Tuesday, November 6, 2018

10 Novels Releasing This Month by African-American Authors I'm Looking Forward To: Get Your One-Click Finger Ready!

Woman Wearing Pink Blazer, Pants and Green Heeled Shoes Holding Yellow Covered Book

I don't know about any of you but it is really difficult to narrow down new releases in African-American fiction. So I decided to make it a monthly, or weekly--or something thing (LOL) where I share the new releases that I find. All of the below are due out this month. I know I'll be grabbing up a bunch of these.

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1. Harlem by Eric Jerome Dickey-Out November 15th. Only available as an e-book.
“People called me Harlem. I dubbed myself after that dangerous neighborhood that I’d never seen. I read life is rough in Harlem, and a black man isn’t expected to live to see twenty-five. I was twenty-three. The clock was ticking.”


When Harlem gets off on a murder charge due to insanity, the asylum he’s sent to feels worse than death, with one exception: the beautiful nurse Daphane. As their relationship grows, so do the stakes: she has the ability to help him escape, and he has the ability to set her free from her abusive relationship. Yet Harlem has one big secret: he was perfectly sane when he committed his crime. But in the end, Daphane’s own secret may be the deadliest of all. . . .


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In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination. Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded city of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow south must figure out how to save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story “The City Born Great,” a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis’s soul.

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Always the optimist, TV assignment editor Allison Sullivan makes no excuses about the enthusiastic life she leads. As doors of opportunity present themselves, whether in her profession, in her love life, or her friendships, Allison is one to take the task on full speed ahead. But when Allison meets the man she’s investigated in person, the world around her seems to pause as she fumbles to recover from the dynamic energy that clings from him to her. She’s never felt desire forge so deeply within, and the chance at a clandestine meeting raises the stakes on an ensuing love affair. 


Award-winning film director Lance Valentine isn’t looking for love, but in the midst of filming a new motion picture, he meets Allison Sullivan in an impromptu dinner at the home he was raised in. At first sight, her beauty takes his breath away, and he finds himself unable to explain the flutter in his heart or the battle in his spirit at the crescent curve of her smile. Career driven and focused on building his empire, Lance has never taken a chance on anything other than his creativity. Until Allison. 



While neither of them is looking for romance, they’ll both soon find that an endless possibility of love is within their reach.


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Black girls are disappearing in suburban Atlanta and no one is paying attention…


Sick and troubled Atlanta housewife Tamara Johnston has spent years trying to forget her past, but when she learns four black girls have disappeared near her hometown, the memories haunt her once again. As a favor (and to exorcise her own demons), she agrees to help a journalist friend publicize the cases of the missing girls. Thanks to their efforts, the story goes viral and the police are forced to get involved. When bodies are discovered, the department sends local detective Barrington Dunn to calm the angry and grieving community.



But something is off. Barrington is a robbery detective who’s never worked a homicide and the department doesn’t seem serious about solving the murders. What’s worse, they’ve left him with only one good lead…a police sketch. And when it’s released to the media, Tamara’s world is turned upside down. 



The sketch looks like someone she knows. 



Now Tamara is convinced the murders are connected to horrific events from her childhood, and she’s certain she knows who did it. There’s only one problem: no one believes her. As she returns to her hometown to unravel the secrets and lies from her past, including her own, Detective Dunn must navigate racial politics, departmental sabotage, and his growing attraction to Tamara in order to catch a crafty serial killer before he kills again. And for Tamara, the shocking truth is worse than she could have imagined.

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They beat the odds and turned their lives around. But now three best friends will go head-to-head with ambition, deception--and each other . . .


Derrick. Ricky. Jamal. One's responsible; one's still a player; one's upwardly-mobile. Sentenced to the Branch Avenue Boys' Youth Institute at twelve, they grabbed the chance for better futures. They stayed tight even when their lives diverged--but the times . . . they are a-changing.
New deputy mayor Jamal is anti-corruption, which means severing ties with Ricky, now a "criminally-adjacent" businessman. But political power plays and unrequited love will lead Jamal to a lethal choice . . .  
Ricky doesn't mind running a front for DC's biggest drug dealer, but when he pursues a sexy customer at his strip club and discovers she's a cop, any wrong move could end Ricky's good times permanently . . .
Now the Institute's new leader, Derrick is torn between his job and his fiancée, Melissa. But when a cute new instructor who supports him and his mission arrives, he wonders if he should leave Melissa behind, not the Institute. However, this dilemma is nothing compared to a problem brewing right under his nose, and the fallout will strike at the heart of the three friends' bond--and put more than their survival on the line . . .

