We have gathered up some wonderful Black-authored titles for this special BLACK HISTORY MONTH book club giveaway!
The host of MSNBC’s The ReidOut and New York Times bestselling author of The Man Who Sold America traces the extraordinary lives and legacy of civil rights icons Medgar and Myrlie Evers, situating Medgar Evers’s assassination as a catalyzing moment in American history.
Medgar and Myrlie by Joy-Ann Reid
Myrlie Louise Beasley met Medgar Evers on her first day of college. They fell in love at first sight, married just one year later, and Myrlie left school to focus on their growing family.
Medgar became the field secretary for the Mississippi branch of the NAACP, charged with beating back the most intractable and violent resistance to black voting rights in the country. Myrlie served as Medgar’s secretary and confidant, working hand in hand with him as they struggled against public accommodations and school segregation, lynching, violence, and sheer despair within their state’s “black belt.” They fought to desegregate the intractable University of Mississippi, organized picket lines and boycotts, despite repeated terroristic threats, including the 1962 firebombing of their home, where they lived with their three young children.
On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers became the highest profile victim of Klan-related assassination of a black civil rights leader at that time; gunned down in the couple’s driveway in Jackson. In the wake of his tragic death, Myrlie carried on their civil rights legacy; writing a book about Medgar’s fight, trying to win a congressional seat, and becoming a leader of the NAACP in her own right.
In this groundbreaking and thrilling account of two heroes of the civil rights movement, Joy-Ann Reid uses Medgar and Myrlie’s relationship as a lens through which to explore the on-the-ground work that went into winning basic rights for Black Americans, and the repercussions that still resonate today.
AMAZON’S TOP 20 HISTORY BOOKS OF 2023 * B&N BEST OF EDUCATIONAL HISTORY * THE ROOT’S BEST BOOKS OF 2023 * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2023
From acclaimed columnist and political commentator Michael Harriot, a searingly smart and bitingly hilarious retelling of American history that corrects the record and showcases the perspectives and experiences of Black Americans.
Black AF History by Michael Harriot
America’s backstory is a whitewashed mythology implanted in our collective memory. It is the story of the pilgrims on the Mayflower building a new nation. It is George Washington’s cherry tree and Abraham Lincoln’s log cabin. It is the fantastic tale of slaves that spontaneously teleported themselves here with nothing but strong backs and negro spirituals. It is a sugarcoated legend based on an almost true story.
It should come as no surprise that the dominant narrative of American history is blighted with errors and oversights—after all, history books were written by white men with their perspectives at the forefront. It could even be said that the devaluation and erasure of the Black experience is as American as apple pie.
In Black AF History, Michael Harriot presents a more accurate version of American history. Combining unapologetically provocative storytelling with meticulous research based on primary sources as well as the work of pioneering Black historians, scholars, and journalists, Harriot removes the white sugarcoating from the American story, placing Black people squarely at the center. With incisive wit, Harriot speaks hilarious truth to oppressive power, subverting conventional historical narratives with little-known stories about the experiences of Black Americans. From the African Americans who arrived before 1619 to the unenslavable bandit who inspired America’s first police force, this long overdue corrective provides a revealing look into our past that is as urgent as it is necessary. For too long, we have refused to acknowledge that American history is white history. Not this one. This history is Black AF.
In the vein of America’s First Daughter, Piper Huguley’s historical novel delves into the remarkable friendship of Portia Washington and Alice Roosevelt, the daughters of educator Booker T. Washington and President Teddy Roosevelt.
American Daughters by Piper Huguley
At the turn of the twentieth century, in a time of great change, two women—separated by societal status and culture but bound by their expected roles as the daughters of famed statesmen—forged a lifelong friendship.
Portia Washington’s father Booker T. Washington was formerly enslaved and spent his life championing the empowerment of Black Americans through his school, known popularly as Tuskegee Institute, as well as his political connections. Dedicated to her father’s values, Portia contributed by teaching and performing spirituals and classical music. But a marriage to a controlling and jealous husband made fulfilling her dreams much more difficult.
When Theodore Roosevelt assumed the presidency, his eldest daughter Alice Roosevelt joined him in the White House. To try to win her father’s approval, she eagerly jumped in to help him succeed, but Alice’s political savvy and nonconformist behavior alienated as well as intrigued his opponents and allies. When she married a congressman, she carved out her own agendas and continued espousing women’s rights and progressive causes.
Brought together in the wake of their fathers’ friendship, these bright and fascinating women helped each other struggle through marriages, pregnancies, and political upheaval, supporting each other throughout their lives.
A provocative historical novel and revealing portrait, Piper Huguley’s American Daughters vividly brings to life two passionate and vital women who nurtured a friendship that transcended politics and race over a century ago.
Welcome to a comedic trip through the life of one of the country’s most exciting comedians. Meet Dulcé Sloan, whose life has been an incredible journey filled with lessons and laughter. In addition to doing stand-up around the world, Dulcé is a trained actor, singer, and has been a correspondent on The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
Hello, Friends! by Dulcé Sloan
One of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best of 2023!
