Summer (and summer reads) are right around the corner! And if you’re an avid reader, that means there’s a new lineup of books to read. Many authors plan their book releases for the summer when people have more time to read. And as more authors write stories that feature Black characters, the selection of reading material is endless.

It wasn’t always this way, however. Historically, Black people were not allowed to read. Many Black men and women learned how to read at church as long as their enslavers permitted them to attend. A lot of enslaved people secretly became literate by studying the Bible. They were then able to teach others, which helped pave the way for better education and enlightenment that would contribute to their freedom later on.

The Black community has made great strides since then, but there’s still some work to be done. On average, Black authors have a harder time receiving the recognition they deserve for their hard work. In addition to this, they’re often paid less for their writing than white authors. And when it comes to Black bookstores, sales are no better.

Fortunately, as more people speak out against the industry’s racial disparity, changes happen. Black authors are being seen, and their stories are being heard. As a result, there is an increase in Black representation as more and more Black characters are created.

Whether you like to delve into stories about Black history or immerse yourself in fantasy, supporting Black authors is now easier than ever. Let’s take a look at ten summer reads by Black authors to get into:

“The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season” is a suspenseful book about a young woman named Essun who lives an average life in her small town. Until one day, she comes home to find that her beloved husband has murdered their son. She soon realizes that he also kidnapped their daughter. They’re both nowhere to be found.

 

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To make matters worse, Sanze, a powerful empire that rules the country, is in the process of collapsing. Naturally, this causes a ripple effect that ravages the country and its inhabitants. Still, this doesn’t stop Essun. Readers can follow along as she tries to find her daughter in a newly war-torn world.

“The Dome” By Nova Sparks

 

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Sam and Emma are a father and daughter team who have just been rescued by aliens. Before their rescue, the Earth was under an attack that eventually destroyed it. Now, the duo must learn to survive in a dome that the aliens provided. Fortunately, the dome is eerily similar to Earth, complete with welcome mats and even breakfast cereal. But why? While navigating their new life, Sam and his daughter begin to question everything.
And as Emma forms an inexplicable attachment to one of the aliens, Sam becomes afraid that she may be playing with fire. As their journey unfolds, they each must decide how to protect themselves from the very ones they depend on to survive.

“Ain’t I a Woman?” By bell hooks

 

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bell hooks cover the intersectionality between race and gender as it relates to Black women in “Ain’t I a women?
The book closely examines America’s history of racism and sexism, dating back to slavery. Each chapter uncovers how the country perpetrated abuse against Black women throughout the years. It also analyzes the intraracial abuse that Black women have endured at the hands of Black men. hooks also examines the effects of racism and sexism and how they contributed to Black women’s devaluation in society.
She also questions the feminist movement, drawing attention to how Black women have historically been excluded from it from suffrage to the 1970s.

“The Bluest Eye” By Toni Morrison

 

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Toni Morrison is a New York Times bestselling author who merges her love of language with a passion for her heritage.
Her book, “The Bluest Eye,” follows a young Black pre-teen named Pecola Breedlove. Breedlove is often ridiculed for her dark skin and unambiguously Black features. As a result, she desperately prays for blue eyes. To her, having blue eyes means that she would finally be considered beautiful like all the other blonde, white children who have them. But in a fateful turn of events, change eventually does come, but it’s not the kind of change that little Pecola was praying for.

“A Deadly Inside Scoop” By Abby Collette

Bronwyn “Win” Crewse is the young owner and operator of her family’s ice cream shop, Crewes Creamery. As a recent post-graduate, she’s more than ready to put what she learned in college to the test. She meticulously plans how to revive the ice cream shop, but when a snowstorm hits on opening day, her plans are placed on hold.

Bronwyn “Win” Crewse is the young owner and operator of her family’s ice cream shop, Crewes Creamery. As a recent college graduate, she’s more than ready to put what she learned in school to the test. She starts by meticulously planning how to improve the ice cream shop. But when a snowstorm hits on opening day, her plans are placed on hold.
Later that day, Win finds a dead body in the snow nearby. She discovers that the dead man had been holding a grudge against the family after a longstanding feud.
As a result, Win’s father is accused of being the dead man’s killer. With the help of her friends and family, In “A Deadly Inside Scoop“, Win must fight to prove her father’s innocence while reviving the family’s struggling business.

