The Jubilee Reader Issue 9 - January/February 2024

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The Jubilee Reader Recent books by African American writers, writers from the African diaspora, and on related topics. Issue 9 – January/February 2024


A Christmas to Remember by Beverly Jenkins

Accidentally in Love

When their long-awaited walk down the aisle hits a speed bump, a couple discovers their relationship isn’t the only one being tested.

by Danielle Jackson The office manager of a photography studio butts heads with a food truck owner and discovers that the Chicago heat is no match for their personal fire.

Coleman Hill by Kim Coleman Foote Drawing from the author’s own family legend, historical record, and imagination, this is the story of two families whose fates become intertwined in the wake of the Great Migration.

The Art of Desire

Company: Stories

by Selena Montgomery

by Shannon Sanders

Newly embarked on a writing career and having sworn off men, Alex Walton is caught off guard by a chance meeting with a handsome stranger, a mysterious obelisk, and a lost kingdom.

Told in 13 stories and spanning multiple decades, this multigenerational saga follows an African American family and their friends as they navigate the challenges and joys of life. Family Meal

Beyond the Door of No Return

by Bryan Washington

by David Diop

Haunted by the love of his life's ghost, a man returns to his hometown, where he reconnects with his former best friend and his family’s bakery.

A historical novel about a French botanist's search for a mysterious woman who escaped from slavery in Senegal. 1

Flipping Boxcars

Good Women: Stories

by Cedric Kyles

by Halle Hill

A gambler with a heart of gold and the gift of gab who's struggling to get by during the Great Depression endangers the little security his family has when he risks everything for one big score.

In this story collection, a woman meets her sugar daddy’s mother, a state fair worker considers revenge against a local preacher, and a sister helps her brother elope with his secret gay lover.

Forged By Blood

Harlem After Midnight

by Ehigbor Okosun

by Louise Hare

A young woman learning to control her powerful blood magic is forced to seek revenge when her misplaced trust results in her mother's death.

In this followup to Miss Aldridge Regrets, a woman who has left London for New York to find her extended family meets handsome musician Will Goodman who offers her a place to stay.

The Fraud by Zadie Smith

Her Own Happiness

In 1873 London, a woman becomes determined to find out if a lower-class butcher from Australia who claims he is the rightful heir of a sizable estate and title is really who he claims to be.

After she loses her apartment and job, a young woman finds a potential new future under the wing of an influential girlboss, but risks losing herself in the process.

by Eden Appiah-Kubi

Glory Be

Holler, Child: Stories

by Danielle Arceneaux

by LaToya Watkins This collection of short stories highlighting the lives of small-town Texans explores race, power, inequality, guilt, betrayal, and forgiveness.

A woman decides to investigate after learning that her best friend – a nun beloved by her Louisiana community – has died mysteriously and that the death has been ruled a suicide by the authorities.

Homeward by Angela Jackson-Brown In 1962, a woman pregnant with another man's baby returns to her Georgia home without her husband and becomes involved with the Civil Rights Movement. 2

Hook Shot

Let Us Descend

by Kennedy Ryan

by Jesmyn Ward

A single dad in the final years of his basketball career meets a 25-year-old force on the New York fashion scene who's reluctant to put her trust in a man – especially one who's 11 years older and her opposite in every way.

In the years before the Civil War, a woman sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her struggles through the miles-long march, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. The Light on Halsey Street

A House for Alice by Diana Evans

by Vanessa Miller

A family matriarch yearns to return to Nigeria to live out her final years, but her trip is complicated by her arguing daughters and a fire that kills her estranged husband.

Two girls' lives are irrevocably intertwined on the streets of Brooklyn during the summer of 1985, and neither will ever be the same in this decadesspanning coming-of-age story.

Hush Harbor by Anise Vance A resistance group that takes over an abandoned housing project after the murder of an unarmed Black teenager by the police must fight for its survival when a new mayor with ties to white supremacists tries to shut them down.

Liquid Snakes by Stephen Kearse Epidemiologists investigating the mysterious death of a high school girl are led to a biochemist-turned-coffee-shop-owner whose daily injections of lethal snake venom and manufacturing of designer drugs taints every person he touches.

Intermission by Phyllis Dixon The Diamonds, a 1990s girl band who broke up on the cusp of stardom, attempt a reunion, its members now grappling with secrets, unspoken betrayals, and mid-life crises.

The List

Kiss and Spell

by Yomi Adegoke

by Celestine Martin

A high-profile female journalist’s world is upended when her fiancé’s name turns up in a viral social media post.

