The Jubilee Reader Recent books by African American writers, writers from the African diaspora, and on related topics. Issue 8 – November/December 2023
Blue Hour by Tiffany Clarke Harrison
And Then He Sang a Lullaby
Grieving a recent miscarriage and a police assault on one of her students, a woman ambivalent about motherhood is faced with a decision when she discovers that she is pregnant.
by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu A Nigerian man embarks on his first same-sex relationship and must learn to nurture the connection and protect his safety in the face of anti-gay legislation and increasing violence.
The Blue is Where God Lives
The Art of Scandal
by Sharon Sochil Washington
by Regina Black
A woman mourning the death of her daughter begins to receive visions of two women living almost a century earlier.
A woman who discovers that her mayor husband is having an affair but agrees to keep playing the ideal trophy wife stands to lose everything when she falls in love with an artist whose secrets may expose them all.
Butter: Novellas, Stories, and Fragments by Gayl Jones A collection of two novellas and ten stories exploring complex identities, from the author of Corregidora, The Healing, and Palmares. Can't Let Her Go
The Battle Drum
by Kianna Alexander
by Saara El-Arifi
Two members of the same friend squad in Austin, Texas, push past the boundaries of friendship and into something deeper.
Three women seek the truth of the empire’s past – a truth they discover may have the power to ignite a war. 1
by Remi Adeleke
by Jacqueline Crooks
A member of a special ops branch of the CIA hunts a former commando who is making a fortune by manipulating worldwide stock markets.
A young woman embarks on a transformative journey when she meets a carpenter who shares her Jamaican heritage.
The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa
by Colson Whitehead
by Stephen Buoro
The follow-up to Harlem Shuffle continues the story of furniture store owner and part-time fence Ray Carney in 1970s Harlem.
Falling in love with the first white girl he lays eyes on, Andy Africa, a 15-year-old in Kontagora, Nigeria, is forced to reckon with life on what he calls the Cursed Continent.
The Duchess Effect
The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store
by Tracey Livesay This sequel to American Royalty follows Danielle “Duchess” Nelson and reclusive Prince Jameson as they navigate their newly official relationship under the glaring spotlight of media scrutiny.
by James McBride When a skeleton is unearthed in a small, close-knit community, a cast of characters closely guard the secret about what happened and the part the town’s white establishment played in it.
Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo A woman who can predict the day someone will die decides to bring her family and community together by throwing herself a living wake.
The History of a Difficult Child by Mihret Sibhat
Fat Time and Other Stories
A tragicomic family saga set in a small Ethiopian town following the 1974 socialist revolution, told from the perspective of the youngest daughter of a large, formerly landowning family.
by Jeffery Renard Allen In this story collection about Black lives in the past, present and future, Jimi Hendrix, Jack Johnson, and a space-age Muhammad Ali are reimagined and transformed to bring us news of America in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Long Gone, Come Home
by Adorah Nworah
by Monica Chenault-Kilgore
Traveling from Lagos, Nigeria, to Sugar Land, Texas, Ikemefuna anticipates her newly arranged marriage and allAmerican life, but finds a demanding household and the constant scrutiny of her new in-laws.
After witnessing a murder in her hometown, a woman travels to Cincinnati, where she's plunged into the bustling jazz scene. Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan A college senior and an aspiring professional basketball player spend a memorable evening together. Will they be able to find a way to stay together?
I Am Ayah: The Way Home
The Love Script
by Donna Hill
by Toni Shiloh
A photographer on the run from her past must grapple with what she's left behind when her estranged father is hospitalized.
When a photo of a hair stylist and a Hollywood heartthrob goes viral, they find themselves in a fake relationship in order to save their careers.
An Island Princess Starts a Scandal
Murder is a Piece of Cake
by Adriana Herrera
by Valerie Burns
Enjoying one last summer of freedom before entering a loveless marriage, a woman accepts an invitation to show her paintings in Paris.
When a rival baker turns up dead, Maddy Montgomery must sift through the clues to catch a killer before her name is trending for murder.
