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30 Books by Black Authors From The First Half Of 2020

We should always celebrate black voices (not just during Black history month or when there is public outcry) and for us bookworms, there is no better way than immersing ourselves in Black literature.  Currently, there are so many amazing books to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead.  However, we wanted to take a step back and highlight some of the books by Black authors that had publication dates in the first half of 2020.  In this list, you will find books from across genres and subject matters – from historical fiction to sci-fi, from thought-provoking literary fiction to some laugh out loud romantic comedies.  Whatever book you’re in the mood for, you are sure to find something that’s right for you!

Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick : Stories from the Harlem Renaissance by Zora Neale Hurston

Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is an outstanding collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class, racism and sexism that proudly reflect African American folk culture. Brought together for the first time in one volume, they include eight of Hurston’s “lost” Harlem stories, which were found in forgotten periodicals and archives.

Remembrance by Rita Woods

This breakout historical debut with modern resonance is perfect for the many fans of The Underground Railroad and Orphan Train.

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

Rooted in the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is as much an intimate family story as a global dystopian narrative. It burns fearlessly toward revolution and has quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

The unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself, The Girl with the Louding Voice is a simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant tale about the power of fighting for your dreams.

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

A wedding planner left at the altar? Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.

Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham

Black Sunday takes us into the chaotic heart of family life, tracing a line from the euphoria of kinship to the devastation of estrangement. In the process, it joyfully tells a tale of grace and connection in the midst of daily oppression and the constant incursions of an unremitting patriarchy. This is a novel about two young women slowly finding, over twenty years, in a place rife with hypocrisy but also endless life and love, their own distinct methods of resistance and paths to independence.

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Real Life is a novel of profound and lacerating power, a story that asks if it’s ever really possible to overcome our private wounds and at what cost.

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

In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hypersexualization, along with incisive commentary on politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, Hood Feminism delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux. An unforgettable debut, Kendall has written a ferocious clarion call to all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement in thought and in deed.

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

In Deacon King Kong, McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood’s Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself.

These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card

A transporting debut novel that reveals the ways in which a Jamaican family forms and fractures over generations, in the tradition of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

Lakewood by Megan Giddings

Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.

The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin

Three-time Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author N.K. Jemisin crafts her most incredible novel yet, a story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City.

The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert

Award-winning YA author Brandy Colbert’s debut middle-grade novel about the only two black girls in town who discover a collection of hidden journals revealing shocking secrets of the past.

It's Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan

After a sudden change of plans, a remarkable woman and her loyal group of friends try to figure out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life.

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

A mother and daughter with a shared talent for healing–and for the conjuring of curses. Conjure Women moves back and forth in time to tell the haunting story of Rue, Varina, and May Belle, their passions and friendships, and the lengths they will go to save themselves and those they love.

The House of Deep Water by Jeni McFarland

Perfect for fans of The Mothers and Olive Kitteridge, in this stunning and perceptive debut novel three women learn what it means to come home–and to make peace with the family, love affairs, and memories they’d once left behind.

The Business of Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey

All is fair in love and lust in New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey’s tale of two brothers, four women, and the business of desire.

Little Family by Ishmael Beah

A powerful novel about young people living at the margins of society, struggling to replace the homes they have lost with the one they have created together.

Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank, Asha Youmans

The Devil Wears Prada meets Class Mom in this delicious novel of love, money, and misbehaving parents.

My Mother's House by Francesca Momplaisir

A literary thriller about the complex underbelly of the immigrant American dream and the dangerous ripple effect one person’s damages can have on the lives of others–told unexpectedly by a house that has held unspeakable horror.

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

A gothic-infused debut of literary suspense, set within a secluded, elite university and following a dangerously curious, rebellious undergraduate who uncovers a shocking secret about an exclusive circle of students . . . and the dark truth beneath her school’s promise of prestige.

Trust us, you belong here.

Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson

When their foster-turned-adoptive mother suddenly dies, four brothers struggle to keep open the doors of her beloved Harlem knitting shop.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Secret Women by Sheila Williams

Filled with poignant life lessons, The Secret Women pays tribute to the power of friendship and family and the bonds that tie us together. Beautiful, full of spirit and heart, it is a thoughtful and ultimately uplifting story of unconditional love.

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

A witty rom-com that explores the “unique joys of strong female friendships and the particular struggles of Black women in the workplace, all within a great love story.” –Jasmine Guillory, bestselling author of Party of Two

Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West

An unforgettable debut novel, Saving Ruby King is a powerful testament that history doesn’t determine the present and the bonds of friendship can forever shape the future.

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

A chance meeting with a handsome stranger turns into a whirlwind affair that gets everyone talking in this New York Times bestseller.

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert returns with another charming romantic comedy about a young woman who agrees to fake date her friend after a video of him “rescuing” her from their office building goes viral.

Twisted : The Tangled History of Black Hair Culture by Emma Dabiri

Stamped from the Beginning meets You Can’t Touch My Hair in this timely and resonant essay collection from Guardian contributor and prominent BBC race correspondent Emma Dabiri, exploring the ways in which black hair has been appropriated and stigmatized throughout history, with ruminations on body politics, race, pop culture, and Dabiri’s own journey to loving her hair.

This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope by Shayla Lawson

From a fierce and humorous new voice comes a relevant, insightful, and riveting collection of personal essays on the richness and resilience of black girl culture–for readers of Samantha Irby, Roxane Gay, Morgan Jerkins, and Lindy West.