Are you looking to diversify your household reading material, switch up your coffee table book display, or start a book club session with your homies?  We got you - from cover to cover! 

We are proud to present the Black Book List, a list of literary works curated by EBONY that is simultaneously relevant, timely, and fresh. This compilation of books authentically seeks to represent the varied interests of our audience and the Black community, spanning beyond monolithic notions of what grabs our attention. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we continue to invest in real storytelling that is for us, by us. Join us each Thursday as we round up LIT literary reads for our Black, Woke & Well-Read community.

Be sure to check out previous literary round-ups that can be found on EBONY’s social media platforms, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter Here are our “Picks of the Week” for the week of November 5th:

I Once Was Her by Teresa Caldwell

Often, Black women find themselves being many things to many people while donning a brave face and hustling fearlessly through their trials and tribulations. I Once Was Her utilizes the personal experiences of Teresa Caldwell, entrepreneur and mom to Hip Hop Superstar, Bow-Wow as a tool to relate to the myriad of Black women who have embarked upon a journey to success while encountering obstacles, fighting the feeling of impending ineptitude and still maintaining the drive to win in a world that does not always favor them. Caldwell crafts an inspirational message of resilience and empowerment to illuminate that even the most seemingly well put together woman has had her share of ups and downs yet still, she prevails.

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

Black Excellence is manufactured in all shapes, sizes, and shades and is engrained into the DNA of all Black people, whether realized or not. Kwame Alexander’s ode of love to Black America, originally penned for ESPN’s The Undefeated is reimagined through the illustrative genius of Kadir Nelson, winning of the 2020 Caldecott Medal, a 2020 Newbery Honor Book, and winner of the 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. We can always use a little reminder of our collective greatness and The Undefeated does just that.

The End of White Politics: How to Heal Our Liberal Divide by Zerlina Maxwell

2020 has not only been the source of a cultural reset to highlight the inherent flaws in our country’s system but has further designated the need for decolonization, especially in our political system in the midst of one of the most turbulent elections in American history. Along with bringing #BlackGirlMagic to our screens on Peacock TV, Zerlina Maxwell breaks down everything wrong with our current political system and how to center true equity as progressives navigate the political landscape.

For Every One By Jason Reynolds

In his renowned and timeless poem Harlem, Langston Hughes posed the riveting question “What happens to a dream deferred?” But what happens if everyone was allowed the privilege of dreaming big and without boundaries? For Every One is a reminder of the benefit that is derived from taking the time to simply dream and to dream limitless opportunities for one’s self and their futures, all the while remembering the beauty of daring to imagine the impossible and turn it into actionable goals. Whether it’s a better world or true happiness, Jason Reynolds reminds readers that we can all dream and to do so faithfully.

How We Fight For Our Lives By Saeed Jones

Through our individual journeys through this life, we experience others and are, in turn, simultaneously experienced. These moments begin to sculpt how we internalize our respective existence and find our truest selves. Jones is honest, authentic, and unapologetic with his documentation of how he has come to fight for his own life and hold space for himself while navigating the shine of his truest light through other people’s eyes, whether they recognize his brilliance or not.