Celebrating All Aspects of Black Life

Last week on Tor.com, L.L McKinney’s article “The Role Publishing Plays in the Commodification of Black Plan” talked about how books depicting Black pain are often sold more and that we need more novels depicting the different aspects of Black Life. While the “issue” books are important, they are just a small sample of what Black life is like. There is a wide range to our lived experiences and these stories need to be read as well. L. L. McKinney provided an excellent list and I was inspired to share some of my favorite novels about Black life. Click on the links to learn more about each book.  

Short story Collections 

  1. Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America, Editedby Ibi Zoboi
  2. A Phoenix First Must Burn, Edited by Patrice Caldwell

Books on Friendship

  1. When You Were Everything, by Ashley Woodfolk
  2. Let Me Hear A Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
  3. The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Adventures

  1. Dread Nation & Deathless Divide, by Justina Ireland
  2. Akata Witch & Akata Warrior, by Nnedi Okorafor
  3. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Teens Changing the World

  1. Slay, by Brittney Morris
  2. Love is the Drug, by Alaya Dawn Johnson
  3. Miles Morales: Spider-man by Jason Reynolds

Black Love

  1. Full Disclosure, by Camryn Carrett
  2. Pride, by Ibi Zoboi
  3. Odd One Out, by Nic Stone
  4. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Teens Finding Themselves in the World

  1. Little & Lion, by Brandy Colbert 
  2. Piecing Me Together, by Renee Watson
  3. Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite
  4. Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles

Of course I’m sure there are books that I forgot to list, so please add more in the comments. In addition, there are many more books coming out and I can’t wait to read them all.