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21 Of The Best Books For Black Women

The Best Books For Black Women

The books that we chose for this list cover every element of the lives of Black girls and women, including: the body, sex, spirituality, overcoming trauma, wealth, building better relationships, and surviving in a system of white supremacy.

All of the books below are written by Black women and specifically for Black women (except for #2 – The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Women was written by a Black man).

1. The City of Wellness: Restoring Your Health Through the Seven Kitchens of Consciousness by Queen Afua

Queen Afua is an initiate of the Shrine of Ptah and Chief Priestess of Purification in the temple of Nebt-Het, and ancient Afrakan Order. She is also a Khamitic (Egyptian) priestess, yoga teacher, natural healer, and lay midwife.

Queen Afua - One of the most important Pan-Africanists in history
Queen Afua

Queen Afua is the founder and spiritual guide of Global Sacred Woman Village and co-director with her husband, Hru Ankh Ra Semahj, of the Smai Tawi Heal Thyself/Know Thyself Afrakan Wellness and Kultural Center. Among her many clients are Erykah Badu, Vanessa Williams, Stevie Wonder, and Hazelle Goodman.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

It has been said that the health of a nation is the wealth of a nation! For you as a Black woman to manifest your divinity, your body must be as healthy as your mind and spirit. This scroll shows you how to bring all three into alignment from a Queen who has helped thousands of women do just that.

2. The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Women

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The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Women
92 Reviews
The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Women
While not written by a Black Woman, this book is a must read for understanding the conspiracy behind the attack on the Black Woman in the West.

Are civil rights organizations and the church infested with sexism?

Why is the Black community and its leaders silent about rape and wife abuse?

What are so many male rappers trying to convey in their music about women?

How have some African American women struggled against racism and sexism?

Is the future of the race in the hands of Black mothers?

What are the challenges facing Black women in finding a good Black man?

Michael Porter, author of best-seller “Kill Them Before They Grow: Misdiagnosis of African American Boys in American Classrooms” is a counselor at Savannah State University and began his professional career as an educational therapist.

He has worked as a child and family therapist for a state of Georgia mental health agency, a youth advocate for ‘at-risk’ youth, and five years as an Emotional Behavior Disorder teacher in the Georgia public school system. He operates Balanced Life Consultation Service, a conflict resolution service for parents and children. Michael Porter holds a Master of Education in Counseling.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

Understanding the very real cultural and physical threats that you face as a Black woman is key to surviving this system of white supremacy. The lessons you learn from this book will help you protect yourself, your family, and understand the dangers of miseducation, integration, and other weapons used to destabilize the Black community.

3. UnWOMBded: Unlocking the Universal Uterus

UnWOMBded:  Unlocking the Universal Uterus
2 Reviews
UnWOMBded: Unlocking the Universal Uterus
Critical reading for understanding and harmonizing the Feminine temple with the Universe and healing past trauma!

Author Maat em Maakheru Amen is a Kemetic & Olmec High Priestess, Yoruba Initiate and has 15 years of experience. She is divinely equipped and expertly trained to guide an individual through a total evolution of what we think of as the Womb.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

Knowing yourself means knowing all aspects of both your spiritual and physical anatomy. This book helps you gain an understanding of both while also helping you to clear womb energy and beliefs in order to restore the true function and frequency of the womb in Black Women.

4. Pussy Prayers: Sacred and Sensual Rituals for Wild Women of Color

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Pussy Prayers: Sacred and Sensual Rituals for Wild Women of Color
17 Reviews
Pussy Prayers: Sacred and Sensual Rituals for Wild Women of Color
  • Black Girl Bliss
  • Publisher: Independently published
  • Paperback: 242 pages

These pages speak to the unique sexual experiences of Black women and femmes in order to help them heal from trauma and miseducation while learning how to powerfully conjure up a life that is dripping with sweetness – all by getting in touch with the one part of yourself that was divinely designed for pleasure.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

This book contains nearly 300 pages of dialogue, personal stories, and practical, easy-to-do rituals to begin your journey of understanding the importance of pleasure, its connection to manifestation, as well as lead you to healing and cultivating your sexual self and ways to increase your pleasure.

If you enjoy works like Luisah Teish’s Jambalaya and Queen Afua’s Sacred Woman, you’ll love these. Speaking of Jambalaya….

5. Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals

Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals
149 Reviews
Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals
  • Luisah Teish
  • Publisher: Harper & Row
  • Hardcover: 268 pages

This book was written by one of the most well known Yoruba Priestesses in the West. If you are exploring African spirituality, this book is an excellent introduction to Yoruba Orishas, candles, herbs and their associates.

A review of one of the best books for Black women

Not only is the book easy to read, it is filled with information that you wont find by doing Google searches.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

This is a must for anyone’s book shelf! Iyanifa Luisah Teish is a major voice for women of color within the women’s spirituality movement. Jambalaya should be included in any library of African diasporic spirituality – you’re sure to find practical rituals for the contemporary American, usable by anyone.

6.Overcoming Sexual Abuse: Prompts, Prayer, and Ritual

Overcoming Sexual Abuse: Prompts, Prayer, and Ritual (Womb Healing Workbook)
2 Reviews
Overcoming Sexual Abuse: Prompts, Prayer, and Ritual (Womb Healing Workbook)
  • Tahtahme Xero
  • Publisher: Independently published
  • Paperback: 182 pages

This is a womb healing workbook that uses Hoodoo rituals as tools for recovery. While you might not be a practitioner, the healing exercises and opportunities for self-reflection that this workbook offers has earned it a place on our list of the best books for Black women.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

We all know someone who suffers from the trauma of sexual abuse. This workbook will give you the ability to help them – or yourself – cope with the pain and begin the process of recovery!

7. The Black Woman: An Anthology

The Black Woman: An Anthology
12 Reviews
The Black Woman: An Anthology
Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, Paule Marshall, Grace Lee Boggs, and musician Abbey Lincoln tackle issues surrounding race and sex, body image, the economy, politics, labor, and much more.

Author Toni Cade Bambara (who has unfortunately made her transition) was active in the 1960s Black Arts Movement and the emergence of Black feminism. Bambara was heavily influenced by “Garveyites, Muslims, Pan-Africanists, and Communists” in addition to modern jazz artists such as Sun Ra and John Coltrane, whose music served not only as inspiration but provided a structural and aesthetic model for written forms as well. This is evident in her work through her development of non-linear “situations that build like improvisations to a melody” to focus on character and building a sense of place and atmosphere.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

Some of the best and most creative Black women of our time come together in a one of a kind anthology that lays the foundation of what it means to be a modern Black Woman in a system of white supremacy.

First published in 1970, this book will give you perspective on how society has changed in its views toward Black women, and how Black women can in turn change society.

8. Black Women’s Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability

Black Women's Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability
2 Reviews
Black Women's Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability
One of the best books for Black women in mental health professions!

“…this book speaks not only to Black women but also educates a broader audience of policymakers and therapists about the complex and multilayered realities that we must navigate and the protests we must mount on our journey to find inner peace and optimal health.” ― from the Foreword by Linda Goler Blount

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

While this book was written for professionals in mental health, every Black Woman can benefit from very real and very practical information presented here. This project has its origins in The Black Women’s Health Imperative – the only organization devoted solely to advancing the health and wellness of America’s 20 million Black women and girls through advocacy and public policy, health education, research and leadership development. Founded as the National Black Women’s Health Project in 1983 by health activist and McArthur genius Byllye Y. Avery, the Imperative works to advance health equity and social justice for Black women across their lifespan.

9. Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves (Audiobook)

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Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves
65 Reviews
Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves
Get this Audiobook plus a second, free with audible trial

An inspiring collection of essays by black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

Whether it’s learning about the complexities of femalehood from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, finding a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, the subjects of each essay remind us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. As she has done with her book club-turned-Online community Well-Read Black Girl, in this anthology Glory Edim has created a space in which black women’s writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all fans who value the power of a story to help us understand the world and ourselves.

Includes a bonus PDF of the Well-Read Black Girl book recommendations.

10. The Black Woman Millionaire: A Revolutionary Act that DEFIES Impossible

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The Black Woman Millionaire: A Revolutionary Act that DEFIES Impossible
56 Reviews
The Black Woman Millionaire: A Revolutionary Act that DEFIES Impossible
  • Dr. Venus Opal Reese
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Paperback: 208 pages

Dr. Venus Opal Reese is The Black Women Millionaire Mentor™ and she’s on a mission to empower women to monetize their mess. By the time she was 16, Dr. Venus was living on the mean streets of Baltimore, eating out of trashcans.

