Wednesday, February 17, 2021

by Emilyn Linden

February is Black History Month and there are many great books written by and about Black Americans available at the library. We put together a list last summer of books about race relations and racism in the United States and there is a display up in the library in February that features many of those titles.

If you’re interested in reading great recent books by Black authors, there have been a number published already this year. Personally, I’m looking forward to reading Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. It’s a collection of essays, short stories, vignettes and more from 90 different writers. I’m hoping to listen to it on audio since it’s narrated by a full cast, including such narrators as Leslie Odom Jr., Danai Gurira, and Phylicia Rashad. 

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour just came out last month. It’s a satire featuring a young Black barista who is thrown into the fast-paced world of tech startup sales when he impresses the CEO of the hottest startup in NYC while serving his Starbucks order.  

Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo and the Nebula, just published Remote Control, the story of a young girl named Fatima who is turned into Death’s adopted daughter by an alien artifact. I love everything I’ve read by Nnedi Okorafor and can’t wait to read this one.

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson was just published a few weeks ago. It’s a story about found family, the secrets we keep from and about those we love, and also about racial injustice and class inequality experienced by every community in contemporary America.

Emilyn Linden is a librarian in the FDL Public Library Information and Outreach Services department.