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Book Recommendations for Black History Month

     The importance of uplifting Black voices is something that should be prioritized all year long, but the month of February as Black History Month helps you to focus your attention on Black stories and to support Black businesses. With that being said, the Black book community has an incredible selection of #OwnVoices work that allows us all to engage in fiction as well as become actively anti-racist. Here is a list of the books I recommend you check out this month, and all year, with a variety of genres that will appeal to every reader. 

 

Contemporary

 

  1. The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

A story written in verse that showcases a mixed-race gay teen become comfortable with his identity. 

  1. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo 

Two sisters who have never met, one in NYC, the other in the Domincan Republic, find each other in the grief of losing their father in a plane crash. 

  1. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

A coming of age story about a transgender teen falling in love for the first time. 

  1. The Voting Booth Brandy Colbert

After Duke is turned away from the polling station, Marva is determined to make sure his vote is counted, full of poignant discussions and romance too. 

  1. Love Is a Revolution by Renee Watson

A love story with a plus size lead who also learns about what it means to love herself. 

 

Books that center on Police Brutality (TW: Violence) 

 

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 

This details the story of Starr after being the sole witness to the police shooting of her best friend.

  1. Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

After a police raid the party they are attending, Marvin’s twin brother goes missing, and is found dead. A video surfaces of his shooting by a police officer, and Marvin learns a new meaning for justice. 

  1. Dear Martin by Nic Stone 

Justyce is set for the Ivy League’s, until he is arrested one day. He starts a journal to Dr. King, but one day he and his friend are caught in the crosshairs of white cop, where the media fallout displays the racial biases at work. 

  1. American Street by Ibi Zoboi

A story about a Haitian Immigrant, Fabiola, whose mother is detained by US immigration, leaving her to navigate on her own.

 

Fantasy and Sci-Fi

  1. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron 

Queer, Dystopian, Black feminist fairytale retelling with dark twists

  1. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna 

A fantasy world based in blood purity and immortal warriors fighting to protect the Emperor in a land of secrets.

  1. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn 

A college campus setting, home to a secret society of students who hunt down demons in this Arthurian twist. 

  1. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

A girl must work with an alien to save humanity after the deaths of ⅓ of the population was caused by a misunderstanding between world leaders.

  1. Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

A story set in the ancient civilizations in the Americas about prophecies, forbidden magic, and gods. 

  1. The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin 

Essun’s journey to save her kidnapped daughter after her husband has murdered their son in the midst of a collapsing empire. 

  1. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (TW: sexual violence) 

Set in post apocalyptic Africa, this story follows a woman who gives birth to a baby after she was raped by a general responsible for destroying her village. 

 

 

Romance 

 

  1. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Follow Chloe, a Black, disabled woman, get the love of her life. 

  1. A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole 

A modern Cinderella retelling featuring an African prince with the hidden identities trope we all love. 

  1. Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan 

A childhood friend to enemies to lovers romance!

  1. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory 

Alexa agrees to be the fake date to the wedding the man she gets stuck in the elevator with is attending, his ex’s wedding, what could go wrong?

 

Non-Fiction

 

  1. How To Be AntiRacist by Ibram X. Kendi 

This novel discusses racial injustice in America in a way that revolutionizes how we look at our society. 

  1. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge 

Eddo-Lodge discusses the frustrating ways race conversations are approached in Britain. 

  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama 

The memoir of the former First Lady.

  1. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson 

A collection of essays where Johnson details the stages of their life as a queer Black person, from toxic masculinaty, family, Black joy, and gender identity. 

  1. Hood Feminism: Notes From the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall 

 A new approach of feminism views that focuses on basic needs like food insecurity, safety, education medical care, ect through a feminist issue lense. 

 

Historical 

 

  1. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Two white passing twin sisters who run away at sixteen live completely different lives as adults, one returns to the town they ran from with her Black daughter, while the other secretly passes as white, and her husband knows nothing of her past. 

  1. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Hiram, born into slavery, finds himself with the strange ability to transport himself far away, which becomes vital in his role in helping free other enslaved people. 

 

Mystery/ Thrillers

 

  1. My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite 

A Nigerian Thriller about sisters, one of which keeps murdering her boyfriends…

  1. Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson 

A murder mystery surrounding a famous R&B singer. 

 

Happy Reading!

Mallory is a junior at Marshall University majoring in Psychology and History. She is an Honor’s College student and a member of the Psychology Club on her campus. When she isn’t doing schoolwork, she spends her time reviewing books on her Instagram, making art, and spending time with her family. She is an avid reader and mystery lover who is passionate about politics and activism.
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