This year is full of compelling titles soon to be released by Black authors! It is currently Black History Month, but we should always appreciate and celebrate the POC community. As an Asian person of color myself, it is always inspiring to see people in my community and other POC communities thrive, especially creatively. Literature by Black writers is absolutely crucial in the strive for inclusion and the dismantling of inequality. For our book recommendations written by Black authors, read on!
1. Ours by Phillip B. Williams
Ours is a work of magical surrealism that is set in the mid-1800s and involves a powerful woman who destroys Southern plantations in order to rescue the enslaved. She brings those newly free to a town called Ours, which is magically hidden from others. However, newcomers with their own powers leave the town vulnerable and question whether or not their little town is truly free and safe. Ours releases on February 22, so if you’re looking for historical fiction mixed with magical realism, check this one out!
2. Women Who Work Too Much by Tamu Thomas
Women Who Work Too Much is a non-fiction book that shows women how to avoid toxic productivity and burnout and how to set boundaries. It is for women who were taught to believe that our value is in what we do rather than who we are. This book teaches women how to stop using success and overworking as a source of self-validation. Thomas wrote this for those who work too much and wish to establish healthy boundaries while still thriving.
3. One of Us Knows by Alyssa Cole
Alyssa Cole wrote One of Us Knows for those who love thrillers. A new caretaker of a historic estate discovers she is trapped on the island with a murderer. The main character suffered a breakdown years before and is diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, which derailed their previous career. After a murder happens on the island, the protagonist must do what they can to prove their innocence. One of Us Knows won’t disappoint those who adore thrillers!
4. When I Think of You by Myah Ariel
Any second chance romance lovers out there? When I Think of You by Myah Ariel is the one to pick up. It’s been seven years since the end of Kaliya’s whirlwind romance with hot shot director Danny. He offers her a job working on his next production, but that obviously comes with more than just work. It is their second chance at love; will she trust him again? Find out on April 16 when the book is released!
5. While We Were Burning by Sara Koffi
Sara Kiffi’s debut novel, While We Were Burning, is a mystery/suspense thriller following the main protagonist, Elizabeth. After the death of Elizabeth’s best friend’s mysterious death, her personal assistant, Brianna, helps Elizabeth uncover the truth surrounding it. This book examines race, class, and female friendship set against a mysterious backdrop. Without any more spoilers, this one is for those of you who want suspense!
6. For Such a Time as This by Shani Akilah
For Such a Time as This is a short story collection by Shani Akilah that explores friendship, romance, community, and independence. Each individual story uncovers the characters’ true selves as they navigate difficult relationships and situations. The book brings to life the lives of these Black-British Londoners in a thought-provoking way. This moving book hits shelves this summer, so check it out!
As readers, we actively work to diversify our taste in literature, whether it be the genres we read or the authors we support. It’s important to stay conscious of what we read and who we endorse. Now that you’re equipped with a few recommendations by Black authors, you can continue to support the POC community!
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