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Books for Teens - Facts
Books for Adults - Fiction
Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Friday Black by
Publication Date: 2018-10-23
A raw debut story collection from a young writer taking a satirical look at what it's like to be young and black in America. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country. These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world.
The Sellout, by Paul Beatty
The Sellout by
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
Winner of the Man Booker Prize. When his sociologist father (who used to do psychological experiments on him) is killed by the LAPD, the narrator dedicates himself to saving the town he grew up in—by bringing back segregation and slavery. The book is a biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.
The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Water Dancer by
Publication Date: 2019-09-24
Hiram yearns for a life beyond ‘the unending night of slavery.’ But when his plans to escape with Sophia, the woman he loves, are dashed by betrayal and violence, Hiram is inducted into the Underground, the secret network of agents working to liberate slaves.
Lakewood, by Megan Giddings
Publication Date: 2020-03-24
Medicine has often seen black bodies as subjects rather than patients—think the Tuskegee experiment, or Henrietta Lacks. Lakewood moves this historical reality into speculative fiction with the story of Lena Johnson, a young woman who signs up for a research study so she can get money and health insurance for her family. The sinister experiments she undergoes at the Lakewood Project are deeply rooted in Black Americans’ real-life experiences with medical research.
The City We Became, by N. K. Jemisin
The City We Became by
ISBN: 9780316509855, 448 pages
Publication Date: 2020-03-24
Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City has six, as suggested by the six newborn avatars about to come to its rescue. An ancient evil is rising up, ready to level the city. When a young man crosses the bridge into New York City, something changes. He doesn't remember who he is, where he's from, or even his own name. But he can feel the pulse of the city, can see its history, can access its magic. And he's not the only one. The start of a new series from the New York Times best-selling author and winner of multiple awards, including three consecutive Hugos.
Welcome to Braggsville, by T. Geronimo Johnson
Welcome to Braggsville by
Publication Date: 2015-09-08
D’aron, the protagonist of Johnson’s novel, grows up in the small Georgia town of Braggsville, suffering homophobic abuse before escaping to the more tolerant environs of the University of California, Berkeley. When he tells his new college friends that his hometown stages an annual Civil War reenactment, the group decide to travel there over spring break to crash it by staging the whipping and hanging of a slave. Events take a tragic turn, and D’aron must look deeper at the racist underpinnings of his town and the extent to which his education can be used to confront it.
God Help the Child, by Tony Morrison
God Help the Child by
Publication Date: 2016-01-26
Sweetness, a light-skinned African American, never gave her dark-skinned daughter, Bride, her full love because of the hue of her skin. As an adult, Bride is beautiful and successful, but she has never overcome that childhood rejection, something Sweetness is only now coming to understand.
Riot Baby, by Tochi Onyebuchi
Riot Baby by
Publication Date: 2020-01-21
Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella--through visits both mundane and supernatural--tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.
Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid
Such a Fun Age by
Publication Date: 2019-12-31
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. Alix resolves to make things right.
But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix's desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.
We Cast a Shadow, by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
We Cast a Shadow by
Publication Date: 2020-02-04
What lengths will a father go to to protect his son from racism? An associate attorney at a law firm (and only Black member of the company’s diversity committee) worries about the growing black birthmark on his biracial son that will not fade even with the burn of skin-bleaching creams. Wanting a better life for his son than the bleak fate of prison or poverty that awaits Black men in a near-future hyper-racist American South, the unnamed protagonist struggles to get ahead at his job, so he can afford an expensive experimental “demelanization” treatment that will turn his son completely white.
The Revisioners, by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
The Revisioners by
Publication Date: 2019-11-05
The Revisioners is a story of two black women, connected by lineage, that spans almost 100 years. In the present timeline, Ava, a mixed-raced single mom of a young son, moves in with Martha, her elderly declining white grandmother, out of financial necessity. In 1924, Josephine, a widowed former slave, owns a 300-acre farm and is prospering, but soon finds herself in danger when the white neighbor she befriends has ties to the Klan. Weaving timelines, The Revisioners shows the dangers that black bodies face even within their own community.
Real Life, by Brandon Taylor
Real Life by
Publication Date: 2020-02-18
Almost everything about Wallace, an introverted African-American transplant from Alabama, is at odds with the lakeside Midwestern university town where he is working toward a biochem degree. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends -- some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with a young straight man, conspire to fracture his defenses, while revealing hidden currents of resentment and desire that threaten the equilibrium of their community.
Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
Sing, Unburied, Sing by
ISBN: 9781501126079, 320 pages
Publication Date: 2018-05-08
Leonie and her 13-year-old son Jojo, both haunted by ghosts who have lost their lives to white violence, take a road trip across Mississippi (with Jojo’s toddler-age sister in tow) to pick up their father from the state penitentiary, a swampy odyssey fraught with dangers such as couriering meth and being stopped by racist white police officers.
The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad by
Publication Date: 2018-01-30
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. In Colson Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels.