The Jubilee Reader Issue 11 - May/June 2024

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The Jubilee Reader

Recent books by African American writers, writers from the African diaspora, and on related topics.

Issue 11 • May/June 2024


Acts of Forgiveness

A single mother trying to prove she is descended from slaves in order to participate in the nation’s first federal reparations program is surprised when her family blocks her from exploring their ancestry and secrets.

The American Queen

The American Daughters

A woman enslaved to a businessman in the French Quarter of New Orleans meets a free Black woman who invites her to join a society of spies called the Daughters, setting her on a journey toward liberation.

Boys in the Club

The Blueprint

Set in an alternate U.S. where an algorithm determines a Black woman’s occupation, spouse, and residence, a young woman becomes the concubine of a white government official and forms a dangerous bond with him.

Losing themselves in their club personas to escape the pressures of life, four Black gay men find their excessive partying leading to bad decisions that could ruin their lives.

Brooklyn by

Based on true events, this novel set in the 1860s South follows an enslaved woman who marries a reverend and leads an exodus from the plantation, starting her own self-proclaimed kingdom.

Around the Way Girls 12

In these two stories, a woman accidentally becomes involved in a drug deal gone wrong, and a young woman who graduated at the top of her high school class decides she wants to lose her virginity to a local rapper.

A Manhattan hustler, master manipulator, and serial survivor recounts, while dying, the events that made her into the ruthless person she became.

Coconut Drop Dead

Brooklyn’s annual Caribbean American Heritage Festival is cut short when the lead singer of an upand-coming reggae band dies under mysterious circumstances that are soon investigated by a bakery owner/amateur detective.

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Come and Get It

A university student’s new side hustle is jeopardized by strange new friends and illicit and vengeful dorm antics.

A Dark Place

A struggling, disenfranchised man discovers he cannot turn his back on the problems of his former community, despite his desperation to leave it firmly in his past.

Dead in Long Beach, California

A successful yet lonely author who discovers the body of her brother grows increasingly untethered from reality and begins responding to texts as her late sibling.

Dixon, Descending

A former Olympic-level runner working as a school psychologist abandons his family and students to join his brother on a quest to be the first Black American men to summit Mount Everest, resulting in a tragedy that shatters his life.

Frenemy Fix-Up


Forced into the terrifying wilderness beyond their homeland’s borders, an elven warrior and her prophet sister encounter the Fae court.

The Gardins of Edin

Four women from the same family who live side-byside in Edin, Georgia, fight to preserve their legacy, heal their wounds, and move forward together.

Girls With Bad Reputations

An aspiring rock drummer and her new tour bus driver — recently released from prison for a crime he didn’t commit — have their secrets exposed in this follow-up to The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes

The House of Plain Truth

A woman returns to her childhood home in Jamaica when she learns her father is dying, and is puzzled by his deathbed wish that she find her siblings and discover the secret that tore her family apart.

I Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both: A Novel, or an Annotated Mixtape

After a decade of estrangement, a woman who receives an invitation from a former best friend to a party for her newly adopted daughter weighs the risks and rewards of attending.

I’m Not Superwoman

A corporate workaholic facing a health scare asks a former high school classmate and current yoga studio owner to help him get into shape and win back the one who got away.

A woman studying to be a doctor at Clark Atlanta University struggles to make her grades while her roommate spirals out of control and puts her in difficult, compromising positions that threaten to end her dreams.

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Kinning by

Two siblings traveling the world via aircanoe spread spores of a mysterious empathy-generating fungus that build bonds between people.

Lore of the Wilds

When her village is threatened, a young woman makes a devil’s bargain with a Fae lord and is forced to rely on two very different, dangerous, and attractive Fae males to survive.

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde

Leaving behind her socialite family in Atlanta, a woman moves to New York to open a flower shop as the Harlem Renaissance swirls around her.

The Mayor of Maxwell Street

In 1921 Chicago, a wealthy young woman works with the low-level manager of the city’s swankiest speakeasy to identify the head of an underground crime syndicate.

A Motive for Murder

Convinced that the American partner of an Albanian mafia organization has murdered her friend, a young woman enlists the aid of another friend to maintain a fragile peace while she investigates.

Neighbors and Other Stories

Set during the 1950s and 1960s, this story collection follows a group of characters as they confront the dangers of Jim Crow racism.

The Partner Plot

Ours by

Sweeping through 1830s Arkansas to rescue enslaved people, a fearsome conjuror creates a town magically concealed from outsiders.

When a successful celebrity stylist and her high school boyfriend wake up married after hooking up in Vegas, they get an unexpected second shot at happily ever after.

