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African American Fiction Classics

Revisit or read for the first time classics by African American authors that have resonated with readers around the world.  These beloved novels by literary giants such as James Baldwin and Toni Morrison continue to shape the culture of America.

To highlight moments and voices during Black History Month, we’ve teamed up with StoryCorps. Find out more here.
  1. 1
    Song of Solomon Book Cover Picture
    Song of Solomon Book Cover Picture

    Song of Solomon

    by Toni Morrison

    Song of Solomon Book Cover Picture
    Song of Solomon Book Cover Picture

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  2. 2
    Not Without Laughter Book Cover Picture
    Not Without Laughter Book Cover Picture

    Not Without Laughter

    by Langston Hughes

    Langston Hughes’ award-winning first novel follows a black boy’s coming-of-age in a largely white Kansas town.
    Not Without Laughter Book Cover Picture
    Not Without Laughter Book Cover Picture

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  3. 3
    The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man Book Cover Picture
    The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man Book Cover Picture

    The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

    by James Weldon Johnson

    Originally published in 1912, this novel by James Weldon Johnson was one of the first to present a frank picture of being black in America.
    The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man Book Cover Picture
    The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man Book Cover Picture

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  4. 4
    Through the Ivory Gate Book Cover Picture
    Through the Ivory Gate Book Cover Picture

    Through the Ivory Gate

    by Rita Dove

    Through the Ivory Gate Book Cover Picture
    Through the Ivory Gate Book Cover Picture

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  5. 5
    A Raisin in the Sun Book Cover Picture
    A Raisin in the Sun Book Cover Picture

    A Raisin in the Sun

    by Lorraine Hansberry

    A Raisin in the Sun Book Cover Picture
    A Raisin in the Sun Book Cover Picture

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  6. 6
    The Tragedy of Brady Sims Book Cover Picture
    The Tragedy of Brady Sims Book Cover Picture

    The Tragedy of Brady Sims

    by Ernest J. Gaines

    Ernest J. Gaines’s new novella revolves around a courthouse shooting that leads a young reporter to uncover the long story of race and power in his small town and the relationship between the white sheriff and the black man who “whipped children” to keep order.
    The Tragedy of Brady Sims Book Cover Picture
    The Tragedy of Brady Sims Book Cover Picture

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  7. 7
    The Sport of the Gods Book Cover Picture
    The Sport of the Gods Book Cover Picture

    The Sport of the Gods

    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    This original collection by Paul Laurence Dunbar includes the short novel The Sport of the Gods, Dunbar’s essential essays and short stories, and his finest poems, such as “Sympathy,” all which explore crucial social, political, and humanistic issues at the dawn of the twentieth century.
    The Sport of the Gods Book Cover Picture
    The Sport of the Gods Book Cover Picture

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  8. 8
    Black No More Book Cover Picture
    Black No More Book Cover Picture

    Black No More

    by George S. Schuyler

    Black No More is a masterwork of speculative fiction and a hilarious satire of America’s obsession with race.
    Black No More Book Cover Picture
    Black No More Book Cover Picture

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  9. 9
    Passing Book Cover Picture
    Passing Book Cover Picture

    Passing

    by Nella Larsen

    Nella Larsen’s powerful, thrilling, and tragic tale is about the fluidity of racial identity that continues to resonate today.
    Passing Book Cover Picture
    Passing Book Cover Picture

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  10. 10
    If Beale Street Could Talk (Movie Tie-In) Book Cover Picture
    If Beale Street Could Talk (Movie Tie-In) Book Cover Picture

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    by James Baldwin

    In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, James Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.
    If Beale Street Could Talk (Movie Tie-In) Book Cover Picture
    If Beale Street Could Talk (Movie Tie-In) Book Cover Picture

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  11. 11
    Invisible Man Book Cover Picture
    Invisible Man Book Cover Picture

    Invisible Man

    by Ralph Ellison

    A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century.
    Invisible Man Book Cover Picture
    Invisible Man Book Cover Picture

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  12. 12
    Amiable with Big Teeth Book Cover Picture
    Amiable with Big Teeth Book Cover Picture

    Amiable with Big Teeth

    by Claude McKay

    A monumental literary event: the newly discovered final novel by seminal Harlem Renaissance writer Claude McKay, a rich and multilayered portrayal of life in 1930s Harlem and a historical protest for black freedom.
    Amiable with Big Teeth Book Cover Picture
    Amiable with Big Teeth Book Cover Picture

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  13. 13
    Cane Book Cover Picture
    Cane Book Cover Picture

    Cane

    by Jean Toomer

    Jean Toomer’s innovative and groundbreaking novel depicts African American life in the South and North, with a foreword by National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree Zinzi Clemmons.
    Cane Book Cover Picture
    Cane Book Cover Picture

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