Nearly 90 percent of books reviewed by The New York Times are written by white authors. According to a 2019 article by Poynter, award-winning author Roxanne Gay researched the racial background of every author critiqued by the paper in 2011. Her research yielded predictably striking results: 31 black authors, 655 white authors. Eighty-one reviewed books in all, by writers of color. “I don’t know how to solve this problem or what to do with this information,” wrote Gay, who is black.
We can begin by reading black authors. That is a start. We recommend:
- Create a book club and either incorporate black authors into your reading list or, if you are truly woke, make it exclusively black authors.
- Incorporate black authors’ books into your gift-giving.
- Buy and post reviews of books written by black authors.
Below is a list of current authors we have curated to help you kick off your education on Black Books Matter. Check our list of Black-owned businesses to find a Black-owned bookstore near you.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended the racial caste system in America, we have simply redesigned it.
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In A World Make For Whiteness
Austin Channing Brown
I’m Still Here is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric—from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, and from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.
Black Feminist Thought
Patricia Hill Collins
In Black Feminist Thought, Patricia Hill Collins explores the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals as well as those African-American women outside academia.
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower
Brittney C. Cooper
Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that.
Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
Dr. Joy DeGruy
PTSS posits that centuries of slavery in the United States, followed by systemic and structural racism and oppression, including lynching, Jim Crow laws, and unwarranted mass incarceration, have resulted in multigenerational maladaptive behaviors, which originated as survival strategies.
How We Fight For Our Lives
Jones’s memoir tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears.
The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America
Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Chronicling the emergence of deeply embedded notions of black people as a dangerous race of criminals by explicit contrast to working-class whites and European immigrants, this fascinating book reveals the influence such ideas have had on urban development and social policies.
Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century
This groundbreaking book by the acclaimed Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of the biological concept of race—revived by purportedly cutting-edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases—continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era.
Me and White Supremacy
Based on the viral Instagram challenge that captivated participants worldwide, Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day journey of how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
The Hate U Give
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
The Warmth of Other Suns
This work tells the story of the Great Migration and the Second Great Migration, the movement of African Americans out of the Southern United States to the Midwest, Northeast, and West from approximately 1915 to 1970.
A dynamic and creative executive, Audrey has guided household name brands in the health & wellness, travel & leisure, executive training and philanthropy sectors.
Her travel & leisure ventures include the launch of a Hawaiian island destination for Larry Ellison and the Four Seasons, taking a previously unknown locale to #1 in travel in the U.S. and among the Top 10 destinations in the world. The project included creating events and campaigns in partnership with Nobu, Jennifer Lopez, BMW, Serena Williams and various charities.
Audrey’s recent foray into the science sector includes working with Google Ventures, Amgen, Lilly, Genentech, Sanofi, Otsuka, Novartis, and AOBiome, through the recently launched biotech SaaS startup Science 37, which aims to disrupt and democratize the clinical trial process.
Her executive development experience includes building leadership models for trainers such as Tony Robbins, training over 30,000 managers worldwide and leading workshops on performance management to over 100,000 individuals across the U.S. She founded The HR Coach, which consults tech startups in training and developing remote management.
Audrey travels between Seattle, Los Angeles and Austin, enjoying personal time with her three xoloitzcuintles and her beau. Not to mention her total obsession with her big-bold-all-natural hair.