The Queen of Sugar Hill: A Novel of Hattie McDaniel

A novelization of the complicated, pioneering life of Hattie McDaniel, the first African American woman to win an Academy Award.

Redwood Court by

A young woman learns important lessons from her family and her all-Black South Carolina community, who are committed to fostering joy and love in an America insistent on seeing Black people stumble and fall.

Sex, Lies and Sensibility

Left with nothing but a rustic inn in the middle of nowhere after their father’s death, two sisters must revamp the inn or lose it, a project which pits them against an eco-tour guide determined to see them fail.

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Silent Judgment

When a feared street executioner is ordered to protect a conservative Black TV personality who has been receiving death threats, he is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy and must fight his personal demons to survive.

Smoke Kings

After his cousin is murdered, an activist and three grief-stricken friends kidnap the descendants of longago perpetrators of hate crimes, forcing them to pay reparations to a community fund... until he confronts the wrong man.

Stuck On You

A man in an unhappy marriage to his high school sweetheart enrolls in college, hoping for a fresh start, and meets a woman who gives him a new lease on life.

Sugar, Baby

A young woman who moves in with a model who dates rich older men for their money is drawn into the world of high-paid sex work.

That Time I Got Drunk And Saved a Demon

After saving the fiery demon Fallon, spice trader Cinnamon finds her quiet life turned upside down when he drags her along on his quest to kill the witch enslaving his people.

Womb City

After a drug-fueled evening causes her to commit a desperate crime, a young woman must unravel a political conspiracy while the ghost of her victim hunts down the people she loves.


Arts and Literature

Black Caesars and Foxy Cleopatras: A History of Blaxploitation Cinema

The chief film critic of the Boston Globe presents a definitive history of 1970s Blaxploitation cinema and reappraises the lasting cultural impact and significance of the genre’s films.

Blackbirds Singing: Inspiring Black Women’s Speeches from the Civil War to the Twenty-First Century

This collection of speeches by African American women features contributions from such trailblazers as Harriet Tubman, Barbara Lee, Josephine Baker, and Barbara Jordan.

First Things First: Hip-Hop Ladies Who Changed the Game

This reframed hip-hop history focuses on the notable firsts of female artists such as Lauryn Hill, who made history as the first rapper to win an Album of the Year Grammy.

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Scratchin’ and Survivin’: Hustle Economics and the Black Sitcoms of Tandem Productions

A behind-the-scenes history of Tandem Productions, the company behind nearly all of the hit Black sitcoms of the 1970s, including Good Times, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, and Diff’rent Strokes

This is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets

A poetry anthology featuring works from the most prominent and promising Black poets and writers of our time.


John Lewis: In Search of the Beloved Community

The first full-length biography of Civil Rights hero and congressman John Lewis.

Nina Simone in Comics

A graphic novel biography of pianist, singer, and civil rights icon Simone.


Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes From Five Generations of Black Country Cooks

In this memoir/cookbook hybrid exploring the heritage of Black Appalachia, an O. Henry Prize-winning writer shares family recipes, family photos, and family stories.

The Vegan Baby: Cookbook

and Guide

Environmental activist and vegan mother Nsonwu provides recipes for plant-based food for toddlers and babies, as well as discussing the benefits of veganism and navigating veganism in school and social settings.


F the Fairy Tale: Rewrite the Dating Myths and Live Your Own Love Story

Celebrity dating coach Hoffman dismantles longheld myths that can prevent finding lasting love and provides ways to escape ideas such as instant love and finding “the One.”


HBCU Made: A Celebration of the Black College Experience

A collection of essays celebrating historically Black colleges and universities, featuring contributions from alumni such as Oprah Winfrey, Stacey Abrams, and Branford Marsalis.

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Your First Million: Why You Don’t Have to be Born into a Legacy of Wealth to Leave One Behind

Entrepreneur and investor Hamilton discusses how anyone — no matter what they look like or how much money they have — can tap into the tools already at their disposal to get their million-dollar idea off the ground.


Madness: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum

Tracing the legacy of slavery to the treatment of Black bodies and minds in the United States’ current healthcare system, Emmy award-winning journalist Hylton tells the history of Crownsville Hospital, one of the nation’s last segregated asylums.

Medgar & Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America

This account of the lives of civil rights icons Medgar and Myrlie Evers recounts their relationship and the work that went into winning basic rights for Black Americans.

Radical Reparations: Healing the Soul of a Nation

By reimagining reparations, the social justice pioneer and inventor of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter offers a unifying and unconventional framework for achieving holistic and comprehensive healing of African American communities.

