6 new books by black authors to pick up for Juneteenth

June 19 commemorates the day the last enslaved people in the United States finally heard the news of their freedom when, on June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordan Granger announced the Texas Emancipation Proclamation. . Today, it serves as a celebration of black identity and achievement, and in honor of the holiday, we’ve rounded up a list of new books by black authors. We believe these books are worth reading all year round, and there’s no better time to do so than Juneteenth, which offers an invitation to read stories that highlight and celebrate a wealth of experiences. , black voices and perspectives. We’ve included links to buy these books at black-owned bookstores, and want to highlight that this is an especially great week to buy these books as the publishing industry joins #BlackOutBestsellerLists. Good reading!

  1. Deacon King Kong by James McBride A New York Times bestselling author returns with one of the most gripping novels of recent times. When a grumpy old church deacon named Sportcoat shoots a local drug dealer in south Brooklyn in broad daylight, a police investigation ensues and brings to light the complex relationship between African American, Latino and Italian residents. who witnessed the event. This “deeply felt, beautifully written, and profoundly human” tale (The New York Times Book Review) was just announced as Oprah’s latest book club pick.
  2. Hit a straight lick with a crooked stick by Zora Neale Hurston One of the most important writers of the 20th century, Zora Neale Hurston, wrote powerful, witty, and indispensable accounts of the black experience in America. In a compilation the Washington Post calls “significant testimony to the enduring resonance of black women’s writing” – featuring several newly rediscovered stories – Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick offers new insight into the rise of of Hurston during the Harlem Renaissance.
  3. It’s about fucking time by Arlan Hamilton and Rachel L. Nelson A must-read memoir, It’s About Damn Time shares Arlan’s journey from homelessness to venture capital success. As a gay black woman, Arlan was committed to investing in founders who seemed different from the white men around her in Silicon Valley, and today her venture capital firm invests in people of color, women and LGBTQ+ people. Part business book, part tutorial, and part memoir, It’s About Damn Time is an inspiring and refreshing read.
  4. The city by which we became NK Jemisin In this speculative fiction novel, five New Yorkers defend their city from an ancient evil and overcome prejudice to create sanctuaries in different boroughs, uniting family, love and trust. This Hugo Award-winning author skillfully summarizes racial issues in order to magnify their truth and meaning. Shot with powerful imagery and evocative language, The City We Became is both “a plea and a call to arms” (The New York Times Book Review).
  5. Wow, no thanks. by Samantha Irby This hilarious, maniacal and relatable collection of hilarious essays traces Irby’s travels from Hollywood to Chicago, featuring Mason jar salads, weird weekends in Los Angeles and embracing an identity as a “food eater”. cheesy fries, midwestern slightly moist person.” This “Stay-up-all-night, miss-your-subway-stop, spit-out-your-beverage funny” (Jia Tolentino) book is a must-read from a hilarious New York Times #1 bestselling author.
  6. Small imperfections by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans Josie Bordelon has put her past as a star model in the 90s far behind her. She’s now the admissions director at one of San Francisco’s most prestigious private schools, and she’s busy juggling work and trying to keep her teenage daughter Etta from following the same path as her. But just as admissions season heats up, Josie will have even more to do. Drama ensues as Etta begins to pursue her own dream and Josie’s stubborn friends try to bring the single former model back into the dating scene.