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9 Personal Development Books by Black Authors That Will Seriously Inspire You

There is certainly no shortage of self-help books and personal development books these days, which is handy when you’re:

  • Looking for inspiration to navigate a new life path
  • Struggling to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be
  • Feeling a bit lost, lacking motivation, or in need of inspiration

We’ve all been there! And when you’re in that place, the best thing you can do is reach for a source of support.

Sometimes the best support comes in the form of books. Whether you’re a self-help reader, or if you’re simply interested in personal development, this book list offers a variety of reads to support you on your journey.

And since we should always be celebrating Black voices (not just during Black History Month), we’ve compiled a list of nine incredible self-help books by Black authors.

Get ready for a serious dose of inspiration, motivation and support!

Craving more inspirational book inspo? Here Are 10 Must-Read Empowering Books for Every Woman


Here Are 9 Seriously Inspirational Self-Help Books By Black Authors to Add to Your Reading List:


1. One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant

One Day My Soul Just Opened Up

One of our favorite motivational speakers and inspirational authors, Iyanla Vanzant wrote One Day My Soul Just Opened Up to give readers the tools to cope with life’s challenges, step into a sense of purpose and empowerment, and open up our own souls to our full potential.

Designed as a journal and workbook, you’ll find a healthy dose of Vanzant’s personal anecdotes and seriously inspirational messages and takeaways, along with guided prompts to help you reflect and find your own answers and conclusions.

This Black author tells it like it is, offering deep spiritual advice and practical ways to find inner peace. She believes the key to happiness and fulfillment lies in nurturing the relationship you have with yourself and surrendering to a higher power, one that will help you co-create your life.

Above all, Vanzant says to take comfort in the fact you are never alone. Accept life’s setbacks with grace and trust you are being guided and supported.

Iyanla Vanzant Shares How to Exercise Your NO Muscle and Set Healthy Boundaries In This Powerful 2-Minute Video

2. What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

What I Know For Sure

Oprah Winfrey. Her legendary name alone evokes inspiration. From her talk shows to her magazine, Oprah has dedicated decades to uplifting and empowering the masses.

This infamous Black author has interviewed some of the most influential names in wellness, spirituality, and beyond, and throughout the years has documented the lessons and insights she’s gained along the way in her “What I Know for Sure” column.

Now, she’s gathered these essays and organized them into her personal development book by the same name. Organized by themes like joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, clarity, and power, her beautiful What I Know for Sure book is a must on your reading list.

Here are 10 Inspiring Oprah Quotes to Help You Through Challenging Times

3. Life Visioning by Michael Bernard Beckwith

Life Visioning

What is your purpose? What have you been put on this Earth to do? To help you answer these questions, Michael Bernard Beckwith wrote Life Visioning.

In this book, this Black author shares the Life Visioning Process and how it can be used to positively influence your love life, finances, career and more. Beckwith also discusses the four stages of consciousness and how to move from one stage to the next. His mission with Life Visioning is to help readers become more enlightened and empowered, and transform into who they are meant to be.

In his review of this self-help book, Deepak Chopra said, “Beckwith eloquently unfolds the secrets of deep inquiry for spiritual development, which leads to infinite possibilities in our lives.”

The bottom line: When you can align with the universe, you’ll be unstoppable. Understand that you will always be a work in progress, evolving and discovering your authentic self. As Beckwith teaches, “Unimagined possibilities begin to open up as you synchronize with the divine.”

Check Out These 5 Unusual Things That Happen When You Go Through A Spiritual Awakening

4. Becoming by Michelle Obama


In her memoir, Becoming, Michelle Obama reveals the life experiences that define her – the successes, failures, and lessons she learned along the way. She shares what it was like growing up on the south side of Chicago, juggling a full-time job with motherhood, being the First Lady and more.

Told from an honest and relatable point of view, Obama’s story inspires readers to dig deep and honor their own experiences – the good, the bad and everything in between.

Despite appearances, nobody’s perfect. That’s why it’s a mistake to compare yourself to anyone else. The former First Lady explains we are always in a state of “becoming” more of who we are supposed to be, making her memoir an inspiring personal development book.