The Stolen Wealth of Slavery: A Case for Reparations

An Emmy-nominated journalist follows the trail of the massive wealth amassed by Northern corporations throughout America’s history of enslavement, showcasing what was stolen, who stole it, and to whom it is owed.

The Survivors of the Clotilda: The Lost Stories of the Last Captives of the American Slave Trade

A history of the Clotilda, the last slave ship to land on U.S. soil, told through the stories of its survivors — the last documented survivors of any slave ship — whose lives diverged and intersected in profound ways.


American Negra: A Memoir

Journalist Alford recalls growing up as the daughter of an African American father and Puerto Rican mother in upstate New York and the challenges she faced as a multiracial woman.

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Hello, Friends!: Stories of Dating, Destiny & Day Jobs

The up-and-coming comedy star and Daily Show correspondent reflects on her life in essays that chronicle her journey from an Atlanta childhood to standup comedy and acting.

How to Live Free in a Dangerous World: A Decolonial Memoir

In a series of essays, poet and journalist Lawson tracks their global journey to find beauty in tumultuous times, while disrupting the traditional constraints of race, gender, and disability.

Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine

In this memoir and call to action, a physician and thought leader on bias and racism in healthcare explores the race-based inequities of the American healthcare system.

Muse: Cicely Tyson and Me by B Michael

A photographic memoir that pays homage to the lifelong friendship between Cicely Tyson and fashion designer B Michael.

Ten Bridges I’ve Burnt: A Memoir in Verse

A memoir in verse from the author of 100 Boyfriends.

What Have We Here: Portraits of a Life

Recalling his remarkable life, stage and screen legend Williams recounts how he became a pop culture icon.

Personal Finance

Bounce Back: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Resilience

Veteran financial coach Khalfani-Cox explains how she erased $100,000 in consumer debt in three years and went on to build a seven-figure fortune.


The Grift: The Downward Spiral of Black Republicans From the Party of Lincoln to the Cult of Trump

Award-winning journalist and SiriusXM radio host Cane examines how Black Republicans who were once revolutionaries have attempted to gain power by aligning themselves with white supremacy.


Break the Cycle: A Guide to Healing Intergenerational Trauma

A trauma psychologist, professor, and sound bath meditation healer offers scientific research and practical exercises to help address the pain of unhealed emotions and inherited trauma.

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Dear Black Girls: How to Be True to You

Olympic gold medalist and professional basketball MVP Wilson explores what it means to be a Black woman in America today.

I Did a New Thing: 30 Days to Living Free

Actress and social media personality Brown provides an inspirational guide for encouraging positive life changes, one day and one challenge at a time.

On Thriving: Harnessing Joy Through Life’s Great Labors

Drawing from her experiences as a doula, the author explores what she calls the four great labors of life, inviting readers to investigate their past and present to gather all that is needed to thrive in the now.

Social Science

Be a Revolution

A look at the current state of anti-racist activism across America, from the best-selling author of So You Want to Talk About Race and Mediocre.

Black Women, Ivory Tower: Revealing the Lies of White Supremacy in American Education

An examination of the day-to-day impact of racism in education on Black women as individuals, the longerterm consequences to their personal and professional lives, and the generational costs to their families.

Black Women Taught Us: An Intimate History of Black Feminism

This collection of 11 essays explores the legacy of Black women writers and leaders, and repositions their work at the center of today’s liberation movements.

The End of Love: Racism, Sexism, and the Death of Romance

An exploration of the racial origins of toxic masculinity and its impact on women — in particular, Black and “insufficiently white” women.

Not My Type: Automating Sexual Racism in Online Dating

The author looks at the algorithms used by online dating platforms, the legal and ethical discourse in their community guidelines, and accounts from individual users to argue that sexual racism is a central feature of today’s online dating culture.

Our Hidden Conversations: What Americans Really Think About Race and Identity

Peabody Award-winning journalist Norris presents stories, essays, and photographs that provide a window into America during a tumultuous era.

Race Rules: What Your Black Friend Won’t Tell You

Presented as a series of rules about race, this book addresses topics such as racial blinders and white privilege that many people of color wish white people understood.

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White Supremacy is All Around: Notes from a Black Disabled Woman in a White World

Drawing from her life experiences and work helping brands build inclusive cultures that foster belonging, the founder of Change Cadet explores the work required to combat structural oppression and dismantle white supremacy.

Why Does Everything Have to Be About Race?

Best-selling author and former CNN commentator Boykin addresses 25 of the most widespread deceptions about race, and discusses how to refute lies, myths, and misinformation with history, knowledge, and truth.


The Tigerbelles: Olympic Legends from Tennessee State

The story of the 1960 Tennessee State University all-Black women’s track team, which found Olympic glory at the 1960 games in Rome.

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