Books by Black authors continue to thrive. Telling our stories like only we can. To continue to shed light on these creators for The Culture, check out out list of 10 Books By Black Authors To Read in 2021.
‘Concrete Rose’ by Angie Thomas
Concrete Rose is a prequel of sorts to Thomas’ groundbreaking The Hate U Give. Set 17 years before the events of that novel, this one stars Maverick Carter as he deals for the King Lords in order to help his struggling mother while his father is in prison. Everything changes however when Mav finds out he’s going to be a father. When he gets an opportunity to go straight, he’s determined to amount to something. But escaping his gang roots isn’t easy as loyalty and revenge threaten to bring Mav down.
‘Four Hundred Souls’ by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blaim
Edited by well noted black historians Ibram X. Kendi (author of How to Be an Antiracist) and Keisha N. Blain, Four Hundred Souls is a comprehensive 400-year history lesson on African Americans. From the arrival of 20 enslaved Ndongo people on the shores of the British colony in mainland America to present day. A massive undertaking consisting of ninety writers take on five years each to create this essential work of Black history.
‘Island Queen’ by Vanessa Riley
Set on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat, author Riley creates a unique book. This novel is a fictionalized tale about Dorothy Kirwan Thomas, a real life woman born enslaved. She went on to buy her freedom, and through her smarts and tenacity becomes one of the wealthiest, most powerful landowners in the colonial West Indies.
‘Just as I Am’ by Cicely Tyson
The autobiography of a truly great creator for The Culture. The late Academy, Tony, and three-time Emmy Award-winning actor and trailblazer Cicely Tyson reflects on her life and career. Spanning more than seven decades, Tyson talks about her transformation from the church girl who once rarely spoke a word to one of the most prolific actresses of all-time.
‘Remote Control’ by Nnedi Okorafor
This is a sci-fi novella set in near-future Ghana by Okorafor. The lead character, Sankofa is Death’s adopted daughter, who, with new abilities, struggles to find her place in the world while feeling ostracized for being different. This quick, fast-paced story about family and finding one’s self. It is perfect for the reader looking to escape into a unique world.
‘We Are All Birds of Uganda’ by Hafsa Zayyan
This ambitious debut novel from Zayyan. It follows Sameer, a successful lawyer in present-day London who travels to Uganda to discover his origins, and Hasan, a successful family man in 1960s Uganda facing deportation due to his Asian background. Spanning two continents and three generations, Zayyan’s novel is a multi-layered, emotional tale about family, identity, prejudice, and how history so often repeats itself.
‘What’s Mine and Yours’ by Naima Coster
Coster, the author of Halsey Street follows that up with an explosive family saga spanning three decades. The story focuses on two families (the matriarchs in particular) in Piedmont, North Carolina. The families lives intersect during the aftermath of a high school integration initiative. This is a novel that speaks directly to the times we are living in America today.
‘While Justice Sleeps’ by Stacey Abrams
#FunFact: Stacey Abrams, the voting rights activist and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, is also an author. Abrams has written eight romance novels (all under the pseudonym, Selena Montgomery). She finally steps behind the shadows with While Justice Sleeps which follows Avery Keene, a law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn. When she unexpectedly becomes Justice Wynn’s legal guardian, Avery finds herself in a controversial and potentially dangerous new role.
‘Wild Women and the Blues’ by Denny S. Bryce
An emotional tale created by Bryce set over nearly 100 years. In 1925 Chicago, the jazz capital of the world, Honoree is trying to dance her way to the top at Dreamland Café, where she socializes with celebrities. In 2015, grieving film student Sawyer seeks out the now 110-year-old Honoree to get answers for his thesis on the legendary filmmaker, and past Honoree acquaintance Oscar Micheaux. As the past meets the present, it’s a final chance for Honoree to truly be heard and seen before her life is over.
‘Yesterday is History’ by Kosoko Jackson
The debut novel from new novelist Jackson. It is a brilliant novel for fans of time travel. Andre Cobb receives a liver transplant, but that’s not all, he also gains the gift of time travel from the procedure that drops him in 1969. He ends up making a connection with a boy named Michael. Torn between present and past, Andre has to figure out where he truly belongs.
We hope you enjoyed our list of 10 Books By Black Authors To Read in 2021. Check out more of our list below!
- 13 Must Read Hip-Hop Biographies
- 10 Books to Read by Black Authors 2019
- 10 Highest Grossing Films by Black Directors
Written by @TalentedMrFord