Fast forward to today and she has been featured in Ebony Magazine as one of 4 black millionaires who turned their passion into profit. She has consulted O Magazine and been featured on ABC News, CBS News, in Glamour magazine, Diversity Inc., the Associated Press and on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. She is also a contributing author to Heart&Soul magazine.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

Here is what one reviewer had to say about this book:

This is a great book that causes you to assess your current psyche and disposition, and then shines a light on how you need to heal and grow to become a millionaire. It’s not about stocks, bonds and mutual funds, but it’s about getting yourself to the state of being where money can easily flow to you. One note, if you are turned off by raw, “colorful” language, you might want to prepare yourself before reading because Dr. Reese honors her truth and writes this book as her authentic self, and her ability to be free in who she truly is empowers the reader to be free as well.

This book is filled with pearls of wisdom and practical exercises for you to complete to absorb the teachings. I think it would be impossible to complete all of the exercises and not experience a personal transformation. If you are ready to take an honest look at yourself and do the work to manifest your millions, then this book is for you!

11. Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America

USA Today reporter Charisse Jones and clinical psychologist Kumea Shorter-Gooden have conducted a comprehensive study involving 400 black women of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to learn what it’s really like to be African American and female.

Black women have so much to offer our country, so many gifts to share with all of us. And yet, as a society and as a nation, we have never quite stopped to appreciate the truth of their experience, the verity of what it feels like to be Black and female, the reality that no matter how intelligent, competent, and dazzling she may be, a Black woman in our country today still cannot count on being understood and embraced.

This book explores how Black women cope with the divide between who they are and how they present themselves – and the dangers that shifting can have on the Black woman’s psyche.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

Shifting can have a devastating effect on a woman’s body and soul. In a culture that is both racist and sexist, Black women are suffering. Black women are susceptible to an array of psychological problems, including anxiety, low self-esteem, disordered eating, depression, and even outright self-hatred. They may make others feel comfortable, but too often they are left feeling conflicted, weary, and alone.

If that describes you or someone you know, this book will help you break out of the destructive pattern of behavior and instead embrace who you truly are.

12. How Exceptional Black Women Lead: Unlocking the Secrets to Creating Phenomenal Success in Career and in Life

How Exceptional Black Women Lead: Unlocking the Secrets to Creating Phenomenal Success in Career and in Life
23 Reviews
How Exceptional Black Women Lead: Unlocking the Secrets to Creating Phenomenal Success in Career and in Life
How Exceptional Black Women Lead brings together compelling research, hard data, and generously shared personal advice to unlock the secrets to exceptional success for today’s Black woman. Shared in these pages are perspectives gathered from 70 exceptional Black women leaders, each who've blazed a trail in corporations, non-profit organizations, as public servants, activists, elected officials, entertainers or entrepreneurs. From the C-Suite to the Streets, and even to the Halls of Congress.

Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever is a Career Reinvention Strategist, Diversity Consultant, and Women’s Empowerment Expert. She’s the Founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women, a global personal and professional development firm that helps established and aspiring entrepreneurs and executives experience accelerated success while building a holistic life they love. She’s also the President of Incite Unlimited, a Washington, DC-based boutique consulting firm specializing in diversity consulting, communications strategy and the development and implementation of impactful research.

Dr. Avis formerly served as the youngest ever Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women, a historic membership organization touching the lives of over four million women of African descent worldwide. She was the Keynote Speaker to the Inaugural President of the United States’ Young African Leaders Summit and was a Featured Speaker before the World Bank.

She currently conducts workshops and trainings on women’s career and entrepreneurial success on behalf of U.S. Embassies across the globe and helps corporations better design and implement strategies to maximize the power of diversity and inclusion at work as well as for the marketplace of today and tomorrow.

In other words, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever knows what she is talking about!

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

As one reviewer put it, each chapter unearths gems. This book brilliantly juxtaposes narratives told from Black women of varying backgrounds and experiences. It’s an exciting read because you learn from difference voices in each chapter. No matter what age, background or profession you are, you will see yourself somewhere in the pages of Dr. Avis’ book. You will close the book feeling completely capable and challenged to your core!

