Updated: Sep 18, 2022
Black Woman, have you been struggling with your identity? Have you been feeling disconnected from your roots or even ashamed of where you came from? Are you looking to become more enveloped in your culture in a fun, blunt, and relatable way?
Throughout my beautiful journey of black womanhood, I discovered some amazing books that amplified my knowledge, confidence, and power as a Black Women a long the way.
Understanding my blackness on a spiritual, mental, and emotional level was crucial. Also, connecting with other women of color whether that be through books, music, YouTube videos, and the real world, allowed me to see the expansion of my culture.
These books aren't your typical and strictly historical books. What I love about these books is how they intertwine history, comedy, and personable experiences to get their messages across.
In this blog post I'm going to share some of the amazing secrets and takeaways that these amazing books taught me and links to them so that you can also drown in your blackness as well!
So if you're looking to:
Be more confident/understand your power as a Black woman
Become more aware of/ break generational trauma and patterns
Understand the power of your femininity and activate your power to receive
Get closer to your roots
Face your emotions and trauma/heal
These books are for you! Here I introduce to you 10 must read books for black women!
THIS BOOK RIGHT HERE CHILEEE!!
Get ready to lather and cleanse your soul as Nijiama Smalls beautifully and boldly breaks down the generational traumas of Black Women and the manifestations of our emotional wounds.
As Black Women we tend to suffer in silence and pretend that we have everything all under control. What stood out to me the most in this book was the signs/symptoms of emotional wounds. When I tell ya'll I did most of the things on the list I'm not kidding. Some of us are literally dying inside and don't even know it.
Want to know the signs and symptoms of emotional wounds, mommy issues, daddy issues, and self-rejection? Get your copy here!
What I loved the most about this book is how it wasn't solution based. You know how some books have problems and the solutions to follow up right after? Although those books are a blessing so is a book that just hones in on the darkness.
Call me emo if you want but in this society forced positivity or getting by is embraced which explains certain book and articles titles like "Get Over Depression in 2 Minutes."
2 Takeaways from this book
Nana- Ama speaks opens up about being on anti-depressants. She expresses how during her depression she felt so much, too much, and when she was put on anti-depressants, she couldn't feel nothing at all. This hindered her ability to produce great work and tap into herself.
Nana-Ama also expresses her anger towards a partner and how much she disliked him. She then comes to a conclusion that it wasn't him that she hated it was herself.
When we tolerate abuse or disrespect from a person analyzing their behavior is crucial of course, but also asking ourselves why do we accept it?
Curious to read this blunt, raw, and aaaamazing book? Here you go boo!
A lot of the times when we go through pain so immense we become indenial. I don't know about you but I always thought of denial as a bad thing like JUST ADMIT IT!
In this well crafted emotional wound uplifting book, the beauty of denial is said to be a form of protection. If we were to process everything at the same time and place we'd probably be somewhere in a ditch.
Just think about it!
This book takes a biblical, personal, and uplifting approach to the depths of healing. For example, Steve Stephens expresses how:
"Guilt is a good thing.. it's a signal that we have broken our value system and need to chance our behavior."
So you should be concerned if you DON'T feel guilty for crossing a line.
Oh! God bless this amazing woman! Debrena helped me identify:
The difference between pampering and grooming
My starving westernized spirit LOL!
Gandy puts emphasis on African-American women taking the time out to cater to their bodies and their emotional, spiritual, and mental needs. And I mean to the T. She quickly and delicately drops jewels on identifying and combatting self-neglect.
I often thought of joy as something that I do that makes other people happy, not something that just makes me happy.
Warning: Reading this book may cause you to take better care of yourself so if you put everyone else before you, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!
Speaking of joy, Debrena made another book that drops 101 principles on women finding joy in their lives by getting through what she calls the "silt" in their lives. "All The Joy You Can Stand" has the same goal as my brand to acknowledge the blockages within so you can boldly stand out!
4 Takeaways from this book for me were:
Debrena Jackson Gandy opening me up to the whole "dis-ease" concept and how physical illnesses come from emotional "dis-ease."
Gandy describing the difference between self- loath and self -love
How our physical world reflects our internal world. Look around at your room. Is it cluttered? Is it dirty? What about your car? If the answer to that is yes that is most likely how you're feeling internally; cluttered and cramped.
How often do you declutter tangible items? Do you get rid of them completely? Or do you "relocate" them as Gandy describes it? Our relationship with letting go, holding onto, or relocating items we don't need, shows us how we deal with our problems.
This book is a must for women with trauma and stagnation. It's like having a therapist in book form.
