In honor of Juneteenth 2022, we organized a selection of nationwide Juneteenth events and celebrations you can attend, content to watch and stream, and Black-owned brands to shop and support.

To celebrate and commemorate Juneteenth, we bring you a personally curated reading list to celebrate some of our favorite Black authors. The members of Highsnobiety dive into why they love the books they do, spanning from classics to contemporary literary works across various genres.

Grab a drink and pull up your Amazon cart, because you'll want to add these books to your shopping list.

Invisible Man (1952) by Ralph Waldo Ellison

To me, no book is more important than Invisible Man to understand the history of the African American plight for acceptance in America. It was instrumental in the Harlem Renaissance and is a must-read. Ralph Ellison created a roadmap of the struggles African Americans faced trying to figure out their place in this country. It is one of the greatest pieces of literature ever created. - Christian Grant-Fields, Head of Talent Relations

A Knock at Midnight (2020) by Brittany K. Barnett

A Knock at Midnight is an intriguing memoir by Brittany K. Barnett, an attorney and criminal justice reform advocate. It touches on the war on drugs and how it affected the Black community for generations, injustice within the legal system, and more. It’s so good that I’ve read it twice. - Jeffrey Lockhart, Instagram Manager

Small Country (2016) by Gaël Faye

Small Country is a coming-of-age novel by Franco-Rwandan musician and writer Gaël Faye. The book takes place during the Rwandan civil war in the early ‘90s. This bildungsroman comes in at just under 200 pages, so if you’re looking for a quick read rich in historical context, this is the book for you. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can read it in its original language, French, as Petit Pays. - Simone Marshall, TikTok Manager

The Water Dancer (2019) by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Water Dancer is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ first novel, a surrealist fictional story about a pre-Civil War slave in the South who has the superpower to teleport himself and others through water. The protagonist Hiram Walker’s confusion and frustration as a mixed-race slave is searingly felt through the pages. The book is not only captivating in its plot, but Coates’ mastery with words is a sheer delight to take in. What’s more, The Water Dancer is also being made into a film — I strongly suggest you read it before watching the movie. - Elaine YJ Lee, Features Editor

Dark Matters (2015) by Simone Browne

Simone Browne uses her multidisciplinary practice to investigate how contemporary surveillance technologies and policies are informed by an extensive racial history dating back to transatlantic slavery. Ranging from lantern laws to biometrics, she leaves no stone unturned as she navigates through key concerns around Blackness and the logics of surveillance. - Denzel Blake, Associate Style Writer

All About Love (1999) by bell hooks

In All About Love: New Visions, bell hooks makes a radical proposition: Love is not a feeling we passively experience; rather, it is an act that requires regular practice. Love is commitment and care. Love is work. Love is never cruel or abusive. hooks’ lessons have taught me how to better love others and perhaps more importantly, myself. - Alex Pauly, Style Writer

Revolutionaries to Race Leaders (2007) by Cedric Johnson

Cedric Johnson's writing filters the Black America experience through a scholarly leftist perspective, and Revolutionaries to Race Leaders is perhaps his most seminal work. While examining how mainstream white politics co-opted and sidelined Black ideology — including the Black Power movement — Johnson also spotlights unsung trailblazers and explores the meaning behind popular rhetoric. It’s a dense read, to be sure, but eye-opening. - Jake Silbert, News Editor

Between the World and Me (2015) by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A deeply emotive, historical, and profound telling of Black male life in America, from one generation to the next. Toni Morisson calls the work “required reading” which I can only echo, as Coates’ lyricism makes you feel the world from his place within it. A must-read for anyone with a pulse (and heart to match). - Samantha Sugarman, Creative

Girl, Woman, Other (2019) by Bernadine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Through a complex network of characters, Evaristo celebrates so many different lived experiences of womanhood taking into account age, ethnicity, class, ability, and gender identity. It takes a minute to get used to her poetry-prose style of writing but once you’re in the rhythm of it, its impossible to put down. - Lucy Thorpe, Senior Branded Content Editor

In the End, It Was All About Love (2021) by Musa Okwonga

This book by Musa Okwonga is basically about his experience when he comes to Berlin. In the End addresses his emotions and his past. It’s a small book, an easy read. I liked it because it was his personal point of view and it was interesting to read about his experience which was very different from mine when I arrived in Berlin. - Tetiana Khvorostiana, Visual Editor

Memorial (2020) by Bryan Washington

Memorial is one of those books that as soon as you’re finished, you wish you could read it again for the first time. It’s a beautiful book about love, dysfunctional relationships, and the bonding powers of food. A24 has snapped up the rights and is turning Memorial into a TV show, so it’s definitely one to read before the series fills up your timeline. - Lia McGarrigle, Style Editor

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