THE LOVE YOU SAVE
By Goldie Taylor
A heart-rending account of journalist Goldie Taylor’s traumatic childhood during the 1970s and 80s.This is not an easy read - there is no sugarcoating the events of violence and abuse. But Taylor is a survivor, and she eventually finds power through her love of reading, research, and writing. Through insightful observations, Taylor shows how living and learning through trauma can lead to hope and healing.
By Kashana Cauley
Aretha is a single lawyer who is all about success until she moves in with her new boyfriend and his survivalist roommates. From there, things take bizarre twists and turns as Aretha falls deeper into the rabbit hole of doomsday preppers. Ultimately, this is a story about self-discovery that is also darkly humorous and socially important. “The Survivalists” is weird in the best way possible, and I kept replaying sections to fully digest what I had just read.
WHAT THE FIREFLIES KNEW
By Kai Harris
A simply stunning debut novel! A coming of age story told through the eyes of a 10-year-old Kenyatta. After her father tragically dies, leaving her family in a desperate financial situation, Kenyatta is sent to live with her grandfather for the summer. Although the book deals with heavy subjects like racism, violence, mental health, and drug abuse - it ultimately uplifts by showing a young girl growing up and growing strong.
DRIVING THE GREEN BOOK
By Alvin Hall
From 1936 to 1967, millions of Black Americans relied on “The Negro Motorist Green Book” to let them know where they could safely rest, eat, or sleep. In 2019, Alvin Hall and his friend Janee Woods Weber drove a 2,000-mile trip through America, stopping at the motels, restaurants, stores, and cultural landmarks highlighted in the “Green Book.” Originally presented as a podcast, the book also includes a collection of first-hand accounts from those who used the historic travel guide.
By Krystal Marquis
Although marketed as a young adult title, this romance is perfect for anyone who loves historical fiction. Set in 1910 Chicago, the story is loosely based on the real-life history of a wealthy Black family, the Pattersons. The story is told through the eyes of four different female characters as they navigate family expectations, gender norms, classism, and race. What sets this book apart is the balance of celebrating love and happiness while not shying away from the painful parts of the historical period.
MOONRISE OVER NEW JESSUP
By Jamila Minnicks
The civil rights movement of the 20th century is often seen as a unilateral march to desegregation. But that is not the whole story, as there were various opposing approaches to achieving equality. “Moonrise Over New Jessup” explores this idea through the fictional story of Alice, a young woman on her way to Chicago to find her sister. On the trip north, she gets off the bus in New Jessup, a thriving all-Black town in rural Alabama.
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