During these times it can be hard to take your eyes off of your screens. Whether it be a laptop, tablet or more commonly your phone, turn it off and open a book! It may seem hard to do, but after you read this list of astounding books you’ll want to read every single one! When that Zoom call ends and you have a little bit of free time, crack open one of these books! When supporting Black authors you’ll be doing yourself a favor by broadening your imagination and gaining confidence! Maybe one of these books will inspire you to write a book of your own!
SCI-FI / FANTASY:
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
Premise: This novel follows Atticus Turner, his uncle George and his childhood friend Letitia during Jim Crow. In the midst of trying to find Atticus’ father, the group runs into all kinds of supernatural and literally out-of-this-world activities. While traveling, the supernatural encounters aren’t the only things that push off their search. On their journey, they still have to deal with the wrath of white Americans in a stiffly divided United States. The novel inspired the hit HBO Show, “Lovecraft Country”.
Dawn by Octavia Walker
Premise: Dawn is the first book of the Xenogenesis series. It follows Lilith Iyapo who lost her husband and son due to an atomic fire that depletes the whole Earth. A century later, Lilith wakes up on an extraterrestrial spaceship with many others who have also been ‘saved’ from the end of the world. Lilith and the others are taken to another planet where the owners of the spacecraft, named Oankali, plan to establish a new world. While Lilith tries to help the aliens get back to their normal civilization, the proper re-establishment is questioned.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Premise: In this romance novel, Alexa and Drew start off as two strangers stuck in an elevator together. They then become each other’s fake date at a wedding. The two start to enjoy each other’s temporary company until it is time for them to go back to their home states. Alexa goes back to Berkeley, California to continue as the mayor’s Chief of Staff while Drew heads back to Los Angeles where he is a pediatric surgeon. Will long distance prevail or can love conquer all?
The Left of Love by Love Belvin
Premise: In this three book series, two young adults, Kennedi and Issak, struggle to find themselves and each other. From two different walks of life, the couple create a strong bond with one another but seem to find it hard to overcome their differences. While Kennedi tries to find herself as a young college student and Isaak tries to find himself as an entertainer, the two are willing to make sacrifices to be successful. But where do the sacrifices stop? At love?
From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime by Elizabeth Hinton
Premise: History and African American Studies Associate Professor and Professor of Law at Yale University, Elizabeth Hinton, writes about incarceration and poverty in the African American community. Hinton highlights the changes and challenges of the prison system and policies targeting low-income communities. To support her argument, she mentions policies and acts created for equality and mass incarceration. Hinton also speaks of previous presidents such as Ronald Reagan, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon that created and advocated for such changes.
The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why by Jabari Asim
Premise: Need he say more? In this book Jabari Asim uses his historical research of the derogatory term which was first used by the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Asim also writes about how the revised term can also be a harm towards the African American community within itself as it “helps keep blacks at the bottom of America’s socioeconomic ladder”. The book mentions many names and their role on how the word is grasped by audiences.
I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood by Tiana Clark
My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter by Aja Monet
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker
WORDS of a MAN: My Right to Be by Yusef Salaam