Celebrate Black History Month by buying books!
As we move through a new year (can you believe it's already February) we've compiled a short list of 2024 releases and a few 2023 faves, written by black authors from a variety of genres.
So if you're looking for that next read, we've got you covered.
*So Let them Burn- Kamilah Cole
Whip-smart and immersive, this Jamaican-inspired fantasy follows a gods-blessed heroine who’s forced to choose between saving her sister or protecting her homeland.
*Ash Dark as Night- Gary Phillips
Photojournalist and Korean War vet Harry Ingrams returns in this sequel to the PW-starred mystery series launch One-Shot Harry. In this outing, Ingrams captures on film an act of police brutality during the Watts riots in 1965 L.A., making him both a sought-after private eye in the Black community and a target of the LAPD. Phillips, an activist and organizer as well as a writer, is a mainstay of Los Angeles noir.
*James- Percival Everett
Pulitzer and Booker Prize finalist Everett reimagines Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to tell the tale from Jim’s perspective. Enslaved and in danger of being separated from his family, Jim, along with the young runaway Huck, embarks on a raft voyage down the Mississippi River, encountering familiar characters seen anew through Everett’s particular lens.
*One of Us Knows- Alyssa Cole
In this thriller, preservationist Kenetria Nash is trapped with a group of strangers in a historic house on an isolated Hudson River island and must contend with a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder as well as a murder. Cole, an outspoken champion of diverse fiction, counts Black horror films like The People Under the Stairs and Tales from the Hood, Hitchcock, and Rosemary’s Baby as influences.
*SHOOK! A BLACK HORROR ANTHOLOGY-
Bradley Golden, Marcus Roberts, John Jennings, Roberto Castro (Illustrator), Alessio Nocerino (Illustrator)
With over 190 pages of terrorizing material, the anthology is filled with stories from a range of award-winning Black writers and artists.
*Reformatory- Tananarive Due
A gripping, page-turning novel set in Jim Crow Florida that follows Robert Stephens Jr. as he’s sent to a segregated reform school that is a chamber of terrors where he sees the horrors of racism and injustice, for the living, and the dead.
*How The Boogeyman Became A Poet- Tony Keith Jr.
Tony dreams about life after high school, where his poetic voice can find freedom on the stage and page. But the Boogeyman has been following Tony since he was six years old. First, the Boogeyman was after his Blackness, but Tony has learned It knows more than that: Tony wants to be the first in his family to attend college, but there’s no path to follow.
*The Other Black Girl- Zakiya Dalila Harris
(Technically this came out in 2021, but the Hulu show is 2023, so we're adding it to the list )
Urgent, propulsive, and sharp as a knife, The Other Black Girl is an electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.
*A Love Song for Ricki Wilde- Tia Williams
Ricki Wilde has many talents, but being a Wilde isn’t one of them. As the impulsive, artistic daughter of a powerful Atlanta dynasty, she’s the opposite of her famous socialite sisters. Where they’re long-stemmed roses, she’s a dandelion: an adorable bloom that’s actually a weed, born to float wherever the wind blows. In her bones, Ricki knows that somewhere, a different, more exciting life awaits her.
*A Stranger in the Citadel- Tobias S. Buckell
At the revolutionary crossroads of magic, betrayal, and long-forgotten truths, a naïve, compassionate royal and a determined, hunted librarian discover a dangerous world of mortal and ancient menaces.
*Allegedly- Tiffany D. Jackson
Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.
*The Mayor of Maxwell Street- Avery Cunningham
When a rich Black debutante enlists the help of a low-level speakeasy manager to identify the head of an underground crime syndicate, the two are thrust into the dangerous world of Prohibition-era Chicago.