The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan
The Museum of Ordinary People
An enemies-to-lovers romance featuring the son of an oil baron and a woman protesting the pipeline being built by his family.
by Mike Gayle A woman emptying her childhood home so that it can be sold after the death of her mother discovers an unusual archive of letters and photographs that help her unearth longburied secrets and stories that span generations and continents.
The Last Count of Monte Cristo by Ayize Jama-Everett A graphic novel retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo set in a dystopian future full of new technologies and culture.
by Peace Adzo Medie
by Ian K. Smith
When Selasi and Akorfa were young girls, they were more than just cousins; they were inseparable confidantes. Then Selasi begins to change, becoming hostile and quiet and losing interest in everything. The two become estranged, and it will be years before Akorfa learns what has happened.
Investigating the suspicious shooting of an unarmed black man by a white cop, a hugely popular evening news anchor creates powerful enemies and calls on private investigator Ashe Cayne to expose those behind the murder. The Peach Seed by Anita Gail Jones
Notes on Her Color
In this layered, generationsspanning story, an elderly farmer from Albany, Georgia, reunites with the woman he loved.
by Jennifer Neal After her mother is hospitalized for a mental health crisis, a young woman who has the ability to change the color of her skin is drawn to her piano instructor, who embodies everything she's missing in her life – creativity, confidence, and a nurturing sense of love. One Summer in Savannah
Play to Win
by Terah Shelton Harris
by Jodie Slaughter
A woman who left her Savannah home after the birth of her child must return and deal with her traumatic past when her father falls ill.
A winning lottery ticket could mean a brand new start for Miriam, but only if she can get her estranged husband to sign the divorce papers – too bad he's more interested in winning her back than the money she's offering him to leave.
The Other Mistress by Shanora Williams Adira has it all – except the answer to one tormenting question: why is attentive, affectionate Gabriel cheating on her? In a tricky twist, vengeful Jocelyn offers Adira the perfect plan to get her straying spouse back. Determined to reclaim her happiness, Adira doesn’t stop to think what could possibly go wrong.
Promise by Rachel Eliza Griffiths In 1957, in their adopted home town of Salt Point, Maine, two Black sisters entering adolescence are suddenly seen as threats by their white neighbors.
go to exact vengeance, free her sibling, and secure her homeland’s freedom.
Prophet by Sin Blaché A mysterious death involving a substance that weaponizes people's fondest memories sets two agents on the strangest mission of their lives.
Temple Folk by Aaliyah Bilal Short stories portraying black Muslims grappling with faith, family and freedom in America, with an eye for the contradictions between their professed beliefs and their actions.
Queen of Exiles by Vanessa Riley A fictionalized account of the life of Haiti's first and only queen, Marie-Louise Christophe, the wife and widow of Henry I.
The Time of Your Life by Sandra Kitt When her mentor dies and leaves his inheritance to her, law student Eden Marsh struggles to adjust to her newly wealthy life and her growing feelings for her mentor's estranged stepson.
Real Love by Rachel Lindsay A woman well on the way to achieving her life's goals begins to question everything, including her unexpected interest in her free-spirited sister's travel companion.
Trinity by Zelda Lockhart Lottie Rebecca Lee is spoken into the world by a Black nurse who declares, “Lord Jesus, if that ain't the blackest little baby born this side of heaven.” Later, Lottie will prove that she is the ancestors' promise to unearth the Mississippi and Ghanaian atrocities that have tormented generations of her family.
Return to Hummingbird Way by Reese Ryan Forced to work together to plan their best friends’ last-minute wedding, high school “hate crushes” fall victim to a matchmaking grandmother who knows they are perfect for one another.
Until I Met You by Amber Rose Gill Unexpectedly single, a free-spirited travel blogger meets a disillusioned corporate businessman in Tobago. As romance blossoms between them, secrets are revealed that jeopardize their new relationship.
The Splinter in the Sky by Kemi Ashing-Giwa When her lover is assassinated and her sibling is kidnapped, a woman learns just how far she’ll 5
What Never Happened by Rachel Howzell Hall
Arts & Literature
A woman who was the sole survivor of a home invasion twenty years ago uncovers secrets off the California coast.
The Art of Ruth E. Carter by Ruth E. Carter Carter shares her origin story, recounts anecdotes about dressing award-winning actors, and describes the passion for history that inspired her period pieces and her journey into Afrofuturism.
The Wishing Pool and Other Stories by Tananarive Due Short stories that walk the boundaries between horror, science fiction, and suspense.
As We See It: Artists Redefining Black Identity
Witness by Jamel Brinkley
by Aida Amoako
Ten NYC stories present portraits of families and friendships, set in neighborhoods where fortunes can be made and lost in a generation.
This work brings together image-makers who create visually refreshing narratives on Black cultural identities and explore what Blackness brings to the making and viewing of art.
Women of the Post by Joshunda Sanders
bell hooks: The Last Interview and Other Conversations
Inspired by true events, this book brings to life the heroines who served in the all-Black battalion of the Women's Army Corps in WWII.
by bell hooks A collection of interviews with the trailblazing author, feminist, social activist, cultural critic, and professor. How We Do It: Black Writers on Craft, Practice, and Skill
You've Been Served
by Jericho Brown
by Kristen Alicia
The director of the creative writing program at Emory University brings together interviews and essays by Black authors on how they “go about making what they make.”
Guided by the advice of a Magic 8 Ball, a woman abandons her career as a chef for law school in Michigan, where she finds a brutal winter, a hateful professor, and a highly kissable classmate.
Minor Notes, Volume I by Joshua Bennett and Jesse McCarthy
Anansi's Gold: The Man Who Looted the West, Outfoxed Washington, and Swindled the World
A new collection of classic works by Black poets whose work has been neglected and sometimes ignored.
by Yepoka Yeebo The true story of how a charismatic scammer deceived thousands of people worldwide, including officials and lawyers, when he claimed to hold a billion-dollar trust fund linked to Ghana’s former president.
Ode to Hip-Hop: 50 Albums That Define 50 Years of Trailblazing Music by Kiana Fitzgerald An illustrated anthology that chronicles hiphop’s journey, with profiles of 50 albums that have defined, explained, and transformed the genre.
August Wilson: A Life by Patti Hartigan This first authoritative biography of American playwright Wilson traces his life from his childhood in Pittsburgh to his work chronicling the trials and triumphs of the African American experience.
Please Wait By the Coatroom: Reconsidering Race and Identity in American Art by John Yau Essays discussing artists of color who have been misrepresented or overlooked by mainstream institutions and critics.
Black Founder: The Hidden Power of Being an Outsider
Relations: An Anthology of African and Diaspora Voices
by Stacy Spikes
by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
The award-winning entrepreneur and founder of MoviePass discusses his trailblazing path as a Black man in the word of tech, and how he used his status as an outsider to his advantage.
Stories, poems, and essays by writers from Africa and the diaspora, inviting connection across real and imagined borders. Video Game of the Year: A Year-By-Year Guide to the Best, Boldest, and Most Bizarre Games from Every Year Since 1977 by Jordan Minor Author and tech journalist Minor explores the development, reception, and legacy of the most innovative video games produced since 1977. 7
Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life in Music
Still We Rise: A Love Letter to the Southern Biscuit
by Henry Threadgill
by Erika Council
This autobiography from one of the towering figures of contemporary American music recalls his upbringing in Chicago, his family life and education, and his brilliant career in music.
A tribute to the glories of flour, butter and buttermilk baked tall and flaky, from the founder of Atlanta's Bomb Biscuit Company. Tekebash & Saba: Recipes and Stories from an East African Kitchen
Last on His Feet: Jack Johnson and the Battle of the Century
by Saba Alemayoh Mother and daughter authors share their story, their favorite recipes, and Ethiopian culture.
by Adrian Matejka This graphic biography depicts the fight between Jack Johnson, the world's first Black heavyweight champion, and Jim Jeffries, a former heavyweight champion then heralded as the “great white hope.”
Current Affairs Break the Wheel: Ending the Cycle of Police Violence by Keith Ellison The prosecutor in George Floyd's murder trial examines the difficulty of holding police officers accountable for their actions.
