Thursday, 19 August 2021

8 phenomenal books by Black authors any avid reader should have on their bookshelf

From fiction to anti-racism, this is a list of impeccable books written by Black authors that are all phenomenal. 

One of life’s simple pleasures is walking into a bookshop. Maybe it is the tranquillity and sense of calm when you walk in, the smell of the fresh pages and the excitement of being able to escape into a fairy-tale world or be gripped by a harrowing thriller.

When choosing a book many people often head towards genres they are familiar with or know they enjoy, and now thankfully when heading into bookshops lately there seem to be a plethora of displays highlighting Black authors. 

With so much social injustice and heartache happening to those from the Black community these stories matter more than ever and many open your eyes to what life is really like. 

Education is key to understanding and reading can be an excellent way to immerse yourself into different cultures and experience lives that are different from your own. 

So here are six incredible books written by authors that any avid reader should have on their bookshelf...

This pilot novel by the author touches on many topics and highlights many issues faced by the Black community. 

The book follows a teenage girl, Starr Carter, who sees her Black friend, Khalil, murdered by the police. 

In The Hate U Give she grapples with police brutality, racism and activism. 

The portrayal of the character means that the reader gets unfiltered emotions and in light of the murder of George Floyd, it really gives the reader an insight into the perspective of those close to the victim and how they can be affected. 

This incredible book has also been adapted into a movie.

This book is a cutting satire comedy of race relations written in a time when supporters of Trump and those of the Black Lives Matter movement attempt to coexist but written by a hugely popular comedian. 

It focuses on all the things that some white people seem to think is acceptable and gives helpful advice. 

Excellent comedic writing style twinned with numerous illustrations and pictures, and a message that needs to be read.

Enjoying this article and intrigued to read more like it? Check out:

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Written by a stand up comic, it has a comedic twist on everyday life experiences faced by a Black woman in America and forefronts some of the absurdity that people of colour face. 

She says that she has been "unceremoniously relegated to the role of the Black friend" and how people seem to think this means she has authority over all things racial. 

The book touches on so many topics including giving advice to the future female president, the NFL and centres around the question people ask most often "Can I touch your hair?"  

The book is based in Ghana in the 18th century and is about two sisters who are unaware of each other and grow up to live very different lives but under the same roof. 

It shows the parallel paths that they both take and looks at their history through eight different generations spanning several years. 

It begins in the Gold Coast, to the plantations of Mississippi, through the American Civil War to the Jazz age. 

Homegoing highlights not only slavery but also the troubled legacy which it left behind and shows how the memories and emotional scars left during those times have been projected onto a nation of people. 

Such a Fun Age tells the story of the main character Emira. 

Emira is stopped and apprehended at a supermarket accused of 'kidnapping' the white child she's actually babysitting. 

Following on from this it sets off an explosive chain of events. 

Her employer is a feminist blogger named Alix who has the best of intentions and tries hard to resolve what happened and to make things right. 

Emira herself is broken and wary of Alix's desire to help her. A surprising connection emerges between the two women and it sends them on a crash course that changes everything they think they know about themselves, each other, and the dynamics of privilege.

Ayoola is the favourite child but also possibly a sociopath and now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead and has been stabbed through the heart with Ayoola’s knife.

Korede is Ayoola’s saving grace, as she knows all the best solutions for covering up for her sister from cleaning up to wrapping a body. 

She also stops Ayoola from posting pictures to Instagram when she should be mourning her boyfriend.

Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realise that she’s exactly what he needs. 

But then he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number...

The story follows the lives of two Black sisters Celie and Nettie during twentieth-century Georgia.

Celie is a young girl who is born into poverty and segregation.

She is abused by the man she calls 'father', has two children taken away from her and is also separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. 

Celie then meets Shug Avery who is a singer who takes charge of her own destiny. 

After they're separated as children the girls communicate through letters spanning 20 years. 

The powerful story sheds light on horrific domestic and sexual abuse but shows that growth can spring from pain. 

The book is about The Turners who have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. 

Their house has seen thirteen children grow up and move out, with some returning. 

It has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father.

The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. 

Now Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. 

The Turner children are called home to decide their fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts and shapes their family's future.

Written by Jessica Murray


1 comment

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