5. Greatness Is Upon You by Eric Thomas

Greatness Is Upon You

These powerful principles will help take your life to the next level. In his book, Greatness Is Upon You, inspirational speaker, preacher and motivational self-help author Eric Thomas helps change the way you think about challenges.

Rather than allowing life’s setbacks to derail you, he invites you to embrace them and use setbacks to propel you forward. This book is filled with different lessons and exercises designed to bring you closer to reaching your goals and finding the greatness within you.

Greatness Is Upon You is like a one-on-one pep talk, and that inspirational locker room speech you need before a big game. After reading it, you’ll want to get out there and start living your best life.

6. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes

You’ve probably heard of this Black author in the television world. Shonda Rhimes is the creator Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder. In all of these shows, the characters are bold change-makers, outspoken and fearless.

However, “outspoken” and “fearless” were not always words to describe Rhimes. Growing up as an introvert, she felt uncomfortable in the spotlight. But one Thanksgiving dinner everything changed. Her sister said, “you never say yes to anything” and in that moment, something clicked.

Rhimes decided it was time for a change; it was time to start saying “yes.” So, for the next year, she said “yes” to everything she was afraid of.

In her memoir, Year of Yes, Rhimes describes her life before and after she started saying “yes.” This book follows Rhimes on her journey of self-discovery, where she learned to love and embrace her authentic self. Her incredible personal development revelation motivates readers to do the same.

7. The Black Girl’s Guide To Self-Care: A 30-Day Self-Care Workbook by Kristin D. Hemingway

Black Girls Guide To Self-Care

The Black Girl’s Guide To Self-Care is a simple, straight forward workbook that opens with an in-depth look at the importance of self-care before diving into 30 days of challenges (for example, Day 3 is unplugging from social media), along with reflections in the form of journal prompts.

With Hemingway’s short yet powerful messages for each day, you’ll find inspiration, tools, and support to keep moving forward while also releasing habits that aren’t serving you. It’s quick, fun, and a perfect resource for those wanting to begin or restart a self-care routine.

“Designed to help women in general, and Black Women in particular, reclaim their time, their wellness and their joy,” The Black Girl’s Guide To Self-Care helps readers navigate their self-care journey on their terms. As a youth ministry veteran, life coach and speaker, Hemingway is a Black author committed to being a self-care advocate.

8. Clever Girl Finance: Ditch Debt, Save Money, and Build Real Wealth by Bola Sokunbi

Clever Girl Finance

Clever Girl Finance reminds us that having a healthy mindset around money is part of self-care and personal development, and helps readers lay the foundation for an empowered and successful life.

In addition to being a popular self-help author, Bola Sokunbi is also a Certified Financial Education Instructor, finance expert, and founder and CEO of Clever Girl Finance, a platform dedicated to empowering women to achieve financial independence.

In Clever Girl Finance, Sokunbi demystifies investing, helps women understand their relationship with money and debt, negotiate salaries and much more. Between the wisdom she shares and the power she embodies, this personal development book is popular for a reason!

9. She’s Still There: Rescuing the Girl In You by Chrystal Evans Hurst

Shes Still There

If your life is feeling (or has ever felt) a bit off course or lacking direction, She’s Still There will reignite your passion, purpose and direction.

A raw, authentic and relatable self-help book that dives into the author’s life and challenges that she’s overcome as a way of showing you that you’re capable of doing the same, She’s Still There is half inspirational read, half motivational pep talk.

Author Chrystal Evans Hurst is a best-selling author with over 100,000 copies of this book sold, and also shares her inspiration as a speaker at conferences, and through her podcast, blog, and ministry.

Use These Self-Help Books by Black Authors to Take Your Personal Development to the Next Level!

If you’ve been experiencing self-doubt and struggling to get where you want to be, you’re not alone. But once you change your mindset, you can change your life. The first step is believing you can do it and then getting out there to make it happen.

Once you change your mindset, you can change your life.

These Black authors and thought leaders can help you on your journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and living your best life. Add these self-help books to your reading list and watch how they transform your life. You’ve got this. 🙂

This list of self-help books by Black authors by no means exhaustive! Do you have a favorite inspirational Black author you’d like to share, or another personal development book you love? Please share in the comments below – we love hearing from you!

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