Support Black Authors

For the Conscious Reader 150 Black Authors organized into genre.

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Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

“Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.” ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I’ve explained in my previous posts, (here, and here) that I’m going to be more intentional about the books I read. So I wanted to take the time to share my journey with you guys. I’ve begun this journey by google searching “books by black authors.”

Please note: This is only the beginning, I intend to network and connect with lesser known authors as well. Moving on.

I want to read books from individuals whose voices need to be heard and understood, in order create social change. I want to keep a forward momentum on all of our efforts. I do believe that right the internet is a great place to create social change. It can allow people to search up topics without judgement. We just have to make the topics visible to everyone. Also, I have learned mostly as an author, that reading books helps me to notice similarities I have with the others, whether it be the author or the characters. I love that feeling when I’m reading and I’m like “Oh, they thought of that too!”

Ok, I won’t make you wait any longer, here is the list of lists of black authors from reliable sources.

Oprah Magazine- 44 Books by Black Authors

Ideas.Ted.Com- 62 books by Black authors recommended by Ted Speakers

Penguin Random House- 33 Books by Contemporary Black Authors

KPBS.org- 6 Books By Black Authors To Put On Your Summer Reading List

PBS.org- 10 Black Authors Everyone Should Read

BuzzFeed- 42 Amazing Books Written By Black Authors

Good Housekeeping- 25 Books By Black Authors to Add to Your Reading List

Some the Wiser- My Favorite Contemporary Fiction by Black Authors

Here they are by genre

Fiction is in Alphabet order by title and Non Fiction is in alphabet order by last name.

Fiction

Adventure

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

Fairytale

What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

Fiction

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer

If I Stay Right Here: A Novel by Chwayita Ngamlana

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Domestic

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Another Brooklyn: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

It’s Not All Downhill from Here by Terry McMillan

Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes

On Beauty: A Novel by Zadie Smith

Drama

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Literary

A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley

Five-Carat Soul by James McBride

Grand Union by Zadie Smith

Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Uncle Tom’s Children A Novella by Richard Wright

What We Lose by zinzi clemmons

Mystery

Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley

Autobiographical

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

Coming of Age

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Romance

I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

Indigo by Beverly Jenkins

Waiting To Exhale by Terry McMillan

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Fantasy

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Psychological

Another Country by James Baldwin

Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Erotic

Finding Gideon by Eric Jerome Dickey

Historical Fiction

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

Deacon King Kong: A Novel by James McBride

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Loving Day by Mat Johnson

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

The Travelers by Regina Porter

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Vanishing Half by Brit BennettThe Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Magical Realism

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin

Young Adult

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Thriller

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Gay/Lesbian/LGBTQ

Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Satire

We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Sci-Fi

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Version Control by Dexter Palmer

True Crime

A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa by Alexis Okeowo

Poetry

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow was Enuf: a choreopoem by Ntozake Shange

Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History by Camille T. Dungy

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

Take This Stallion by Anaïs Duplan

Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth by Warsan Shire

salt. by Nayyirah Waheed

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Non Fiction

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by adrienne maree brown

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt

The Race Whisperer: Barack Obama and the Political Uses of Race by Melanye Price

Autobiography/Memoir/Biography

They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib

The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelo

The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell by W. Kamau Bell

Black Is the Body by Emily Bernard

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittany Cooper

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass

The Well-Read Black Girl An Anthology by Glory Edim

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

The Autobiography of Malcom X by Alex Haley

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston

Some of Us Did NOT Die by June Jordan

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Lovesong: Becoming a Jew by Julius Lester

The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir by Jennifer Lewis

Unbowed by Wangari Maathai

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America by Gregory Pardlo

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson

Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America by Sharon Robinson

Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison by Shaka Senghor

Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur

Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women who Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space by Margot Lee Shetterly

Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays by R. Eric Thomas

We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil

More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

Black Boy by Richard Wright

Manifesto

Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu

Christian Literature

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

Self-Help

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne Maree Brown

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt

The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music by Victor Wooten

Thesis/Law

The New Jim Crowby Michelle Alexander

Essays

Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom

Women, Race, And Class by Angela Y. Davis

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

Reference

Soar: How Boys Learn, Succeed, and Develop Character by David C. Banks

Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Change by Stacey Abrams

Not sure what genre

A Human Being Died That Night: Confronting Apartheid’s Chief Killer by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

End of List

Save the page and make it a 2021 challenge, or just save it for future reference.

