It’s almost the season for vacation requests and standing pedicure appointments.
But before you can head out on that girls’ trip, you’ll need the perfect travel reads to toss into your tote.
We’ve rounded up 10 books by Black authors to keep you informed and entertained during airport delays and solo spa sessions.
Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia – Sabrina Strings
Sabrina Strings reminds us that race is inextricably linked to our national standards of femininity in this must-read. Beginning with the inhumane objectification of women like Sara Baartman and continuing all the way to the viciousness of Twitter trolls, she claims that fat phobia is less about health and more about control.
Speaking of Summer – Kalisha Buckhanon
The lives and loves left behind by the women whose names we don’t say are shown in this novel. Dealing with the disappearance of her twin sister Summer, Autumn Spencer can’t divorce thoughts of women who lose their lives to men’s anger. As she becomes increasingly frustrated with the police and consumed with grief, she sets out to find out how and why her sister suddenly vanished from a Harlem rooftop, becoming a voice for the invisible in the process.
The Perfect Date – Evelyn Lozada w/ Holly Lörincz
The Basketball Wives star’s latest effort taps into her experiences as a young mother to present a compelling story of a tough young woman faced with an unpredictable challenge. Set in the world of professional baseball, Lozada is able to place the reader into the mindset of the women beside the ballers before they step onto the playing field.
Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl’s Love Letter to the Power of Fashion – Tanisha C. Ford
Fashion historian and cultural critic Tanisha C. Ford reinforces the potential of fashion to serve as a rule enforcer, dream maker, and a protective shield. Using her personal narrative as an entry point, she discusses respectability politics, personal identity and regional pride with a tone that shines like Bamboo earrings. Everyone from the shopaholic to the clearance rack queen will see themselves in her pages.
Let Love Have the Last Word – Common
The award-winning performer and therapy convert explores his journey to achieving single name status in his second memoir. Common reveals little known personal anecdotes and childhood traumatic experiences while expanding on his fascinating life experiences many fans already know. He also discloses his commitment to leading a life led entirely by love.
I’m Telling The Truth, But I’m Lying: Essays – Bassey Ikpi
Bassey Ikpi lays herself bare to present a clear view of mental health’s sway over every facet of everyday life in this collection of refreshingly self-aware and deeply personal essays. Using her Nigerian heritage and American experiences she confronts the adage that there are three sides to every story through radical honesty. It’s out in paperback this August.
When I Was White: A Memoir – Sarah Valentine
Whiteness is a social construct with severe consequences in this memoir where a young woman is shocked to learn that her biological father is a Black man. Forced to examine her docile suburban upbringing through the lens of a new racial identity, Valentine claims her power by deciding who she is and who she wants to be.
Soulless The Case Against R Kelly – Jim DeRogatis
The journalist who received the fax that took R. Kelly from R&B icon to national disgrace in November of 2000 uses his reporting skills to compile everything you need to know about the accusations against the singer and their aftermath. Pick it up if you’re still unnerved every time you try to watch one of those Gayle King interviews.
More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Weltroth
The media wunderkind-turned-Project Runway judge reveals how she took a sledgehammer to every glass ceiling she encountered in this “part-manifesto, part-memoir.” Find out how the former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief defined success for herself and consider what you want success to look like in your own life and career.
Mind and Matter: A Life In Math And Football by John Urschel
This unique memoir completely scraps the myth of the dumb jock. Less about the discipline required to avoid becoming a cautionary tale in cleats, and more about what happens when one allows themselves the privilege of duality, this mathematical memoir is an absolute must-read.