Six Books by Black Authors We Can't Wait to Read in April 2022

Six Books by Black Authors We Can't Wait to Read in April 2022

You'll want to bring one of these great books along on your Spring Break trip

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Life in the real world has been pretty crazy for the past couple of years. But if you can’t jet off to a private island to get away from it all, getting lost in a good book might be the next best thing. Ok, I know, that was a stretch. But if you’re anything like me, a good story is a great way to make a subway ride or a wait in the doctor’s office a lot more manageable.

From deeply personal memoirs to in-depth cultural critiques there are lots of great titles hitting the shelves in April. Check out some of the books written by Black authors that we can’t wait to sink our teeth into.

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Finding Me by Viola Davis - April 26

Finding Me by Viola Davis - April 26

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Image: HarperOne

With Oscar, Tony and Emmy awards among the impressive honors on her resume, we already know that Viola Davis is a legendary actress. But in this highly-anticipated memoir, she shares the story of how she found her way. Davis gets personal in the book and explores the ups and downs she experienced on her way to stardom – something she hopes will help readers who are struggling to find their own way. “Finding Me is a deep reflection, a promise, and a love letter of sorts to self. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you,” Davis says.

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Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, 1965–2000 by Alice Walker, Valerie Boyd (Editor) - April 12

Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, 1965–2000 by Alice Walker, Valerie Boyd (Editor) - April 12

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Image: Simon & Schuster

Gathering Blossoms Under Fire gives readers an intimate look at the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. The book contains segments of her journals, in which Walker writes about her feelings on being an African American woman and her experiences participating in the Civil Rights Movement, being in an interracial marriage during the 1960s. She shares details about the ancestral visits that led her to write The Color Purple, the novel that would ultimately propel her to international notoriety.

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Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop by Danyel Smith - April 19

Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop by Danyel Smith - April 19

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Image: Rock Lit 101

Danyel Smith is an award-winning journalist and culture critic who served as editor at top music publications Billboard and Vibe Magazine. In Shine Bright, Smith gives readers a musical history lesson, focusing on Black women’s contributions to pop music throughout history. She zeroes in on some of music’s most influential artists, including Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, and Mariah Carey, and shows love to those who are equally talented but got less shine, like Deniece Williams and Jody Watley.

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The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe - April 19

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe - April 19

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Image: Harper Voyager

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer is a collection of short stories penned by Grammy-nominated singer/actress Janelle Monáe and other female and non-binary authors inspired by Monáe’s 2018 album Dirty Computer. Sci-fi fans will love getting lost in the Afrofuturistic world the writers create where thoughts can be controlled or erased by a select few. “Sci-fi and Afrofuturism have nurtured my imagination for many moons,” Monáe told PEOPLE. “It’s an honor to be working in these genres to create stories that I hope make all the dirty computers around the world feel seen.”

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Piccolo Is Black: A Memoir of Race, Religion, and Pop Culture by Jordan Calhoun - April 26

Piccolo Is Black: A Memoir of Race, Religion, and Pop Culture by Jordan Calhoun - April 26

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Image: Lit Riot Press, LLC

Piccolo Is Black is the debut memoir from culture writer Jordan Calhoun. The book centers around Calhoun’s experience as a Black child growing up in Detroit as a Seventh-Day Adventist who was transferred to private, predominantly white, deeply religious, Seventh-day Adventist schools. As Calhoun struggled to fit in, he grabbed on to fictional characters on television, music and in video games that he could relate to. The book is a hilarious reminder that entertainment plays a role in shaping our identities.

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The Trayvon Generation by Elizabeth Alexander - April 15

The Trayvon Generation by Elizabeth Alexander - April 15

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Image: Grand Central Publishing

Elizabeth Alexander’s essay, The Trayvon Generation went viral when it was published in The New Yorker in June 2020. In the piece, she refers to the challenges young people face growing up in an age where young Black men and women suffer from abuse while the world watches. The book, by the same name, elaborates on the conversation, while offering a message of hope for the future.

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