Black fiction authors to help expand your horizons

Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020 thousands of people across the US took to the streets in outrage. They protested racism, police brutality, and other injustices. In the wake of these protests interest in and demand for books about racism and anti-racism has skyrocketed.

Booksellers, publishers, and librarians began to make lists of anti-racism resources for a public hungry for this material (here are few examples of these lists: The Stacks, New York Magazine, Phoenix Public Library, Napa Bookmine, including WPPL here). Many of these lists contain several of the same titles that lean heavily on the fields of history and sociology.

As this article in Vulture points out many of these reading lists often put titles out there with little guidance — what should I read first, how about after that? Many times these sorts of lists aren’t designed for anybody in particular — except maybe for readers of history and sociology. But … what if despite all good intentions you find history and sociology dry and boring? What if fiction, fantasy, sci fi, or romance is more for you? There are many black and people of color authors who are tackling the same topics and themes addressed in the works featured in anti-racism reading lists.

Following is a list of some titles and authors available at the Porter Public Library you can check out if the books on the different lists aren’t quite for you. Sometimes a good place to start can be by reading authors from different backgrounds — cultures, societies, language, life experiences — authors who don’t look like you and you don’t look like them.

N.K. Jemisin is best known for her Broken Earth and Inheritance trilogies. A link to her books at WPPL can be found here.

The Binti trilogy is being adapted into a movie for Hulu. You can check out the trilogy and her other writings here.

Walter Mosley is best known for his Leonid McGill and Easy Rawlins series. Check out his mystery books here.

Langston Hughes, a fixture of the Harlem Renaissance, is one of America’s best known poets and author of short stories. His stories and poems can be found here.

Pulitzer Prize winner poet, Jericho Brown’s, The Tradition, newest collection can be found here.

Tade Thompson, is a British born Yoruba psychiatrist. His novel Rosewater won the Arthur C. Clarke Award. His books can be found here.

Speculative fiction set in South Africa. Find it here. The cover should be enough to grab your attention.

Nikki Giovanni is one of the foremost poets and authors in the United States. Find her books here.