Stayed on Freedom: The Long History of Black Power Through One Family's Journey
Let This Radicalize You: Organizing and the Revolution of Reciprocal Care
by Dan Berger
Interviews with experienced organizers that serve as a resource for today's activists.
by Mariame Kaba
The story of Black Power activists Zoharah and Michael Simmons, who met in Atlanta and dedicated their lives to the fight for freedom.
Radical Inclusion: Seven Steps to Help You Create a More Just Workplace, Home, and World
by David Moinina Sengeh
Ed Mitchell's Barbeque
The author presents his seven principles intended to make our workplaces, homes, and communities happier and more just places for everyone.
by Ed Mitchell A North Carolina pitmaster celebrates the history and tradition of whole-hog barbeque. 8
and how people of color can live the fullness of their identities.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities' Guide to Excellence
In Our Shoes: On Being a Young Black Woman in Not-So “Post-Racial” America
by William R. Harvey An insider’s guide to achieving success at HBCUs, from the president of Hampton University.
by Brianna Holt A journalist's critique and memoir about the stereotypes and issues Black millennial women face in modern America.
Wannabe: Reckonings With the Pop Culture That Shapes Me
Dark Days: Fugitive Essays by Roger Reeves A fusion of memoir, theory, and criticism that seeks to find common purpose between Black and indigenous peoples, while reflecting on the new meanings of silence, protest, and freedom.
by Aisha Harris Harris mines the benchmarks of her 90s childhood to analyze the tropes that shape society.
Everybody Come Alive: A Memoir in Essays by Marcie Alvis-Walker
Essays on faith, family legacies, and being a Black woman in America, exploring how stories are rebuilt for future generations.
The Wealth Decision: 10 Simple Steps to Achieve Financial Freedom and Build Generational Wealth by Dominique Broadway
Fat Off, Fat On: A Big Bitch Manifesto
A roadmap for Millennials and Gen Zs to take control of their finances and become millionaires, based on simple steps and small decisions.
by Clarkisha Kent A cultural critic's memoir of navigating the world as a fat, Black, queer woman. I Won't Shut Up: Finding Your Voice When the World Tries to Silence You by Ally Henny A public theologian discusses the impact of racist power structures and cultural pressures 9
A Most Tolerant Little Town: The Explosive Beginning of School Desegregation
by Rachel Louise Martin
The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church
The story of the first school in the former Confederacy – Clinton High School, in Tennessee – to attempt court-ordered desegregation.
by Rachel L. Swarns Author and professor Swarns follows one family through nearly two centuries of indentured servitude and enslavement to uncover the origin story of the Catholic Church in the U.S.
Sleeping with the Ancestors: How I Followed the Footprints of Slavery
American Whitelash: A Changing Nation and the Cost of Progress
by Joseph McGill, Jr.
by Wesley Lowery
A historic preservationist and Civil War reenactor takes readers around the country, where he spends the night in former slave dwellings, hosting events and gatherings that provide a unique way to understand the often otherwise obscured and distorted history of slavery.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lowery charts the American cycle of racial progress and white backlash, and how the federal government has failed to intervene. Beyond the Shores: A History of African Americans Abroad by Tamara J. Walker Part historical exploration, part travel memoir, this book reveals the stories of a diverse group of African Americans who have left the United States over the course of the past century.
When Crack Was King: A People's History of a Misunderstood Era
The Black Reparations Project: A Handbook for Racial Justice
A journalist traces the path from Reagan's war on drugs to the brutal realities of today through the stories of men whose lives were shaped by the crack epidemic.
by Donovan X. Ramsey
A team of scholars catalog centuries of racial repression, violence, and mass incarceration, and offer direct guidance for implementing a reparations program.
My Sunday Best: Pearls of Wisdom, Wit, Grace, and Style
by La Verne Ford Wimberly
Congratulations, the Best is Over!
Photos and stories from the 82-year-old author and educator who became a viral sensation for posting weekly selfies in her Sunday finery.
by R. Eric Thomas A collection of essays about the author's experiences of returning to his hometown of Baltimore after spending decades away.
