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Read Great Books by Black Authors in Every Genre

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Discovering the work of Black authors

Every year we remember leaders who led the Civil Rights Movement, gathering inspiration in the fight for equality in the United States. But this important time is also about spotlighting the work of Black authors.Remember to read books by Black authors, featuring Black characters all year round and not only during Black History Month. Black voices and stories should be celebrated 24/7!excuse me while ugly cry
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney
A heartfelt, tortured, contemporary YA high school romance about an overly enthusiastic list maker who is blackmailed into completing a to-do list of all her worst fears.Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl
Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney
A powerful novel about a preacher’s daughter in small-town Texas and her journey toward loving herself and her body, filled with heart, humor, family drama, and a dynamic love triangleHONEY
Honey and Spice by Bolu Babalola
A novel full of passion, humor, and heart, that centers a young Black British woman who has no interest in love and unexpectedly finds herself caught up in a fake relationship with the man she warned her girls about.you made a fool of death with your beauty
You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
Young widow, Feyi, wants to release her past and honor her grief while still embracing her future. She has started dating the perfect guy, but their new relationship might be sabotaged before it has a chance by the overwhelming desire Feyi feels every time she locks eyes with the one person in the house who is most definitely off-limits—his father. A vivid and passionate story that takes us deep into a world of possibility and healing, and the constant bravery of choosing love against all odds.the fifth season
The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this Hugo Award winning novel of power, oppression, and revolution.grown
Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
When legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots Enchanted Jones at an audition, her dreams of being a famous singer take flight. Until Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night. Who killed Korey Fields? A moving novel that provides an important examination of misogynoir and the vulnerability of young Black girls.the weight of blood
The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson
Jackson ramps up the horror and tackles America’s history and legacy of racism in this suspenseful YA novel following a biracial teenager as her Georgia high school hosts its first integrated prom. we deserve monuments
We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds
Family secrets, a swoon-worthy romance, and a slow-burn mystery collide in this YA debut that explores how racial violence can ripple down through generations. the final strife
The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi
In the first book of a visionary fantasy trilogy with its roots in the mythology of Africa and Arabia, three women band together against a cruel empire that divides people by blood.the blood trials
The Blood Trials by N. E. Davenport
Blending fantasy and science fiction, this fast-paced, action-packed debut kicks off a duology of loyalty and rebellion, in which a young Black woman must survive deadly trials in a racist and misogynistic society to become an elite warrior.legendborn
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, this YA contemporary fantasy reinvents the King Arthur legend and blends Southern folk traditions and Black Girl Magic into a modern tale of grief, power, and self-discovery.the rage of dragons
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
Game of Thrones meets Gladiator in this blockbuster debut epic fantasy about a world caught in an eternal war, and the young man who will become his people's only hope for survival.A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Rosanne A. Brown
The first in a gripping fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.The Vanishing Half
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
A novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one Black and one white.Transcendent Kingdom
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
A powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression, addiction, and grief.Seven Days in June
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams
With its keen observations of creative life in America today, as well as the joys and complications of being a mother and a daughter, this novel is a hilarious, romantic, and sexy-as-hell story of two writers discovering their second chance at love.red at the bone
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes and explores their histories – reaching back to the Tulsa race massacre of 1921 -- and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other.sister outsider
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, is a charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches that takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change.

Publishing needs diverse voices

The forces of systemic segregation have left a lasting mark on the publishing industry. Black authors and the books they write have been pushed to the margins from all genres, from science fiction to romance to literary fiction for decades. All readers should fight for diversity in their favorite genres!The Ripped Bodice bookstore in Los Angeles publishes its “State of Racial Diversity in Romance Publishing Report” every year. Every year, the bookseller surveys thousands of romance titles published that year. According to the study, only 12.30 percent of romance books published in 2022 were written by people of color.Back in 1998, author Samuel R. Delany rocked the science fiction world with his essay, “Racism and Science Fiction” in the New York Review of Science Fiction. He stressed how systemic racism affects different genres and the publishing industry as a whole.He explained how Black authors were quietly marginalized in the science fiction community. He urged publishers and readers to face the problems head-on, instead of pretending it didn’t exist:

“Because we still live in a racist society, the only way to combat it in any systematic way is to establish—and repeatedly revamp—anti-racist institutions and traditions. That means actively encouraging the attendance of nonwhite readers and writers at conventions. It means actively presenting nonwhite writers with a forum to discuss precisely these problems in the con programming.” 

