9 Black Female Authors You Should Be Reading
Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African-Americans in the Confederacy in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. This ending of slavery took place exactly two-and-a-half years (to the day) after President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation became official and made slavery illegal in the United States. However, it had little impact on Texas, due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. With the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger's regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to overcome the resistance.
One of the most sustainable ways to support the Black community is to amplify Black voices. In honor of this momentous celebration of freedom, here are nine Black female authors that you can support today.
Buy their books. Read their works. Share their message.
(𝟏) 𝐈𝐭'𝐬 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐀𝐥𝐥 𝐃𝐨𝐰𝐧𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞 by NY Times best-selling author Terry McMillan tells the story of a remarkable woman and her loyal group of friends as she tries to figure out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life after an unexpected loss turns her world upside down.
Loretha Curry is determined to prove wrong her mother, her twin sister, and everyone else who holds the outdated view that her best days are behind her. She might have just turned 68, but it’s not all downhill from here.
Loretha will have to summon all her strength, resourcefulness, and determination to keep on thriving, pursue joy, heal old wounds, and chart new paths. With a little help from her friends, of course.
(𝟐) 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐁𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧 by Jacqueline Woodson reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes—and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And, sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway. This book beautifully delves into the many reasons someone may feel different and discusses how we can each find the courage to connect, even when we feel scared or alone.
(𝟑) 𝐀 𝐌𝐢𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐭 𝐁𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬 𝐌𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐥 (𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐋𝐢-𝐋𝐢 𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝟏) by Gin Noon-Spaulding was inspired by the author's daughter, Maleah "Li-Li." The author shares personal accounts of her daughter's childhood journey with Hyperlexia III, a speech delay, and sensory issues.
(𝟒) 𝐌𝐲 𝐅𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐒𝐚𝐢𝐝 𝐈 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 by Anita M. McLaurin is a children's book about four African-American siblings that have big dreams. It illustrates how they overcome doubt, fear, and naysayers.
(𝟓) 𝐒𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐢𝐞 𝗪𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐭𝐨𝐧: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐜𝐡 by Tonya Duncan Ellis addresses the challenge of choosing to stand up to a school bully or becoming a snitch. For most kids, there's nothing worse than being a "tattletale." That's what 10-year-old Sophie Washington thinks until she runs into Lanie Mitchell, a new girl at school. Lanie pushes Sophie and her friends around at their lockers, and even takes their lunch money in this entertaining, illustrated chapter book for middle grade readers. If they tell, they are scared the other kids in their class will call them snitches and won't be their friends. And, when you're in the fifth grade, nothing seems worse than that. When a classmate gets seriously injured, Sophie must make a decision: fight back, or snitch?
(𝟔) 𝐈 𝐍𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐊𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐘𝐨𝐮: 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐌𝐞𝐞𝐭 𝐎𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲, 𝐄𝐱𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈𝐦𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 by Kymberli Speight will help you cultivate meaningful personal and professional connections and provide practical ideas for meeting people. After completing a challenge to meet 100 people in 100 days, the author learned how to be intentional about connecting with those around her. Learn the fundamentals of growing your network at any time, keys to relationship-building, techniques for sparking memorable conversations, and strategies for taking advantage of opportunities to give and receive help.
(𝟕) 𝐍𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐍𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐥: 𝐀 𝐑𝐨𝐚𝐝 𝐌𝐚𝐩 𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐅𝐮𝐥𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐀𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 by Bamidele Adenipekun deals with the impact of breast cancer and loss of family members. As a daughter of a breast cancer survivor, this book hits close to home. I love how it offers a practical seven-step framework to help people find their way to fulfillment in the aftermath of trauma.
(𝟖) 𝗪𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝗪𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝐒𝐮𝐝𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐝 by Vivian L. King chronicles the journey of former television broadcast journalist Vivian King who suffered a stroke that robbed her of her voice after taking a seemingly harmless prescription pill.
(𝟗) 𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐍𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐓𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐃𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬: 𝟓 𝐊𝐞𝐲𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐁𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐭, 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, & 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐑𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬 by Dr. Michelle Deering provides strategies and practical tools to help you navigate and improve your mother-daughter relationship.