5 Books by African American Authors to Check out in 2021

With a new year, there’s a ton of new content to enjoy. We’re two months in and there’s already countless things that people are excitedly anticipating. As a book lover, I always get excited to see what books are in my future. I need to figure out when I need to buy them so my wallet doesn’t hate me, after all. This year, I’m also trying to make a conscious effort to read books with main characters who have cultures or ways of life that are different from my own. I also would like to read books by more diverse authors this year. To make sure that I accomplish this goal, I’ve signed up for a few book recommendation sites to help me expand my 2021 book recommendation list. In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to highlight a few books by African American authors coming out this year. From a career advice book to poetry, there are so many great publications to choose from! These are just a few to get you started. 

Own the Arena: Getting Ahead, Making a Difference, and Succeeding as the Only One

By Katrina M.Adams

If you are looking for career advice, especially in the sports world, this book is a great thing to check out. Katrina goes into her experiences as the youngest CEO and President of the United States Tennis Association, and the challenges she faced during her time there. If you are someone who wants to get into the sports management world, this will give you a great insight into facing the unpredictable challenges of that world. This book also offers great advice for anyone in a position where they are the only person who is the “only one” as the title says. This book just came out today! To learn more about this book, visit the link in the title. 

This Book Is Anti-Racist Journal

Tiffany Jewell, illustrated by Aurelia Durand

This book is a companion to the novel version of This Book is Anti-Racist. This journal is a great way to keep yourself active in your anti-racist journey. There are many different activities that take a look at different parts of your life. Through these, you can take initiative to grow and learn about yourself. With this knowledge, you can take the steps to grow into someone who is anti-racist. This book also has activities that allow you to plan for situations where you are confronted with racist moments or conversations, and how to address them. If you would like to get this journal, you can visit the link in the title. 

Honey Girl

by Morgan Rogers

This book also comes out today! This novel is a coming of age LGBT+ love story that addresses the messiness of adulthood and the challenge of choosing your own path. Grace Porter has been following the path her father planned for her for the past 28 years. Until one day, when an unexpected drunken decision in Vegas leads her married to a woman who she doesn’t even know. Confronted with her sudden unhappiness with her life’s trajectory, she decides to leave her Portland home and go with her new wife to the bustling city of New York. It’s a great break from the pressure of her life, and she finds herself really falling for her wife. Then life comes crashing down, and she’s forced to face a past that she’d prefer to forget. If you want to check out this book, you can visit the link in the title. 

An Acquired Taste (The Everheart Brothers of Texas #1)

By Kelly Cain

Due to come out on June 8th of this year, this book tells the story of Rowan Townsend. She is a chef at her mother’s restaurant, but she is quickly running out of space. Good food brings everyone in, but the small dining room is leading to long wait times. Rowan decides to join a tv chef competition with goals to spend the money on expanding the restaurant. Then, a wrench is thrown into her plan when her culinary school nemesis also enters the competition. Knox is a talented chef as well, which means Rowan is even more determined to win and show him who’s boss. Will sparks fly in the kitchen? I love a good enemies to lovers story, so I’m excited to check out this book. If you want to get this book when it comes out, you can follow the link in the title. 

The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois

by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois is a debut novel by the award-winning poet Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. This book follows the lives of one family from the colonial slave trade to the modern day. Ailey Pearl can relate to W.E.B. DuBois’ discussion about “Double Consciousness”, a sensitivity that every African American has to survive. As someone with the names of two formidable Black Americans and a descendant of enslaved Georgians who became tenant farmers, Ailey carries DubBois’s problems as well. She struggles with the feeling of belonging with the whispers of the women in her life urging her to succeed. If you would like to read this book on its release date or preorder it, you can visit the link in the title.
If you would like to check out more books by African American authors coming out this year, subscribe to Black by Demand. They have a lot of great recommendations and send weekly updates, so you can see what books come out each week. It’s a great way to expand both your reading list and your points of view. Many of these books offer great perspectives that you might not have considered or thought about before. They’ve been a great resource for me when building my to-read book list for the year. There are a lot of great books out there. It’s time to get to reading them. Happy reading everyone!

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