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Representation and diversity have always been important issues in books. There has always been a lack of representation for minorities in writing. The issue also lies within the fact that young impressionable black children should see themselves represented in main characters and believe they can achieve anything and everything. Here is a small list to get started!

 

woman reading a book by the window
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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

A modern-day classic of police brutality and large issues the Black Lives Matter movement has been fighting. Thomas captures real issues faced by many black Americans. This book highlights the broken justice system for African Americans. An essential book that dives right into the problems of today. 

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanna A. Brown 

An incredible fantasy novel based on West African folklore. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin follows the story of Malik and Karina as they navigate through their kingdom’s politics and their own personal agendas. This incredible story focuses on strong black young adults and is inspiring to all young adults alike. 

 

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Another incredible young adult story based on African culture. This story revolves around Zélie Adebola, a young woman who goes on a journey to resist the ruthless monarchy. This book was a page-turner, and the message it holds is hugely relevant in this day and age. 

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas does it again! Bri is an aspiring rapper, but when her family hits a tough spot and faces possible homelessness, she needs her career to take off. Although this book’s theme is not as heavy as The Hate U Give, it still highlights many issues of working-class Black families. This book is amazing in many ways, leaving you inspired in many ways. This is the type of book that we need more of. 

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is a young black man who is bound for a nice college and a good future that is until a police officer arrests him. Afterward, Justyce faces an onslaught of blatantly racist and ignorant behavior from his peers. In order to cope, Justyce begins his letter to the civil rights activist, Martin Luther King. This book, like The Hate U Give, examines racism in the police system and the ongoing issue of racism in general. This book is bound to teach you something about the black experience in America. 

Black Enough by Ibi Zoboi

This book examines the thoughts of young black people with different backgrounds and experiences. The anthologies range from gay black teens to suburban black people. There is a story for everyone and in a time where diversity and representation really matters, we need many stories that people can relate to.

Freshman at UCSB studying Biopsychology and minoring in Chinese. An avid reader and lover of books.
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