13. Strengthening Her Essence: A Woman’s Guide To Liberation Through Truth

Strengthening Her Essence: A Woman's Guide to Liberation through Truth
74 Reviews
Strengthening Her Essence: A Woman's Guide to Liberation through Truth
One of the best rated books for Black women on Amazon - a must read!

“My story is one that includes sexual abuse, abandonment, and broken heartedness. For a time I followed a pattern that stemmed from dysfunctional habits and behaviors. At one point, this pathology defined my life’s course—dragging me from one negative emotion and undesirable outcome to another. I had unanswered questions, unrequited love, unfulfilled desires and untapped power. Internally, I was battered and wounded—unaware of my own ability to repair and replenish myself. And just then, in that dark space I found the light switch that would take my life from unbearable pain to everlasting pleasure and I chose triumph over tragedy.” – Fila Antwine

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

One of the highest rated books on this list, the insight and advice in this book will enable you to reflect on your past, background, and behaviors to see where you can improve your relationship with yourself; allowing you to build and heal yourself and move into a positive place of enlightenment and enrichment. Without knowing yourself and your own flaws, it is impossible to build meaningful and truly lasting relationships!

14. Battling Over Birth: Black Women and the Maternal Health Care Crisis

Battling Over Birth: Black Women and the Maternal Health Care Crisis
2 Reviews
Battling Over Birth: Black Women and the Maternal Health Care Crisis
One of the best rated books for Black women on Amazon - a must read!

Battling Over Birth: Black Women and the Maternal Health Care Crisis reveals hard truths— powerful findings on the role of racism, coercion, inadequate prenatal care, the pressures undermining breastfeeding and the lack of access to alternatives to a broken maternal health-care system as key threads of black women’s birth experiences.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

Knowledge is your best defense against miseducation and racism! Not only does the book lay out the problems that undermine Black motherhood, it provides solutions from Black Women Birthing Justice- a collective of African-American, African, Caribbean and multiracial women who are committed to transforming birthing experiences for Black women. Particularly important reading if your area of focus is healing or Doula work.

15. The Secret For Sistahs: The Black Woman’s Spiritual Guide to Releasing Negativity

The Secret For Sistahs: The Black Woman's Spiritual Guide to Releasing Negativity
8 Reviews
The Secret For Sistahs: The Black Woman's Spiritual Guide to Releasing Negativity
73 pages based on the teachings of our Ancestors that will free you from the demons of negativity and pain.

Karen Raye Little, HHP is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner who has a sincere and dedicated passion to the overall health and wellness of Black people and all people. She received her B.A. from Langston University, pursued her MA at University of Nevada at Las Vegas and received her post graduate degree from Natural Healing University. Karen Raye is the founder of Big Momma Remedies and The SHHH Conference.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

This book is a short 73 page purse book that offers practical exercises that will help you overcome anger, jealousy, hurt, and pain to begin to attract & manifest joy, pride, peace, & happiness in your life.

16. If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide To Healthy, Beautiful Natural Hair

If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide To Healthy, Beautiful Natural Hair
278 Reviews
If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide To Healthy, Beautiful Natural Hair
The beauty smoothie recipe to maximize hair growth and hair health from the inside out is worth the price of the book by itself!

Dr. Phoenyx is a very well respected physician, author, and media personality. She has been seen on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and other media outlets. Hear from the Queen herself in the video below.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

If You Love It, It Will Grow is more than a book, it’s a philosophy! There is a great interconnectedness between how Black women feel about their hair and how they feel about themselves. Growing healthy, longer and beautiful natural hair is absolutely within your reach. It’s all about giving your hair what it needs- that extra bit of TLC. If You Love It, It Will Grow!

17.For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf

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for colored girls who have considered suicide - when the rainbow is enuf
209 Reviews
for colored girls who have considered suicide - when the rainbow is enuf
One of the most anticipated and best reviewed books by African authors, Freshwater is the remarkable debut of an astonishing young writer. Get this Audiobook plus a second, free with audible trial

All of the main characters in Shange’s choreopoem are women of color, and their racial identity and gender affects the perspective through which the audience experiences of all the various anecdotes. Through the ladies’ stories of struggle and maturation, Shange is able to address the issue of race in America without seeming preachy.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

The women in the stories represent each stage of life and womanhood. They celebrate first love, dreams for the future, and sexual awakening (“toussaint”), the ebullience of graduating from high school and losing one’s virginity (“graduation nite”). As the choreopoem progresses, the women navigate the various ups and downs of romantic relationships, the sustenance that comes from female friendships, and the movement toward an understanding of one’s place in the world. In this way, these poems highlight certain rites of passage – both official and unofficial.