“[A] rich and tender story of family, home and love.” —Ms. Magazine
I Am Ayah: The Way Home by Donna Hill
Set amid Sag Harbor’s vibrant African American history, bestselling author Donna Hill weaves a stunningly rich story about finding the way home…no matter how long the journey takes.
Alessandra Fleming has spent most of her life running from her past. Her budding photography career, her life in Manhattan, all serve to distract from the secrets and guilt she’s never been able to face. Then the call. Her estranged father is in the hospital…and Alessandra must return home to Sag Harbor, crumbling the first wall between her past and her present.
For some, coming home is a relief. For Alessandra, it’s a reminder of the family she’s lost, of the time she’ll never regain. But the answers–the secrets–of her family are hidden in the house, waiting for her. And the only one who may be able to help her uncover them is her father’s neighbor, Zach, who brings with him an attraction that’s intense and instantaneous, yet oddly familiar.
Now Alessandra is being pulled back not only into her own complex family history, but into the richly documented lives of four extraordinary women. Generations touched by tragedy and triumph, despair and hope. And it’s in these aching echoes of the past that Alessandra’s own story–her mistakes and her capacity to love–will take shape, guiding her to the life she’s meant to live…and the extraordinary person she will become.
Home is not a place—it’s a feeling.
The Thing About Home by Rhonda McKnight
Casey Black needs an escape. When her picture-perfect vow renewal ceremony ends in her being left at the altar, the former model turned social media influencer has new fame—the kind she never wanted. An embarrassing viral video has cost her millions of followers, and her seven-year marriage is over. With her personal and business lives in shambles, Casey runs from New York City to South Carolina’s Lowcountry hoping to find long-lost family. Family who can give her more answers about her past than her controlling mom-slash-manager has ever been willing to share.
What Casey doesn’t expect is a postcard-worthy property on a three-hundred-acre farm, history, culture, and a love of sweet tea. She spends her days caring for the land and her nights cooking much needed Southern comfort foods. She also meets Nigel, the handsome farm manager whose friendship has become everything she’s never had. And then there are the secrets her mother can no longer hide.
Through the pages of her great-grandmother’s journals, Casey discovers her roots run deeper than the Lowcountry soil. She learns that she has people. A home. A legacy to uphold. And a great new love story—if only she is brave enough to leave her old life behind.
“. . . a beautifully written story about family, self-discovery, secrets, and forgiveness.” —Kimberla Lawson Roby, New York Times bestselling author
- Inspiring contemporary fiction
- Stand-alone novel
- Book length: approximately 100,000 words
- Includes discussion questions for book clubs
Two girls’ lives are irrevocably intertwined the summer of 1985 in the streets of Brooklyn, New York, and neither will ever be the same in this coming-of-age story that spans decades.
The Light on Halsey Street by Vanessa Miller
In the summer of 1985, Lisa Whitaker is a church kid headed to college on a scholarship while her best friend, Dana, is floundering in the wake of her mother’s latest eviction. Though Lisa tries to help, their paths diverge. Fifteen years later, Lisa has a beautiful family and is stepping into her dream job as the director for a social services organization. Everything is going right—until her future is snatched away by identity theft. Her life begins to unravel, and Lisa wants nothing more than to see the woman responsible pay for her crimes.
When she was a teenager, Dana Jones always felt alone in this world. Her mother was addicted to drugs, her boyfriend was entering a life of crime, and it seemed Dana, too, was heading down the wrong path. The only bright light was her friendship with Lisa. Now, in the new millennium, Dana finally gives herself permission to dream—to believe she is stepping into better days. But when the betrayal of their friendship comes to light, it will take a lifetime to forgive the destruction that youthful summer in Bed-Stuy set in motion.
In this latest story from beloved author Vanessa Miller, two girls from the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, find that their paths have been woven together by the love of community and a friendship that is tested by time, betrayal, and unforgiveness.
- Inspirational Christian fiction
- Stand-alone novel
- Perfect for fans of Tara M. Stringfellow, Terry McMillan, and Kimberla Lawson Roby
- Book length: approximately 85,000 words
- Includes discussion questions for book clubs
The country is changing, and her own world is being turned upside down. Nothing—and no one—will ever be the same.
Homeward by Angela Jackson-Brown
Georgia, 1962. Rose Perkins Bourdon returns home to Parsons, GA, without her husband and pregnant with another man’s baby. After tragedy strikes her husband in the war overseas, a numb Rose is left with pieces of who she used to be and is forced to figure out what she is going to do with the rest of her life. Her sister introduces her to members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee—young people are taking risks and fighting battles Rose has only seen on television. Feeling emotions for the first time in what feels like forever, the excited and frightened Rose finds herself becoming increasingly involved in the resistance efforts. And of course, there is also the young man, Isaac Weinberg, whose passion for activism stirs something in her she didn’t think she would ever feel again.
