Now is the time to show your support by buying and reading books written by Black authors. These 5 incredible books are a great place to start:
1.Beloved by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison was a literary heavyweight hitter, and she lent a powerful voice to the African American community through her writing. Sadly, she passed away last year, but her work lives on. Beloved is one of her most iconic books and, though a tough read, a must-read. Very few books capture the horrors and cruelties African American women faced in pre and post-slavery America the way Beloved does.
2. All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson
June is National Pride Month and the perfect time to read George M. Johnson's wonderful, heartbreaking book, All Boys Aren't Blue. Johnson uses a series of personal essays to build this memoir into a moving glimpse of his own childhood. This book takes a look at sexuality and identity, and the struggle of queer Black bodies to not only find acceptance amongst their community, but in the world at large.
3. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
34% of incarcerated individuals are African American, despite making up a mere 13% of the overall US population. Tayari Jones' novel touches on how these injustices affect an 'average' African American couple living in Atlanta. When Roy is falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to 12 years in jail, his wife Celestial struggles to hold on to the love that first brought them together. An American Marriage is an intense and thoughtful novel that is sure to become one of your favorite reads.
4. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
There's a reason why Between the World and Me has been making the rounds on everyone's reading lists, because this book is really something special. Penned as a series of letters from Coates to his adolescent son, it takes an up close and personal look at America's fraught history, as well as the struggle of the typical African American male trying to find his footing in our modern times.
5. If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
You may recognize the title If Beale Street Could Talk from the 2018 film of the same name (which is based on the book and well worth a watch, too). This is a bittersweet love story centered around a young African American couple, Fonny and Tish, living in New York in the 1970s. When Fonny is falsely accused of a crime and imprisoned, Tish rallies her family and community around her in an attempt to clear his name. This novel is a testament to the power of love, and a heartbreaking look at how fragile freedom can be when crushed beneath systematic racism and oppression.
What books by Black authors have you read and enjoyed? Share your reading list with us in the comments section!