Eight Books to Read By Black Authors

Photo By | Cristina John

By Cristina John

It’s Black History Month, but the month of February shouldn’t be the only month to celebrate blackness, black authors or reflect on African American history. This should be done all year round to respect the black men and women who have done great things for our country and those that are still trying today.

What better way to celebrate than to read a book or two? Books are great for many things as they are loaded with information that can help you understand history, help you find a new genre of books to read or for relaxation purposes.

Here’s a highlight of a few books written by black authors for you to indulge in: 

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (2020)

This graphic novel is about a 15-year-old boy named Will who seeks revenge and believes that he must kill his older brother’s murderer. Will is torn between keeping his mouth shut and doing something about it. If you are looking for a prose-turned graphic novel that will connect with you emotionally, check this one out!

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron (2020)

If you’re looking for a fantasy book to dive into, read a different version of the Cinderella that you’re used to. This book is about girls trying to break down the construct of what society tells them to be. It tells the story of a girl named Sophie who must appear at a ball to find a husband. However, she has no interest in men.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn (2020)

Here is another young adult fantasy novel you can read. Tracey Deonn creates a world with diverse characters, great world-building, and magic. The main character, Bree Matthews, mourns the death of her mother and finds herself at a high school filled with magic. This book takes you on her journey of discovering magic and finding out what really happened the night her mother died. If you are a fan of the Arthurian legend and want to see some Black girl magic and power, then you should find yourself enjoying this book.

This Is My America by Kim Johnson (2020)

This young adult fiction book follows 17-year-old Tracy Beaumont who is on a mission to save her father who is on death row. She then has to watch her brother be convicted of killing a white girl, bringing his bright future to a halt. As Tracy tries to save her brother and find out what happened, she learns about her town’s racist history and wonders if she will be saving her family or making things worse. If you are looking to read a book about racial injustice that haunts black America and be emotionally invested, then this book is for you.

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall (2020)

If you are someone who considers themselves a feminist or even someone who doesn’t believe in feminism, this book is for you. Author Mikki Kendall writes 18 essays that draw from her experiences as a person who lived in poverty with her son, and grappled with abuse and hunger. She comments on topics like gun violence, poverty, and housing, tying them all to feminist issues.

Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James (2019)

This book is written by Marlon James, a queer Jamaican author, who draws from African history and mythology to create this fantasy novel that is filled with adventure. If you’re into quests, then you will like this book where the main character, Tracker, can sniff out anyone who lives in the kingdom he resides in. He is on a quest to find a missing boy, the king’s sister’s son, and the novel follows his journey where he meets different creatures along the way.

Black Fatigue by Mary-Frances Winters (2020)

This book touches on black fatigue, something that is rarely talked about where Black individuals are tired of having to explain the racial injustices that society is responsible for. Winters writes this book in chapters where each one is broken into sections that give information about black people and the injustices they receive within the workplace, healthcare, the education system, and socioeconomically.

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson (2020)

This novel touches on subjects like relationship abuse, sexual assault, drugs, and pedophilia. The novel follows 17-year-old Enchanted Jones, who goes to an all-white, privilege filled high school, with dreams of becoming a singer. She meets R&B singer Korey Fields and begins a relationship with him not knowing that he preys on teenage girls. Korey Fields is a fictionalized version of R. Kelly.

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