Self-love is an essential aspect of personal growth and well-being.
For Black women, embracing self-love can be especially empowering in a world that often perpetuates harmful stereotypes and systemic injustices.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best self-love books specifically tailored to the experiences and needs of all you amazing women of color.
These books offer wisdom, encouragement, and a roadmap to self-discovery and self-acceptance.
Best Self Love Books For Black Women
“Becoming” by Michelle Obama
A memoir by the former First Lady, exploring her life, struggles, and triumphs.
In this deeply personal account, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.
With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.
“I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual” by Luvvie Ajayi
A humorous take on modern culture and behavior with a call to be better. This book acts as a manual to navigate the complexities and absurdities of modern life.
With a sharp eye and biting humor, Luvvie Ajayi critiques our societal norms while encouraging us to do better collectively.
Covering everything from social media etiquette to race relations, Ajayi delivers both laughter and serious contemplation on how we interact with each other and the world around us.
“The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America” by Tamara Winfrey Harris
Challenges stereotypes and celebrates the resilience of Black women.
Tamara Winfrey Harris debunks myths and stereotypes about Black women in the United States, replacing them with an insightful and nuanced exploration of their lives and experiences.
The book celebrates the strength, resilience, and beauty of Black women, offering a powerful counter-narrative to the often negative and one-dimensional portrayals in mainstream media.
“Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person” by Shonda Rhimes
A journey of self-discovery and empowerment by the famous TV producer. In this revealing and candid book, Shonda Rhimes, the creator of hit TV shows like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Scandal’, shares how saying “Yes” changed her life.
Rhimes chronicles her journey of stepping outside her comfort zone and discovering the power of embracing opportunities and living a life filled with joy and authenticity.
“You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience” edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown
An anthology discussing vulnerability and resilience in the Black experience.
Curated by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown, this groundbreaking anthology gathers a dynamic group of Black writers, artists, academics, and cultural critics to discuss the complexities of Black experience in the context of vulnerability and shame resilience.
The collection provides a space for Black voices to share their stories of adversity, strength, and healing.
“More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)” by Elaine Welteroth
A memoir about breaking barriers in the fashion industry. In this inspiring memoir, Elaine Welteroth, the former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, recounts her journey of breaking glass ceilings in the world of media and fashion.
She shares her experiences as a young Black woman navigating predominantly white spaces and offers wisdom about the importance of finding your voice, claiming your space, and living authentically.
“The Awakened Woman: Remembering & Reigniting Our Sacred Dreams” by Tererai Trent
A powerful call to action for women’s empowerment. Tererai Trent, an esteemed scholar and humanitarian, shares her incredible journey from a life of poverty and hardship in rural Zimbabwe to achieving her dreams of education and helping others.
The book is a rallying cry for women to connect with their ancestral strength, harness their dreams, and bring change to their lives and communities.
“Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body” by Roxane Gay
A raw and honest memoir discussing body image and self-acceptance. In this deeply personal work, Roxane Gay explores her relationship with her body, food, and the trauma that shaped her understanding of both.
With her characteristic candor and eloquence, Gay confronts the intersection of obesity, desire, and the realities of living in a body that defies societal norms. This memoir is a powerful reflection on self-image, self-care, and the human experience of inhabiting a body.
“Don’t Touch My Hair” by Emma Dabiri
An exploration of Black hair and its cultural and social significance. Emma Dabiri delves into the history and symbolism of Black hair, tracing its roots from pre-colonial Africa through the Harlem Renaissance and into today’s Natural Hair Movement.
The book is a powerful statement on the complexities of race, politics, and cultural appropriation, using hair as a window into the broader issues of racial inequities and empowerment.
“Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves” by Glory Edim
A collection of essays celebrating the voices of Black women writers. This anthology, curated by Glory Edim, founder of the Well-Read Black Girl book club, brings together essays from today’s most prominent Black female authors.
Each piece is a testament to the power of storytelling and its role in shaping identity, culture, and resistance. The book is a tribute to the diversity and richness of Black women’s writing and a guide for readers in search of themselves in literature.
“Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible” by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené
Insights and advice for young Black women navigating life. This book is a comprehensive, inspiring guide for a new generation of Black women, aiming to address the lack of representation and information available to them.
Adegoke and Uviebinené cover a range of topics, from education and work to dating and health, providing valuable advice and highlighting the stories of successful Black women in various fields.
“Bad Feminist: Essays” by Roxane Gay
A collection of essays exploring feminism, race, and culture. Roxane Gay presents a series of essays that delve into the complexities of being a feminist in today’s world.
She discusses her own experiences and views on pop culture, politics, and society, offering a nuanced perspective on feminism that is inclusive, honest, and deeply personal. Gay’s essays challenge the notion of a perfect feminist, advocating for a more inclusive and understanding approach.
“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison
A powerful novel about race, beauty, and identity. Toni Morrison’s first novel offers a poignant and powerful look into the effects of racism and colorism in America.
The story revolves around a young African American girl named Pecola Breedlove, who dreams of having blue eyes to conform to societal standards of beauty. Morrison’s work is a profound commentary on the destructive power of internalized racism and the importance of finding one’s own worth and beauty.