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From the author of Unicorn Smoke and the creator of the popular Twitter account by the same, Loud Ass Black People is a completely unapologetic personal take by Halsted Jones on blackness and the Black experience in America. Told through hilarious short stories and essays, the book is filled with laughs, colorful commentary, and craziness that will build camaraderie among kinfolk in a cover-to-cover masterpiece.

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Lita Payne is a thirty-something beautiful, successful and engaging urban professional in the beautiful city of Chicago. On the surface, Lita truly appears to have it all. Her husband is a handsome Senior Executive for a construction company making well over six figures but Lita is definitely successful in her own right as Senior Fundraising Coordinator for a non-profit. Lita has three beautiful children, an amazing condo, luxury cars, full bank accounts and exciting, loving friendships. Now that Lita is in her 30s, she’s starting to examine the lifestyle she’s chosen for herself and wonders if it really makes her happy. 


Even though Lita is very successful in her career, her passion has always been to start her own marketing and public relations firm but her husband is not in support of it. Lita also feels her marriage has been lacking the passion and intimacy she desires. Lita begins to question the future of her marriage and what seems like it’s out of the blue, she meets an intriguing man who challenges her on both a professional and personal level. This begins the start of Lita’s personal journey through discovering who she really is amidst the persona she’s so eloquently carved out for herself. Lita realizes that some of the challenges that are on the horizon for her causes her to seek various measures of coping, which in turn doesn’t always lead to the most desirable outcomes. 



Between launching a new business, marital discord, the destruction of a close friendship, grief and loss, and past family secrets, Lita begins to strip away the layers of herself in order to find out who she really is in Discovering Lita.

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8. Her Second Chance (A Sheppard's Place Novel) by Bette Ford- Out November 14th
A fiercely independent woman…
Trenna McAdams’s main goal in life is independence. After a tragic (and tragically wrong!) marriage, she’s finally realized her dream of running a prestigious preschool, bringing her closer than she ever thought possible to being truly happy. If only she wasn’t constantly distracted by the attentions of the charming, dynamic Darrin Morgan. Sure, she likes the way he fills out the shoulders of his custom-made suits, but there’re also those rumors in their office building about his womanizing ways. Surely, he could get any woman he wants. And Trenna isn’t interested in being a notch on anyone’sbedpost.


A successful, smooth-talking man…

Four years ago, Darrin Morgan’s life changed the moment he laid eyes on Trenna McAdams. With every fiber of his being, he knew she was the one for him. But she was a recent widow, and Darrin respected that. Now that he’s found out she’s dating again, he’s ready to show Trenna that he can be everything she’s ever wanted and everything she ever needed.



New Love or old entanglements…

Talented and confident, Morgan-Green’s top attorney is everything that Trenna can do without. Should do without. If only Darrin’s sweet-talk didn’t make her toes curl—or inspire other kinds of sensations too; emotions she never realized she could feel.



As she discovers Darrin’s true character, she becomes more and more enmeshed by his charm, strength, and compassion. But Trenna’s late husband proves to be as much of an obstacle to Trenna’s happily-ever-after as he was when he was alive. Can Trenna defeat her ghosts before she lets this second—and perhaps only—chance at true love pass her by?

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9. Becoming by Michelle Obama- Out November 13th
An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States.


In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. 



In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. 



Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

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10. The Black Market Kiki Swinson
Kiki Swinson’s bestselling “tension-packed” (Library Journal) and “unrelenting” (Publishers Weekly) novels burn with extraordinary characters, triple-down twists—and a raw portrait of Southern life only she can deliver. Now she turns up the heat as a young woman cashes in on a sure thing—only to find some addictions are always 
killer . . . 
 
 Break the rules
At first, med student Misty Heiress just wants to help. With her cousin Jillian in constant pain, and the doctor refusing to prescribe, Misty steals opioids from the Virginia Beach pharmacy where she works. But when Jillian starts reselling them to local dealers and gets big money, Misty grabs an unbelievable opportunity to get out of crushing debt—and fulfill all of her and Jillian's dreams . . .
 
Live the dream
Soon Misty's boss, Sanjay, learns the truth and wants in. In no time, their illegal business dominates the street—and racks up a fortune. But when demand quickly outstrips supply, Sanjay way overplays his hand—and the Feds come calling . . .
 
