Lifestyle | January 24th, 2024
Six Books To Read in 2024 By Black Authors
By: Cariane Geffrard
As we ease into 2024, it’s a good time to revisit the resolutions many may have set. If reading more was among your goals, here are six books by authors of color to consider adding to your bookshelf that cover themes of race, class, gender, family relations and more.
1. “I Did a New Thing” by Tabitha Brown (Jan. 30)
In “I Did a New Thing,” viral social media sensation and #1 New York Times best-selling author Tabitha Brown inspires readers to take positive change through consistency. Slated for release on Jan. 30, 2024, this self-help book would be perfect for anyone looking to find their path.
2. “Wandering Stars” by Tommy Orange (Feb. 27)
Set to be released on Feb. 27, 2024, “Wandering Stars” is the second novel from Cheyenne and Arapaho author and Pulitzer Prize-finalist Tommy Orange. Six years after the success of his debut novel, “There There,” Orange returns with a multi-generational narrative outlining the lasting influence of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Critics are already praising this book for being a masterclass in storytelling through past and future and for portraying emotion to make the audience reflect on the plight of America’s Indigenous communities.
3. “Weird Black Girls: Stories” by Elwin Cotman (April 16)
“Weird Black Girls” is a short story collection from Philip K. Dick Award finalist Elwin Cotman. Using horror and fantasy, Cotman crafts seven tales featuring various characters and rich, imaginative worlds that serve as a backdrop for exploring real-world issues. This storytelling approach is designed to resonate with a niche audience within the realm of speculative fiction and will be available to experience starting April 16, 2024.
4. “An Encyclopedia of Gardening for Colored Children” by Jamaica Kincaid and Kara Walker (May 7)
In this collaboration between Antiguan-American author Jamaica Kincaid and Black-American contemporary artist Kara Walker, audiences can discover how the vines of colonialism in history and gardening intertwine. This book offers a unique intersection into what could be considered agroecology and will be available on May 7, 2024.
5. “Small Worlds” by Caleb Azumah Nelson
Caleb Azumah Nelson is a British-Ghanian author best known for his book, “Open Water (2021).” In “Small Worlds (2023),” Nelson returns to deliver a story about a first-generation Black man in an immigrant family searching for purpose, independence, friendship and faith. The book discusses the dynamics of father and son, culture and those “twentysomethings.”
6. Honorable Mention: “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen: The Emotional Lives of Black Women” by Dr. Inger Burnett Zeigler
In this 2021 book, psychologist Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler dissects the “strong black woman” trope to provide better emotional regulation in the face of trauma. While this book isn’t as new as the others on this list, it deserved an honorable mention because a FAMU student recommended it.
Stephanie Pierre is a junior English major who believes that Black female college students (and anyone seeking to understand Black women better) would benefit from reading Burnett-Zeigler’s work.
“To me, this book is my little slice of black girl therapy,” Pierre said. “I’m not super sensitive; however, I remember reading those first pages and bawling my eyes out. The book is very powerful and healing in a way that I never thought it could be.”
As time inevitably unfolds, it presents an opportunity to achieve personal goals. Whether exploring art, mastering self-expression or embracing gardening, these books may encourage you to finish checking off that resolution list.