The best books about women of color finding their stories

Who am I?

As an author, editor, and woman of color, I celebrate stories that reflect a diversity of voices. Good storytelling allows us to catch a glimpse into lives that may be similar or different from ours, that champion what makes us unique while reminding us that we are not alone.  


I wrote...

Nonwhite and Woman: 131 Micro Essays on Being in the World

By Darien Gee (editor), Carla Crujido (editor),

Book cover of Nonwhite and Woman: 131 Micro Essays on Being in the World

What is my book about?

Nonwhite and Woman: 131 Micro Essays on Being in the World is a collection of micro essays by established and emerging women of color writers inspired by Lucille Clifton’s luminous poem, "won’t you celebrate with me". These true stories, all of them 300 words or less, speak to otherness, familial relationships, impossible beauty standards, ancestral heritage, coming of age, and owning one’s place in the world. 

The books I picked & why

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Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism

By Daisy Hernández (editor), Bushra Rehman (editor),

Book cover of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism

Why this book?

Originally published in 2002, Colonize This! brings together the voices of young women of color writing about their experiences of race and gender in America. The 2019 edition features essays by a new generation of feminists of color writing on issues such as police violence, transgender rights, and immigration. These fresh voices are intermixed with essays from the original 2002 publication, creating a poignant feminist dialogue.


Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves

By Glory Edim,

Book cover of Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves

Why this book?

In this anthology, twenty-one Black women writers, including Jesmyn Ward, Gabourey Sidibe, Lynn Nottage, and Tayari Jones, write about the first time they saw themselves reflected in literature. This moving collection of essays is at once a love letter to books and an exploration of the intersection of race, gender, and the written word.    


Girls Write Now Unmuted: The 2021 Anthology

By Girls Write Now, Molly MacDermot (editor),

Book cover of Girls Write Now Unmuted: The 2021 Anthology

Why this book?

This annual anthology, published by the nonprofit organization Girls Write Now, showcases the voices of young women writers from a diverse range of backgrounds. These anthologies are a treasure trove of fiction, poetry, essays, and drama by emerging writers. Pick up the latest copy to get a glimpse at the future of literature.


This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color

By Cherrie Moraga (editor), Gloria Anzaldúa (editor),

Book cover of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color

Why this book?

In the preface to the fourth edition of This Bridge Called My Back, editor Cherrie Moraga writes that the anthology was created with a “hope for revolutionary solidarity.” This groundbreaking collection of essays, poems and artwork remains a moving testimony of the experiences of women of color in America.


When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry

By Joy Harjo (editor), LeAnne Howe (editor), Jennifer Elise Foerster (editor)

Book cover of When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry

Why this book?

Edited by former Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, this poetry collection does not exclusively feature women, but we all need more poetry in our lives. This expansive collection of native voices spans from 17th century to the 20th, and is the most historically comprehensive collection of native poetry to date. When the Light of the World Was Subdued should be recommended reading everywhere.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in poetry, African American authors, and 21st century?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about poetry, African American authors, and 21st century.

Poetry Explore 204 books about poetry
African American Authors Explore 17 books about African American authors
21st Century Explore 175 books about 21st century

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Memo, Revolutionary Mothering, and Writing the Range if you like this list.