The Book of Awesome Black Americans

Where to buy:

Check your local bookstore to see if The Book of Awesome Black Americans is sold!

4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon:

Monique L. Jones’s The Book of Awesome Black Americans is more than a Black history book. It’s a celebration of Black people. In this book, you will find:

  • Amazing role models who brought on change by using their gifts and passions to overcome societal barriers
  • Stories mainstream media failed to mention that are sure to inspire, motivate, and educate readers of all backgrounds
  • Testimonies that demonstrate how American culture thrives when it celebrates diversity and promotes inclusiveness

Praise for The Book of Awesome Black Americans:

The Book of Awesome Black Americans belongs on every coffee table in America. Monique Jones packs her book with astonishing stories of bravery, grit, and joy. The astonishing anecdotes of overlooked personalities and heroes will ensure you never look at history the same again. Who says history has to be boring?”
– Li Lai, founder of Mediaversity Reviews

“Monique Jones digs deep to provide little known facts and context for a marvelous assemblage of our unsung heroes.”
– Trey Mangum, The Hollywood Reporter contributor

“Monique L. Jones is my go-to for witty, bold and compassionate takes on pop culture. In The Book of Awesome Black Americans, Jones brings her impressive breadth of knowledge and slick style to this well-researched and endlessly exciting collection of Black American stories. The Book of Awesome Black Americans sheds new light on familiar heroes and showcases Black Americans we should be talking about more. Activists and rap stars, abolitionists and pioneers, inventors and scientists surge with life throughout this thrilling and comprehensive work. Read this book! It’s awesome.
-Jennifer Maritza McCauley, National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and author of SCAR ON/SCAR OFF

“Black history has always been more than one month, more than one chapter in a history book. Monique L. Jones’ Book of Awesome Black Americans show us that and more. Black people built America, despite being ripped from Africa via the act of global terrorism called the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. In her vital and thorough book, Jones writes the history we don’t learn in school, the history we need to truly understand the multitudes we contain as Black people. This is a textbook in Black excellence and contribution, and it begins a conversation many are too eager to stifle. Black people’s history did not begin in 1619, and our place in this country will continue to evolve for many years to come.”
-Ashley Jones, recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and author of the award-winning poetry collections, Magic City Gospel and dark // thing

“Monique Jones strikes the balance of fun and learning with her fantastic debut. The Book of Awesome Black Americans gives us an upbeat but necessary lesson on our unsung heroes.”
-Joi Childs, Brand Marketer and Film/TV Critic

Amazon reviews for The Book of Awesome Black Americans:

The Book of Awesome Black Americans is a necessary text for these times and all times to come. Monique L. Jones brilliantly chronicles the journey of Black Americans (including those from intersectionally marginalized groups within that larger group) from Africa to present day. If you need a place to start, continue, or refresh your study of the lives and contributions of Black people in America, this is the book for you! Share it with your classes–I can attest to this as a teacher of middle, high school, and college. Share it with your families, friends, or just people who ask about Black contribution to American life. We need this book.

This is such a fun, breezy book to pick up and read a paragraph at random, and find out about an awesome American who deserves a full on biopic.

This book is awesome. Very accessible and generously filled with fascinating history. I loved, loved, loved it and can’t recommend it enough. I’m inspired by the selection of stories, and by the author’s careful attention to detail and historical accuracy. It’s a wonderful gift for anyone interested in history, or stories of empowerment. I feel… elevated after learning about the role models Monique included. Wow, just wow.

I bought Monique Jones’ book on awesome Black Americans for myself–to learn and to celebrate what Blackness brings to the US despite every effort to stifle and dehumanize Black lives–but it has become a book that sits on the table in the family room. It is a book that my kids who are 9, 12, and 16 read aloud during family time. It both enriches and challenges the history they are taught in schools without flinching from the celebration of Black lives.

I bought an additional copy for my sister as a gift to share with her daughters. The way the author divides the vignettes into sections makes space for discussion and thinking. I will buy more copies for friends when the holiday season comes around. Because it is well-researched, sharply written, and absolutely necessary. These are the stories that get left out of official curriculum. These are the stories that speak to the fulness of American Blackness. I can’t recommend it more highly.

The Book of Awesome Black Americans was a great read! I especially loved seeing photos of some of the people mentioned in the book, and loved that both historical and current black icons were highlighted throughout the book. A fantastic read for all ages, but especially so for those 12-18. The book mentions many great individuals across the arts, business, science, and many more. I highly recommend this for a summer-read, or even a back-to-school read for your children, nieces/nephews, cousins, anybody!

When doing research for a good history book for young teen girls I stumbled upon this one. It’s told through a timeline, even mentioning Black Wall Street and important figures such as Benjamin Banneker. It also highlights important figures in Black Environmentalism and less known Civil Rights Leaders. I recommend this book if you’re looking to gift your young teen a book that is educational and rooted in amplifying black voices.