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Books for Black History Month to read on your next cruise

15 Feb 2022
Haley Mills

As you stroll along the pool deck or promenade on a sea day, you’re bound to see people stretched out with a thick novel, engrossed in some kind of story.

Reading a book on the beach

There’s something about a cruise that brings out the readers in so many of us. Most likely, it’s because we are away from the distractions of reality:  no work, no stress. We aren’t vegged out in front of the television or running kids from soccer practice to Girl Scouts.

Suddenly, all that time we’ve been planning to “make” to read is in front of us. There’s no better time than a cruise, when you can kick off your shoes, grab a drink of choice, and settle in with whatever book you’ve been saving for just this opportunity.

ebook reader

Sound like a good idea to you? We have some recommendations perfect for all you February cruisers (and everyone else, too)! Pack one or two of these books in your suitcase or on your tablet for your next vacation.

The link for each book contains an affiliate link, which means I get a commission for purchases made. There is no additional cost to you


  • River, Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke:  A young girl tragically drowns in the Potomac River, 1925, and shapes the rest of her sister’s life.
  • Rebel by Beverly Jenkins:  Looking for romance? Head on down to New Orleans for a good old fashioned love story. When Valinda’s school is destroyed, an architect (and a captain!) steps in to help her as part of his mission to rebuild the city. 
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas:  16-year-old witnesses her best friend killed in a police shooting, and it’s up to her to speak up about what happened. Angie Thomas has also written two other incredible novels:  On the Come Up and Concrete Rose
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor:  For those who prefer SciFi! Binti has been accepted into a prestigious university in space, but it means leaving everything she knows behind, and entering a war with an alien race.
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat:  If you’re going to the Caribbean, especially Haiti, I highly recommend something by Edwidge Danticat. This one is about a girl who immigrated to New York with her mother, but then returns to native Haiti, and witnesses the strength and power of the women there.


  • The Black Count by Tom Reiss:  If you love The Count of Monte Cristo, then you should read this one. The biography of General Alex Dumas tells the story of the man that his son, Alexandre Dumas, used as a muse to write some of the most classic heroes of all time.
  • Just as I Am by Cicely Tyson:  Autobiography/Memoirs of Actress Cicely Tyson. She details her childhood, her early career, her love affair and eventual marriage to Miles Davis, and much wisdom that she’s gained in 96 years.
  • Redefining Realness by Janet Mock:  Memoirs of Janet Mock, detailing her experiences of her youth. Mock grew up poor, multiracial, and trans, and provides great insight on how vulnerable it can be as a marginalized person in America.
  • All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M Johnson:  Personal Essays from LGBTQIA+ activist George M Johnson, as he explores coming of age while being Black and queer.
  • You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson:  Comedy Superstar Phoebe Robinson shares an essay collection about what it's like being a Black woman in America.

Are you someone who likes to read when you get on board your vacation cruise? How many books do you usually pack? What are you reading for Black History Month? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!