Black authors are instructing us to be honest with ourselves and each other this season. Merging their own experiences with major news events (from the past and present), they are using fables and familiar themes to tackle the uncomfortable aspects of friendship, family and professional connections.
By presenting the value in anger, exposing our communal shortcomings, and rejecting performative allyship these writers are using fresh fictional characters and unapologetic personal narratives to remind us to protect our peace and tap into our personal power on the page. They are introducing us to bold women, bruised boys, and media powerhouses in their bold works.
See 19 books featuring voices we can’t wait to curl up with (and learn from) this fall below.
Moon And The Mars – Kia Corthron 8/31
Corthon’s novel follows a young biracial girl in a pre-Civil War New York City.
What Passes As Love – Trisha R. Thomas 9/1
The scribe who sold us on living Nappily Ever After turns her talents to historical fiction.
Mutiny – Phillip B. Williams 9/7
Williams honors the power of rage in this poetry collection.
An Ordinary Wonder – Buki Papillon 9/7
“Art, proverbs, and folktales,” are weaved into the foundation of this story of a transgender teen coming of age in Nigeria.
Assembly – Natasha Brown 9/14
A Black British woman claims power over her personal narrative in the moments before a family affair.
Saga Boy – Antonio Michael Downing 9/14
A young boy experiments with self-expression after a death in the family catapults him into isolation and instability.
Kneel – Candace Buford 9/14
Inspired by Colin Kapernick, a young athlete risks his future to stand up for his beliefs after his best friend is arrested.
Black Nerd Problems – William Evans and Omar Holmon 9/14
Evans and Holmon use their #OwnedVoices to give fresh perspectives on all things Black and nerdy.
My Darling From The Lions – Rachel Long 9/21
This debut collection of poetry from Rachel Long touches on dating, religion, and sexuality. It is a welcome addition to the growing canon of contemporary works centered on Black girlhood.
Please Don’t Sit On My Bed In Your Outside Clothes- Phoebe Robinson 9/28
Robinson gives a third dose of her hilarious observations about choosing childlessness, living in close quarters, and stomaching performative allyship.
Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business) – Tabitha Brown 9/28
Brown slips some of her signature sunshine into this inspirational pick. The actor turned social media superstar takes readers on her journey to the top of their TikTok timelines and explains how she found “joy, love and freedom,” along the way.
Becoming Abolitionists Police, Protests, And The Pursuit Of Freedom – Derecka Purnell 10/5/21
Purnell uses her expertise as a “human rights lawyer, writer, and organizer,” to reimagine public safety.
We Are Not Like Them – Christine Pride and Jo Piazza 10/5
When a police shooting snatches the life of a 14 year old child life long friends are forced to see the cracks in their bond.
As The Wicked Watch – Tamron Hall 10/26
After the body of a Black child is found, a crime reporter uses her forensic science degree to shine a light on a potential serial killer.
All Her Little Secrets – Wanda M. Morris 11/2
When a lawyer’s lover is found dead she is forced to grapple with the unsaid truths she thought she had safely stuffed away.
The Perishing – Natashia Deón 11/2
This marriage of period lit and science fiction will plug the Lovecraft Country sized hole in your heart.
Bad Fat Black Girl Notes from a Trap Feminist – Sesali Bowen 11/5
The journalist shares notes from the intersection of feminism and trap music and asks tough questions about how sexism, fatphobia, and capitalism show up in “the culture.”
Unguarded – Scottie Pippen With Michael Arkush
The basketball superstar takes us behind the scenes of what it takes to be a six-time NBA champion.
Reclamation- Gayle Jessup White 11/16
White explores how her family’s history mirrors that of the nation’s hateful past.