100 books like Soul Food Sunday

By Winsome Bingham, C.G. Esperanza (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Soul Food Sunday fans have personally recommended if you like Soul Food Sunday. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Around Our Way on Neighbors' Day

Alliah L. Agostini Author Of The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

From my list on to celebrate Black summertime joy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write to spread joy and truth. As a proud Black mother living in a country with school districts that see Black stories as threats worth banning, amplifying these stories is crucial to the fight to help humanize us and retain the privilege of celebration and joy. When I wrote The Juneteenth Story, it was rooted in a conscious effort to balance my own joyous summertime memories of celebrating the holiday with the hard truths that established and evolved this holiday. This list includes a small sample of books about some of the many ways Black folks celebrate - enjoy.

Alliah's book list on to celebrate Black summertime joy

Alliah L. Agostini Why did Alliah love this book?

You can’t read this book and not smile! This fun, rhythmic read by the lyrical Tameka Fryer Brown celebrates the bonds of a diverse urban community on Neighbors’ Day, and reminds us of the big and small ways neighbors show up for each other. Charlotte Riley-Webb‘s paintings swirl with energy to give a new dimension to Brown’s words.   

By Tameka Fryer Brown, Charlotte Riley-Webb (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Around Our Way on Neighbors' Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A little girl celebrates "Neighbors Day" by taking a tour of her urban/Carribbean neighborhood--kids play double-dutch and run after the ice cream man, men debate at the barbershop and play chess, Aunties cook up oxtail stew and other ethnic delicacies, boys play basketball, and jazz floats through the streets. A charming, rhythmic picture book with multi-cultural appeal by a first-time author.


Book cover of Family Reunion

Alliah L. Agostini Author Of The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

From my list on to celebrate Black summertime joy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write to spread joy and truth. As a proud Black mother living in a country with school districts that see Black stories as threats worth banning, amplifying these stories is crucial to the fight to help humanize us and retain the privilege of celebration and joy. When I wrote The Juneteenth Story, it was rooted in a conscious effort to balance my own joyous summertime memories of celebrating the holiday with the hard truths that established and evolved this holiday. This list includes a small sample of books about some of the many ways Black folks celebrate - enjoy.

Alliah's book list on to celebrate Black summertime joy

Alliah L. Agostini Why did Alliah love this book?

Written by a father and son duo, Family Reunion starts with a boy’s reluctance to join a family reunion and ends with him having a change of heart after bonding with a cross-generational group of relatives. Personally, the mini-scenarios throughout the book were so relatable, it made me wonder if the Richardsons were at one of my family reunions! Ashleigh Corrin’s bright cheerful illustrations seal the deal.

By Chad Richardson, Dad Richardson, Ashleigh Corrin (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Family Reunion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this contemporary #OwnVoices tale, a boy is reluctant to go to his family reunion, which he's sure will be boring. Vivid, poetic language and rich illustrations bring readers along for the boy's emotional journey, as he ultimately finds himself enjoying the large and joyous gathering in spite of himself. This modern kid's-eye view depiction of a Black American extended family celebrates the importance of kinship and intergenerational ties.


Book cover of The Electric Slide and Kai

Alliah L. Agostini Author Of The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

From my list on to celebrate Black summertime joy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write to spread joy and truth. As a proud Black mother living in a country with school districts that see Black stories as threats worth banning, amplifying these stories is crucial to the fight to help humanize us and retain the privilege of celebration and joy. When I wrote The Juneteenth Story, it was rooted in a conscious effort to balance my own joyous summertime memories of celebrating the holiday with the hard truths that established and evolved this holiday. This list includes a small sample of books about some of the many ways Black folks celebrate - enjoy.

Alliah's book list on to celebrate Black summertime joy

Alliah L. Agostini Why did Alliah love this book?

I don’t know if this book necessarily takes place in summer, but it’s centered around one of my favorite ‘African-American Joy Rituals’ - the Electric Slide! Kai agonizes over his failure to get a dance nickname from his very cool grandfather because of his two left feet. When his aunt gets married, he’s determined to conquer the Electric Slide at her reception.

