This Valentine’s Day, we’re highlighting Black authors we love! Explore a few of our favorite contemporary and classic Black authors for adults, teens, and children.
I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan
Dr. Georgia Young, an optometrist in her fifties, proves that it’s never too late to start over. Georgia’s life is good, technically. She has a successful practice, a lovely home in San Francisco, and two beautiful adult daughters, yet somehow she’s not quite happy. Ultimately bored and unfulfilled, Georgia decides to leave it all behind. Having sworn off love after two failed marriages, she decides to revisit her relationships and track down the men from her past to gain insight, closure, and a fresh start at love and true happiness.
Check out our catalog for additional titles by Terry McMillan.
Dawn by Octavia Butler
Award-winning author Octavia Butler explores themes of gender and race in this story about a futuristic society in which aliens have intervened to save humankind’s future. After waking from a centuries-long slumber, protagonist Lilith and other nuclear holocaust survivors find themselves aboard a spaceship with the aliens who saved them. Together they will resettle Earth, but the survival of humanity will depend on producing a hybrid species.
Check out our catalog for additional titles by Octavia Butler.
This National Book Award-winning title explores how racism started, spread, and rooted itself into American society. Kendi’s well-researched and readable book chronicles the origin of racist ideas and examines their historical journey through the lens of prominent American thinkers.
Check out our catalog for additional titles by Ibram X. Kendi.
Trouble is What I Do by Walter Mosley
When successful New York City private investigator Leonid McGill is approached by potential client Phillip “Catfish” Worry, an old bluesman from Mississippi, Leonid senses he’s in for trouble. Catfish needs Leonid’s help in resolving some unfinished family business: revealing the true heritage of a wealthy heiress and her corrupt father, who just so happen to be his granddaughter and son. But when a hit is put out on Catfish’s life, it’s clear that his son will stop at nothing to keep their true lineage from coming to light.
Check out our catalog for additional titles by Walter Mosley.
Five-Carat Soul by James McBride
This collection of emotional yet humorous short stories explores themes of identity, history and freedom through a diverse cast of characters including an antiques dealer, a president, an orphan, an inner-city boy band, a lion, and more. Through these protagonists, McBride examines how we navigate and learn from the world around us.
Check out our catalog for additional titles by James McBride.
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
Set in Atlanta during the 1980s, this story chronicles the complex family of teenager, Dana, who has grown up knowing that her father leads a double life. He has another family who knows nothing of her and her mother’s existence. Tired of being a secret, Dana decides to form a friendship with her father’s other daughter, Chaurisse, who is unaware of her father’s indiscretions and that Dana is actually her sister. Their friendship threatens to close the carefully constructed gap between their two families.
Check out our catalog for additional titles by Tayari Jones.
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
Nineteen-year-old Tish and sculptor, Fonny, plan to marry after learning that Tish has become pregnant. But when Fonny is imprisoned after being falsely accused of a crime, their families must fight to clear his name. Full of despair and hope, Tish and Fonny must learn to navigate an uncertain future and maintain faith in their love.
Check out our catalog for additional titles by James Baldwin
Track Series by Jason Reynolds
This dynamic series includes four novels, each written from the perspective of a different character: Ghost, Sunny, Lu, and Patina, who all compete on the same track team. Though they exist in the same world, they come from very different backgrounds, and Reynolds uses each novel to explore their individual experiences.
Check out our catalog for additional titles by Jason Reynolds.
Bestselling author Nic Stone writes about Justyce, a Black student in a predominantly white boarding school whose academic aspirations are threatened when he faces discrimination from local police. In an effort to make sense of his experience, Justyce turns to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He begins writing letters to the prominent Civil Rights leader and starts asking himself, “What would Martin do?”
Check out our catalog for additional titles by Nic Stone.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Akorafor
Dubbed “the Nigerian Harry Potter,” Akorafor blends magic, adventure and culture into this gripping fantasy series. Sunny Nwazue, an American-born person with albinism, is having trouble fitting in to her new home in Nigeria. Everything changes, however, when two of Sunny’s classmates inform her that she, like them, has magical capabilities. Together they practice their skills and explore a hidden world. But with a mystical serial killer on the loose, Sunny and her friends will be forced to put their powers to the test in order to keep everyone safe.
Check out our catalog for additional titles by Nnedi Akorafor
Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
Known for her heartfelt romances, Nicola Yoon’s latest title does not disappoint! After her parents’ divorce, high school senior Evie swears off love. Once a romance novel enthusiast, Evie decides to donate her old books and leave her prior ideas about love behind. As she’s dropping books off, an old, mysterious woman encourages her to take a new one with her: Instructions for Dancing. This seemingly inconsequential act sparks Evie’s new psychic ability to see the progression of a couple’s relationship in one single moment. Convinced that the book is a sign, Evie finds herself at its origin: La Brea Dance Studio, where she meets X, learns to dance, and might just learn to love again.
Check out our catalog for additional titles by Nicola Yoon.
This middle-grade anthology includes 17 stories that celebrate the joy of being a young Black boy. Explore stories from seventeen acclaimed and bestselling authors for young people, all sharing unique perspectives on the wonders and joys of Black boyhood.
Check out our catalog for additional works by Kwame Mbalia.
Based on the Academy-Award winning short film, “Hair Love,” this beautifully illustrated story celebrates the love of a father and daughter while honoring Black hair. Zuri’s father shows his love by admiring Zuri’s amazing hair. When Zuri needs a special hairstyle to mark a momentous occasion, her father delivers!
Check out our catalog for additional works by Matthew A. Cherry.
Though “little,” these one page biographies don’t diminish the major contributions of these Black women. From well-known icons like Ella Fitzgerald, to lesser known figures like Rebecca Lee Crumpler, learn about trailblazing Black women whose mark on history will impact generations to come.
Check out these additional titles by Vashti Harrison:
- Dream Big, Little One
- Follow Your Dreams, Little One
- Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World
- Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History
- Think Big, Little One
Written in verse, Jacqueline Woodson explores her own coming of age tale about growing up in South Carolina and New York during the 1960s and 1970s. She writes about the Civil Rights movement, her time spent living with her strict religious grandmother, and her growing interest in writing and sharing her own stories.
Check out our catalog for additional titles by Jacqueline Woodson