Over 100 Best Books for the Consciously Woke

Amid the endless yet most reprehensible rhetoric, countless vigils, cries for justice, and marches on main, we have a nation of uniformed individuals quick to memorize Shirley Caesar’s menu just in time for the holidays.

Now don’t get me wrong, greens, beans, potatoes, and tomatoes all sound quite appetizing, but realizing and placing value on our past while attempting to prevent it from becoming our future must remain priority.

To get us started, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of over 100 Books for the Consciously Woke to enjoy. From the autobiographical memoirs and poetic prose to the revolutionaries lending their expertise on how to lead movements that actually beget social equality and justice, this list has it all. It will continue to inspire those already aware and awaken those who are not.

Don’t forget to list your favorites in the comment section below and feel free to share this post by using the hashtag #consciouslywoke!

100 best books for progressives and woke

Fiction

1. Native Son – Richard Wright
2. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
3. Kindred – Octavia E. Butler
4. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
5. Little Green – Walter Mosley
6. Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth – Richard Wright
7. Go Tell it on the Mountain – James Baldwin

Autobiography

8. The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Malcolm X, Alex Haley, and Attallah Shabazz
9. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. – Martin Luther King Jr.
10. Angela Davis: An Autobiography – Angela Davis
11. Assata: An Autobiography – Assata Shakur
12. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl – Harriet Jacobs
13. Up from Slavery: An Autobiography – Booker T. Washington
14. Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela – Nelson Mandela
15. Revolutionary Suicide – Huey P. Newton
16. And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography – Ralph David Abernathy
17. Through My Eyes – Ruby Bridges

Poetry

18. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf – Ntozake Shange
19. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes – Langston Hughes
20. African American Poetry: AN Anthology, 1773-1927 – Joan R. Sherman
21. Selected Poems: Claude McKay

History (African American Studies/History)

22. The White Man’s Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States – Winthrop D. Jordan
23. The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A. D. – Chancellor Williams
24. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans – John Hope Franklin and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
25. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America – Ibram X. Kendi
26. Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction and Beyond in Black America, 1945-2006 – Manning Marable

Graphic Novels

27. Dark Girls – Bill Duke
28. The Black Panthers: Portraits from an Unfinished Revolution – Bryan Shih and Yohuru Williams
29. March: Book One – John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
30. March: Book Two – John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
31. March: Book Three – John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

Feminism

32. You Can’t Touch my Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain – Phoebe Robinson
33. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl – Issa Rae
34. We Should All be Feminists – Chimanda Ngozi Adichie
35. Women, Race and Class – Angela Davis
36. Black Feminist Thought – Patricia Hill Collins
37. Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism – bell hooks
38. Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay
39. Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America – Melissa V. Harris-Perry
40. The Sisters are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America – Tamara Winfrey Harris
41. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty – Dorothy Roberts
42. Sold into Slavery: The Story of Adaku, A Black Slave Woman – Mary Devey
43. At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance – A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power – Danielle L. McGuire
44. Sisters in the Struggle: African American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement – Bettye Collier-Thomas and V.P. Franklin

Masculinity

45. Between the World and Me – Ta’Nehisi Coates
46. Looking for Leroy – Illegible Black Masculinities – Mark Anthony Neal
47. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
48. Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education – Mychal Denzel Smith
49. If He Hollers, Let Him Go – Chester Himes

100 best books for progressives and woke

Politics

50. Black Nationalism in the United States: From Malcolm X and Barack Obama – James Lance Taylor
51. Dreaming Blackness: Black Nationalism and African American Public Opinion – Melanye T. Price
52. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation – Kwame Ture and Charles V. Hamilton
53. A Black Man in the White House: Barack Obama and the Triggering of America’s Racial-Aversion Crisis – Cornell Belcher
54. Black Yellowdogs: The Most Dangerous Citizen is not Armed, but Uniformed – Ben Kinchlow
55. Bernie Sanders, Independent for President: His Life Story, Ideas and Goals, Plus a History of the Regan Revolution and the Rise of the Billionaire Class – Matt Dukes Jordan

Activism

56. Negroes with Guns – Robert Franklin Williams, Martin Luther King Jr., and Truman Nelson
57. Stokely Speaks: From Black Power to Pan-Africanism – Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)
58. Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 – Juan WIlliams
59. Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party – Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr.
60. Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America – Peniel E. Joseph
61. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma of the Selma Voting Rights March – Lynda Blackman Lowery
62. Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement – Angela Davis
63. From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation – Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
64. When We Fight, We Win: Twenty-First Century Social Movements and the Activists that are Transforming Our World – Greg Jobin-Leeds and AgitArte
65. From Dictatorship to Democracy – Gene Sharp
66. This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the Twenty-First Century – Mark Engler and Paul Engler
67. Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Ride Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World – Srdja Popovic and Matthew Miller
68. Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict – Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan
69. Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything – Becky Bond and Zack Exley
70. Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing and Advocacy – Rinku Sen
71. The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution – Micah White
72. Across that Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change – John Lewis
73. The Black Revolution on Campus – Martha Biondi
74. The Struggle for Black Equality – Harvard Sitkoff
75. The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change – Aldon D. Morris
76. The New Human Rights Movement: Reinventing the Economy to End Oppression – Peter Joseph

100 best books for progressives and woke

Biography

77. Michelle Obama: A Life – Peter Slain
78. Narrative of Sojourner Truth – Sojourner Truth
79. Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision – Barbara Ransby

Memoirs

80. Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s Through the 1980s – Henry Hampton, Steve Fayer, and Sarah Flynn
81. Diary of a Freedom Writer – Darrius Garret
82. Notes of a Native Son – James Baldwin
83. Letters from a Birmingham Jail – Martin Luther King Jr.
84. The Souls of Black Folk – W.E.B. DuBois
85. The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin
86. The Fire Next Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race – Jesmyn Ward
87. Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey – Marcus Garvey
88. When I was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection – Norman R. Yetman
89. To Die for the People – Huey P. Newton
90. The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader: Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts form the Black Freedom Struggle – Clayborne Carson, David J. Garrow, Gerald Gill, Vincent Harding, and Darlene Clark Hine

Books to Media

91. Queen Sugar – Natalie Baszile
92. Dear White People – Justin Simien
93. Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup
94. Roots: The Saga of an American Family – Alex Haley

The Law

95. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander
96. Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow – Daniel Hunter
97. Natural Hair in the Workplace: What are Your Rights? – Tracy Sanders
98. Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter – Jordan T. Camp
99. Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond – Marc Lamont Hill
100. Black Resistance/White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America – Mary Frances Berry

Mental Health

101. Black Skin, White Masks – Frantz Fanon
102. Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome – Joy DeGruy Leary
103. The Mis-Education of the Negro – Carter Godwin Woodson
104. Breaking the Curse of Willie Lynch: The Science of Slave Psychology – Alvin Morrow
105. Medical Apartheid: Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present – Harriet A. Washington

Humor

106. Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years – D.L. Hughley
107. How to Be Black – Baratunde Thurston

I commend ALL of you who have made it to the end! Remember to list your faves below AND use the hashtag #consciouslywoke once you share this post!

Remember to Live Life, Beautifully 100 best books for progressives and woke



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