Who doesn’t love a good, all-inclusive line dance? I still remember learning the Electric Slide when I was 6– to this day if I’m at a party and it’s playing, you’ll know where to find me (the dance floor!). Fun book.

By Kelly J. Baptist, Darnell Johnson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Electric Slide and Kai as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Starred review, Kirkus Reviews

Kai is the only member of his family who can't get the dance steps to the Electric Slide right. But Kai is determined to bust a move in this fun and sweet celebration of Black families.

Kai's aunt is getting married, and everyone in the Donovan family is excited about the wedding ... except Kai. The highlight of every Donovan occasion is dancing the electric slide--a groovy line dance with footwork that Kai can't quite figure out. More than anything, he wants to prove that he can boogie with the rest of his family and earn…


Book cover of Together We Ride

Elizabeth Verdick Author Of Bike & Trike

From my list on bikes and biking for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Minnesota-based children’s writer focusing on a mix of books for kids ages baby to teen. I love writing stories as well as nonfiction books focused on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). After more than 25 years spent writing for a young audience, I started thinking about how I may be old but don’t necessarily feel old. An image came to mind: a rusty, dusty old tricycle. How might “Trike” feel if a happy, snappy new bike were to appear in the garage? Bike & Trike is the story that arose, one about old vs. new and a daring challenge to determine which bike will be the winner on wheels.

Elizabeth's book list on bikes and biking for kids

Elizabeth Verdick Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Learning to ride a bike is no easy feat, so it helps when your encouraging dad is along for the inaugural ride.

This warm story of father-daughter bonding celebrates a bike-riding milestone and the feeling of freedom that comes from an afternoon spent outside on wheels. The story is lyrical and upbeat, with a whiff of nostalgia.

By Valerie Bolling, Kaylani Juanita (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Together We Ride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learning to ride is no easy feat! But with a little courage, a guiding hand from her dad, and an enthusiastic bark from her pup, one brave girl quickly learns the freedom that comes from an afternoon spent outside on a bike.

Experience the fear, the anticipation, and the delight of achieving the ultimate milestone in this energetic, warm story that celebrates the precious bond between parent and child.


Book cover of Sunday Dinner

Nyasha Williams Author Of I Am Somebody

From my list on encouraging kids to step into their power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I identify as an author, creator, and activist and when I write, I write calling forth the world that our Ancestors dreamed of and deserved and our future generations need. We often forget the power we have as individuals and how that power is amplified in community. I write towards that power being recognized in kids and for them to see how any change they step into can be nurtured and expanded by others. Stepping into Ancestral Veneration, I realize that I never write alone. My Ancestors are always present in my writing, co-creating towards building a sustainable, regenerative, just, decolonized, Indigenized, and liberated world. 

Nyasha's book list on encouraging kids to step into their power

Nyasha Williams Why did Nyasha love this book?

Angela Shanté and Seth Rogers have constructed a beautiful story around the infamous pastime in Black families sitting down for Sunday dinner.

While Sunday dinner's origins are rooted in chattel slavery, when enslaved Africans only day of rest was Sunday. Black families looked forward to a larger feast on those days. But while the options provided to the enslaved weren’t the best, Black Americans have always been able to transform the little they had into revolutionary additions to American cuisine.

The story of the Black Sunday dinner is one of resilience and community in the face of adversity. Sunday dinners with the main character expand in community as their family welcomes guests to join their weekly family ritual. When his teacher asks the class to share a family tradition, Sunday dinner becomes the obvious choice. 

By Angela Shante, Seth Rogers, Montasia Yneek Sims (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sunday Dinner as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Sunday Dinners are for family, food, and fun!


SUNDAY DINNER is a family story that celebrates the tradition of Sunday Dinners as seen through the imaginative eyes of the smallest member of the family, Brandon. On Sundays there's sure to be a story to tell. You never know who might pop in or what surprises (or tasty dishes) they might bring. The guests and the food make it Brandon's favorite day, so when he's assigned a huge project on family traditions, he knows exactly what to showcase.


Award winning author Angela Shanté teams up with her husband Seth Rogers to…


Book cover of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South

Gregory Emilio Author Of Kitchen Apocrypha: Poems

From my list on books for gourmands with literary appetites.