Homeward follows Rose’s path toward self-discovery and growth as she becomes involved in the Civil Rights Movement, finally becoming the woman she has always dreamed of being.
On a rare trip home for the holidays, Ella may have finally uncovered the secret to a joy-filled future by getting lost in her past.
Snow Place Like Home by Lacey Baker
Ella Wilson has avoided home and the holidays for nearly a decade. For her, the season is plagued by a jinx that’s brought nothing but painful memories: her mother’s death nearly two decades ago, her fiancé’s abandonment last year, and now the loss of her job as an art curator. But without work to occupy her, home is exactly where Ella has ended up. And somehow, she’s also been roped into planning the town’s Christmas tree auction—side by side with her first love.
Seth Hamil knows that home is where the heart is, and for him, it’s always been the sleepy community of Bellepoint, Pennsylvania . . . and for a while in high school that included Ella Wilson. Since then, he’s been married and widowed and has spent the year throwing himself into his career as a music teacher and trying to keep his wife’s memory alive, starting with the church fundraiser she launched to support local kids. So, despite their history, Seth isn’t about to let his wife’s vision for the event be easily dismissed by Ella’s temporary presence and big-city ideas.
To find a way to work together, the two strike a deal: Ella can incorporate her splashy ideas into the auction if she will allow Seth to show her why Christmas is about more than decorations. Soon both begin to wonder whether fate has brought them together for a fresh start—and if Christmas wishes really can come true.
- A romantic holiday novel
- Perfect for fans of Nancy Naigle and Brenda Jackson
- Book length: 83,000 words
- Includes discussion questions for book clubs
True friendship never ends.
No Reservations by Sheryl Lister
Best friends forever. That’s the vow Joy, Diane, Rochelle and Yvette made when they were children, and even in their mid-thirties, the friends have always been there for each other—through the highs and lows of life and love. Until forever comes up against a terminal cancer diagnosis. Nothing could have prepared them for what life would look like when four became three.
But Yvette was prepared.
Her final gift to her girls is an all-expenses-paid trip to Jamaica like they had always talked about but kept putting off as life got in the way.
The Jamaican getaway seems to come at the perfect time as the remaining friends deal with their grief, dashed hopes, and unexpected relationship drama. Sick of putting her dreams to open a spa on hold, not to mention her husband’s lack of support, Joy decides she’s moving forward with her new business—with or without him. The thunderous ticking of Diane’s biological clock has her wondering if her desire to have a baby will ever come true, and her husband’s bizarre behavior has her questioning if he’s still on board. And after witnessing her friends’ imploding relationships, single mother Rochelle is content to do life on her own, but her heart doesn’t seem to get the memo when a new man unexpectedly enters the picture.
Guided by Yvette’s spirit, the friends must lean on each other now more than ever before as they learn to navigate their new normal, take unexpected risks and live life with no reservations.
Praise for No Reservations:
“At times both deeply emotional and heartwarmingly funny, No Reservations encapsulates the beauty of the unbreakable bond of enduring friendships and true sisterhood.”
—Farrah Rochon, New York Times bestselling author of The Hookup Plan
- Stand-alone novel with a blend of heart and heartbreak and strong cast of diverse characters
- Perfect for fans of Jane Green, Nancy Thayer, and Kimberla Lawson Roby
- Includes discussion questions for book clubs
Transformative and breathtakingly honest, The American Queen is based on actual events that occurred between 1865 – 1889 and shares the unsung history of a Black woman who built a kingdom as a refuge for the courageous people who dared to dream of a different way of life.
The American Queen by Vanessa Miller
There is only one known queen who truly ruled a kingdom on American soil.
Over the twenty-four years she was enslaved on the Montgomery Plantation, Louella learned to feel one thing: hate. Hate for the man who sold her mother. Hate for the overseer who left her daddy to hang from a noose. Hate so powerful there’s no room in her heart for love, not even for the honorable Reverend William, whom she likes and respects enough to marry.
But when William finally listens to Louella’s pleas and leads the formerly enslaved people off the plantation, Louella begins to replace her hate with hope. Hope that they will find a place where they can live free from fear. Hope that despite her many unanswered prayers, she can learn to trust for new miracles.
Soon, William and Louella become the appointed king and queen of their self-proclaimed Kingdom of the Happy Land. And though they are still surrounded by opposition, they continue to share a message of joy and goodness–and fight for the freedom and dignity of all.
The American Queen weaves together themes of love, hate, hope, trust, and resilience in the face of great turmoil. With every turn of the page, you will be transported to a pivotal period in American history, where oppressed people become extraordinary heroes.
Please fill out our super short registration form (click the “Enter Now” button above) by February 29th for a chance to win a set of up to ten copies of one of these great books for your book club! We will randomly choose a winner at the end of the month. This giveaway is open to clubs in the US only (our apologies to friends in other countries).