Explore Fable Folios

To help the Fable community discover great books by Black authors, we regularly share Fable Folios— exceptional books handpicked by tastemakers, experts, acclaimed authors, world-class athletes, and industry titans.A few of these creative collections will guide you through great stories written by Black authors, ranging from classic novels to heartbreaking love stories. Each curator offers you a unique and inspiring reading journey.Kimmybooks
My Romance Diaries
Kimberly is an unapologetically Black romance reader who creates videos on TikTok behind the account @kimmybookss. In this folio, she shares books that offer escape away from reality and into an immersive environment. The list focuses on diverse romance reads but includes an occasional mystery or fantasy — with a great romance included, of course!Suyi Davies Okungbowa recommendations
Paths Seldom Taken
Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction, and general speculative work. His latest novel is “Son of the Storm,” the first in his epic fantasy trilogy, The Nameless Republic. His folio recommends dynamic novels from different genres.Rock the Bells
Rock the Bells
Rock the Bells is the preeminent voice for classic and timeless hip-hop. Founded in 2018 by LL cool J (James Todd Smith), they focus on content, commerce and experiences that honor the culture and the core elements of hip-hop. Through these books, you can learn from both great entrepreneurs and hip-hop icons, finding your personal definition of success.FEATURE FOLIO 3 (1)
Love of All Kinds
African American author Jasmine Guillory curated a Folio, focusing on all the different ways love enters our lives.Guillory is the bestselling author of six romance novels, including “The Wedding Date,” “The Proposal,” and the upcoming “While We Were Dating.”

“So often love stories are described as if they’re one-size-fits-all, boy meets girl and falls in love and lives happily ever after kinds of stories. But one reason I adore love stories is that every single one is different, and the best ones all make me fall in love too.”

Journeys from Africa
Ghanaian-American writer Nana-Ama Danquah curated this Folio with six books by different African authors.Danquah is an editor, journalist, public speaker, and author of the groundbreaking memoir, “Willow Weep for Me.”

“This Folio followed six African authors, of fiction and nonfiction, across borders and overseas as they attempt to embrace a new life in their newly adopted homeland, the United States of America.” 

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Courage, Justice, and Freedom
British novelist and essayist Sarah Ladipo Manyika curated this Folio to help us understand how racial injustice and discrimination have persisted in our culture..Sarah is a novelist and essayist. She is the host of the Museum of African Diaspora Conversations Across the Diaspora series.

“Through masterful storytelling in novels, memoir, and works of history, this Folio brought us closer to what lies at the heart of the black experience — both historically and in this moment.”

Books by Black authors in every genre: A list of lists!

To help you find more books to read, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite lists of Black authors in different genres. Share links to your favorite lists on social media and we’ll add them to our list of lists.Amazing Science Fiction Books by Black AuthorsRomance Books with People of Color Mysteries and Thrillers by Black AuthorsGreat Horror Novels by Black AuthorsHistorical Fiction by Black Authors Fantasy Books by Black AuthorsBooks by Contemporary Black AuthorsShort Story Collections by Black WomenAutobiographies by Black AuthorsFound a book you like on one of these lists and want to add it to your bookshelf? Search our store to find these and other great reads!

It’s time for Black Future Month!

The celebrated author N.K. Jemisin wrote a famous essay called “How Long ‘til Black Future Month?,” remembering how hard it was to find science fiction and fantasy books by Black authors in her childhood. She wrote: 

“I just wanted fantasies of exploration and enchantment that didn’t slap me in the face with you don’t belong here messages. I just wanted to be able to relax and dream.”

In his essay about Black science fiction, Samuel R. Delany recalled how Black voices have struggled to be heard in many different genres. He even included a short history of Black science fiction written between 1857 and 1999 inside his story.You can read these classic works of Black science fiction on Fable!image
The Purple Cloud by Matthew Phipps Sheil
A British novelist of West Indian descent, Sheil wrote this novel about a man who, upon returning alone from an expedition to the North Pole, learns that a world-wide catastrophe has left him the last man on Earth.image
Blake, or The Huts of America by Martin R. Delaney
In this alternate history story written in 1857,  years before the end of American slavery, Delaney wrote this novel about a West Indian slave who travels throughout the South advocating revolution and emancipation. He later becomes the general of a Black revolution in Cuba. image
Black No More by George S. Schuyler 
In this humorous work of speculative fiction by an unsung hero of African-American literature, the main character Max develops a bleached skin process that permits Black people to enter previously forbidden territory. What they discover in white society, however, gives them second thoughts. image
The Between by Tananarive Due
A man named Hilton struggles to protect his family when his wife, the only elected African American judge in Dade County, Florida, begins to receive racist hate mail from a man she once prosecuted. The demons lurking outside are matched by his internal terrors—macabre nightmares, more intense and disturbing than any he has ever experienced. image
Dream Park by Steven Barnes and Larry Niven
African American author Stephen Barnes co-wrote this novel about Dream Park, a futuristic fantasy theme park full of holographic attractions and the latest in VR technology, they play in an artificial enclosure that has been enhanced with special effects, holograms, actors, and a clever storyline. The players get as close as possible to truly living their adventure.Want to start your own Black Future Month book club? Learn how to create a book club here!

Read important books about systemic racism 

We must also reflect on the historical roots of the systemic racism and prejudice that still exists today. If we don’t understand how these problems are deeply embedded in every structure of our society, we can never make true change.You can start with “The Color of Law: Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” by Richard Rothstein. This 2017 book explored how local, state, and federal policies helped keep American housing segregated over the last century. It paints a picture of the socio-economic impact of legally recognized (or de jure) segregation practices on American families, uncovering long-standing inequalities in health, education, and wealth.

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