Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole 

Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole

Sofronia Wallis knows that proper Black women don’t court trouble by upending the status quo, but it’s 1961 and the Civil Rights movement is in full swing. Sofie’s spent half her life being prim, proper, and reserved—as if that could bring her mother back—but the nonviolent protests happening across the South bring out her inner agitator.

Ivan Friedman has devoted his life to boxing, loving the finesse of a well-delivered punch… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Slut shaming
  • Antisemitism & antisemitic slurs
  • Racism & white supremacy
  • Abortion & miscarriage mentioned
  • Cancer
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • The Holocaust mentioned
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Black Birds in the Sky by Brandy Colbert

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert

In the early morning of June 1, 1921, a white mob marched across the train tracks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and into its predominantly Black Greenwood District—a thriving, affluent neighbourhood known as America’s Black Wall Street. They brought with them firearms, gasoline, and explosives.

In a few short hours, they’d razed thirty-five square blocks to the ground, leaving hundreds dead. The Tulsa Race Massacre is one of the most devastating acts of racial violence in US history. But how did it come to pass? What exactly happened? And why are the events unknown to so many of us today?

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Racism & racial profiling
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a brother in a gang shooting recounted
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The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand by Stephen King

A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world’s population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge—Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious “Dark Man,” who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them—and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Ableist language
  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Rape
  • Suicide
  • Abortion discussed
  • Dead bodies
  • Murder
  • Graphic gun violence
  • Suffocation
  • White supremacy & the KKK mentioned

Forever This Summer by Leslie Youngblood 

Forever This Summer by Leslie C. Youngblood

Georgie has no idea what to expect when she, Mama, and Peaches are plopped down in the middle of small-town USA–aka Bogalusa, Louisiana–where Mama grew up and Great Aunt Vie needs constant care.
 
Georgie wants to help out at the once famous family diner that served celebrities like the Jackson 5 and the Supremes, but everyone is too busy to show her the ropes and Mama is treating her like a baby, not letting her leave her sight. When she finally gets permission to leave on her own, Georgie makes friends with Markie–a foster kid who’d been under Aunt Elvie’s care–who has a limb difference and a huge attitude… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Mentions of the Ku Klux Klan

The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes

The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes and illustrated by DJ Kirkland

When St. Ivory Academy, a historically white wizarding school, opens its doors to its first-ever black student, everyone believes that the wizarding community is finally taking its first crucial steps toward inclusivity. Or is it? When Tom Token, the beneficiary of the school’s “Magical Minority Initiative,” begins uncovering weird clues and receiving creepy texts on his phone, he and his friend, Lindsay, stumble into a conspiracy that dates all the way back to the American Civil War, and could cost Tom his very soul.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism (theme)
  • Klu Klux Klan, on-page
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Cults
  • War themes recounted
  • Bullying
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Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

There’s nothing like a Black salesman on a mission.

An unambitious twenty-two-year-old, Darren lives in a Bed-Stuy brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential as the valedictorian of Bronx Science. But Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building, hanging out with his girlfriend, Soraya, and eating his mother’s home-cooked meals. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of Sumwun… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & white supremacy
  • Murder
  • Bullying
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s seven volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope and joy, achievement and celebration. In this first volume of her autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evoker her childhood with her grandmother in the American South of the 1930s. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother’s lover. 

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • White supremacy & mentions of the Klu Klux Klan
  • Sexism
  • Rape of a child
  • Sexual assault
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Dead body
  • Murder
  • Physical assault
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The Awakening of Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D Jackson

The Awakening of Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz & Tiffany D. Jackson

No one can be at peace until he has his freedom.

In Charlestown Prison, Malcolm Little struggles with the weight of his past. Plagued by nightmares, Malcolm drifts through days unsure of his future. Slowly, he befriends other prisoners and writes to his family. He reads all the books in the prison library, joins the debate team and the Nation of Islam. Malcolm grapples with race, politics, religion, and justice in the 1940s. And as his time in jail comes to an end, he begins to awaken — emerging from prison more than just Malcolm Little: Now, he is Malcolm X.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & white supremacy
  • Suicide mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Police brutality
  • Death row executions mentioned
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Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin

Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin

What will become of our self-destructed planet

An explorer returns to gather information from a climate-ravaged Earth that his ancestors, and others among the planet’s finest, fled centuries ago. The mission comes with a warning: a graveyard world awaits him. But so do those left behind—hopeless and unbeautiful wastes of humanity who should have died out eons ago. After all this time, there’s no telling how they’ve devolved. Steel yourself, soldier. Get in. Get out. And try not to stare.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia
  • Racism & white supremacy
  • Misogyny
  • Eugenics
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Take Down by Jess Anastasi

Take Down by Jess Anastasi

Attraction sizzles when Danny Jones sets eyes on Deputy Jake Perez, despite meeting over the discovery of a mutilated corpse. But being with Jake could cost Danny his family, and being with Danny could cost Jake the very thing that brought him to Everness, Texas—revenge against the man who killed his brother. How much will Jake sacrifice to take down a psychotic criminal and finally see justice served?

After college, Danny thrived as a gay man in Houston. But when his mom’s cancer brings him back to small, conservative Everness, he must go back into the closet or risk the wrath of his abusive father—a choice made even harder when Danny starts to see a future for him and Jake… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & white supremacy mentioned
  • Homomisia
  • Outing
  • Physical & verbal parental abuse
  • Parent with breast cancer
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a brother
  • Murder
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