Why am I passionate about this?

My twin passions in life have always been food and writing. While I chose poetry and creative writing as my primary fields of expertise, my ten-plus years of working in restaurants are just as important to who I am. I’m hungry for food writing that takes a more literary or creative approach. Cooking is a highly creative and meaningful act, and I love to see writing that aspires to do for the reader what the dedicated cook does for the eater: to nourish not only the body but the more metaphysical elements of our being, which is to say, our hearts, and maybe even our souls.  

Gregory's book list on books for gourmands with literary appetites

Gregory Emilio Why did Gregory love this book?

As a transplant to Atlanta from Los Angeles, I’ve been fascinated by the regional cuisines and culinary traditions of the south. But after being caught up in the romance of pimento cheese, mint juleps, and fried chicken, I knew there was so much more to the story that I was missing.

This book tells that untold story, showing us the immeasurable debt southern food owes to Africa and enslaved peoples brought to America. What I love about this book is not just the history being told but how Twitty tells it, combining a mix of genres, from narrative nonfiction to genealogical documentation, historical account to personal memoir.

Just as cooking is a highly creative act that fuses together diverse flavors and ingredients, writing about food needs to be equally creative and equally diverse.

By Michael W. Twitty,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Cooking Gene as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2018 James Beard Foundation Book of the Year | 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner inWriting | Nominee for the 2018 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction | #75 on The Root100 2018

A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touch points in our…


Book cover of A Domestic Cook Book: Containing a Careful Selection of Useful Receipts for the Kitchen

Jenne Bergstrom and Miko Osada Author Of The Little Women Cookbook: Novel Takes on Classic Recipes from Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Friends

From my list on food and cooking in Victorian America.

Why are we passionate about this?

Miko and Jenne are librarians who love to eat. Their love of classic children’s literature led them to start their 36 Eggs blog, where they recreate foods and experiences from their favorite books. In 2019, they published the Little Women Cookbook, which required extensive research into the food of the Victorian era.

Jenne's book list on food and cooking in Victorian America

Jenne Bergstrom and Miko Osada Why did Jenne love this book?

Until 2000, What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking (1881) was considered the first cookbook authored by a Black American. It was then that historians chanced upon an incredibly lucky finding: a copy of A Domestic Cookbook at the bottom of a box. As far as we know, there’s only ONE copy left of this little 39-page collection of recipes, which was first published in 1866.

Historians and researchers have delved deep into the mystery of author Malinda Russell, but we barely know more than she tells us in her introduction -- a life story laid out in stark, gripping first-person over just two short pages. As a business owner who specialized in pastry, Russell’s book has upended assumptions about 19th-century Black women and African American cuisine. In such a slim volume, she still includes 70+ kinds of cake and comments that “a great many ladies have wished to…

By Malinda Russell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Domestic Cook Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

{Size: 15.34 x 23.59 cms} Leather Binding on Spine and Corners with Golden Leaf Printing on round Spine (extra customization on request like complete leather, Golden Screen printing in Front, Color Leather, Colored book etc.) Reprinted in 2021 with the help of original edition published long back [1866]. This book is printed in black & white, sewing binding for longer life, Printed on high quality Paper, re-sized as per Current standards, professionally processed without changing its contents. As these are old books, we processed each page manually and make them readable but in some cases some pages which are blur…


Book cover of The Patchwork Quilt

Valériane Leblond Author Of The Quilt

From my list on children’s books about quilts.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a teenager, my mother sewed me a quilt, but when I moved to Wales and discovered Welsh antic quilts, my interest became a passion. These bold red and black flannel patchworks with intricate quilting seem contemporary but date back to the 19th century. I have been painting them and have learned a lot about their history and how they have provided income and artistic expression for women over the years. It’s a pleasure to see that this passion is shared by so many people worldwide, and I’m fascinated by all the stories these beautiful objects hold.

Valériane's book list on children’s books about quilts

Valériane Leblond Why did Valériane love this book?