Please feel free to contact me in order to add your favorite black authors to the list. (Fingers crossed I’ll be added soon.)

8 Ways To Fall Forward

1. Allow yourself to fall. Cry, scream, nap, do self care.

2. Get healthy. Healthy diet and exercise help with a healthy mind.

3. Talk it out. Find someone who is in a healthy place emotionally to talk it out.

4. Set goals to focus on for the next year. Not so focused they become a crutch just a means to move forward.

5. Surround yourself with communities that share your interests. 

6. Trust your gut. When something doesn’t feel right, trust that. Don’t let people take advantage of your vulnerable state. If they weren’t there through the struggle chances are they won’t be there through the healing.

7. Move forward. Stay away from environments that no longer serve you. Learn the signs and patterns of toxic behaviors and set boundaries immediately so you don’t end up in the same situations over and over again.

8. Learn to be ok alone. Become your own best friend. Learn yourself. Take up hobbies. Feed your brain.

 

 

The Art of Letting Go

16 things that are part of the creative process

 

These are in no particular order. And are all tiny pieces that go into creating a masterpiece. “Creating a masterpiece” can be a general term, but ideally the whole thing is a process. Here’s a few things I feel go into my own writing-a-masterpiece process.

  1. Talking with like-minded people
  2. Going on adventures
  3. Curiosity
  4. Focus
  5. Determination
  6. Innovation
  7. Rest
  8. Solitude
  9. Meditation
  10. Music
  11. Research and self study
  12. Differing opinions/ contradiction
  13. That one thing that keeps you going
  14. Experimentation
  15. Mistakes
  16. and for me Tea

 

 

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Last week’s list

6 reasons why you should write today.

The ways to fight

The many ways women fight oppression

 

 

Not shaving

Breaking men’s hearts

Ridding themselves of all things beauty

Working their asses off to prove they can do what men can

Staying home and doing what they love

Embracing all things beauty

being confident in their body

Learning self defense

Creating a workplace the supports women’s needs

Picking up male mannerisms

Letting men help around the house

Being the breadwinner

Being a mom

Eating healthy and going to gym

Flirting

Voicing their opinions

Yelling and screaming

Crying

The arts

Protesting

Hiring more women in the workplace

Teaching more women

Supporting more women emotionally spiritually and financially

Shake Shakin what they mama gave em…

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The list infinite… And I’m open to hearing more

6 reasons why you should write today.

Six reasons why you should stop doing what you’re doing and write right now. people-2587055_1280

  1. You’ll have something to look back on. Not only to see your own growth but to have those memories you hold so dear.
  2. To learn from your experiences. It’s much easier to learn from your experiences when they are written down. Sometimes our brain remembers things wrong. It likes to play tricks on us. Smh, the brain is such an unreliable thing.
  3. It can be healing in so many ways. It could help you figure out what’s holding you back, or why you developed some quirky ritual or habit years ago. It can make ideas and concepts more clear and concrete. Writing can heal in so many ways.
  4. You’ll have something to leave behind. Everyone has so many different experiences and for me it’s nice to read and observe how others deal with experiences similar to my own. It can help other humans feel less alone. It can be eye opening and relieving. It could talk someone off the ledge. Seriously.
  5. You’ll have done something. Even if not one person reads your stuff you’ll have made a difference in yourself for yourself and that’s what’s most important. As they say you can’t truly help someone else until you help yourself.
  6. It can be cathartic. (Thank you Nory for that one.) I was telling her I wanted to set my screen play on fire cuz I’m so over it. She said that would be cathartic and that I should do it. Then I had to google the word cathartic. lol Writing can give you a release you don’t get in other places. Once in a great while things just come together and realization happens. Which can help you progress mentally or spiritually.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully this post has inspired you to write!

 

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