Never Forget Our People Were Always Free: A Parable of American Healing by Benjamin Todd Jealous
Go Back and Get It: A Memoir of Race, Inheritance, and Intergenerational Healing
Civil rights leader Jealous mixes biography, memoir, and history to teach about political collaboration and racial justice.
by Dionne Ford One-third of Black Americans descended from slavery are also the descendants of their ancestors' enslavers. While uncovering her own family tree, the author looks at how to heal from this intergenerational trauma.
A Place for Us: A Memoir by Brandon J. Wolf A survivor of the terror attack at Pulse nightclub presents a coming-of-age memoir about his childhood in a racist and homophobic rural community to his emergence as a LGBTQ+ activist.
Life on Other Planets: A Memoir of Finding My Place in the Universe by Aomawa Shields An astronomer, classically trained actor, mother, and Black woman in STEM searches for life in the universe while building a meaningful life on Earth.
Pulling the Chariot of the Sun: A Memoir of a Kidnapping
More Than I Imagined: What a Black Man Discovered about the White Mother He Never Knew
An award-winning poet recounts being kidnapped from his Black father and raised by his white supremacist grandparents until he finally discovered the truth, allowing him to finally reunite with his father.
by Shane McCrae
by John K. Blake The author's mother vanished from his life not long after his birth and her family rejected him because of his father's race. At 17, Blake had a surprise encounter that uncovered a disturbing family secret.
Sipping Dom Pérignon Through a Straw: Reimagining Success as a Disabled Achiever
What It Takes to Save a Life: A Veterinarian's Quest for Healing and Hope
by Eddie Ndopu
This memoir follows a struggling veterinarian’s nine-year journey caring for pets and their humans who are living on the streets.
by Kwane Stewart
A humanitarian's rousing memoir about being both profoundly disabled and profoundly successful without trading one for the other, written with his one good finger.
What You Don't Know Will Make a Whole New World: A Memoir
Sixty-One: Life Lessons from Papa, On and Off the Court
by Dorothy Lazard A coming-of-age memoir by a librarian and public historian, who moved from segregated 1960s St. Louis to the dynamic 1970s San Francisco Bay area.
by Chris Paul NBA superstar Paul discusses his foundation of faith and family and what it means to be a positive light in one's community.
When Your Back's Against the Wall: Fame, Football, and Lessons Learned Through a Lifetime of Adversity
The Talk by Darrin Bell
by Michael Oher
This graphic memoir by a Pulitzer Prize winner for Editorial Cartooning offers a personal meditation on the “the talk” parents must have with Black children about racism and the brutality that often accompanies it.
Inspiration and motivation on overcoming obstacles from the NFL champion whose life inspired The Blind Side.
Religion A Master Class on Being Human: A Black Christian and a Black Secular Humanist on Religion, Race, and Justice by Brad Ronnell Braxton Two theology professors present a dialogue on religion's place in public life, politics, and social justice movements.
Top Billin': Stories of Laughter, Lessons, and Triumph by Bill Bellamy The comedian and actor provides insights to his career and life, showing how he broke color and class barriers at MTV during one of the most exciting and innovative periods of 90s pop culture. 12
everyday setbacks are rooted in wounds from the past.
Life Beyond Likes: Logging Off Your Screen and Into Your Life
by Isa Watson Chemist and data scientist Watson discusses how to achieve a balance between online life and the real world.
Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class by Blair Murphy Kelley A historian illuminates the history of the Black working class in America through a narrative centered on her forebears.
Sisterhood Heals: The Transformative Power of Healing in Community by Joy Harden Bradford A psychologist and podcast host uses the concepts of group therapy to help women strengthen and repair friendships.
For The Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be by Marcus Collins The award-winning marketer behind some of the most famous ad campaigns of the last decade discusses how cultural engagement is the most powerful vehicle for influencing behavior.
Take Care by Chloé Pierre A wellness guide from the founder of thy.self that prioritizes Black women and their experiences, encouraging them to take time for self-care. Why Am I Like This?: How to Break Cycles, Heal from Trauma, and Restore Your Faith by Kobe Campbell A therapist marries theological training with therapeutic principles for insight into how
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