12 Best Business Books by Black Authors to Read

By: | Updated: February 10, 2023

You’ve found our list of business books by Black authors.

Business books by Black authors are written works that share the experiences of Black individuals in the business world. Examples of business books by Black authors are The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires by Dennis Kimbro and Life Coaching for Successful Women: Powerful Questions, Practical Answers by Valorie Burton. The purpose of these books is to provide guidance and inspiration while exploring the challenges and successes Black workers experience.

These guides are a subset of business books. These books make helpful reading during Black History Month and when promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

This list includes:

  • books for Black entrepreneurs
  • books about being Black in corporate America
  • books by Black female authors
  • career books by Black authors
  • books by Black business leaders

Here is the reading list!

List of business books by Black authors

From leaders in the music business to entrepreneurial titans, here are some ideas for business books by Black authors to encourage and enlighten your team.

1. We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power by Rachel Rodgers

Peace, power, and joy are author Rachel Rodgers’ pillars for a successful path for women to find personal and professional wealth. A self-made millionaire, Rodgers shares her authoritative take on the requirements for achieving financial success. Additionally, the author upends many common limitations that prevent women from reaching their monetary goals. Rodgers emphasizes the social impact of women’s wealth, especially regarding women of color. Her techniques provide guidelines for Black women to make more informed decisions about their money. With these steps in mind, Black women can adopt a new attitude regarding their power to accumulate their desired wealth.

Notable quote: “Every woman needs to know what it feels like to wield economic power. That’s how we make change. That’s how we serve our children. That’s how we serve the world.”

Learn more about We Should All Be Millionaires.

2. Powershift: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome by Daymond John and Daniel Paisner

Readers searching for books for Black entrepreneurs will find a compelling read in Powershift, Daymond John’s guide to greater success. As one of the stars of Shark Tank and the creator of the FUBU clothing brand, John is a successful Black entrepreneur with wisdom to share. Paisner is a journalist who helped John write Powershift. In this work, John explores his method of preparing for opportunities and using his innate abilities to maximize business and personal potential. His focus on mastering influence, negotiation, and creating meaningful relationships illuminates the possibility of understanding your own power to improve your life. Throughout the book, John shares anecdotes and important lessons that have served him in his career. To illustrate his concepts, John includes quotes from other successful figures as testimonials.

Notable quote: “This ability to turn every situation into some kind of advantage is hardwired into all of us. The key is learning how to recognize and tap into that power that you already have within you.”

Learn more about Powershift.

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3. Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Out, Step Up, Or Start Over in Your Career by Carla A. Harris

Reading books by Black business leaders is one of the best ways to zero in on your true professional goals, even when those goals change. Carla Harris is a Wall Street veteran who has studied the work world to learn what best serves workers seeking career changes. In Strategize to Win, Harris provides clarity on making a new choice for your career path, whether voluntarily or due to forced changes. The book helps readers identify their worker profile. This profile helps workers thrive no matter what changes come their way. The author’s ultimate goal is to help professionals successfully manage their careers regardless of their situation. Harris guides readers through unforeseen circumstances that may force them into changes they would be unready to make otherwise.

Notable quote: “Whatever stage we are in, we all have to reposition ourselves for new opportunities.”

Learn more about Strategize to Win.

4. The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires by Dennis Kimbro

Author Dennis Kimbro shares stories of successful Black leaders who have amassed wealth and reveals the steps they followed on their journey. According to Kimbro, opportunities are everywhere. The Wealth Choice emphasizes the need to identify and seize the opportunities that lead you to your own wealth. The Black community faces hardships that prevent the accumulation of wealth. However, Kimbro explains that by studying the success of others and adopting the right mindset, the next potential Black millionaires can make their fortunes and find their success as well.

Notable quote: “Black millionaires repeatedly take certain actions, consistently adhere to routines that allow them to create and maintain considerable wealth.”

Learn more about The Wealth Choice.

5. Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Shellye Archambeau

Despite the title of this book, former Silicon Valley CEO Shellye Archambeau understands that ambition is only one aspect of a successful career. Archambeau is one of an extremely limited number of female African American CEOs in the tech industry. Her ambition, planning talent, and discipline helped her reach the heights of her profession. Each chapter provides overviews and action items that can help make the possibility of achieving professional goals a greater reality. Readers searching for books by Black female authors sharing success strategies will appreciate Archambeau’s ideas on breaking through feelings of inadequacy and learning to control a successful career while balancing marriage and motherhood.

Notable quote: “Success begins with figuring out what you want, then making the choices that lead you there.”

Learn more about Unapologetically Ambitious.

6. The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner and Quincy Troupe

After his discharge from the Navy, Chris Gardner experienced the humbling challenges of homelessness and single fatherhood. Yet, over time, Garder rose through adversity to become a major figure on the San Francisco financial scene. Gardner eventually started his own successful brokerage firm and became a multi-millionaire. However, he and his son spent nearly a year among the unhoused and struggled to overcome adversity. This story of perseverance became a 2006 film of the same name, featuring an Oscar-nominated performance by Will Smith.

More a portrait of a successful Black man who never gave up than a traditional business guide, The Pursuit of Happyness offers a tale of triumph for readers who need the inspiration to continue pushing for their goals, no matter their circumstances.

Notable quote: “Don’t just talk that talk, walk it and go forward. Also, the walk didn’t have to be long strides; baby steps counted too. Go forward.”

Learn more about The Pursuit of Happyness.

7. Acting Up: Winning in Business and Life Using Down-Home Wisdom by Janice Bryant Howroyd

In addition to the general challenges an entrepreneur faces, Janice Bryant Howroyd also dealt with racism and sexism in her career. Becoming the first African American woman to create her own billion-dollar business proved Howroyd has what it takes to overcome any obstacle. Acting Up is a revealing book about being Black in corporate America. The author explores her beliefs about leadership and the importance of family. Her experience sets a standard for readers to follow for their own journey to success. Though the challenges may differ for female entrepreneurs in the 21st century, Howroyd’s philosophy of using your unique qualities as crucial ingredients in your success lends insight to the modern woman creating her own legacy.

Notable quote: “Some say it’s not the finish but the journey that matters most in life. For me, it’s not just the journey but the sharing of it all that makes the journey complete.”

Learn more about Acting Up.

8. Life Coaching for Successful Women: Powerful Questions, Practical Answers by Valorie Burton

For businesswomen, having encouragement from an inspiring source can help build confidence and strength. Professional life coach Valorie Burton has built a career by assisting women in attaining their most desired goals. Life Coaching for Successful Women provides strategies that help readers zero in on the most important objectives in their professional and personal lives. Lessons focus on becoming intentional with your true purpose and developing skills to navigate rough patches. This book features the best elements of Burton’s coaching programs and serves as a guide for defining and achieving your own version of success. Burton’s message is something fans of informative career books by Black authors will appreciate.

Notable quote: “No matter how successful we are or how high our aspirations for the future, we all need to be intentional about our growth.”

Learn more about Life Coaching for Successful Women.

9. You’ve Got To Be HUNGRY: The GREATNESS Within to Win by Les Brown

Les Brown is a motivational speaker devoted to helping others achieve. Brown spent over 20 years writing You’ve Got To Be HUNGRY, capturing his energetic message of finding and living your true purpose and motivating yourself for success. Brown’s book draws from decades of personal experience to illustrate his call for readers to overcome their limitations in pursuit of their own greatness. Brown himself overcame poverty and educational challenges with a relentless belief in his own abilities. This ambition led him to a successful career helping others find their power. The author shares his experience with both personal and professional development. The book compels readers to keep reaching for their dreams no matter what.

Notable quote: “The people who take the time to cultivate and master their craft are the ones that we truly learn from.”

Learn more about You’ve Got To Be HUNGRY.

