Here’s a list of upcoming and newly released books by Black authors:
On Juneteenth, Annette Gordon-Reed (May 4) (Nonfiction) Annette Gordon-Reed is an American historian best known for her research on Sally Hemings and the children she birthed to Thomas Jefferson, the man who enslaved her. In her new book, Gordon-Reed shifts her focus to another important story in Black history—the establishment of Juneteenth. Born and raised in Texas, she offers an intimate account of her family’s history in the state where Juneteenth was born when slavery was officially ended on June 19, 1865. Woven into her personal reflections is a historical narrative and research about the “long road” to ending slavery in the United States. This book of short, powerful essays is a moving example of how national and personal histories crash into one another and spill into our present moment.
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (May 4) (Fiction) Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, 2020 National Book Award-nominated poet, turns her eye to colorism in this much anticipated, generation spanning debut novel. An admitted eavesdropper, Jeffers learned storytelling by sitting in the corners of her grandmother’s living room and listening to the stories shared between adults. The stories she heard inspires this novel that follows Ailey Pearl Garfield as she tries to fulfill her family’s wish to become a doctor. On this path Garfield attends an HBCU, visits the homestead where her ancestors were enslaved, and addresses her grandmother’s colorism and the history behind it. In this novel, Garfield works to discover who she is by traversing a surprising, and often difficult, racial history.
The Culinary Art Portfolio of Josephine E. Jones, Wendy Jones (May 20) (Nonfiction) This special portfolio is neither a cookbook nor a how-to-book. The 16-image collection showcases the recipes of Josephine E. Jones; a Harlem activist, and mother who is widely know as the first Black woman manager at a Fortune 500 company, Standard Brands, now known as Kraft. Each page includes ingredients and methods used. Uniquely, also included is Jones’ comments on food presentation and the wisdom of her positive approach to life—despite the obstacles she overcame. The text is written by Jones’ daughter, Wendy Jones, and the photos were taken by John Turner.
While Justice Sleeps, Stacey Abrams (May 25) (Fiction) Politician, lawyer, and best-selling author, Stacey Abrams, brings the public a gripping new thriller set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court. In the novel, Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, finds herself in the middle of controversy when Justice Wynn slips into a coma. She’s immediately notified that he left her instructions for her to serve as his legal guardian and power of attorney. Keene finds out Justice Wynn has been researching one of the most controversial court cases in secret, a proposed merger between an American biotech company and an Indian genetics farm. She also figures out that Wynn had a suspicion of a dangerously related conspiracy that involves the highest powers in Washington.
This article was contributed to by LaTanya Lane, Managing Editor at the Lighthouse.