African American Coffee Table Books

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African American Coffee Table Books

African American Coffee Table Books

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African American Coffee Table Books

Whether you’re drawn to coffee table books with beautiful images, entertaining essays, or books that represent your diverse interests, choosing books by diverse authors is key to an interesting collection. We’ve compiled a list of 20 books by Black authors, photographers and artists that will fit perfectly on any coffee table.

Many of the books contain photographs and stories that give an in-depth look at Black communities in big cities like Brooklyn, Harlem, and Baltimore. Others include never-before-published photographs of celebrities, musicians, and civil rights icons. And some study the great strides Black creatives are making right now in their respective industries. Above all, the books capture Black Americans in scenes of everyday life and express themes of love, loss, resilience, hope, and strength.

African American Coffee Table Books

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Plant and interior stylist Hilton Carter guides readers through creating a beautifully decorated home using plants in his latest book, “Wild Creations.” The book includes plant care tips and step-by-step instructions on how to create terrariums, living walls, and more. Hilton also recently collaborated with Target to create a limited series of plant-inspired products.

This lovely book is a film lover’s dream and is one of the more unique books you can add to your collection. As well as being visually appealing with stunning stills from the film, the book includes an imaginative foreword by Frank Ocean, and an essay by Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Hilton Als. Other important features of the book include acceptance speeches from Director Barry Jenkins, actor Mahershala Ali, and playwright Tarell McCraney. The film’s win for Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards, although exciting, was the first win for an all-Black cast, confirming the film’s cultural significance.

African American Coffee Table Books

Tyler Mitchell first attracted attention by being the first Black photographer to shoot the cover of American Vogue at just 23 years old. Since then, Mitchell has kept up the momentum, photographing Vice President Kamala Harris, director and actress Michaela Coel, and singer Harry Styles for Vogue. Mitchell’s 2020 release, “I Can Make You Feel Good,” features images of young Black men and women in various natural settings. The book notably contains no white spaces, which is an unusual feature for a photography book.

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Initially started as an ambitious quarantine project by young creative Arial Robinson, “The Modern Day Black Alphabet” features images that represent different parts of the Black experience. Each image in the book was shot by Robinson throughout her home and neighborhood. The book is a fun educational book for children and also makes a great coffee table centerpiece.

African American Coffee Table Books

A familiar face among coffee table books, “The New Black Vanguard” features images of Black models by Black photographers and focuses on the intersection of fashion, art and Blackness. The images in the book have been curated by art critic and author, Antwaun Sargent. Sargent says the book “tracks the emerging global movement of young image-makers reclaiming and re-imagining the black image, beauty and identity.” The book features photographs by renowned photographers Tyler Mitchell, Renell Medrano, Campbell Addy, Arielle Bobb-Willis, Adrienne Raquel, and Dana Scruggs, and aims to bring awareness to the great work that Black photographers are doing. created across the fashion industry.

Roy DeCarava is best known for capturing soulful photographs of the everyday lives of Black Americans as well as images of Black icons from the mid-1900s. Some of Decarava’s notable subjects include musicians Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane. Although many of the photos in this collection were shot in the 1960s, the book was not published until 2001. DeCarava, who grew up during the Harlem Renaissance, includes images of jazz musicians, as well as poems, and images others throughout this book.

African American Coffee Table Books

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By far the biggest book to appear on this list, “The Rihanna Book” is a work of art in itself. The book features many never-before-seen images of Rihanna on vacation, on tour, and other iconic moments from the singer’s multi-decade career. The book is the perfect addition to any Rihanna fan’s home, and even comes with extras like a removable poster, and other inserts.

Lifestyle blogger and stylist LaTonya Yvette uses images of herself, her children, and other women in her first book “Woman of Color.” Throughout the book, Yvette tackles themes of motherhood, womanhood, sisterhood, racism, beauty, and style with her thought-provoking essays.

African American Coffee Table Books

“Invisible: Unpublished Black History from The New York Times,” by Darcy Eveleigh, Dana Canedy, Damien Cave, and Rachel L. Swarns

Black Futures: Drew, Kimberly, Wortham, Jenna: 9780399181139: Books

“Unseen” contains a large collection of photographs that were captured but never published by The New York Times. Editor Darcy Eveleigh first discovered the photos in the publication’s massive photo archive and worked with other NYT editors to sort through thousands of photos and then share them first on the Times website, and later in this curated collection . Many of these never-before-seen photographs include images of musicians, civil rights activists, and scenes of everyday life in predominantly Black communities. The book documents pivotal moments in Black American history, leaving readers to ponder the reasons why the photos were never published.

African American Coffee Table Books

Initially a book club that expanded into a literary festival, Well-Read Black Girl’s mission has always been to bring Black women together to read books by Black authors. Founder Glory Edim explores what it means to be a well-read Black girl through feature essays by Black women who describe defining moments in their literary journeys, becoming back to read their first books by classic Black authors such as Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison. Although this book does not contain many images, it is well written, rich essays make it an option suitable for any coffee table.

I first encountered Dawoud Bey’s striking photographs at San Francisco’s MOMA and was impressed by how easily and accurately he captured his various subjects. A self-taught photographer, Bey began photographing his Harlem community. Bey’s “Seeing Deeply,” includes 40 years of his photographs and includes many images from his Harlem neighborhood. Throughout this period, Bey was dedicated to capturing the Black community in a favorable and more equal way, a goal that was not common among other photographers of the time.

African American Coffee Table Books

Coffee Table Book Illustration

After the unjust death of Freddie Gray, while protests began to erupt due to tensions between the citizens of Baltimore and the police, photographer Devin Allen captured images of the protests and then shared them with the world on his Instagram account. In “A Beautiful Ghetto,” Allen shares powerful black and white images of Baltimore before, during and after the protests. The book offers an insight into everyday life in Baltimore and includes essays by Baltimore natives Wes Moore and D.Watkins.

A second feature on this list by Antwaun Sargent, “Young, Gifted, and Black” continues Sargent’s exploration of Duni through art. In Sargent’s own words, the book is “about black collectors, artists, and curators doing the work to ensure that black art is made, seen, and appreciated.” This collection includes interviews, images, and essays from artists themselves, as well as art curators, and writers.

African American Coffee Table Books

This book is the first of its kind to feature images only of iconic Black models such as Beverly Johnson, Iman, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, and more. Each model is given a detailed feature that pays homage to the obstacles they broke through to achieve success. Author Marcellas Reynolds, who is a celebrity stylist and journalist, shows the evolution of Black models in the fashion industry through various magazine covers, runway shows, and campaigns spanning 75+ years.

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This book gives readers an in-depth look at the wardrobe of Black churchgoers while focusing on the extravagant church hats that many Black women wear every Sunday. Photographer Michael Cunningham captures images of everyone from grandmothers to young children wearing unique hats.

African American Coffee Table Books

Enter the mind of the famous artist Basquiat with this collection of conversation starter notebooks. The collection includes copies of eight notebooks that belonged to Basquiat himself and feature drawings, reflections, poems, and notes. The notebooks give the readers a close insight into the creative processes of one of the most well-known artists of all time.

In creating “Black Futures”, authors Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham sought to answer the question “what it means to be Black and alive right now.” Through this curated collection of interviews, essays, memes, recipes, and song lyrics, the book is a snapshot of the Black experience right now.

African American Coffee Table Books

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