The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police last month catalyzed a movement. In addition to protests around the world, there has been an influx of people looking to read books by Black authors and novels about the Black experience. On Sun., June 14, Tracy Sherrod, editorial director of Amistad, HarperCollins’ Black and multicultural imprint, launched a social media campaign with the hashtags #BlackoutBestsellerList and #BlackPublishingPower to keep the momentum going. She is urging folks to purchase at least two books by Black writers until Sat., June 20 with the hopes to "turn the bestseller lists Black."
City Paper reached out to Lea Bickerton, the owner of local Black-owned bookshop The Tiny Bookstore, to get recommendations on books to buy. All the titles are available now at The Tiny Bookstore unless otherwise noted.
I Don't Want to Die Poor
Essays by Michael Arceneaux
"From the New York Times bestselling author of I Can’t Date Jesus, which Vogue called 'a piece of personal and cultural storytelling that is as fun as it is illuminating,' comes a wry and insightful essay collection that explores the financial and emotional cost of chasing your dreams." - via Simon & Schuster
A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler and John Jennings
"Octavia E. Butler’s bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred, now in graphic novel format. More than 35 years after its release, Kindred continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler’s mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century." - via Abrams Books
Fear Is a Choice: Tackling Life's Challenges with Dignity, Faith, and Determination
by James Conner and Tiffany Yecke Brooks
"From fighting for his life to pursuing a career in the NFL, ACC Player of the Year and star Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner has lived a story offering wisdom and advice for anyone who has faced adversity." - via HarperCollins
Saving Ruby King
by Catherine Adel West
"When Ruby King’s mother is found murdered in their home in Chicago’s South Side, the police dismiss it as another act of violence in a Black neighborhood. But for Ruby, it’s a devastating loss that leaves her on her own with her violent father. While she receives many condolences, her best friend, Layla, is the only one who understands how this puts Ruby in jeopardy." - via Harlequin Trade Publishing
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
by Kwame Mbalia
"Tristan Strong accidentally creates a hole into the Midpass, a world where ancient African gods clash with gods of African-American legend in the first book of a new series by Kwame Mbalia." - via Read Riordan
Jake the Fake Goes for Laughs
by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach
"For fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate comes the second book in the side-splitting series about a class clown faking his way to comedy stardom from comedian and film star Craig Robinson." - via Penguin Random House
The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones
by Daven McQueen
"It’s the summer of 1955. For Ethan Harper, a biracial kid raised mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant conversation. When he’s sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle in small-town Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front and center, and no one is shy about making it known he’s not welcome there. Except for Juniper Jones. The town’s resident oddball and free spirit, she’s everything the townspeople aren’t ― open, kind, and full of acceptance." - via Goodreads. Currently on backorder.
by Brittney Morris
"Black Panther meets Ready Player One. A fierce teen game developer battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther-inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for black gamers. By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is a college student, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. By night, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide in the secret online role-playing card game, SLAY." - via Google Books. Currently on backorder.