Important Books by Black Authors

Today I want to take the opportunity to use my platform to showcase some amazing authors of color. I may not have a large following, yet, but I want to help any way I can. All of the books have links, so if any of them sound interesting, please check them out.

Friday BlackNana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Friday Balck is his debut novel and was named a “5 under 35” honoree by the National Book Foundation. This book is filled with satirical stories about the psychic and physical trauma of black life in America. It paints racism in a new light and is a must-read.

Wandering In Strange LandsMorgan Jerkins

This is Jerkin’s second book, and in it, she recreates her ancestor’s migration across the country.

Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid

This is Reid’s debut novel and immediately hit the New York Times bestsellers list. Emira Tucker, a young black woman, is accused of kidnapping when a security guard assumes she has abducted the white girl she is taking care of. You will get to experience the uncomfortable mess that Emira’s boss makes of the situation as well.

Well-Read Black Girl – Glory Edim

This is an inspiring collection of essays by black women and curated by Glory Edim.

I Almost Forgot About You – Terry McMillan

This book is from the same woman who brought you How Stella Got Her Groove Back. It is an inspiring story about a woman who shakes up her life to discover more meaning.

Loving Day – Mat Johnson

This book is hilarious and moving wrapped in one, just like it wraps the opposites in the world bound in love.

Behold The Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue

This is another debut novel. It deals with marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors within the American Dream. This is all about Cameroonian couple creating a new life in New York during the Great Recession.

Luster – Raven Leilani

This is Raven’s debut novel and is a sustaining coming of age story. Edie is a young painter who is stumbling through her 20s, making questionable decisions. She soon starts a relationship with an older man who is in an open marriage. He invites her to his home where she meets his adoptive daughter, Akila.

The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennet

This new book by Brit Bennet focuses on twin sisters who escape their black community in pursuit of two different futures. One sister gets pulled back to the black community while the other passes as white and hides her past from her husband. Their daughters cross paths, which forces them to explore any lingering trauma they may have from their past.

Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds

His book has been decorated with awards, for good reason. The entire novel takes place within 60-seconds as the narrator takes an elevator ride to meet his brother’s murderer with a gun tucked into his pants, and wrestles with whether or not he should kill the man.

Three Ways to Write Your Truth

My last post on writing your truth was a bit jumbled because I went into without a plan in mind. I knew I wanted to write about it, and I just started writing. Hopefully, you were still able to get something from it. I’m back again to talk about writing your truth. Here we are going to talk about three ways to make sure that you write your truth and not someone else’s.

In my opinion, the simplest definition of writing your truth is writing what you really want to write. Writing your truth isn’t something outlandish or some mysterious being that only a few can tap into. Writing your truth is something everybody has the ability to do, all it takes is some time and effort.

There is one hard part about writing your truth. You have to know you.

Find Out Your Beliefs

In order to write your truth, you have to know yourself. That’s the first thing in writing your truth. Know yourself. Take some time to sit down and write out the things you believe. Those are your truths. The things that you believe to be important in life. Not what other people tell you, but what you believe. These beliefs have been forming throughout your entire life. And whether you know it or not, you have been living your life based on these beliefs.

That’s the first thing you are going to do in order to write your truth. Take a moment, five to ten minutes, and write down a list of your beliefs. I don’t want superficial beliefs either. Nothing simple like I believe in God or I believe the sun is hot. I want specific beliefs. Things like people need to fight injustice, marriage should be between two people that love each other, people should be allowed to be whatever they want to be. I want you to go deep. Take some time to go do that now.

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I’m serious, write your list now.

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Welcome back. Now that you have your list of beliefs you now know the things that you should write about. While you can write about things that go against these beliefs, such as a person who isn’t necessarily religious could write a book that is religious in nature. But doing so is going to be very difficult.

It will take quite a bit of planning and forethought. You will find it very hard to embrace these truths because they aren’t yours. The only way to successfully write something that goes against your truths is to change your beliefs about them. But that’s a different subject.

Don’t Be Silent

The second thing is to stop silencing yourself. I’m a woman, so I can only speak from a woman’s perspective. Women tend to silence their selves more often. I could speak on why I think that is, but that’s not my point here. Many people will stop themselves from writing their truth because they think that it’s something that others don’t want to hear, or that they will be ridiculed for it.

They feel shameful for their truths, so they stop themselves from writing about it. Now, I want to explain that I am not telling you to be hurtful or mean to others. That’s wrong no matter what. (I’m pretty sure I put that in my last blog about writing your truth and is a boilerplate agreement from now on when talking about writing your truth. DON’T BE MEAN AND HURTFUL)

What I am telling you is to be nice in how you write your truth. No matter what it is, you can write your truth without hurting other people.

I know that this may seem like I am verging on a touchy subject, and I probably am, but it’s important that we talk about this. Writing your truth is the only way you are going to feel happy and comfortable with your writing, and, yes, it will likely upset somebody. But as long as you didn’t blatantly attack somebody or you weren’t outright mean, then you have nothing to be afraid of. I’m not here to talk about ethics, just the matter of not silencing yourself.

To recap, the second point is that you should not let society or others silence you just because you are afraid that they are going to judge you for it.

Be Vulnerable

The last tip is to be vulnerable. This will go hand in hand with the second tip because you are putting yourself out there to be judged, which is a vulnerable position. Vulnerability is the key to writing your truth. Which we will go in-depth on later on. All I am going to say right now is that if you don’t feel a little bit vulnerable when you are writing and putting yourself out there, then you are probably hiding at least part of your truth.

Remember, understand your beliefs, don’t silence yourself, and be vulnerable. Once you have accomplished those three things, you will be well on your way to writing your truth.

“Three things cannot be long hidden, the sun, the moon, and the truth.” – Buddha

FYI:

Grab your copy of Loved by Death on Amazon. Make sure you keep an eye on Loved by Death: Book One of The Wolfsbane Chronicles. You never know what kind of sale you might find.