Rad Reads

Five Black History Month books you need to read


Black History Month is in full swing, which means it's the perfect time of the year to check out these classic reads, both old and new. Whether you're searching for an inspiring tale of hope and freedom or a heartbreaking story of love and loss, these books are sure to hit the spot. Empowering, overcoming and down-right incredible, these stories will leave you wanting more. 


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    A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

    In this play, the Younger household try to move forward after racism and poverty have dictated a difficult life in a rough Chicago neighborhood. When matriarch Mama receives insurance money from her late husband's death, she hopes to move the family to somewhere a new home in a better area. The younger generation have their own plans, with dreams of owning their own liquor store, financial independence and medical school. The recipient of the "Best Play of the Year" award from the NY Drama Critics' Circle, A Raisin in the Sun is an inspiring tale of hard work, sacrifice and family. 

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    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

    Maya Angelou's coming-of-age tale about being a young black woman in the Great Depression is both honest and amazingly powerful. In her memoir, Maya writes about the hardships and disappointments she faces both from the society she lives in and her own family. Despite her struggles, Maya finds strength, motivation and freedom through herself, the generosity of others and the wisdom of authors who've come before her.

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    Chains, the first novel in the Seeds of America trilogy, by Laurie Halse Anderson

    Set in 1776, Isabel is a teenage slave promised freedom but sold instead to an awful couple involved in the Revolutionary War. When Isabel is separated from younger sister Ruth, she realizes her own situation is just as precarious. Though dangerous, the best chance she has at finding freedom is to become a spy and betray the couple she works for by sharing their knowledge of British invasion plans to the Patriots.

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    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

    Uncover a great story about Lily, a spunky young girl trying to escape her abusive father, and her "stand-in mother" Rosaleen, a maid trying to escape a close-minded racist community. Determined to stay safe, the duo flee to South Carolina and the home of three beekeeping sisters that just might hold the secrets of Lily's late mother's past. The Secret Life of Bees takes you on a whirlwind, emotional adventure that you wont want to miss. 

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    The Help by Kathryn Stockett

    Based in the 1960s, The Help is the story of three women who come together to make a change. Aibileen, an African-American women working as a maid in a white neighborhood, and her best friend Minny, a fellow maid with trouble holding her tongue, meet Skeeter, a 22-year-old recent college grad from Old Miss. Together, all three are determined to shake up the natural order in their small town, cross social lines and make life better. Kathryn Stockett writes a powerful and compelling novel filled with tears, humor and hope. 


by Crystal Williams | 2/1/2016