Any time of year is a great time of year to learn about your culture and/or the other people's culture. But in February, the spotlight is on Black history and culture, so now is as good a time as any to take advantage of the readily available information that was once relegated to the backseat of American society. It's true that there was a time not long ago when Black people were rarely on television or in movies, nor were celebrated in other aspects of the arts. Likewise, literature by, for and about the African diaspora was practically nonexistent in comparison to their white counterparts. Black authors were not often given a platform among the major publishing houses, making historical and contemporary black stories few and far between.
Fortunately, in recent decades that has changed for the better, with a plethora of talented Black writers in the forefront of the literary industry. During Black History Month and throughout the year, be encouraged to reflect on more than 400 years of Black history, heritage and culture in literature. Be it regarding stories of the past, current accounts; fiction or nonfiction.
Below are a few carefully curated, recently release selections to get you started:
- Black Buck (fiction) by Mateo Askaripour
- Caste (nonfiction) by Isabel Wilkerson
- Caul Baby (fiction) by Morgan Jerkins
- Four Hundred Souls (nonfiction) edited by Ibram X Kendi and Keisha N. Blain
- Office of Historical Corrections (contemporary short stores & novella) by Danielle Evans
- The Prophets (fiction) - by Robert Jones, Jr.
- A Spy in the Struggle (fiction/mystery) by Aya de Leon