’t all pretty, which made it that much more endearing and satisfying."
Submitted by ivanasu.
3. The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
4. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
"It was really eye-opening. I’m not usually into nonfiction but this book really told a story of the past and the present discrimination faced by POC."
Submitted by sabrinaw4f43cc628.
5. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
"It’s the perfect coming of age novel and came to me at a time when I was separating my old teenage self from my new adult view of the world. I feel like that’s such a universal feeling that anyone can relate to when reading this book; however, it also introduces some ideas about racial tension, colourism, and gender roles in relationships."
Submitted by kissestofilm.
6. So Far From God by Ana Castillo
7. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
"It really resonated with me about my relationship with my mom."
Submitted by Honey Saeturn, Facebook.
8. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
"It’s an epic tale of a young boy fighting the constraints of his race, religion, and his family to define who he truly is."
Submitted by judyn44485a95d.
9. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
10. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
"Marjane and her family are no different than you and I. For so long they have been the true victims of their government and the terrorists born on their soil. But that doesn't stop them from standing up for their civil rights in the face of torture and death."
Submitted by Anne Catherine Hughes, Facebook.
11. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
"It was amazing. I didn’t agree with all of it but it was one of the most important narratives I’ve ever read."
Submitted by maryams4f1319cbd.
12. Wild Seed by Octavia Butler
13. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
"Adichie makes her characters and their struggles real and the book is both heartbreaking and full of hope at the same time. One of the best books I’ve ever read."
Submitted by elizabethm4c685924b.
14. Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
"The story reminds you of just how far-reaching modern wars and warfare are. The characters are painfully fallible, and it makes you love them even more."
Submitted by erenah.
15. Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson.
16. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
"I don't know many writers who just know people and how they work as well as Zadie Smith does. Not many writers can then portray people and their motivations and make it believable, even under odd circumstances, capturing all the contradictions and irrationalities that we act on quite logically given our backgrounds, but she just does."
Submitted by Gitai Ben-Ammi, Facebook.
17. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
"Hosseini does a remarkable job of intertwining the stories of two Afghani women during the invasion of the Taliban. He captures the injustice and oppression in they face while highlighting the importance of women supporting one another in times of adversity."
Submitted by shermans.
18. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
19. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.
"It shows a real insight to how POC are treated simply for the colour of their skin.The political tones throughout are key to understanding the real struggle that is faced. It’s a wonderful and interesting series."
Submitted by charlottekaiixo.
20. You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down by Alice Walker
"Absolutely incredible short stories about African American women. Some are absolutely brutal, all are beautiful. Made me hopeful and angry in equal measure."
Submitted by Elllybelle.
21. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur.
Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.