10. The Perfect Day to Boss Up: A Hustler’s Guide to Building Your Empire by Rick Ross and Neil Martinez-Belkin

Hip-hop mogul and icon Rick Ross details his life’s path as he became one of the most successful figures in music. Ross’s insightful text details his many business ventures as he explains how he built his empire, even if there were failures along the way. Recognizable names from the rap world appear on the pages as Ross describes his rise to wealth and power. From recommendations for making wise investments to recognizing obstacles as opportunities, Ross’s advice emphasizes that the ability to “boss up” is key to success. The rapper’s experience largely focuses on the music industry and the hard work it took to climb the ladder. However, The Perfect Day to Boss Up is a winning addition to the list of books by Black business leaders for workers in any industry to learn from.

Notable quote: “The reality of my life is that I work hard. I came into the rap game yelling ‘Everyday, I’m hustlin’,’ and that wasn’t just the hook on a song. That was my real lifestyle.”

Learn more about The Perfect Day to Boss Up.

11. It’s About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into Your Greatest Advantage by Arlan Hamilton

Arlan Hamilton’s love of taking chances on the underdog helped her create a career as an investor. Her company, Backstage Capital, invests in what Hamilton considers “underestimated founders,” which includes people of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ community. As a gay Black woman in Silicon Valley, Hamilton found the business community narrow and dismissive. This underestimation became a beacon that guided her career path as she transformed herself into a venture capitalist for overlooked business owners. During her rise from food stamp dependency to entrepreneurship, Hamilton gathered wisdom she presents in informative chapters with cheeky titles like “Don’t Let Anyone Drink Your Diet Coke” and “I Came for the Cake, Not the Crumbs.” In It’s About Damn Time, the author shares her experiences with honesty and hope. Her book guides other so-called outliers to capitalize on the techniques that make the difference.

Notable quote: “I didn’t go to college, and everything I knew about venture capital I learned myself, at home, with a whiteboard, handmade index cards, and that blow-up mattress.”

Learn more about It’s About Damn Time.

12. The Black Girl’s Guide to Financial Freedom: Build Wealth, Retire Early, and Live the Life of Your Dreams by Paris Woods

Paris Woods turned a background in education and a desire to achieve financial freedom into a wealth-building program that all workers can learn to use. The Black Girl’s Guide to Financial Freedom presents a pattern for wealth-building to serve entrepreneurs as well as women in the middle of their careers in search of a more secure financial future. The author explains the mechanics of credit, the value in finding extra money, and the importance of education using lessons learned in her own financial struggles and the struggles of those around her. Woods explains that no matter what type of business women of color choose to work in, following her prescribed action plan will allow readers to take control of their money by maximizing the power of financial wisdom.

Notable quote: “If you lost your job today, do you know what you would do next? Would you have the financial freedom to make this choice and own it? Trust me when I tell you that you cannot afford to wait.”


For Black workers and leaders, reading business books written by Black authors provides a template for building wealth and success. The experiences of successful Black figures are a guidepost for others who may lack mentorship or representation in their own workplace. With thoughtful accounts of navigating the business world, readers can apply the wisdom and understanding of other successful entrepreneurs to their own situations. This sense of community and shared knowledge can transcend the pages of a book to serve as an essential resource for workers to utilize in their own professional lives.

Learn more about these topics by checking out books about diversity and inclusion and ideas for workplace diversity programs.

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FAQ: Business books by Black authors

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about business books by Black authors.

Why are some good business books by Black authors?

Some good business books by Black authors include:

  • The Perfect Day to Boss Up: A Hustler’s Guide to Building Your Empire by Rick Ross and Neil Martinez-Belkin
  • Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Out, Step Up, Or Start Over in Your Career by Carla A. Harris
  • You Owe You: Ignite Your Power, Your Purpose, and Your Why by Eric Thomas and Chris Paul

Why should Black entrepreneurs read books about business by Black authors?

By reading books about business by Black authors, Black entrepreneurs can gain an understanding of the experiences and skills necessary for success in the business world. Business owners from all sectors of the Black community can find role models to follow in these titles. Additionally, these books offer roadmaps for navigating the potential pitfalls when creating and operating a business.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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