The Black Publishing Power Initiative has organized a movement to buy two books written by black authors this week and we think it’s a perfect way to support, recognize, and commemorate Juneteenth.
We wanted to recommend some of our favorite books written by Black Authors, specifically Black Women. Some of these books have been the bedrock of our racial justice education, and some are a little more lighthearted while still providing a vital perspective. We hope everyone can find a book they will connect with and continue to consciously seek out diversity in their media.
And hey, since you’re buying books, it’s a perfect time to buy them from Black-Owned Bookshops! Independent bookstores are so important, and so many small businesses have started shipping due to the pandemic, making it easier than ever to avoid Amazon!
Lithub put together an amazing list of independently owned black bookstores, and some that are online-only. Taking out books by black authors at your local library and requesting books that diversify the selection available is another great way to support Black Authors!
...now, onto the list!
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
If you like reading romance novels or watching romcoms, this book is a true delight. And it’s the first in a series!
If you’re looking for more romance starring Black Women (and written by Black Female Authors!), check out this list by Oprah Magazine.
You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson
Comedic personal essays are one of our all-time favorite genres and Phoebe provides so much insight and cultural context while making me laugh and think in equal measure. She has followed this up with Everything is Trash and if you haven’t checked out her podcasts 2 Dope Queens or So Many White Guys, now’s a perfect time!
So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
This book is a great way to start dismantling our own racism and confront the racist society that we live in. It’s important to have tough conversations and to get comfortable talking about race and racial justice with everyone in our lives.
Learning how to have these conversations and developing our racial justice muscles is not a process that can happen overnight. I've found this book to be incredibly helpful to help me have productive conversations with people around me.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
This book is the bedrock of my educational journey through racial justice. The New Jim Crow is not an easy book to read because it lays bare so much injustice that it can feel daunting to reckon with its realizations. This book is so important to read, especially for anyone looking for an in-depth history of the criminalization of black communities, the prison pipeline, and what mass incarceration really is in America.
In Search of our Mother's Gardens by Alice Walker
Goodness by Toni Morrison
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
Looking for a list of other Black-owned shops and businesses to support? Find a list here!
This is only the beginning, keep pushing, keep reading, keep elevating black voices, and continuing the work of racial justice.
Let's finish the mission and make the world better together.