“This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color” edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa
A collection of feminist essays and poetry.
This groundbreaking anthology brings together a diverse group of women of color for a conversation about feminism, race, and activism.
Editors Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa have compiled works that explore the complexities of life as a woman of color, challenging mainstream feminist movements and advocating for a more inclusive and intersectional approach to feminism.
“Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower” by Brittney Cooper
An exploration of Black feminism and empowerment. Brittney Cooper combines personal memoir with critical analysis in this exploration of Black feminist thought.
She discusses the experiences of Black women with eloquence and passion, using her own life as a framework to delve into topics like politics, pop culture, and feminism.
Cooper’s book is a powerful call for Black women to embrace their anger as a source of energy and a catalyst for change.
“Black Girl Unlimited” by Echo Brown
A semi-autobiographical novel about overcoming adversity. This magical realist coming-of-age story follows Echo Brown, a young Black girl who transcends the boundaries of poverty and abuse to discover her true potential.
The novel weaves together harsh realities with mystical experiences, creating a compelling narrative about resilience, empowerment, and the power of storytelling to heal and transform.
“We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True” by Gabrielle Union
A collection of essays about life, success, and the importance of self-love. In this book, actress Gabrielle Union shares a series of insightful, humorous, and honest essays about her experiences as a Black woman, Hollywood actress, and advocate.
Union covers a variety of topics ranging from beauty standards and race in Hollywood to her experiences with love and marriage, offering an authentic voice that resonates with many on the challenges and triumphs of modern life.
“The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row” by Anthony Ray Hinton
A memoir about hope and justice. This powerful memoir tells the story of Anthony Ray Hinton, who was wrongfully convicted and spent nearly 30 years on death row. Hinton’s story is one of resilience and hope in the face of a flawed justice system.
His ability to maintain his humanity and hope, even in the darkest of circumstances, serves as a profound testament to the strength of the human spirit and the importance of fighting for justice.
“Queenie” by Candice Carty-Williams
A novel about a young Black woman navigating life and love in London. This contemporary novel follows Queenie, a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, as she navigates a series of personal and professional challenges.
The book deals with themes of identity, race, mental health, and the complexities of modern womanhood, all while maintaining a sharp wit and humor.
“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A powerful story about love, race, and identity. In this critically acclaimed novel, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells the story of Ifemelu and Obinze, young lovers who depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West.
Ifemelu heads to America, where she grapples with what it means to be Black in a racially complex society, while Obinze encounters a different set of struggles in London. The novel is a profound exploration of race, immigration, and the search for identity in a globalized world.
“Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur
The life story of a revolutionary Black woman. This autobiography of Assata Shakur, a former member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, chronicles her journey from childhood to her activism, arrest, and eventual escape to Cuba.
Shakur’s narrative provides a unique perspective on the civil rights movement and the political landscape of the 1960s and 70s, offering a powerful voice against injustice and oppression.
“The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin
A powerful exploration of race in America. James Baldwin’s classic collection of essays offers an incisive exploration of race relations in the United States.
The book, consisting of two parts – “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation” and “Down At The Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind,” provides an eloquent and personal examination of the complexities of race and the deep-seated issues facing American society.
“Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson
A memoir in verse, exploring race, identity, and growing up as a Black girl. This award-winning book tells the story of Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood, written in verse.
It explores her experiences growing up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her awakening to her writing talent. The memoir beautifully captures the sense of hope and wonder found in the ordinary moments of her life.
“The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love” by Sonya Renee Taylor
A guide to understanding and practicing radical self-love. This transformative work by Sonya Renee Taylor offers tools for understanding and practicing radical self-love.
Taylor challenges the societal norms and beliefs that lead to self-hate and body shame, and she provides a path to embracing our whole selves, transforming our personal lives, and by extension, the world.
“Mom & Me & Mom” by Maya Angelou
A memoir about Maya Angelou’s relationship with her mother. In this touching memoir, Maya Angelou recounts her complex relationship with her mother, Vivian Baxter.
Angelou explores how her mother’s colorful, adventurous spirit and unwavering support impacted her life and helped shape the woman she became. This book offers an intimate look at family, love, and reconciliation.
“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
The classic autobiography of Maya Angelou’s childhood. In this powerful autobiography, Maya Angelou recounts her early years, facing racism, trauma, and setbacks, yet still rising to become one of the most influential voices of our time.
Her story is one of strength and resilience, and her exploration of identity and race remains as relevant today as when it was first published.
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston
A novel about a Black woman’s journey to find her identity. This classic novel tells the story of Janie Crawford, an African American woman in the early 20th century, and her journey to self-realization through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose.
Hurston’s rich narrative and deep exploration of the human condition make this a landmark in American literature.
“Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches” by Audre Lorde
A collection of essential writings from a leading voice in feminist thought. Audre Lorde’s “Sister Outsider” is a cornerstone in literature on intersectional feminism, race, and LGBTQ+ issues.
This collection of fifteen essays and speeches, written from a Black lesbian perspective, tackles systemic racism, sexism, and homophobia. Lorde’s powerful voice demands social justice and change, making her works as crucial today as when they were first published.