Tony and Sheri Gaskins if you ever see this THANK YOU! These two amazing people were great role models for me throughout my career and personal growth journey.
In Tony's life, the woman who influenced him is his wife, the beautiful Sheri Gaskins who is also the author of this book. How cute!!
This book speaks on the necessity of women in this world. Not only are we extremely valuable but are influential. The problem is some of us do not know it so we allow other people to tell us what our worth is.
Men can sense when a women doesn't know who she is. A women with no boundaries, standards, or what I like to call "self-ship." And this is what Tony Gaskins effortlessly breaks down. He reveals the mindset of men or what he refers to as "grown boys." Gaskins also writes about his past and how he used to be the man he now calls out.
6 Takeaways from this book for me were:
"A woman sees a relationship as an opportunity to fall in love. A man sees it as an opportunity to be sucked in and then drained for everything he's worth. Love is beautiful thought for most women, but it's a very scary thought for most men." ~ Tony Gaskins
Some men and women have been raised to not trust each other which I believe relationships and true commitment is so rare. Tony expresses how most men have been raised to think that "a woman is a "opponent" coming to steal and break his heart." Just like some women have been taught to "be careful" with men.
Influence is not about changing someone it's about making a person want to be better for themselves and you.
Keep your legs closed or as Tony says "stay off your back" until a man shows you consistency, commitment, and vulnerability.
A man falls in love with a woman who holds him accountable. Set your boundaries and hold yourself in high regard. This is how you weed out people who are not for you and get closer to the people who are.
Cooking, cleaning, and giving a man sex is not what keeps him around. Loving on yourself is.
Men respect action not words!
Must I add, please subscribe to Tony Gaskin's YouTube channel he is hilarious!
What comes to your mind when you think of pleasure? Do you feel it is your birthright or a burden?
Introducing what Black Girl Bliss calls a "radical" form of self-care and pleasure, not only does the book bluntly drop history gems but it pushes Black women to find their own form of pleasure.
4 takeaways from this book for me were:
My guilt or fear for sharing my accomplishments or standing out is generational! I always thought it was only experimental but Black people have been taught to shrink themselves especially Black Women and I AM NOT DOING THAT ANYMORE!
How we can "intentionally redesign" beliefs, generational trauma, and our mindset.
A lot of us settle because we don't give ourselves permission to be great or we don't believe better is out there.
Pleasure is not about being happy all the time. It can also be owning how you truly feel.
And you know us Black Women are notorious for the "I'm fine" and "I got it" statements.
8. The Science of Black Hair By Audrey Davis Sivasothy
What better way is there for a black woman to learn about her culture than through her hair strands?
3 takeaways from this book for me were:
Washing your hair over the sink face down is not only bad for your back but it also makes hair tangled.
"When we lean forward over the sink or tub to shampoo our tresses, the hair and cuticles are oriented in the opposite direction of the recommended downward comb-out."
Breakage-free hair washing is braided cleansing
Black hair desperately needs moisture and hydration more than any other hair type.
All the tips and tricks you need to take better care of your natural hair are included in this book from product recommendations, in depth hair follicle breakdowns, managing healthy hair and more!
Trust me Audrey doesn't miss a beat!
Must I add, this book is a mix of science and informational. What makes this book so lit is that the scientific topic is hair instead of weathering and erosion LOL!
So if you spaced out during science class don't panic too much!
Rachael Groover not only speaks on the hidden desires of women but she gives tips on women activating their magnetism, energetic presence, and feminine power.
5 takeaways from this book for me were:
Being inside of my body! This experience makes you feel high and safe.
There's a difference between processing your emotions and allowing them to come up and creating emotional drama
Some women live from the waist up which means they are not confident in themselves sexually and don't experience enough "juiciness."
Some women live solely from the waist down which makes they make bad choices with the people they sleep with.
The key to become a fully expressed woman is to marry the two forces of (waist up and waist down) sexuality and spirituality.
What inspired me to engulf in my blackness was cutting my natural hair in the summer of 2018. By cutting my natural hair I was forced to learn so much about it which essentially allowed me to bond with it instead of keeping it tucked away in sew-ins. I go deeper into this in my Natural Hair Journey post.
When I took a break from all the weaves I wore, I found myself becoming more in tune with my ethnicity; learning all the brilliant methods for my hair, seeing other black girls embrace their natural hair, and making connections with them gave me so much confidence!
And I want the same for you too boo! I'm not speaking solely on embracing your natural hair but your African-American culture as a whole!
Before, the thought of wearing my real hair out scared me. I thought my hair was too much to handle, I would get frustrated with it and throw it up into weave. But how can I expect my hair to be healthy if I’m not taking care of it?