February 2023 Books by Black Authors We Can't Wait to Read {UPDATED}

February 2023 Books by Black Authors We Can't Wait to Read {UPDATED}

This Black History Month, Black authors are coming through with the books we need in our life

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February is Black History Month, making it the perfect time to pick up a great book by a Black author. And this month, there are plenty of great titles to choose from. With inspiring memoirs, haunting thrillers and lighthearted love stories, February has something for everyone. So get to your favorite Black-owned bookstore and check out one of these Black books we can’t wait to read.

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“Every Man a King: A King Oliver Novel” by Walter Mosley - February 21

“Every Man a King: A King Oliver Novel” by Walter Mosley - February 21

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“Every Man a King” is the highly-anticipated latest novel from celebrated crime-fiction writer, Walter Mosley. When a friend asks him to investigate whether a white nationalist is being unjustly framed, Joe King Oliver is faced with a dangerous mission that has him questioning his conscience.

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“A Calabash of Cowries: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times” by Luisah Teish - February 28

“A Calabash of Cowries: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times” by Luisah Teish - February 28

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A Calabash of Cowries” is the latest book from ritualist and spiritual advisor Luisah Teish, the author of “Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals.“ The book is a collection of West African diaspora folklore reinterpreted from a contemporary feminist perspective.

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“She Persisted: Dorothy Height” by Kelly Starling Lyons - February 7

“She Persisted: Dorothy Height” by Kelly Starling Lyons - February 7

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“She Persisted: Dorothy Height” is the latest book in the series dedicated to telling the stories of women who overcame the odds. This book, geared towards readers ages 6 - 9, tells the inspiring story of Dorothy Height, who, despite being refused admission to Barnard College because of her race, would go on to play a critical role in both the civil rights and women’s rights movements and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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“Chaos Theory” by Nic Stone - February 28

“Chaos Theory” by Nic Stone - February 28

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“Chaos Theory” is the latest YA novel from New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone. Teens Shelbi and Andy meet by chance as they both struggle with their mental health. And as they get to know each other, a friendship develops. But could it end up being something more? Stone, who has been open about her own mental health, wants to challenge the stigma that prevents some from talking about it. “Getting rid of the mental illness stigma means getting rid of the idea that what people experience based on their brain chemistry can make them socially unacceptable. Like we all want people to think we’re so strong and tough and invincible. But…we’re not. We’re human,” she says.

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‘Time’s Undoing” by Cheryl A. Head - February 28

‘Time’s Undoing” by Cheryl A. Head - February 28

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“Time’s Undoing” is inspired by author Cheryl A. Head’s personal quest to uncover the truth about the circumstances surrounding her grandfather’s murder in segregated Alabama in 1929. The story is told from alternating perspectives in alternating timelines—1929 and 2019, giving readers the story from the grandfather’s perspective and the great-great-granddaughter who is desperately looking for answers.

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“The Neighbor Favor” by Kristina Forest - February 28

“The Neighbor Favor” by Kristina Forest - February 28

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If you’re looking for romance this month, check out “The Neighbor Favor,” a new novel from Kristina Forest. Lily is a shy, awkward bookworm who has dreams of becoming a children’s book editor. While she’s stuck in the nonfiction division, she writes letters to her favorite fantasy fiction author as an escape. Their connection deepens through their correspondence until he ghosts her without warning. Months later, when Lily asks her cute new neighbor to help her get a date, she has no idea that he’s the author she’s been sending her love letters to all along.

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“The Unfortunates” by J.K. Chukwu - February 28

“The Unfortunates” by J.K. Chukwu - February 28

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“The Unfortunates” is a story told through the voice of Sahara, a queer, half-Nigerian student at an elite college who is upset by the racism happening on her campus. As she tries to find her way, she is troubled by the mysterious disappearances of her fellow Black classmates. When believes she could be next, Sahara writes a no-holds-barred thesis to let the racists know that she and the rest of the Unfortunates won’t go quietly.

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“The Urgent Life: My Story of Love, Loss and Survival” by Bozoma Saint John - February 21

“The Urgent Life: My Story of Love, Loss and Survival” by Bozoma Saint John - February 21

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Throughout her life, Bozoma Saint John has experienced her fair share of loss. But in her debut memoir, “The Urgent Life,” Saint John writes about she dealt with the pain of that loss and overcame her grief and decided to live life to the fullest. The book has already received plenty of praise from some famous fans, including Quincy Jones who said, “A woman we can ALL look up to! Boz’s story is heartbreaking, yet inspiring, and brings nothing but light and love to even the darkest of times. She is the definition of keep on keepin’ on, and I know that’s exactly what she will continue to do.”

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“Choosing Family: A Memoir of Queer Motherhood and Black Resistance” by Francesca Royster - February 7

“Choosing Family: A Memoir of Queer Motherhood and Black Resistance” by Francesca Royster - February 7

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In “Choosing Family,” Francesca Royster explores her journey through the adoption process as a queer Black woman with a white partner and the family they ultimately created. Royster also weaves in her personal experience growing up on Chicago’s South Side and the various matriarchs who influenced her.