While trying to get her magic back, a selfproclaimed Jersey Shore witch agrees to help Prince Xavier Alder break a curse, but finds their mutual (and inconvenient) attraction getting in the way. 3

by Temi Oh

Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror

Set in a near-future London where people have a small implant allowing access to social media as an augmented reality, the British government tilts towards dystopian overreach in the name of safety.

by Cadwell Turnbull An anthology of all-new stories of Black horror that explores not only the terrors of the supernatural, but the chilling reality of injustice that haunts our nation.

Murder in Drury Lane

The Referral Program

by Vanessa Riley

by Shamara Ray

When murder interrupts her attendance at a theater production, Lady Abigail Worthing launches her own investigation, but is dismayed to discover one suspect is a leading advocate for the cause dearest to her heart – the abolition of slavery.

Tired of being single, three successful, confident, and beautiful women in their midthirties develop a referral plan they hope will help them find Mr. Right.

More Perfect

The Reformatory by Tananarive Due

The Mystery at Dunvegan Castle

In the Jim Crow South, a 12-year-old boy who can see ghosts is sent to a reformatory where boys forced to work to remediate their socalled crimes have gone missing.

by T. L. Huchu In this third installment in the Edinburgh Nights series, a ghosttalker attending a magical convention at Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye investigates the murder of a librarian and the theft of a precious scroll.

The Secret to a Southern Wedding by Synithia Williams A woman is determined to derail her mother's marriage to a man she just met on a dating app, but finds herself falling for the man's son.

One Blood by Denene Millner When a woman who is about to become a mother learns that she was adopted, she realizes that she and her two mothers are due for an important reckoning.

Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor In this expanded edition of an early novel, a 15year-old with strange powers living in an era of tainted technology and mysterious mysticism goes after her father’s killer.


Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon


by Wole Talabi

by Teju Cole

Shigidi, a disgruntled nightmare god in the Orisha spirit company, and Nneoma, a sort-of succubus with a long and secretive past, are drawn into a web of revenge, spirit business, and a spectacular heist.

A West African photography teacher in New England reflects on the places and times of his life, from his West African upbringing to his current work as a teacher. Unrealistic Expectations

Small Worlds

by Andie J. Christopher

by Caleb Azumah Nelson

Dumped just before the publication of her new dating handbook, a relationship therapist fake dates an old crush to avoid the PR nightmare.

Over the course of three summers, a firstgeneration Londoner born to Ghanian immigrant parents chooses a path at odds with what his family expects of him.

The Unsettled by Ayana Mathis

Thank You For Sharing

A mother fights for her sanity and survival in the 1980s in racially and politically turbulent Philadelphia and in the tiny town of Bonaparte, Alabama.

by Rachel Runya Katz When they are forced to work together, two childhood friendsturned-enemies must confront their pasts to save their careers, all while trying to ignore their growing feelings for each other.

Vengeance Is Mine by Marie NDiaye Hired by a man she vaguely remembers to defend his wife, a quiet middle-aged lawyer must cope with unsettling memories that begin bubbling to the surface. You Make It Feel Like Christmas


Toni Shiloh

by Walter Mosley

Returning home for the holidays jobless and single to attend her sister's wedding, a woman connects with her brother's best friend and gives his struggling Christmas shop a makeover.

When he wakes up with the knowledge that humanity is a virus destined to destroy all existence and that he is its cure, a man uses his new physical strengths to defend his family – the only Black family in their neighborhood – against pure evil. 5


Sing a Black Girl's Song: The Unpublished Work of Ntozake Shange

Arts and Literature

by Ntozake Shange A collection of never-before-published poems, essays and plays by the award-winning American literary icon.

Black Love Letters by Cole Brown and Natalie Johnson A collection of letters and original illustrations on the subject of Black love.


The Color of Dance: A Celebration of Diversity and Inclusion in the World of Ballet

The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts: The True Story of The Bondwoman's Narrative

by Takiyah Wallace-McMillian

A study of the first Black female novelist and her life as an enslaved woman.

by Gregg A. Hecimovich

From the photographer behind the Instagram account Brown Girls Do Ballet, this coffeetable book showcases images of ballerinas of color of that reflect today’s dance world.

Ms. Davis: A Graphic Biography by Sybille Titeux de la Croix A graphic novel biography of the revolutionary Black activist, professor, and prison abolitionist Angela Davis.

The New Brownies' Book: A Love Letter to Black Families

Now Let Me Fly: A Portrait of Eugene Bullard

by Karida Brown

by Ronald Wimberly A graphic novel biography of Eugene Bullard, the first African American fighter pilot.

Featuring the work of more than 60 contemporary artists and writers, this title reimagines the very first publication created for African American children in 1920.

Tupac Shakur: The Authorized Biography by Staci Robinson More than a quarter of a century after his tragic death in 1996, this first-and-only Estateauthorized biography tells the powerful story of one of the greatest and most controversial artists of all time.


Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation

For The Culture: Phenomenal Black Women and Femmes in Food

by Tiya Miles Award-winning historian Miles profiles trailblazing women of all races in the 19th and 20th centuries who acted on their confidence in the natural world.

by Klancy Miller An anthology of the leading Black women and femmes shaping today’s food and hospitality landscape.

Business and Economics Gray Areas: How the Way We Work Perpetuates Racism and What We Can Do to Fix It

The Simple Art of Rice: Recipes From Around the World for the Heart of Your Table

by Adia Harvey Wingfield A leading sociologist looks at why racial inequality still exists in the workplace, despite the multibillion-dollar diversity industry’s efforts to fight it.

by J. J. Johnson Rice has been considered one of the world's most essential foods for centuries and the recipes in this book celebrate its history and versatility.

The Social Impact Advantage: Win Customers and Talent by Harnessing Your Business for Good

Simply West African: Easy, Joyful Recipes for Every Kitchen

by Tynesia Boyea-Robinson An expert in social impact for increased profits offers tools, resources, and insights to help navigate the modern business climate in an authentic way.

by Pierre Thiam A celebrated chef and West African cooking authority provides helpful tips and tricks that cover the basics of the cuisine through 80 easy, accessible recipes.

Cooking Bountiful Cooking: Wholesome Everyday Meals to Nourish You and Your Family


by Agatha Achindu

Black Friend: Essays

A certified nutritionist and wellness entrepreneur shares her culinary philosophies and 100 recipes for flavorful, nutrient-dense foods that can help prevent chronic diseases.

by Ziwe A talk show host who's an expert at making people squirm combines pop-culture commentary and personal stories that grapple with her (mis)understanding of identity. 7

The Black Angels: The Untold Story of the Nurses Who Helped Cure Tuberculosis

The Book of (More) Delights by Ross Gay

by Maria Smilios

A follow-up to 2022's The Book of Delights, essayist Ross Gay continues his on-going investigation of delight, joy, and connection.

The true story of the Black nurses who risked their lives while caring for New York City’s poorest citizens during the Great Depression and World War II.

The Loneliness Files: A Memoir in Essays by Athena Dixon

Flee North: A Forgotten Hero and the Fight for Freedom in Slavery's Borderland

In this exploration of what it means to be a body behind a screen in a hyper-online world, Dixon investigates the loneliness that technology cannot fill.

by Scott Shane An account of the abolitionist, liberator, and writer Thomas Smallwood, who bought his own freedom, led hundreds out of slavery, and named the Underground Railroad.

Opinions: A Decade of Arguments, Criticism, and Minding Other People's Business

The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination

by Roxane Gay In this new collection of genre-defying stories, Gay explores the meaning of “delight,” revealing how small, daily wonders connect us and give us meaning in these unsettling times.

by Stuart A. Reid Recounts the U.S.-sanctioned 1960 plot to assassinate Congolese politician Patrice Lumumba in order to head off the spread of communism in Africa – an act which paved the way for decades of horror under the rule of Joseph Mobutu.

History Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America

Unsung Patriots: African Americans in America's Wars

by Michael Harriot A columnist and political commentator presents a comprehensive appraisal of American history, in which the dominant narrative is directly confronted and corrected to showcase the perspectives and experiences of Black Americans.

by Eugene DeFriest Bétit A discussion of an overlooked part of military history: the role African Americans played in America’s wars. 8

Interior Design

First, Best: Lessons in Leadership and Legacy from Today's Civil Rights Movement

Flower Love: Lush Floral Arrangements for the Heart and Home

by Steven L. Reed

by Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht

The first Black mayor of Montgomery shares his story of making his way in a world that wasn't built for him, drawing on his rich heritage as the son of a civil rights leader.

The host of Netflix’s The Big Flower Fight offers a playful, approachable guide to a rainbow of flower arrangements.


Great Falls, MT: Fast Times, Post-Punk Weirdos, and a Tale of Coming Home Again

Before the Movement: The Hidden History of Black Civil Rights

by Reggie Watts

by Dylan C. Penningroth

Comedian, musician, and bandleader Watts takes us through his story, discussing the culture shock he experienced after moving from Europe to Montana.

A scholar draws on new research to demonstrate how Black people used the law to their advantage long before the Civil Rights Movement.

How Far to the Promised Land: One Black Family's Story of Hope and Survival in the American South

An Inconvenient Cop: My Fight to Change Policing in America by Edwin Raymond

by Esau McCaulley

The highest-ranking whistleblower in NYPD history exposes institutional violence and corruption, and presents a vision of radical hope and potential for change that could reform police departments across the country.

The author discusses his family’s search for meaning in the American South and the struggles to find a path to prosperity as a Black person born into poverty.


How to Say Babylon: A Memoir

Adversity for Sale: You Gotta Believe

by Safiya Sinclair

by Jeezy

The story of the author’s struggle to break free of her strict Rastafarian father, whose rigid beliefs, rage, and paranoia led to violence.

