Updated: Mar 30, 2021
We know that there are hundreds of thousands of thousands of Black women who are talented writers and authors, but they still aren't seeing the time of the day as their white counterparts. As we close in on the end of Women’s History Month, we want to highlight some young women authors who aren’t taking no for an answer, writing what they want to read, and what we need to read. These women explore science fiction, young adult fantasy, and nonfiction collections about the collective black woman experience. In these books, black women see themselves where we were never given a place, and these authors help us feel right at home!
Given by Nandi Taylor
In this fantasy novel, readers follow the princess Yenni who is on a journey to save her sickly father when she meets a dragon-shifter who claims she is their “Given”, or destined mate. Immersed in Caribbean and African cultures and traditions, Taylor gives us a fantasy novel with the representation we rarely see.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
In this novel, readers are thrown into eighteenth-century Ghana where half-sisters Effa and Esi live in separate villages. We follow both sisters as one sister, Effa, is married off to an Englishman living comfortably on the coast while her sister, Esi, is sold with the thousands of people in the Gold Coast’s slave trade. We see the lineage of both sisters’ descendants who are either raised in slavery in America or in the midst of war as the nations of Ghana struggle with slave trade and colonization.
What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
This jarring novel follows Thandi, who is struggling to care for her mother as cancer is riddling her life. As she tries to connect with her mother’s life and finds one of her own she starts to understand what it means to love - for her mother and herself.
“It’s a difficult thing writing about your family -- I probably would have held back...and I think that’s why I’m proud of it, because I didn’t hold anything back.” (Clemmons for Insider)
You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have To Explain by Phoebe Robinson
This collection of essays embarks on a darkly comical journey as she shares experiences of the Black woman in America. As a stand-up comedian, Robinson executes the hilarity of these recurring situations that Black women are still dealing with to this day!