Some of the best fiction you will ever read in your life. This book (or audiobook) is a must.

18. Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era

Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era (Justice, Power, and Politics)
2 Reviews
Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era (Justice, Power, and Politics)
A comprehensive history of Black women's political, social, and cultural engagement with Black Power ideals and organizations.

Dr. Ashley Farmer has received research fellowships and grants from a variety of universities, foundations, professional associations, and libraries, including the Center for American Politics at Harvard University, the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, the University of Texas-Austin, the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Research on Women and Politics at Iowa State University, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Farmer earned her undergraduate degree from Spelman College and her doctorate from Harvard University.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

Black women have always been an important part of the collective fight against white supremacy. Unfortunately, their stories and contributions are often left out of our history. By learning about the contributions of those who came before you, you will be inspired to keep up the fight and teach others. Because after all, you cant teach if you don’t know!

19. Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient

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Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient
336 Reviews

Burton graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a master’s degree in applied positive psychology. She is also a graduate of Florida State University and has a master’s degree in journalism from Florida A&M University.

In addition to this book, she has written several other books including What’s Really Holding You Back, and Happy Women Live Better, Rich Minds Rich Rewards, How Did I Get So Busy, Listen to Your Life, Why Not You? 28 Days to Authentic Confidence, Start Here Start Now, Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable, and Where Will You Go From Here?

Why this is one of the best (audio)books for Black Women:

Here is what one reader had to say that sums up why this book made our list:

This was an amazing book to read. I highlighted my way through it and it was a great guide for women. It even got me to think differently and helped me go about how I think and handle things in life. I recommend this book to every female in this world. It’s life changing and you won’t be disappointed. Women, it’s time to think differently 🙂

This is truly a blueprint for a successful life as a women. We’re already powerful but these habits will change the game forever. I just graduated from college with my Bachelors and these habits have been with me ever since I read the book. Before I graduated, I read this book and the way I finished the rest of my year was phenomenal. I changed the way I thought, the way I handled certain situations, my mindset was on another level and I felt powerful and successful. Valorie Burton did an amazing job with this. I will forever keep this book with me!!

20. Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit

Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit
324 Reviews
Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit
This is not a read through book. It requires deep thinking and a lot of spiritual work. You will find yourself having dreams of things that you missed from doing the work. The womb really speaks, you just have to be open to listening and being present to the information that she gives you.

“Just when I thought I was all alone, I found myself walking with a group of conscious women who were taking sacred steps and speaking sacred words. We were on our way to Queen Afua’s Global Sacred Woman Village. Come with us, there’s Maat—balance and order—there.”—Erykah Badu

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

This is a number 1 best seller in the Spiritualism category for a reason. More than 300 women who have purchased this sacred scroll gave it a 5 star review. From homeopathic healing to setting up altars for metaphysical development, Queen Afua hits on every important subject related to Black Women and spiritual healing!

21. Black Women, Sex and the Lies our Mother’s Told Us: For the Empowerment and Uplift of the Black Female Sexual Experience

Black Women, Sex and the Lies our Mother's Told Us: For the Empowerment and Uplift of the Black Female Sexual Experience
10 Reviews
Black Women, Sex and the Lies our Mother's Told Us: For the Empowerment and Uplift of the Black Female Sexual Experience
One of the best books for Black women on the subject of sex and other taboo subjects of discussion.

Every story in this anthology is based on the research of Chicago based community psychologist, Dr. McDowell who interviewed and surveyed hundreds of Mother – Daughter pairs for inspiration and insight into the lives of Black women and how they began their sexual experiences and how they felt about how prepared they were for their sexual futures based on the influence of their mothers and mother figures.

Why this is one of the best books for Black Women:

Sex is an important and essential part of the metaphysical element of human life. Unfortunately, education in the West has been corrupted by politics, conservative social movements, and a culture that turns the topic of sex into taboo. Instead, sex should be placed in its proper context. By learning from the experiences of other Black women, you can begin to heal from the sometimes traumatic effects of sex education.

Did we miss a title? Have you read any of the books above? Leave your reviews and comments below.

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