Rap star Jeezy relates how he beat the odds and got off the streets, and the lessons that changed his life and his business.


Leslie F*cking Jones: A Memoir Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin): A Memoir

by Leslie Jones One of America’s most beloved and plainspeaking superstars encourages others to let go of the fear and self-doubt holding them back in order to live a bigger life than ever imagined.

by Sly Stone Legendary rock star Stone relates the ups, downs, ins, and outs of his storied life, moving from his early life as a radio DJ to his successes as a musical pioneer.

Living My Best Life, Hun: Following Your Dreams is No Joke

Thicker Than Water: A Memoir

by London Hughes

by Kerry Washington

Comedian and Netflix star London Hughes talks about her life – how she got where she is and where she's headed.

Award-winning actor and activist Washington provides an intimate view into her public and private worlds, chronicling her life’s journey thus far, sharing how she discovered her truest self.

Lucky Me: A Memoir of Changing the Odds by Rich Paul

Up Home: One Girl's Journey

The founder and CEO of Klutch Sports Group recounts the chance meeting that changed everything, and shares the lessons about business, people, and values that he learned at each stage of his life.

by Ruth Simmons Both an origin story set in the segregated South and an uplifting story of girlhood, Simmons, the first Black president of an Ivy League university, depicts an era that is long gone, but whose legacies of inequality we still live with today.

Tell It Like It Is: My Story

Walk Through Fire: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Triumph

by Aaron Neville Sharing his story for the first time, the legendary singer recounts his struggles with poverty, racism, addiction, and loss, and how he was able to turn his life around through faith, family, and music.

by Sheila Johnson BET co-founder and billionaire Johnson recounts her life experiences, including marital abuse and the loss of a child.



Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman's Journey Through Depression

Activate Your Greatness

by Nana-Ama Danquah

by Alex Toussaint

A single mother recounts her experience with postpartum depression, and her journey finding and connecting with other Black women suffering from depression.

Peloton star Toussaint hops off the bike and gives readers the inspiration and motivation to activate greatness in every aspect of their lives. Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier

Worthy by Jada Pinkett Smith

by Oprah Winfrey & Arthur C. Brooks

Smith chronicles her life, from her rebellious youth to Hollywood success, from the depths of suicidal depression to the heights of selflove and spiritual healing.

Winfrey and Harvard professor Brooks provide emotional self-management tools designed to help readers take control of their lives, rather than hoping and waiting for their circumstances to improve.

Science by Imari Walker-Franklin

Failures of Forgiveness: What We Get Wrong and How to Do Better

A guide to the life cycle of plastics and their effects on our lives, the planet, and the future, with steps we can take to mitigate those effects.

Philosopher professor Cherry discusses forgiveness and how to deal properly with wrongdoing in our lives and the world.


by Myisha V. Cherry

To Infinity and Beyond: A Journey of Cosmic Discovery

Stay Sane in an Insane World: How to Control the Controllables and Thrive by Greg Harden Life coach and motivational speaker Harden provides practical advice to help readers live their best lives.

by Neil deGrasse Tyson Astrophysicist Tyson takes readers on a journey to the farthest reaches of the cosmos where, along the way, science greets pop culture as he explains the triumphs – and bloopers – in Hollywood’s blockbusters. 11

Social Science

Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates

Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal

by Katie Barnes An award-winning LGBTQ+ journalist traces the evolution of women’s sports, where equality and fairness have been fought over for generations, and discusses the controversy surrounding trans athletes.

by Bettina L. Love In this prequel to The New Jim Crow, the cofounder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network chronicles 40 years of educational reform and reveals its devastating effect on 25 black Americans caught in the intersection of economic gain and racist ideology.

The Real Hank Aaron: An Intimate Look at the Life and Legend of the Home Run King by Terence Moore

Social Justice Fallacies

A portrait of baseball star Hank Aaron that includes nearly 40 years of stories and insights about the former home run king.

by Thomas Sowell In this examination of the quest for social justice, Sowell argues that the social justice agenda has often led in the opposite direction, sometimes with catastrophic consequences.

Rocket Men: The Black Quarterbacks Who Revolutionized Pro Football by John Eisenberg


The definitive history of Black quarterbacks in the NFL – men who shaped not only the history of football, but the cause of civil rights in America.

Althea: The Life of Tennis Champion Althea Gibson by Sally H. Jacobs The story of Althea Gibson, the top-ranked female tennis player in the world in 1957 and 1958, and the first Black woman to join the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

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Coach Prime: Deion Sanders and the Making of Men by Jean-Jacques Taylor An in-depth look inside one season with Coach Deion Sanders that shows the heart, mind, and culture of America's most innovative football coach and his team of would-be champions. 12

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