Close
Current temperature in Boston - 62 °
BECOME A MEMBER
Get access to a personalized news feed, our newsletter and exclusive discounts on everything from shows to local restaurants, All for free.
Already a member? Sign in.
The Bay State Banner
BACK TO TOP
The Bay State Banner
POST AN AD SIGN IN

Trending Articles

Spotlight on police unions puts labor community in a tough spot

In conversation with saxophonist Kamasi Washington

COVID, police reforms top Pressley’s agenda

READ PRINT EDITION

Books by black authors to savor while social distancing

Celina Colby
Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Books by black authors to savor while social distancing
PHOTO: ADOBE STOCK

Reading has long been an escape from the challenges of everyday life. While Bostonians stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s become more important than ever.

Bookstores and libraries are closed temporarily, but readers are encouraged to order online from local bookshops like Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury and More Than Words in the South End to sustain these community businesses. Print Ain’t Dead, a local pop-up bookstore geared toward people of color is also taking online orders and offering online poetry experiences via its Instagram account, @print.aint.dead.

These books by black authors could provide just the right amount of relief from the stresses of the unknown.

“The Black Book” was compiled by Toni Morrison to show an encyclopedic view of the black experience in America. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

“The Black Book” was compiled by Toni Morrison to show an encyclopedic view
of the black experience in America. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

Nonfiction

“The Black Book” assembles poems, essays, advertisements, sheet music, historical documents and many other elements in an exploration of African American life in the United States. Though edited by Roger Furman, Middleton A. Harris, Morris Levitt and Ernest Smith and featuring an introduction by Bill Cosby, Toni Morrison was the unsung champion and compiler of the book, published in 1974.

Children’s Literature

In “A Child’s Introduction to African American History: The Experiences, People, and Events That Shaped Our Country” author Jabari Asim fills in the gaping holes of school textbooks with vibrant stories from black history in the United States. Talented African Americans are highlighted in areas from politics to sports to entertainment.

“The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates flips the traditional slave story on its head. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

“The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates flips the traditional slave story on its head. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

Fiction

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ newest novel, “The Water Dancer,” follows a young enslaved man, Hiram Walker, who escapes bondage in Virginia and flees north. Once there, he becomes involved in the dangerous and fervent underground war against slavery, but he never forgets the family he left behind in Virginia.

Mystery

“They all Fall Down” by Rachel Howzell Hall pays homage to Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.” Miriam Macy sets off for a luxurious private island vacation with six other strangers. Upon arrival, the group realizes they’ve all been brought there under false – and malicious – pretenses.

Fantasy

In “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi, protagonist Zélie Adebola channels the West African Orïsha gods to fight back against a ruthless monarch, with the help of a few other outcasts along the way. As a bonus, the sequel to this novel was just released, making for double the reading.

Science Fiction

Take it back to the classics with Octavia Butler’s best-selling novel, “Kindred.” The book follows a female African American writer who finds herself time-traveling between her Los Angeles home and a plantation in pre-Civil War Maryland, where she meets her ancestors. Written in 1979, “Kindred” has continued to be a classic in black American literature to this day.

Order books online to support local businesses!

Frugal Bookstore

More Than Words

Print Ain’t Dead on Instagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Already a member? Sign in.
The Bay State Banner