As we mentioned in our post yesterday, we take pride in lifting black voices and we honor the contributions of African Americans to the United States and the world. Today we would like to highlight 10 leadership books written by African Americans to get right now! These books are informative and insightful, and must-haves for any serious leader.

“There is no list of rules. There is one rule. The rule is: there are no rules. Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be. Being traditional is not traditional anymore. It’s funny that we still think of it that way. Normalize your lives, people. You don’t want a baby? Don’t have one. I don’t want to get married? I won’t. You want to live alone? Enjoy it. You want to love someone? Love someone. Don’t apologize. Don’t explain. Don’t ever feel less than. When you feel the need to apologize or explain who you are, it means the voice in your head is telling you the wrong story. Wipe the slate clean. And rewrite it. No fairy tales. Be your own narrator. And go for a happy ending. One foot in front of the other. You will make it.”
― Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes

From the moment I enter a room, I am clear about how I intend to be treated and how I intend to engage. I do not tell self-deprecating jokes about my race or gender, though I will do so about my personal idiosyncrasies. I can be charmingly humble or playfully self-effacing without pandering to stereotypes in order to make others comfortable. For example, my attire, my hairstyle, even my presentation style, reflect me rather than aping the behavior of others. I know that when I offer criticism of men in the workplace, I may be seen as a man-hater. I know because I am not married, I may be seen as a lesbian. I know because I will never be less than curvaceous and wear my hair natural”
― Stacey Abrams, Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change

“I believe every one of us is born with a purpose. No matter who you are, what you do, or how far you think you have to go, you have been tapped by a force greater than yourself to step into your God-given calling. This goes far beyond what you do to earn your living. I’m talking about a supreme moment of destiny, the reason you are here on earth.” — Oprah Winfrey, The Path Made Clear Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose

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DJ Jeffries is the founder and editor of

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