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The 19 Most Anticipated Books By Black Authors In 2020 ∣ Writer’s Relief

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February is Black History Month, and Writer’s Relief is looking forward into 2020 at some of the upcoming book releases by Black authors that we think are going to “make history” this year.

Here are some of the books we are most excited about!

New Books By Black Authors We Can’t Wait To Read In 2020

 

Hitting a Straight Lick With a Crooked Stick by Zora Neale Hurston

Release date: 1/14/2020

From the late Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God) comes a collection of stories on love, migration, classism, racism, sexism, and gender, including eight recently unearthed short stories (with a foreword by Tayari Jones). It’s no surprise that this one was on The New York Times 10 Books to Watch For in January list!

 

Remembrance by Rita Woods

Release date: 1/21/2020

This debut novel by Rita Woods tells the stories of four Black women and how their lives are bound together, even centuries apart.

 

The Freedom Artist by Ben Okri

Release date: 2/4/2020

From Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri, The Freedom Artist has been described as “an inheritor of The Handmaid’s Tale, Fahrenheit 451, and Things Fall Apart…” That’s already enough to make us excited to read this novel!

King and the Dragonflies by Kheryn Callender

Release date: 2/4/2020

This novel explores young Kingston James’s grief after his older brother’s death in a small Louisiana town, an experience that “takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.”

 

The Last Negroes at Harvard: The Class of 1963 and the 18 Young Men Who Changed Harvard Forever by Kent Garrett & Jeanne Ellsworth

Release date: 2/11/2020

In the fall of 1963, after public schools legally desegregated, Harvard University recruited eighteen Black men, including Kent Garrett, to enter its halls. Years later, after reconnecting with some of the other students from his time at Harvard, Garrett began to recall how he and those seventeen other young men transformed the university—and how they were transformed by it.

 

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall

Release date: 2/25/2020

Kendall’s book is described as “a potent and electrifying critique of today’s feminist movement.” At a time when the feminist movement is most certainly picking up speed and power, it’s vital that we learn to listen to the voices of ALL women, examine our own prejudices and blind spots within the movement, and work to build and sustain a movement that not only reflects the ideals of equality but actually lives them—and through every intersection possible, not just the ones between genders.

The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert

Release date: 3/10/2020

The Only Black Girls in Town is a middle-grade novel about two young girls who are the only Black girls in their town, and who bond quickly over this fact. They soon discover a box of old journals that reveal shocking secrets from the past.

 

Lakewood by Megan Giddings

Release date: 3/24/2020

This novel has been described as “reminiscent of Jordan Peele’s terrifying film Get Out.” A struggling Black college student becomes involved in a secret government project in exchange for financial help—even though it means she must lie to everyone around her.

 

Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby

Release date: 3/31/2020

Described by the publisher as “a new rip-roaring essay collection from the smart, edgy, hilarious, unabashedly raunchy, and bestselling Samantha Irby,” this is definitely one we can’t wait to get our hands on and laugh along with.

More Books With Black Authors We’re Looking Forward To Reading In 2020

 

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

Release date: 1/21/2020

 

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

Release date: 2/4/2020

 

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Release date: 2/18/2020

Pale Colors in a Tall Field: Poems by Carl Phillips

Release date: 3/3/2020

 

It’s Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan

Release date: 3/31/2020

 

The Malevolent Volume by Justin Phillip Reed

Release date: 4/7/2020

Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Release date: 4/21/2020

 

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey

Release date: 7/28/2020

 

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Release date: 8/4/2020

Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker by Alice Walker, edited by Valerie Boyd

Release date: 9/1/2020

 

Of course, there will be many other books by Black writers coming out this year, and you should definitely keep your eye out for more than just the ones featured on this list. Happy reading!

 

Question: What is currently your favorite book by a Black author?

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