This book is a real joy to read, with a particular story of a particular family but a universal feel to it. It could be my story or yours. The illustrations have the charm of the eighties, but the story doesn’t feel dated, and it is really inspirational to get quilting or think about which pieces of fabric I would use to tell my family’s story.

By Valerie Flournoy, Jerry Pinkney (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Patchwork Quilt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Twenty years ago Valerie Flournoy and Jerry Pinkney created a warmhearted intergenerational story that became an award-winning perennial. Since then children from all sorts of family situations and configurations continue to be drawn to its portrait of those bonds that create the fabric of family life.


Book cover of Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family

David Nicholson Author Of The Garretts of Columbia: A Black South Carolina Family from Slavery to the Dawn of Integration

From my list on race in America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Though I was born in the U.S., I didn’t wind up living here full-time till I was almost 10. The result? I have always been curious about what it means to be an American. In one way or another, the books on my list explore that question. More than that, all (well, nearly all) insist that black history is inextricably intertwined with American history and that American culture is a mulatto culture, a fusion of black and white. After years of making my living as a journalist, editor, and book reviewer, I left newspapers to write fiction and non-fiction, exploring these and other questions.

David's book list on race in America

David Nicholson Why did David love this book?

I might not have written my own family history without the example of this book. I was enthralled when I read this compelling, well-researched, and well-written “family memoir” (as Murray calls it) years ago.

Everything about it drew me in, Murray’s compelling voice, the depth of her research, her descriptions of her relatives, and the vanished world they inhabited. Magisterial in every sense of the word, this is family history as American history, by a woman who was a lawyer, activist, and, in 1977, at age 67, the first black woman ordained an Episcopal priest.

Her book continues to inspire me to strive to meet her example.

By Paul Murray,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Proud Shoes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1956, Proud Shoes is the remarkable true story of slavery, survival, and miscegenation in the South from the pre-Civil War era through the Reconstruction. Written by Pauli Murray the legendary civil rights activist and one of the founders of NOW, Proud Shoes chronicles the lives of Murray's maternal grandparents. From the birth of her grandmother, Cornelia Smith, daughter of a slave whose beauty incited the master's sons to near murder to the story of her grandfather Robert Fitzgerald, whose free black father married a white woman in 1840, Proud Shoes offers a revealing glimpse of our nation's…


Book cover of Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine

Ruchika Tulshyan Author Of Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work

From my list on change your mind about success.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in an immigrant household where success was defined by how much money you made and your individual progress. But I’ve always been fascinated by social change as the measure of collective success. As a former business journalist, I was most inspired by leaders who were creating opportunities for overlooked communities. I now advise organization leaders on how to create more inclusive and diverse organizations by rethinking the measure of success purely from the profit perspective. That’s why I wrote Inclusion on Purpose. These books have helped me transform my definition of success. I hope you’re catalyzed to action by these books!

Ruchika's book list on change your mind about success

Ruchika Tulshyan Why did Ruchika love this book?

Dr. Blackstock’s advocacy for equity and access during the COVID-19 pandemic made her a hero in my eyes, and I was eagerly awaiting her memoir! I read it in one weekend. It’s compelling, heartbreaking, and, in parts, deeply devastating when you’re shown firsthand the huge health disparities in this country.

It’s tragic to see how some people are given immediate access to health care while others are systematically denied it on the basis of their skin color. The racism Dr. Blackstock has to navigate in her career as a Black physician and academic doctor is heartbreaking, but the overall story is one of triumph and resilience.

Dr. Blackstock is an incredibly inspiring character, but the ultimate heroine is their late mother, whose training at Harvard Medical School led to her twin daughters becoming the first Black mother-daughter legacies from the school. This book reminded me that success doesn’t come from…

By Uche Blackstock,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Legacy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“This book is more than a memoir—it also serves as a call to action to create a more equitable healthcare system for patients of color, particularly Black women.” —Essence

One of NPR’s 11 Books to Look Forward to in 2024

One of Good Morning America’s 15 New Books to Read for the New Year

“Legacy is both a compelling memoir and an edifying analysis of the inequities in the way we deliver healthcare in America. Uché Blackstock is a force of nature.” —Abraham Verghese, MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Covenant of…


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