At turns heartbreaking and hilarious, Gabrielle Union‘s 2017 essay collection We’re Going To Need More Wine is a moving exploration of the actress’s experiences from growing up in the California suburbs to making it in Hollywood. Touching on themes of race, power, gender, sexuality and fame, Union’s unique and fearless voice shines a light on the personal traumas that inspired her to become an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual violence.

Her favorite books also deal with the difficult issues of race relations, power struggles and impossible beauty standards. From Malcolm X to Toni Morrison and Roxane Gay, read on for Gabrielle Union’s personal reading recommendations.


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“One of my favorite novels of all time. A sweeping, beautifully told love story that spans two countries and holds the reader captive to the last page.” -GU

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (also rec’d by Annie Clark & Carrie Brownstein)

“As written to his son, Coates’s poignant and gripping essays that tackle race in America. The book has been a great resource when having the difficult and necessary conversations about race with teens and adults.” -GU

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

“My first introduction to Roxane Gay’s writing — it changed me. I saw myself eerily and perfectly reflected on the pages of her harrowing debut novel. I finally felt understood as I sat frozen reading this book.” -GU

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

“A delicious novel told from both perspectives of a marriage and all its nooks and crannies we tend to keep to ourselves. The book spans 24 years and the reader is along for this layered roller coaster ride.” -GU

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

“It is rare to find literature that is as entertaining and sexy as it is smart and profound. Robinne’s book appears to be one thing on the surface but provides the reader a much deeper, complex, insightful journey that she will not soon forget.” -GU

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (also rec’d by Chimamanda AdichieEmma Watson & Gloria Steinem)

“My favorite Alice Walker piece that tells the stories of black women in the South in the 1930s. If you’ve seen the movie, you will find the book to still be timely and relevant and painfully moving.” -GU

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X (also rec’d by Janelle Monáe & Rose McGowan)

“Based on interviews with Malcolm X between 1963 and his 1965 assassination. The book explores Malcolm X’s philosophies and his evolution. I’ve reread the book once a year since college and have found myself just as moved each time as the first reading.” -GU

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

“The first book I read as a young adult that truly spoke to me about egocentric beauty ideals and white supremacy. I saw myself clearly in these pages as Pecola searched to be seen. A powerful, powerful book.” -GU

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

“This sweeping piece about the decades-long migration of African Americans who left the South for the North, Midwest and West for better lives. This book helped me to understand my own family and offers so much information that it continues to be a much valued resource in my house. Beautifully written and leaves no stone unturned.” -GU

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

“I’m still mourning the end of this book and my time with these beautifully written characters. This book pulls you in and holds you close and you will find yourself lost in its pages and searching the streets for these characters you’ve been rooting for.” -GU

(via One Grand Books)


Books by Gabrielle Union

We’re Going to Need More Wine (2017)

Categories: Activists Actors

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