Happy start of Black History Month here in the US! Other than more cozy winter reading, the ever-present smell of Valentine’s Day in the air, and my partner’s birthday, I’m particularly looking forward to fulfilling my commitment to read only Black authors this month.
I have plenty of books & authors on my TBR that could fulfill this requirement – my intent is to read diversely in my selection of both authors and subject matter. From Black literature classics to new non-fiction, I think I have this covered:
- A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton: A New Orleans family saga that spans decades, where the effects of racial inequality seep from one generation to the next.
- The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler: One of my picks for the 2018 Read Harder challenge, I’m so excited by this futuristic tale of loss, societal collapse, and survival in a world that may not be as far removed from our own as we’d like to think.
- Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin: Baldwin might as well be required reading for Black History Month. Eat your vegetables, wash your face, read your Baldwin. I’ve started this fictionalized memoir but have just never finished – I’m ready.
- Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson: Dyson’s writing is provocative and fiery, his words stirring. Published soon after the 2016 election, I think this one is required reading.
- Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke: I wanted to pick this one up last year when it came out and just never got around to it. It’s East Texas setting and racial justice themes make this familiar to me, but at the same time so foreign: a POC-authored thriller with a POC main character? Count me in.
- Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue: It’s not Black History Month without a story of immigration, of new nations and identities. A family saga featuring Cameroonian immigrants facing the 2008 financial crisis in New York, this may also be my Oprah Book Club pick for the Read Harder challenge.
- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward: I think this one goes without explaining. This is at the top of my list to finish this month seeing as it was a recent Book of the Month pick for me (and because I loved the collection she edited in 2016, The Fire This Time).
- In Love & Trouble: Stories by Alice Walker: I would like to read some short stories for a lil variety, and I think Walker’s collection about Black women will fit the bill. You can truly never read too much about Black women.
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah: I know, it’s a travesty that I haven’t gotten to this yet. Trust me, it will be rectified. This is also counting toward my Read Harder challenge.
Alright friends – this is quite the list I’ve built for myself, and who knows? I may continue to add to this as the month goes on. Unfortunately, I know I won’t be able to get to every single one, but I’m damn well going to try! What do y’all think I should prioritize? Anything I should add or replace? Tell me what you think!