Books You Should Read for Black History Month

— Kate, Owl Eyes Staff on

Every February, Black History Month celebrates the achievements of African Americans from throughout our history. (Though, other countries around the world, including Canada and the UK, devote a month to celebrating black history as well.) You can learn more about Black History Month here. In honor of Black History Month, we’ve rounded up a collection of historical texts, biographies, poems, and novels written by or about black people throughout history. From Phillis Wheatley to Frederick Douglass, these authors have contributed much to our literary and rhetorical traditions. We feel that reading widely helps us to participate more deeply in this celebration, so peruse the following texts and add a couple to your to-read list!

Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Sojourner Truth

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? by Frederick Douglass

The Confessions of Saint Augustine by Saint Augustine

Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln by Frederick Douglass

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano by Gustavus Vassa

My Escape from Slavery by Frederick Douglass

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The American Apocalypse by Frederick Douglass

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass

On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phillis Wheatley

The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas

Reconstruction by Frederick Douglass

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois

We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar

To His Excellency General Washington by Phillis Wheatley