This week I feel like doing an all-Black, all-excellent diverse book news update. Y’all down?
- Let’s start with some iconic Black reader excellence. Legendary actor Sidney Poitier made a name for himself by starring in a lot of great film and stage adaptations of books, including Cry, The Beloved Country, To Sir, With Love, The Blackboard Jungle, and probably his best-known role, In The Heat of the Night(yes, that was based on a book.) Despite that, though, he apparently wasn’t much of a reader in his younger years and only got into books because it helped him train his accent. [Book Riot]
- One thing that Poitier escaped neatly but Black artists still struggle with today is the representation trap. A recent article talks about how recent work by Black authors, including the boundary-pushing Luster, reckon with this. [New York Times Magazine]
- Meanwhile in the speculative world, Black fantasy and science fiction authors–namely Tochi Onyebuchi and Leslye Penelope— are talking about how Black reality intersects with Black imagination. I feel like this is an endless conversation that often spawns bad or under-nuanced takes, but this conversation is actually quite insightful and I enjoyed it. It even made me want to read Onyebuchi’s latest novel, although the idea of a book about the dystopia left behind when all the rich white people leave earth isn’t appealing to me at all(with one exception.) [NPR]
- Speaking of dystopia, this next story is grim and unreal, but true. Nebula-award-winning sci-fi writer Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki has been making the rounds of the conference circuit for this year and apparently has had to deal with visa profiling and alarming death threats. As Cardi B would say, what is the reason?! The article linked details his accomplishments and recent struggles, and links to some of his writing as well. [SF Bayview]
- Black British author Malorie Blackman has finally finished her epic flipped-racism series Noughts and Crosses. She’s also released a memoir and judging from this interview, she’s one of the few who’s lived the kind of life that requires one. [The Guardian]
- Last one; there’s only one week of October left and if you haven’t gotten your fill of spooky stories yet, go check out this list of horror stories by African writers. [Brittle Paper]
There we have it, fellow readers; an all-Black-everything book news update. If you are interested in finding diverse books by Black authors to read, click on the links above or check out the following booklists from the Equal Opportunity Bookshop;
- Africa Is Not A Country: Novels From Across the Continent
- Island Tings: Books From the Caribbean
- Black Futures: Sci-Fi From The African Diaspora
- And No-One Kills The Black Boy: A Booklist of Black Boy Heroes
Don’t forget–we have an affiliate relationship with Bookshop and if you buy something there for a link you click here, a commission will be earned.
Now, go and read something good! Peace!