Home CultureBlack-Owned Black-Authored Books That Can Be Purchased in Local Bookstores

Black-Authored Books That Can Be Purchased in Local Bookstores

by Jordan and Joelle Hernandez
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Back in 1976 President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month during February to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout history.” Sharing stories of any group of people is one way to show respect, to educate, and advance that community. By sharing Black stories, we as a nation can better understand the experience and perspective of our fellow citizens. From love stories to informative essays Black authors have always shared their truth and experience with the world if they are open to hearing it. We have rounded up a few must-reads by Black authors that can be purchased locally. 

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Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Concrete Rose

In 2017 author Angie Thomas took the publishing world by storm with her bestselling novel The Hate U Give. This story was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and followed a young girl by the name of Starr, the only witness to the shooting and killing of an unarmed Black male teenager. Thomas is back with Concrete Rose, a prequel to the aforementioned novel. Concrete Rose is set 17 years before The Hate U Give showcasing the realities of being a Black man in America. Copies of Concrete Rose are available at Little City Books, some copies on shelves are even signed by Thomas herself.

The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.

The Prophets

A writer who has been compared to Toni Morrison and James Baldwin is bound to release a riveting novel. Robert Jones Jr.’s just put out his debut book The Prophets, but he is hardly new to the literary world. Jones has both a BFA in creative writing and an MFA in creative writing under his belt. His expertise is showcased in his new work about the forbidden relationship between two male slaves on a southern plantation. Hitting newsstands January 2021, this novel has already been named to the NY Times Best Sellers List, O, The Oprah Magazine’s list of 32 LGBTQ Books That Will Change the Literary Landscape in 2021, and the #1 Indie Next Generation Great Read Picks for January 2021. Purchase a copy locally here.

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Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change by Stacey Abrams

Lead from the Outside stacey abrams

There are leaders and then there is the incomparable Stacey Abrams. As if being a politician, lawyer, and voting right activist isn’t enough, Abrams is the author of two books. Lead from the Outside is part memoir and part self-help book empowering the reader to harness their own strength, even if labeled as an outsider by the world. The book focuses on the hardships in our society that hinder women, people of color, the working class, members of the LGBTQ community, and millennials. Abrams leans on her own experiences to guide these groups through ways they too can get to the top of their craft. Check out this book and others by Abram on sale at WORD Bookstore.

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Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped Racism Antiracism You

Award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi joined forces with Jason Reynolds to put a special flair on his original book Stamped. Starting in the year 1415, Kendi and Reynolds break down anti-black racism in America through the present day. While they remind the reader through the work that it is “not a history book”, it gives context to the most prominent historical events in this country with the true racist events that are often left out of textbooks. According to Reynolds, three types of people make up Americans, segregationists {“haters”}, assimilationists {“cowards”}, and antiracists {“people who truly love”}. Stamped was newly restocked at WORD Bookstore in Jersey City.   

They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the South by Stephanie E. Jones- Rogers

They Were Her Property

To know U.S. history is to know the ugly past of slavery. While historians have deeply studied this area of our country’s past, the role that white women in the south played during this time is often overlooked. They Were Her Property is the first extensive look at the role this group held in the slave trade, the economy, ownership of slaves, and the inner workings of plantations. Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers completed extensive research to argue her points finding bills of sale of enslaved persons showing that nearly 40% of slave trades were completed by women. She walks through the desire for financial freedom from husbands these women had and how involvement with the selling and buying of slaves would help them achieve their goals. Pick up the paperback version of this book at Little City Books.

Ties that Tether by Jane Igharo

Ties that Tether

The saying goes “our hearts don’t see in color”. This may be true, but what if a promise was made to a dying father to marry within the race? Ties that Tether is the story of Azere nearly a decade after promising her father she would marry a Nigerian man to preserve her culture. When she was still in her homeland, this promise seemed feasible. After immigrating to Canada and meeting a suave Spanish gentleman she isn’t so sure she can hold on to her end of the deal. Author Jane Igharo captures the real feelings of a young adult immigrant and the struggles to adapt to a new culture while still respecting their native heritage. Check out a review of the story and purchase here.

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Girl Gurl Grrrl: On Womenhood and Belonging in the Age of Black Girl Magic by Kenya Hunt

Girl Gurl Grrrl

Black girl magic—a phrase that has been used frequently in the past few years. Award-winning journalist Kenya Hunt, along with others break down the contradiction that are faced by Black women daily. The celebrations and criticism, the shattering of glass ceilings and workplace discrimination, the self-empowerment, and insecurities. Critics proclaim this work as an accurate portrayal of the current realities for Black women in the western world. Through a collection of essays, readers can learn more about these trials and tribulations. Buy it here.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage

Oprah has proven that she knows how to pick a good book. Back in 2018, she named An American Marriage to her famed book club list and it has been making waves ever since. Author Tayari Jones shares a beautiful love story of newly married couple Roy and Celestial. When Roy is wrongly accused of rape and sentenced to prison for twelve years, will their marriage stand the test of time? In a unique series of events, Jones showcases the harsh reality Black men face in America, even with degrees from accredited universities and jobs in corporate America. Check out Little City Books for a copy. 


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