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Posted under: News Culture

9 New Powerful Book Releases From Black Authors To Read This Fall

Curl up with a good book from Black authors.

Over the past few months, we’ve found ourselves alone more than usual. However, a small grace from the 2020 pandemic is that we finally have time to pick up new hobbies or knock out some books on that ever growing “to read” list. August 9 marks National Book Lover's Day and it kicks off with a slew of upcoming fall releases by Black authors. 

If you happen to be inside, or not, there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book while supporting Black. Here are nine new releases from Black authors to get us through the autumn months.


1. "Ikenga" by Nnedi Okorafor


Category: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, African Futurism.

Young Adult stories will always be important because Black young adults deserve to dream without limits. In this novel,  Nigerian-American Nnedi Okorafor (Akata Witch) immerses the reader in the life of young Nnamdi. Nnamdi’s father was an honorable police chief whose murder is believed to be at the hands of a powerful criminal. On a quest to avenge his father’s death he has an encounter that gives him superpowers and must come to terms with how he chooses to wield them.


2. "Burning Sugar" by Cicely Belle Blain





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Category: Poetry, Women’s Literature, LGBTQ+.

The debut novel from activist and poet Cicely Belle Blain is described as “a poetic exploration of Black identity, history, and lived experience influenced by the constant search for liberation,” by Arsenal Pulp Press. 

Blain undoubtedly draws from their years of Black and LGBTQ+ activism. In 2018, Blain was named one of Vancouver magazines’ top 50 most influential people for their work as co-founder of Black Lives Matter Vancouver. Their consulting firm, Cicely Blain Consulting, boasts over 100 clients across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, specializing in a social justice informed approach to diversity. Their work explores how the “world is both beautiful and cruel, a truth that inspires overwhelming anger and awe.”


3. "Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World" by Cole Brown

Category: Nonfiction Essays, Interviews, Black Culture.

We must embrace intersectionality in order to form a complete picture of our vast Black identities. As such, Brown dissects the intersections of race and class in his debut anthology.

“Cole has heard it all before — token, bougie, oreo, Blackish — the things we call the kids like him. Black kids who grow up in white spaces, living at an intersection of race and class that many doubt exists,” reads a description from Arcade Publishing. 

“He digs into the places where, in youth, a greyboy’s difference is most acutely felt: parenting, police brutality, Trumpism, depression, and dating, to name a few.”


4. "And Now She's Gone: A Novel" by Rachel Howzell Hall

Category: Mystery Thriller

“Isabel Lincoln is gone. But is she missing?,” asks this mystery thriller from Tom Doherty Associates. We’ve all been captivated watching a missing person’s drama play out on TV, rarely do we get to read about it with two Black women at the center of the story.


5. "Transcendent Kingdom" by Yaa Gyasi

Category: Literary Fiction

Gifty is a Phd candidate determined to uncover the scientific reason behind suffering. While studying the hard sciences, she balances the pull of spiritualism in the evangelical church she grew up in. Gyasi weaves a heartbreaking and tender tale of a Ghanian immigrant family wrecked by addiction, depression and loss.


6. "I Am Every Good Thing" by Derrick Barnes, Illustrated by Gordon C. James

Category: Picture Book, Children’s Literature

“An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut,”  is how one book listing describes this swaggy offering. We listen in on our main protagonist as he confidently goes through all the things that make him great.


7. "When No One Is Watching: A Thriller" by Alyssa Cole

Category: Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Rear Window meets Get Out “ is enough of a selling point to invest some time investigating this thriller about gentrification and conspiracy in Brooklyn. Protagonist Sydney Green works out her frustration over the changing neighborhood by spearheading a walking tour, but the alliances she makes leaves her more suspicious than before.


8. "Follow Your Dreams Little One" by Vashti Harrison

Category: Children's Books, Juvenile Nonfiction, Biography & Autobiography, Historical

Vashti Harrison quickly made a name for herself as one of the internet’s most endearing illustrators. It was not unusual to see one of her whimsical creations or dreamy little princesses and princess with beautiful brown skin. She grew her expertise, and demand, to become the premier children’s book illustrator with a focus on brain food for little brown babies. Her most recent addition to her best selling Little Leaders series, Follow Your Dreams, Little One, is a wonderful way to spotlight important Black men in history.


9. “Memorial” by Bryan Washington

Category: Literary Fiction, LGBTQ+

Benson and Mike are a couple who are wondering if the fire in their relationship has gone out, despite them being in love. When Mike travels to Japan after his estranged father’s death, Benson forms an unpredictable bond with Mike’s mother that leaves everyone changed.

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Queer Multi-hyphenate creative who likes fruit snacks and well written TV. She is looking to be in somebody's writers' room. Her work is centered in narrative based social commentary. She forgot her twitter password ages ago, but you can still tag her @ImAmandaMonroe. On IG: @moe_sizslack. She has a cat named Eartha Kitt. Amanda thinks that joke is hilarious.