I love books, and I’m always on the hunt for the best self-improvement books. Despite all of the things that pull my attention on any given day, I make it my business to DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) at least two times a day. I get my reading fix in during my hour commute to work and my hour and fifteen commute from work. That said, here are some of the best self-improvement books for black women!
Best Self-Improvement Books | Black Empowerment Books and More
In this article:
- Books Black Women Should Read
- Girl, Get Your Money Straight by Glinda Bridgforth
- The One-Week Budget by Tiffany “Budgetnista” Aliche
- Sisters Are Cashing In: How Every Woman Can Make Her Financial Dreams Come True by Marilyn French Hubbard
- Sistergirl Devotions: Keeping Jesus in the Mix on the Job by Carol Mackey
- Interaction to Transaction: How to Get Comfortable When Asking for the Sale by Nancy Roberts
- The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self Love by Abiola Abrams
- Sacred Pampering Principles: An African-American Woman’s Guide to Self-care and Inner Renewal by Debrena Jackson Gandy
- Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society by Breeze Harper
- If You Have to Cry, Go Outside and Other Things Your Mother Never Told You by Kelly Cutrone
- How Did I Get So Busy? The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule, and Reconnect with What Matters Most by Valorie Burton
Books Black Women Should Read
What I learned about myself is books are a major part of my self-care ritual and a fundamental way of how I relate to the world. It is also how I show my love, career, and concern for my fellow sistergirl. If you speak to me, you will always leave with at least two book recommendations.
So here are ten of my favorite picks:
Girl, Get Your Money Straight by Glinda Bridgforth
I had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Bridgforth this year when I was in Detroit. I acted the same way that a Beyonce fan would have carried on when I saw her. This book and her other books, Girl Get Your… changed how I saw money and how I viewed wealth. This book started me on a financial self-awareness journey. I eliminated all $65K worth of debt, started The Frugal Feminista, and made wealth a priority for my family and me.
The One-Week Budget by Tiffany “Budgetnista” Aliche
Tiffany is like my sister from another mother. If you are a baby to budgeting, then this book is for you. Tiffany assumes nothing about your financial acumen, which is a great thing if you need the fundamentals of budgeting laid out for you. The tone of the book is super conversational, so you feel like Tiffany is sitting right next to you at the kitchen table. Plus it’s a #1 Amazon best-seller. There’s a reason why this is one of the best self-improvement books ever.
Sisters Are Cashing In: How Every Woman Can Make Her Financial Dreams Come True by Marilyn French Hubbard
This book isn’t about worksheets or ratios to make you rich. Marilyn really explores the concept of wealth in a holistic way. This book delves deeply into tapping into your potential. She gives strategies on how to break away from negative thinking, negative beliefs, and negative influences to get you closer to the life you want.
Sistergirl Devotions: Keeping Jesus in the Mix on the Job by Carol Mackey
I met Carol earlier this month at an Association of African-American Women in Higher Education event. As the former editor-in-chief of Black Expressions Book Club, she shared her knowledge about the shifts in the publishing industry of black authors. In addition to all of the nuggets she shared, I bought her book at the event. Carol is a devout Christian and her intended audience is African-American Christian women.
I think, however, that the 90 devotions can help any sistergirl along any spiritual journey make the most out of the concrete jungle that often is the workplace. One of my favorite quotes is, “It is my belief that people who like to make others’ lives miserable are spiritually bankrupt. Their lives are so joyless and unfulfilled that they use their jobs as a substitute to satisfy the emptiness.” Is that a truth or not?
Interaction to Transaction: How to Get Comfortable When Asking for the Sale by Nancy Roberts
I came across this same gem in March of this year at the Get Radical Conference. This was when I started thinking about venturing into coaching but was having some serious blocks about asking for the sale from my Frugal Feminista community.
In a one-on-one session with Nancy, I realized that my inability to promote my services was because I had major problems with receiving money and asking for money as opposed to saving money, making money, or giving money. This book is part money, part entrepreneurship, and all mindset targeting women with a problem asking for what they want and placing value on what they deserve.
The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self Love by Abiola Abrams
This book is everything. From the first pages where she shares what caused the demise of her two-year marriage, the self-doubt and damage to her self-esteem leading to all of the probing questions and emotional exercises that she forces readers to do to become their own damn bombshells in 11 areas of their lives, this book guides in into uncovering your best self.
Sacred Pampering Principles: An African-American Woman’s Guide to Self-care and Inner Renewal by Debrena Jackson Gandy
I first read this book over 10 years ago because I was at the beginning of my quarter-life crisis and trying to figure this whole grown ass woman thing out. This book was soooo important for me as a black woman trying to let go of the need to be strong. Earlier this month, I noticed the symptoms of dis-ease and put my nose back in that book to renew.
Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society by Breeze Harper
If you have been thinking about the role that diet plays in your well-being as a woman of color in this society, this book will BLOW.YOUR.MIND. This book had me reeling and ever so conscious about my eating habits and got me thinking about my relationship with food, and with meat in particular. Even if you never decide to be a full-blown vegan, this book will make you think more deeply about your food habits, the environment, and the role that institutional racism plays in your food choices. Extremely powerful.
If You Have to Cry, Go Outside and Other Things Your Mother Never Told You by Kelly Cutrone
I read her book before her stint as a judge on America’s Next Top Model. This book is a must-read if you are still looking for your passion and purpose or if you need a gentle reminder. She also drops some serious science about being a WITCH (Woman In Total Control of Herself) at the workplace and in love.
Even though she isn’t a sistergirl, her experience of overcoming internal and external obstacles is extremely relatable. After reading her advice, “We all have a tribe. Don’t stop looking for yours,” I called my college ex-boyfriend, who I realized that I wanted in my life as a friend and not a lover, and told him that I was happy to have known him and wanted to keep in touch.
How Did I Get So Busy? The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule, and Reconnect with What Matters Most by Valorie Burton
Isn’t that some title? When I saw this book, I was like, “Yes, ma’am. I’ll take two.” What I love about this book (and all of her other books) is that Valorie gives you quizzes, opportunities to journal throughout the book, and shares best practices for living a balanced life. If you’re recovering your SBW (Strong Black Woman), then you need this book in your life…forever.
Nellah Grace has some more recommendations on the best self-improvement books in this video:
I hope you enjoyed this article on my recommendations on books black women should read. Additionally, I hope you found some ideas for books you may want to read yourself. I hope you get inspired by these strong female authors to take those steps towards becoming your best self.
BWMK Family, what other books should be on this reading list?
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 19, 2014. It has been edited for quality and relevancy.