7 Books by Black authors that you should read right now

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

When I see a Black writer, editor, or publisher creating quality work, I make sure to put my coins there. In that vein, here are 7 books by Black authors that came out in 2017 that everyone should read.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is an award-winning, New York Times best-selling literary superstar. His latest offering Long Way Down is a creative and provocative peek into the mind of a young man as he takes an elevator ride in his building and contemplates killing the person who murdered his brother. Somehow, Reynolds turns 60 seconds into a book and soon it will be a movie. Singer John Legend is on board as a producer to turn the young adult fiction work into a film.

What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons

Heralded as one of the best debut novels of 2017, What We Lose is an elegant meditation on race, sex, and identity. Zinzi Clemmons’ writing is at once striking and tender. The story of a young woman finding her way through grief and unexpected life turns is an engaging journey for readers that will have wanting more from this debut novelist.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

Rivers Solomon’s debut novel An Unkindness of Ghosts is proof positive that the rich legacy of Octavia Butler lives on. This science fiction work takes place in a time when all of human life is aboard a spaceship and people have replicated the worst of Earth’s racist stratifications. Through revolutionary actions both quiet and violent, the protagonist (a Black woman) provides insight into human psychology and motivations that could be useful in today’s times.

We’re Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

Being Mary Jane star Gabrielle Union offers readers a passenger seat through a drive of her life with her memoir We’re Going To Need More Wine. This collection of autobiographical essays reveals a side of Union that makes readers feel like they have eavesdropped on a conversation she’s having with a girlfriend. At times funny and at times introspective, the book adds another dimension Union for her fans.

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates

With his powerful Atlantic essays and his non-fiction books, Ta-Nehisi Coates has firmly established himself as a contemporary American intellectual. With We Were Eight Years in Power, Coates provides a smoldering take on white supremacy, Barack Obama’s presidency, Donald Trump’s presidency, and what it all means for this country.

Piecing Me Together by Reneé Watson

Piecing Me Together from Reneé Watson offers readers a glimpse into the inner-thoughts of a teenage girl named Jade. Her witty insight into what it means and what it feels like to be “the Black girl” from a poor neighborhood being bussed to a private school full of well-off kids is beautifully written. It’s a compelling story with nuanced reflections on what happens when good intentions are not enough.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

Known for her Bitches Gotta Eat blog, Samantha Irby brings her acerbic wit to the forefront with her collection of essays We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. From health issues to awkward sexual encounters to feline relationships, Irby offers up more than a few laugh-out-loud moments. It’s a quick read and a welcome reprieve from the dour news cycle.