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6 Books By Black Authors To Add To Your Summer Reading List

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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If you’re looking for a great read this summer, we’ve got you covered. Hailing from a range of genres, these books are all written by black authors providing inspiration, education, or in some cases, simply a fun ride.

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. (Amazon)

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Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi 

Children of Blood And Bone is a fantastical tale that will take you on a non-stop ride from beginning to end.  Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. (Amazon)


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Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.” Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwateris a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities. (Amazon)

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How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People by D.L. Hughley

200 years ago, white people told black folks, “‘I suggest you pick the cotton if you don’t like getting whipped.” Today, it’s “comply with police orders if you don’t want to get shot.” Now comedian/activist D. L. Hughley–one the Original Kings of Comedy–uses this book as a way to confront and remix white people’s “advice” in this “hilarious examination of the current state of race relations in the United States” (Publishers Weekly).

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I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé by Michael Arceneaux

In the style of New York Times bestsellers You Can’t Touch My Hair, Bad Feminist, and I’m Judging You, a timely collection of alternately hysterical and soul‑searching essays about what it is like to grow up as a creative, sensitive black man in a world that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity. With the characteristic wit and candor that have made him one of today’s boldest writers on social issues, I Can’t Date Jesus is Michael Arceneaux’s impassioned, forthright, and refreshing look at minority life in today’s America. Leaving no bigoted or ignorant stone unturned, he describes his journey in learning to embrace his identity when the world told him to do the opposite. (Amazon)

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RELATED: 13 Feminist Bookstores Around The World

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

In The Poet X, Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. (Amazon)

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