Thanks to the help of some Facebook and other crowd-sourcing, I've collected and compiled an incomplete, in-progress list of contemporary memoirs or collections of essays by writers of color. I do not intend this as a definitive or exhaustive source, but merely as a starting point. I'm sure that I've missed a LOT and I did not include all the books by some authors. My hope is that this can influence my own reading and teaching and become a resource for my students, perhaps for others as well. Enjoy! -- Steven

UPDATED 12/9/2015

Adiche, Chimamamba Ngozi: We Should All Be Feminists

Als, Hilton: The Women, White Girls

Anzaldua, Gloria: Borderlands/La Frontera

Anzaldua, Lorde, and Moraga, This Bridge Called My Back

Arnett, Marvin V.: Pieces from Life’s Crazy Quilt

Baldwin, James: Notes of a Native Son, Collected Essays

Bambara, Toni Cade Deep Sightings, Rescue Missions

Blanco, Richard: The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood

Brown, Elaine: A Taste of Power

Broyard, Bliss. One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life–A Story of Race and Family Secrets

Bulosan, Carlos: America is in the Heart

Cary, Lorene: Black Ice

Castillo, Ana: Massacre of the Dreamers

Castro, Joy: The Island of Bones, The Truth Book

Coates, Ta-Nahesi: Between the World and Me, The Beautiful Struggle

Cha, Therese: Dictee

Chin, Staceyann: The Other Side of Paradise

Cisneros, Sandra: A House of My Own

Coke, Allison Hedge: Ghost, Rock, Willow, Deer: A Story of Survival

Davis, Angela: Women, Race, and Class

Delaney, Samuel: The Motion of Light in Water

Deraniyagala, Sonali: Wave

Early, Gerald: Tuxedo Junction, The Culture of Bruising

Ellison, Ralph: Shadow & Act, Collected Essays

Erdrich, Louise: Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country, The Blue Jay’s Dance

Galeano, Eduardo: The Book of Embraces

Gay, Roxane: Bad Feminist

Ghosh, Amitav: Incendiary Circumstances

Gilb, Dagoberto: Gritos

Gonzalez, Ray: Memory Fever: A Journey Beyond El Paso Del Norte

González, Rigoberto: Butterfly Boy

Guttierez, Stephen: The Mexican Man in His Backyard

Hale, Janet Campbell: Bloodlines

Hernandez, Daisy: A Cup of Water Under My Bed

Harjo, Joy: Crazy Brave

Hongo, Garret Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai'i

Hogan, Linda: The Woman Who Watches Over the World

hooks, bell: Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood, Ain’t I a Woman

Kimmerer, Robin Wall: Braiding Sweetgrass

Kincaid, Jamaica: A Small Place

King Jr., Martin Luther: A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr

Kingston, Maxine Hong: China Men, The Woman Warrior

Kumar, Amitava: A Matter of Rats

Laymon, Kiese: How to Slowly Kill Yourselves and Others in America

Lee, Li-Young The Winged Seed

Lourde, Audre. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name , Sister Outsider

Maathai, Wangari: Unbowed

Martinez, Domingo The Boy Kings of Texas

McBride, James: The Color of Water

Mock, Janet: Redefining Realness

Moraga, Cherríe: Loving in the War Years

Morgan, Joan: When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: My Life as a Hip-Hop Feminist

Mori, Kyoko: The Dream of Water

Morrison, Toni: What Moves at the Margin, Playing in the Dark

Momaday, N. Scott: The Names, The Way to Rainy Mountain

Mura, David: Where the Body Meets Memory

Nafisi, Azar: Reading Lolita in Tehran

Nelson, Marilyn: How I Discovered Poetry

Nguyen, Bich Minh: Stealing Buddha's Dinner

Norris, Michele: The Grace of Silence

Nye, Naomi Shihab: Never in a Hurry

Orduna, Jose: The Weight of Shadows: a Memoir of Immigration and Displacement

Ortiz, Wendy: Excavation

Ortiz-Cofer, Judith: Silent Dancing, The Latin Deli

Páramo, Adriana: Looking for Esperanza

Parms, Jericho: Lost Wax

Pemberton, Gayle: The Hottest Water In Chicago

Rankine, Claudia: Citizen: An American Lyric

Rodriguez, Luis: It Calls You Back

Rodriguez, Richard: The Hunger of Memory, Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father

Rekdal, Paisely: Intimate: An American Family Photo Album

Roripaugh, Lee Ann: Dandarians

Royster, Francesca: Sounding Like a No-No, Queer Sounds and Eccentric Acts

Rushdie, Salman: Step Across this Line,  Imaginary Homelands

Santiago, Esmerelda: When I was Puerto Rican

Satrapi, Marjane Persepolis

Savoy, Lauret: Traces

Sloane, Aisha Sabatini: The Fluency of Light

Smith, Carmen Gimenez: Bring Down the Little Birds

Sukrungruang, Ira: Talking Thai, Southside Buddhist

Staples, Brent Parallel Time

Trenka, Jane Jeong: Fugitive Visions: An Adoptee's Return to Korea

Tretheway, Natasha: Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Vaswani, Neela: You Have Given Me a Country

Walker, Alice: In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose

Walker, Jerald. Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption

Walters, Wendy S.: Multiply/Divide

Ward, Jesmyn: Men We Reaped

Whitehead, Colson: The Colossus of New York 

Wideman, John Edgar: Brothers and Keepers, Fatheralong

Wright, Richard: Black Boy

X, Malcolm: The Autobiography of Malcolm X, as told to Alex Haley.

Yang, Kao Kalia: The Latehomecomer








[1] For the purposes of this list, “contemporary” means “post World War II” (roughly).