Anthem of the Decades, by Mazisi Kunene.
Biko, by Donald Woods

Roots, by Alex Haley
Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith
Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela
Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
Woman at Point Zero, by Nawal el Sadaawi
Purple Hibiscus + Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimimanda Adichi Ngozi
Our Sister Killjoy, by Ama Ata Aidoo
Head Above Water, by Buchi Emecheta
The Heart of Redness, by Zakes Mda
You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town/David’s Story/Playing in the Light, by Zoe Wicomb
Mother to Mother, by Sindiwe Magona
Unbowed, by Wangari Maathai
Decolonising the Mind, by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
Anthills of the Savannah, by Chinua Achebe
Hero of the Nation, by Henry Masauko Chipembere
Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
Distant View of a Minaret, by Alifa Rifaat
So Long a Letter, by Mariama Ba
A long way gone, by Ishmael Beah
Song for Night/Becoming Abigail, by Chris Abani
Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Desert Flower/Desert Dawn, by Waris Dirie
Born Under the Big Rain, by Fadumo Korn
When Rain Clouds Gather/Maru/A Question of Power, by Bessie Head
Women are Different, by Flora Nwapa
The Stone Virgins, by Yvonne Vera
Call me Woman, by Ellen Kuzwayo
And they didn’t Die, by Lauretta Ngcobo
Maru, b y B e s s i e H e a d
Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
Petals of blood, Weep not child, Ngungi wa Thiongo
Black Sunlight, by Dambudzo Merachera
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, by Amos Tutola
Question of Power, by Bessie Head
Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neal Hurston
Ready For Revolution, by Kwame Ture
Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
The Making of Black Revolutionaries, by James Forman
Destruction of Black Civilization, by Chancellor Williams
The African Origin of Civilization, by Cheikh Anta Diop
The Isis Papers, by Francess Cress Welsing
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama
The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama
Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, by Barack Obama
The Souls of Black Folk, by W.E.B. Du Bois simply bcoz this century is about identity
O’ Mandingo!: The Only Black at a Dinner Party, by Eric Miyeni
Gerard Sekoto: I Am An African, by Chabani Manganyi
The Good Women of China, by Xinran just coz Africa and Asia share so much in common
Capitalist Nigger, by Chika Onyeani
African love stories, (edited) by Ama Ata Aido
Black skin, White masks, by Franz Fanon
Scatter the Ashes and Go, Hyenas, by Mongane Wally Serote
Black God of the Sun, by Ekow Eshun
Mavericks, (edited) by Lauren Beukes
Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
Indaba, My Children, by Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa
Development as freedom, by Amartya Sen
The Spirit of Intimacy, by Sobonfu E. Some
God’s Bit of Wood, The Money Order with White Genesis, by Ousmane Sembene
Zenzele: A letter for my Daughter, by J. Nozipho Maraire
The Bible
The Land Is Ours: The Political Legacy of Mangaliso Sobukwe, by S.E.M. Pheko
Subukwe and Apartheid, by Benjamin Pogrund
I Write what I like, Steve Biko
Blues People, by Amiri Baraka
Stolen Legacy, by George G. M. James
Democracy Matters, by Cornel West
Encyclopedia Africana, probably the greatest manuscript about the entire African Diaspora
Speak so You Can Speak Again: The life of Zora Neale Hurston, by Lucy Hurston




  1. September 10, 2014  2:04 pm by Eleanor

    The correct name for the author of PURPLE HISBISCUS is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie is her surname.

  2. July 28, 2014  6:13 am by mwansa

    Dambisa Moyo with Dead Aid should have been here - I highly recommend

  3. March 23, 2014  3:38 am by Hubs

    "The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency"?! Are you serious?! I get patronised by white folk every day. I'll be damned if I elect for more by reading a well intentioned but patronising white man's take on Botswana and women, thanks. Ah well, lists of this sort tend to be more ornament than use anyway and this one's no exception.

  4. April 23, 2012  3:31 pm by Likki

    The Colour Purple, surely ought to be there.

  5. March 23, 2012  1:50 am by admin

    Hi Anti-Intellect. We should probably let you know that this list was crowd-sourced from our readers (credible or not), we didn't create it.
    Thanks for your comment.

  6. March 22, 2012  12:46 pm by Eugenia O'Neal

    I've read twelve but I note that no West Indian authors made it. Hmm! I would recommend In the Castle of My Skin by George Lamming, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney, Farming of the Bones by Edwidge Danticat and From Columbus to Castro by Eric Williams.

  7. March 20, 2012  11:12 am by Anti_Intellect

    No Toni Morrison and no bell hooks means no credibility in my eyes. Nice try though.

  8. March 20, 2012  11:07 am by sonofbaldwin

    They really need to take the bible off this list. There isn't another book that has colonize and colonialized more minds than that book.

  9. April 27, 2010  11:22 am by Leigh

    @Kanya for real. Tsitsi was on the real in Nervous Conditions. I just read the sequel, The Book of Not and i loved it. Think it may even deserve to be one of these books. Also think Ben Okri's the Famished Road makes the grade many times over. Good pick on Zenzele: a Letter for my Daughter by Nozipo Maraire ITS A MUST READ! Am itching to get started on the list and start picking of the ones i haven't read. THANKS GUYS!

  10. October 6, 2009  6:39 am by Kanya

    OK, I understand - no list will ever please everyone but leaving out Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangaremba is just wrong. Black girls have body issues too!!

  11. October 2, 2009  9:18 am by Dro

    and funny I have read just two.

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