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“In My Grandmother’s House: Black Women, Faith, and the Stories We Inherit” by Dr. Yolanda Pierce - February 3

“In My Grandmother’s House: Black Women, Faith, and the Stories We Inherit” by Dr. Yolanda Pierce - February 3

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Professor and Dean of Howard University School of Divinity, Dr. Yolanda Pierce’s faith is deeply rooted in the teachings instilled in her by her grandmother and other Black church mothers. In her new book, “In My Grandmother’s House,” Dr. Pierce provides an analysis on those teachings, and breaks their importance to Black women’s lives. As she writes in the preface, “This book is my attempt to retrieve the religious legacy I have inherited and keep it alive for those who are still to come… In a world eager to promote the newest wunderkind, grandmother theology carries us two or more generations back: to the kitchens, hair salons, gardens, and church basements of older Black women who are often invisible in theological discourse but without whom the American Christian church would cease to exist.”

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“MICROJOYS: Finding Hope (Especially) When Life Is Not Okay” by Cyndie Spiegel - February 28

“MICROJOYS: Finding Hope (Especially) When Life Is Not Okay” by Cyndie Spiegel - February 28

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In “Microjoys,” Cyndie Spiegel challenges readers to find joy in any situation, especially during the tough times. And she knows first-hand how difficult that can be. In 2020, her nephew was murdered and her mother passed away. A month later, her younger brother spent months in the ICU. Shortly after, Spiegel was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the book, Spiegel shares essays on the microjoys that have kept her going and shows the rest of us how we can learn to see the microjoys in our own lives.

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“I Am Still With You: A Reckoning With Silence, Inheritance and History” by Emmanuel Iduma - February 21

“I Am Still With You: A Reckoning With Silence, Inheritance and History” by Emmanuel Iduma - February 21

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Born and raised in Nigeria, award-winning writer, art critic, and photographer Emmanuel Iduma grew up hearing anecdotes about his uncle who disappeared during the Nigerian Civil War. But when Iduma’s father passes, he’s left with little information and a desire to fill in the blanks. In “I Am Still With You,” Iduma writes about his return to Nigeria, after years of living in New York, hoping to learn more about the fate of his missing uncle.

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“Wildblood” by Lauren Blackwood - February 7

“Wildblood” by Lauren Blackwood - February 7

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“Wildblood” is the latest novel from Lauren Blackwood, the New York Times Bestselling author of “Within These Wicked Walls.” The book tells the story of a girl who must find the strength to defeat her personal demons as well as the demons of the jungle to find where she belongs. Blackwood describes this beautifully written fantasy as “The Call of the Wild meets Jamaican folktales.”

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“On a Woman’s Madness” by Astrid Roemer - February 21

“On a Woman’s Madness” by Astrid Roemer - February 21

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Originally written in Dutch in 1982, “On a Woman’s Madness” is being translated into English for the first time. The novel tells the story of Noenka, a Black woman whose abusive husband of just nine days refuses her request for divorce. Noenka leaves her hometown of Suriname to start a new life in Paramaribo. But as she begins to have passionate new romances, she is haunted by society’s expectations and her ancestral past.

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“Delicious Monsters,” by Liselle Sambury - February 28

“Delicious Monsters,” by Liselle Sambury - February 28

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“Delicious Monsters” is a psychological thriller that follows two teen girls and their experience with a mysterious mansion ten years apart. This is definitely one you’ll want to read with the lights on.

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“Gone Like Yesterday” by Janelle M. Williams - February 14

“Gone Like Yesterday” by Janelle M. Williams - February 14

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“Gone Like Yesterday” is the debut novel from Janelle M. Williams. The story follows two Black women—Zahra, a college prep coach, and Sammie, a teenage activist on her way to college—who are drawn to each other through the songs of gypsy moths. Gypsy moths have been singing the songs of Zahra’s ancestors to her for years, so when Zahra realizes that Sammie might be a moth person too, their paths become intertwined.

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“Hungry Ghosts” by Kevin Jared Hosein

“Hungry Ghosts” by Kevin Jared Hosein

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“Hungry Ghosts” is a novel by up-and-coming Trinidadian writer Kevin Jared Hosein. The book tells the story of two families colliding in 1940s Trinidad and a chilling mystery that shows how interconnected their lives truly are.

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“Rock Rosetta Rock, Roll Rosetta Roll” by Tonya Bolden - February 14

“Rock Rosetta Rock, Roll Rosetta Roll” by Tonya Bolden - February 14

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“Rock Rosetta Rock, Roll Rosetta Roll” is a children’s book about the life of 20th-century blues and gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. A rock-and-roll trailblazer, Tharpe had a big guitar and an even bigger voice who was doing her thing long before Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Johnny Cash. If you don’t know her story, this is a great tribute to a music trailblazer.

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