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We’ve all heard the age-old debate between book lovers and film enthusiasts assuming one is better than the other when referencing a film adaptation. Whether you read the book first or read it following the film, it all boils down to personal perspective. In instances like such where both are written and starred by Black excellence, it’s only right to celebrate both works. Over the years, Hollywood has rounded up the best of the best actors and actresses and chosen amazing books written by black authors to place on the big screen.

From romance novels to rom-com, historical fiction to historical drama and everything in between, it’s all been done. It’s one thing to visualize in your mind as you read, but seeing what you read come to life right before your eyes is an experience that is worth it each and every time. Which is better? We’ll leave the verdict up to you. Round up all the bibliophiles and film fanatics as we take a deep dive into 9 books by black authors that turned into movies!

The Color Purple (Release Date: 1985)

On the Set of "The Color Purple"

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This critically acclaimed novel by Alice Walker portrays the life of a poor African American woman named Celie who writes letters to God referencing the heartache and pain she is experiencing throughout her life.

Malcolm X (Release Date: 1992)

Denzel Washington In 'Malcolm X'

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Written by Malcolm X alongside Alex Haley, this autobiography-turned-film summarizes the life and times of Malcolm’s life focusing closely on his personal philosophy when it came to Black pride and Black nationalism.

Hidden Figures (Release Date: 2017)

89th Academy Awards

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Margot Lee Shetterly started working on the book Hidden Figures in 2010, six years before the book was published and seven years before the book was made into a film. This inspirational film follows the story of three African American women who rose above adversity while working at NASA during the height of segregation.

Fences (Release Date: 2016)

FENCES Cast & Crew Special Screening In Pittsburgh

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From Broadway to the theaters, this original play written by August Wilson turned into a 2016 reenactment highlights the life of a bitter sanitation worker in the 1950s. Troy Maxson struggles with the idea of never living out his dream of becoming a pro baseball player and his negative behavior gets in the way of his relationship with his son who has an opportunity to meet with a college football recruiter.

How Stella Got Her Groove Back (Release Date: 1998)

Premiere Of 'How Stella Got Her Groove Back'

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Before the popular film, there was the book written by Terry McMillan in 1996, two years before Taye Diggs and Angela Bassett shared the screen. Searching for an escape from reality, 40-year old Stella and close friend Delilah take a trip to Jamaica where Stella has a fling with 20-year old Winston. Returning back home to the states, she realizes it was more than just a fling and she is in love.

Precious (Release Date: 2009)

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Screening Party, New York

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The 2008 film Precious was adapted from the novel PUSH, written by Sapphire in 1996. Sixteen year old Precious can’t read or write and is carrying her father’s baby for the second time. Rooted in trauma and struggle, hoping to turn things around with the guidance and encouragement of her teacher, we are invited into the life of Precious through her many journal entries.

For Colored Girls (Release Date: 2010)

Patrick McMullan Archives

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Ntozake Shange published For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf as a book of poems in 1976. This book evolved into a broadway play, which eventually made its way to the big screen in 2010. As a means of offering guidance to Black women, this book-turned-film highlights a group of black women living in a New York City apartment who struggle through similar personal challenges revolving around both life and love whilst leaning on one another in order to make it through.

Think Like A Man (Release Date: 2012)

"Think Like A Man" Chicago Screening

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Steve Harvey wrote his self-help novel, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, in 2009 in hopes of giving women some sound advice from the mouth of a man who has done it all and seen it all. The comedy film, released in 2012, follows a group of four male friends who use manipulation to twist their romantic partners’ thought process after realizing they have purchased Steve Harvey’s best selling novel.

The Secret Life of Bees (Release Date: 2008)

2008 Toronto International Film Festival - Fox Searchlight's "The Secret Life Of Bees" Premiere

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Published in 2001 by Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees hit the big screen in 2008. The story highlights 14-year old Lily Owens who runs away from home to a town in South Carolina she believes has all her answers, in search of finding secrets from her mother’s past. While finding the truth out about her mother, she also runs into three sisters who embrace her and teach her about beekeeping.