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21 Books By Black Writers to Read in 2021

21 Books By Black Writers to Read in 2021

It’s 2021, which means that a new slate of books by Black writers are on the horizon. Here is a list of 21 books by Black writers to read this year in order of their release date. Note: We tried to focus on works from debut authors, but we also have a few titles from established writers mixed in. Enjoy!

The Prophets | By Robert Jones

Robert Jones Jr.’s debut novel, The Prophets, tells the story of a forbidden union between two enslaved men in the Deep South, the refuge they find in each other, and the betrayal that threatens their existence. Jones is also the founder and curator of the social justice community, Son of Baldwin.

Release Date: January 5, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Black Buck | By Mateo Askaripour

Mateo Askaripour’s debut novel, Black Buck, is about a young man given a shot at stardom at a wildly successful, cult-like startup as the lone black salesman. However, not everything is as it seems.

Release Date: January 5, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Happily Ever Afters | By Elise Bryant

Elise Bryant’s debut novel Happily Ever Afters tells the story of a sixteen-year-old writer who feels that the only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing — swoony love stories she shares with Caroline, her best friend, and #1 devoted reader.

Release Date: January 5, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Aftershocks: A Memoir | By Nadia Owusu

Nadia Owusu’s Aftershocks: A Memoir, grapples with the fault lines of identity, the meaning of home, black womanhood, and the ripple effects, both personal and generational, of emotional trauma.

Release Date: January 12, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Concrete Rose | By Angie Thomas

In Concrete Rose, bestselling author Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give.  In a searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood, Concrete Rose gives readers a fresh look into the King Lord Gang.

Release Date: January 12, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Your Corner Dark | By Desmond Hall

Desmond Hall’s Your Corner Dark, takes an unflinching look at the harsh realities of gang life in Jamaica, and how far a teen is willing to go for family. Frankie, a Jamaican high school student, receives a scholarship to study in the United States. But when a stray bullet gravely injures his father, he must find a way to earn fast money to pay for his treatment.

Release Date: January 19, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Black Girl Finance | By Selina Flavius

Selina Flavius is the founder of the digital finance coaching platform, Black Girl Finance UK. Her debut book, Black Girl Finance provides tips, tricks and tools, statistics, personal stories, goal-setting exercises and straight-talking advice to help readers make their financial goals a reality. 

Release Date: January 21, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Gutter Child: A Novel | By Jael Richardson

Jael Richardson’s Gutter Child is set in an imagined world in which the most vulnerable are forced to buy their freedom by working off their debt to society. Gutter Child uncovers a nation divided into the privileged Mainland and the policed Gutter. In this world, Elimina Dubois is one of only 100 babies taken from the Gutter and raised in the land of opportunity as part of a social experiment led by the Mainland government.

Release Date: January 26, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Biracial Britain | By Remi Adekoya

Remi Adekoya’s Biracial Britain explores the fastest-growing minority group in Britain. By the end of the century, roughly one in three of the population will be mixed-race. Paradoxically, however, this unprecedented interracial mixing is happening in a world that is becoming more and more racially polarized. A valuable new addition to discussions on race, Biracial Britain is a search for identity for many.

Release Date: January 28, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Milk Blood Heat | By Dantiel W. Moniz

Dantiel W. Moniz’s debut novel, Milk Blood Heat, depicts the sultry lives of Floridians in intergenerational tales that contemplate human connection, race, womanhood, inheritance, and the elemental darkness in us all. Each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning.

Release Date: February 2, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

The Kindest Lie | By Nancy Johnson

Nancy Johnson’s The Kindest Lie tells the story of Ruth Tuttle, an Ivy-League educated Black engineer who is married to a kind and successful man. He’s eager to start a family, but Ruth is uncertain. She has never gotten over the baby she gave birth to—and abandoned—when she was a teenager. She had promised her family she’d never look back, but Ruth knows that to move forward, she must make peace with the past.

Release Date: February 2, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Love is a Revolution | By Renee Watson

In Renee Watson’s Love Is a Revolution, plus size girls are beautiful and get the attention of the hot guys, the popular girl clique is not shallow but has strong convictions and substance, and the ultimate love story is not only about romance but about how to show radical love to the people in your life, including to yourself.

Release Date: February 2, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

The Gilded Ones | By Namina Forna

Namina Forna’s debut novel, The Gilded Ones, tells the tale of sixteen-year-old Deka, who lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs. But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Release Date: February 9, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Honey Girl | By Morgan Rogers

Morgan Rogers’s debut novel, Honey Girl, is about a young woman whose life plans fall apart when she meets her wife. With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that. 

Release Date: February 23, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Life After Death | By Sister Souljah

Sister Souljah, the acclaimed author and activist, will release a follow-up to her best-selling novel, The Coldest Winter Ever. Life After Death will continue the story of Winter Santiaga, and with her jail sentence coming to a close, Winter is ready to step back into the spotlight and reclaim her throne.

Release Date: March 2, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Professional Troublemaker: The Fear Fighter Manual | By Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Luvvie Ajayi Jones, the bestselling author of I’m Judging You, brings Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual, a hilarious and transformational book about how to tackle fear-that everlasting hater-and audaciously step into lives, careers and legacies that go beyond even our wildest dreams.

Release Date: March 2, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Wild Women and the Blues | By Denny S. Bryce

Denny S. Bryce’s Wild Women and the Blues is a mainstream historical fiction novel that weaves the stories of a grieving film modern-day film student with an ambitious chorus girl in 1925 Chicago in a Jazz Age tale of love, forgiveness, and betrayal.

Release Date: March 30, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Caul Baby: A Novel | By Morgan Jerkins

From bestselling author Morgan Jerkins, Caul Baby: A Novel is a tale rife with secrets, betrayal, intrigue and magic. Laila desperately wants to become a mother, but each of her previous pregnancies has ended in heartbreak. This time has to be different, so she turns to the Melancons, an old and powerful Harlem family known for their caul, a precious layer of skin that is the secret source of their healing power.

Release Date: April 6, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Witches Steeped in Gold | By Ciannon Smart

Ciannon Smart’s debut novel, Witches Steeped in Gold, is a Jamaican-inspired fantasy about two enemy witches who must enter into a deadly alliance to take down a common enemy. But revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain—except the lengths they will go to win this game.

Release Date: April 20, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Ace of Spades | By Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

From Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Ace of Spades is a thriller that delves deep into the heart of institutionalized racism. Faridah describes the novel as a “love letter to queer Black teenagers who feel powerless and alone finally finding their voices… and that above all else, we deserve happy endings.”

Release Date: June 1, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

Blood Like Magic | By Liselle Sambury

Liselle Sambury’s fantasy debut, Blood Like Magic, follows a young Black witch living in Toronto in the near-future, who after failing to come into her powers is forced to choose between losing her family’s magic forever or murdering her first love, a boy who is supposedly her genetic match.

Release Date: June 15, 2021. Find it on Amazon.

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