“Murder in G Major” By Alexia Gordon

 

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“Murder in G Major” follows Gethsemane Brown, a young musician stranded in Ireland after losing her job and luggage. The only way she can return to America is by turning a group of unruly schoolboys into a proper orchestra band.
So she agrees to stay at a peaceful cottage to fulfill her duties. She thinks she’s found a sweet deal when she realizes the cottage was also home to one of her favorite composers before he died. However, her stay is anything but peaceful when his ghost shows up to ask for a favor.
While he was living, he was wrongfully convicted of a murder-suicide. He tells Gethsemane that he hasn’t found peace since the conviction and asks her to help him clear his name. In doing so, the two form a close friendship.
Unfortunately, in her quest to help, her investigation leads her to a murderous killer. Now, Gethsemane must find a way to protect herself from harm as she tries to avenge her friend.

“One True Loves” By Elise Bryant

 

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In “One True Loves“, Lenore is a high school graduate preparing to attend New York State University in the fall. Her friends know her as being cool and confident, but when it comes to university, she’s not so sure. She hasn’t decided on a major yet, and when her parents warn her that the world isn’t as forgiving of Black people, the pressure is on.
Fortunately, she has some time to think. She and her family take a cruise to the Mediterranean for vacation before school starts. While there, she meets Alex Lee, an attractive young man who seems to have it all together. And ever since their families crossed paths on the cruise, they’ve been inseparable. This would be good if Lenore could only get over how annoying he is.
As they get to know each other along the way, Lenore begins to take a liking to Alex. He eventually causes the confident young student to question everything she thought she knew: about herself, her future and her love.

“Good Morning, Love” By Ashley M. Coleman

Good Morning, Love” follows Carli Henson, a young songwriter and musician in New York City. To make ends meet, she works as a junior account manager at a major media company. And in her free time, she works on her dreams of making it big in the music industry. But, just when she thinks she’s found the perfect balance between working and fulfilling her dreams, a chance encounter turns her world upside down.
She meets budding musical star Tau Anderson, who could help her break into the music industry. But things don’t go as planned when Carli and Tau begin to overstep their professional boundaries. As a result, her reputation as a songwriter and musician is tarnished. Readers can follow along as she tries to balance her career and personal life in the fast-paced New York City music scene.

“Black Roses Grow in the Dark: A Dark Urban Paranormal” By Natavia Stewart

 

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In “Black Roses Grow in the Dark,” Keisha, also known as Black Rose, is a psychic and witch hunter from the Yubsari Clan tribe. After a longstanding war with the witches and warlocks of the Amstid Clan, her beloved tribe nearly goes extinct. She vows to fight back to avenge the deaths of her loved ones. In doing so, she transforms into a menacing spellbinding creature.
But when she meets a handsome and charming warlock from the opposing tribe, she becomes smitten. Now, she must decide if her newfound love means more to her than winning the war.
Akea Uffe is a warlock and heir to Goon, the god of the ancient world, Anubi. Before meeting Black Rose, he seemed to have it all. He owned a successful business and became the father of a healthy newborn son. But after he falls in love with her, he starts to second-guess whether he was truly happy before he met her. And when he finds out that she’s not a witch, he must decide whether she’s worth the risk of losing everything he has to be with her.

“A Song of Wraiths and Ruin” By Roseanne A. Brown

 

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Inspired by West African folklore, “A Song of Wraiths and Ruin” is a New York Times best-selling book that combines romance, magic, and plenty of action. The story follows main character Malik, who’s on a quest to escape to the desert city of Ziran for a better life. But when his sister is kidnapped by a vengeful spirit as payment to enter the city, Malik makes a deal with the spirit to get her back.
As part of the deal, he must kill the princess of Ziran, Karina. But Karina, on the other hand, has plans of her own. After her mother is assassinated, she vows to get her back with the help of some ancient magic. The only way to resurrect her mother is by obtaining the beating heart of a king. Fortunately, the upcoming Solstasia competition is rife with eligible men to whom she could offer her hand in marriage.
But when Malik enters the competition, Karina becomes entranced by him. In a grueling fight for their dreams, they must also fight their growing attraction to each other.
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