For many, fall symbolizes a time of transition, and one of the best ways to prepare for change is to immerse yourself in some entertaining and thought-provoking books.
There are plenty of biographies, essays, and novels to look forward to these next few months. From Chuck D’s perspective on gun violence and its intersection with hip-hop culture, to Malaika Jabali’s It’s Not You, It’s Capitalism: Why It’s Time to Break Up and How to Move On, fall will surely be a high point for avid readers worldwide.
Books such as Bayard Rustin: A Legacy of Protest and Politics, Sing a Black Girl’s Song: The Unpublished Work of Ntozake Shange, and Sly Stone’s memoir gives audiences a deeper look into the lives of some of the most important figures in Black culture, while The Unsettled and Let Us Descend are fictional stories, but due to their powerful plots, feel all too real.
However you decide to spend the next few months, there will always be something good to read along the way. Here are some of the works from Black authors that we can’t wait for you to read this fall.
Sing a Black Girl’s Song is an extraordinary collection of unpublished works by the award-winning American literary icon Ntozake Shange. This collection serves as a continuation of Shange’s powerful legacy, and features essays, plays, and poems curated by National Book Award winner Imani Perry, and includes a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Tarana Burke. Purchase HERE.
Award-winning author, scholar, and social visionary George Yancy brings together the greatest minds of our time to speak truth to power and welcome everyone into a conversation about the pursuit of justice, equality, and peace. This interwoven collection of searingly honest interviews with leading intellectuals includes conversations with Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Cornel West, Robin D. G. Kelley, and Peter McLaren. Pre-Order HERE.
A powerful portrait of a Black family tree shaped by enslavement and freedom, rendered in searing poems by acclaimed author Carole Boston Weatherford and stunning art by her son Jeffery Boston Weatherford. Pre-Order HERE.
This volume celebrates the life and legacy of Bayard Rustin, the often overlooked civil rights leader behind the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. While Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is etched into the collective memory, fewer people recognize the pivotal role Rustin played in organizing this monumental event in just eight weeks. Pre-Order HERE.
From the best-selling author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a searing multi-generational novel—set in the 1980s in racially and politically turbulent Philadelphia and in the tiny town of Bonaparte, Alabama—about a mother fighting for her sanity and survival. Pre-Order HERE.
Authors Keegan-Michael Key and Elle Key build on the popularity of their 2022 Webby Award-winning podcast and delve deeper into the world of sketch, helped along with new essays created expressly for the book by comedy greats. Pre-Order HERE.
The greatest and most fearless living writer turns his unerring eye to the art world and the fraught relationship between Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. Pre-Order HERE.
In Summer of Hamn, legendary hip-hop artist Chuck D takes on gun violence with rhythmic, inventive writing and passionately raw art. He has long spoken out against gun violence, including how it intersects with rap and hip-hop culture. Summer of Hamn is the bound journal Chuck D carried with him in the summer of 2022—a summer marked by a particularly high rate of gun death. Pre-Order HERE.
Written by Ben Greenman, this book tells the story of the legendary Sly Stone. As a songwriter, he penned some of the most iconic anthems of the 1960s and ’70s, from “Everyday People” to “Family Affair.” As a performer, he electrified audiences with a persona and stage presence that set a lasting standard for pop-culture performance. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) also includes a foreword by Questlove. Pre-Order HERE.
Join Karen Walrond, author of The Lightmaker’s Manifesto, in this intriguing investigation into how we can reclaim aging, cultivate joy, and resist ageism. Pre-Order HERE.
From Jesmyn Ward—the two-time National Book Award winner, youngest winner of the Library of Congress Prize for Fiction, and MacArthur Fellow—comes a haunting masterpiece, sure to be an instant classic, about an enslaved girl in the years before the Civil War. Pre-Order HERE.
From one of the most courageous and visionary leaders of our time comes Troubling the Water, an immersive book about the violence and injustice that threaten to drown us all. Pre-Order HERE.
ESSENCE Senior News & Politics Editor Malaika Jabali delivers a biting, brilliant, often hilarious guide to socialism for budding anti-capitalists who know it’s time to dump their toxic ex (Capitalism) and try something better. Pre-Order HERE.
Courtney B. Vance, along with famed psychologist Dr. Robin Smith, explores issues of grief, relationships, identity, and race through the telling of his own most formative experiences. Pre-Order HERE.
In this inspiring memoir, undefeated five-time world champion boxer Andre Ward—aka “Son of God” —shares the gripping narrative of his unforgettable career, his rock-solid faith, and why boxing was never the biggest fight of his life. Pre-Order HERE.