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February is Black History Month, during which we honor the triumphs and struggles of African Americans throughout U.S. history. This month serves as an excellent opportunity to educate yourself and expand your knowledge on Black history. Take time this month to educate yourself with these four life-changing books.

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

Dig deeper into the life of Malcolm X with the in-depth biography The Dead are Arising, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Les Payne and Tamara Payne. The book compiles an extensive set of interviews from people who knew the iconic human rights activist. A look at race before, during, and after his life, the legacy of Malcolm X is celebrated in this award-winning book.

The 1619 Project

The 1619 Project is a must-read anytime, but especially during Black History Month. The book is a profound mix of essays, poems, and works of fiction from various contributors and authors, detailing the legacy of slavery and its existence since 1619. The collection takes a good look at how the start of slavery has continued to shape every part of our today’s society. A refreshing and enlightening read, The 1619 Project helps reframe the country’s history.

Invisible Man

Originally published in 1952, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is a classic novel that has shaped American literature. The story follows the narrator on his journey from a Black community in the Deep South to Harlem, where the protagonist experiences intolerance and racial bigotry, all while trying to find the true meaning of self-identity.

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

With over 90 different perspectives beginning in 1619 and throughout the next 400 years, Four Hundred Souls covers the long journey of slavery and racism from the start to present. The 90 individuals, as chosen by authors Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, each take on a five-year period during the 400-year span, documenting a range of experiences and ideas within the Black community.

Knowledge is power. During Black History Month, make sure to educate yourself with a look at one of these four books. For more reading recommendations, check out Vive’s blog.


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