February is Black History Month
Black lives and voices are a central part of the American experience. Check out these recommendations from independent booksellers across the country.
Black Futures edited by Kimberly Drew & Jenna Wortham
There’s no simple way to describe this book: It includes essays, photo collages, recipes, anecdotes, poems and more, all on beautiful glossy paper in a thick volume. This book is as much a celebration of Black experience and future as it is a cathartic yell at systemic oppression.
The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.
Robert Jones Jr. debut novel The Prophets is a force to be reckoned with; it’s a force of nature. It’s a wave cresting with unimaginable sorrow, cries of voices past, and above all, love. Samuel and Isaiah are two male slaves in a deep-south antebellum plantation whose romantic union, pure as it is, comes under threat from a fellow slave recently converted to the faith of the white man. It does what few (if any!) novels have done before: examine the intersection of enslavement and queer-hood through the lens of a southern plantation pre- abolition. To say I love this book with all my heart doesn’t even begin to cover it. Prepare your bookshelf for a new classic that will be read and studied for decades to come.
Dream Master by Raheem “Mega Ran” Jarbo
Dream Master is a memoir about Raheem “Mega Ran” Jarbo’s life. Mega Ran is a 6X Billboard-Charting musician & a Guinness World Record holder. This book tells you everything about why he’s who he is.
Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz
Each story in this collection will take to you to the emotional brink, simultaneously sucking your soul out and fulfilling you in ways you didn’t know literature could. It is beyond exceptional.
I am The Rage by Dr. Martina McGowan, illustrated by Diana Ejaita
I cannot begin to express how much this collection moved me. I am The Rage is necessary reading. Searing and visceral, Dr. McGowan bears her soul on the page, making it impossible to ignore her experience (shared by many others) any longer. Where the academics will tell you the statistics of racism in America, McGowan makes you feel their effects, her words a mix of the beautifully simple and profoundly philosophic. Pure, raw emotion. Unputdownable.
That They Lived by Rochelle Riley & Cristi Smith-Jones
That They Lived is an amazing book for all readers. We love how the book connects the younger African American generation to their history in a very creative way.
Recommended by E. Jean from Enda’s BOOKtique in Duncanville, Texas
Big Black: Stand at Attica by Frank Smith, illustrated by Jared Reinmuth Ameziane
A graphic memoir from Frank “Big Black” Smith who was at the center of one of the bloodiest civil movements in American history that you’ve probably never heard of.
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
A new recipient of the Stonewall Book Honor, You Should See Me In A Crown tells the story of Liz Lighty and her quest to do whatever it takes to receive a scholarship to her dream school.