As more books fall prey to those who think they should be banned, and that includes many books by Black authors who unveil the cover of racism and prejudice, Cree Myles is taking a firm stand. As the curator of All Ways Black, Penguin Random House’s community dedicated to Black books and the people who love them, the influencer is highlighting more titles by Black authors for us all to enjoy.

“When wielded correctly, reading is definitely an act of resistance. Especially reading things that challenge the white patriarchy or de-center whiteness,” declares Myles. "Reading requires a stillness and thoughtfulness that our culture is currently at odds with.”

All Ways Black.
Cree Myles of All Ways Black. Image: Cody LaPlan.

The new All Ways Black cypher has launched a partnership with the nonprofit Little Free Library to bring banned books to Black communities. Penguin Random House is donating books by Black authors—such as Nic Stone, Audre Lorde and Ibram X. Kendi—and building Little Free Libraries across the country located in communities with majority Black populations.

That includes events like Black Like We Never Left, a read-a-thon that celebrates works by Toni Morrison with live readings, giveaways and an appearance from author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Even though this year’s Black History Month theme for All Ways Black is “Black Resistance,” Myles shares that “practicing empathy and courage is radical and strongly believes reading aids in that. "Will books save the world? No. Will they help? They definitely can,” she adds.

Here are three books Myles suggests reading this month. “Just because it’s banned doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth reading. Their standards aren’t ours." Nominations for the second annual All Ways Black Awards (March 3, 2023), which will feature Black authors, content creators and the fans who love them, begin February 13, 2023.

The Bluest Eye
The Bluest Eye
Toni Morrison (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2007)
This national bestseller provides a powerful examination of race, class and self-identity. In the book, an 11-year-old Black girl prays that her eyes will turn blue so she will be seen as beautiful.

Price: $14

shop at Amazon
Sister Outsider Audre Lorde Amazon
Sister Outsider
Audrey Lorde (Crossing Press, 2007)
In this collection of essay and speeches, the LGBTQ+ poet explores sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia and class, using societal differences as a springboard for change.

Price: $16

shop at Amazon
The Color Purple Amazon
The Color Purple 
Alice Walker (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982)
The story of two sisters who survive physical and mental torment as children discover how to be free. The book won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.

Price: $12

shop at Amazon