Pay the price
Now Sanjay is out to pin everything on Misty and walk away scot-free. Jillian is cracking under the strain of drug addiction. And as ruthless competition aims to take Misty and her accomplices out for good, deception, betrayal, and killer secrets may not be enough to keep them all from paying the ultimate price .
. .

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Zora & Me: The Cursed Ground: Zora Would Be Proud


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Zora & Me The Cursed Ground
Add to Your Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon

A powerful fictionalized account of Zora Neale Hurston's childhood adventures explores the idea of collective memory and the lingering effects of slavery.

"History ain't in a book, especially when it comes to folks like us. History is in the lives we lived and the stories we tell each other about those lives."

When Zora Neale Hurston and her best friend, Carrie Brown, discover that the town mute can speak after all, they think they've uncovered a big secret. But Mr. Polk's silence is just one piece of a larger puzzle that stretches back half a century to the tragic story of an enslaved girl named Lucia. As Zora's curiosity leads a reluctant Carrie deeper into the mystery, the story unfolds through alternating narratives. Lucia's struggle for freedom resonates through the years, threatening the future of America's first incorporated black township -- the hometown of author Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960). In a riveting coming-of-age tale, award-winning author T. R. Simon champions the strength of a people to stand up for justice.
 

Review 
4 out of 5 stars
Reading stories set during the time of slavery twists the stomach into a knot.

Though most of us have never and might never have to experience such a cruel era of servitude and dehumanization it’s a sore spot. A spot that smarts at the mere mention.

But it’s also a time to take it all in, a time to learn, and a time to understand. A time to come together mentally, and collectively.

Zora and Me and The Cursed Ground are a time-telling story of the slave era—told through the voice of a pre-teen girl who’s best friend happens to be the now illustrious Zora Neale Hurston.

Told in the juxtaposition of two different time eras, post and pre-slavery, there is a startling and searing similarity between the past and present. Effortless and seamless transitions between the times allowed for clutter-free reading. The author does a stellar job of weaving the two sides together as they eventually overlap but do so without stuttering about.

Beautifully written, and engaging, the reader will be enraptured in a world so far from their own but it will feel like it’s happening right in front of them like a 3-D film.

Thoroughly impressive and downright realistic, this book is a must-have.

The characters are rich and practically leaped off the page with life.

Enough can’t be said about the goodness of this novel—and readers will yearn for more adventures of these two girls—both young and old readers alike.

A solid piece of literature, worth buying!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Pride by Ibi Zoboi: The Book for Brown Girls


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Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Add to Your Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon

Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.
 

Review 
4.5 out of 5 stars
Pride is flavorful, a cornucopia of culture, a coming-of-age story with characters so well-developed they practically leaped off the page.

Zuri Benitez is just a girl with words in her heart, Brooklyn nestled in her veins and dreams bigger than the neighborhood she’s grown to love.

Zuri has lived in Bushwick all of her life, and everything is predictably comfortable. The bodega at the corner, the pastelitos her Mom makes, and the crazy overcrowdedness of sharing one room with three other sisters. 

That is until the Darcy’s move across the street--bringing with them a richness they’re not used to, and tossing up the life they’ve grown used to.

One brother, Ainsley catches the eye of her sister and the other brother, Darius—Darius is just a boy too rich for his own good—and not Zuri’s type at all. 

Though I would imagine this is not the version of Pride and Prejudice most are used to it’s a realistic cultured and flavored version this generation will understand and connect with.

Rich in culture this novel brings the reader directly into the neighborhood, bringing them along for a journey of growth, romance, and humor.

The characters are rich, lush and easy to like. Their backstories clash and come together in only a way a talented author can manage. For this reader, it was like coming home.

Stellar and engaging writing, lyrical in its delivery—proud and vibrant, Pride is perfect for young and old readers alike—and those perfectly nestled right in between.

With just the right touch of racial reality and gentrification realism, Pride delivers the city in a way not done before Poet X.

The world needs more Zuri’s with their tightly coiled Afros, rap-like poetry, sassy attitudes and their connections to the boroughs and cultures their very beings are tied into.

Outside of the hard-growing romance the novel also seeks to generate an understanding of African-based religious practices painting it in a colorful, and magical light—with the character Madrina.

It also does a great job of realistically portraying the class struggle of growing up rich while brown.
It tackles the misunderstandings of rich and poor in a neighborhood filled with brown people—and it does a stellar job at it. 

Zoboi is a clear talent, tackling topics others are too scared to touch and she does so with class and genius.

Readers will be left wanting more, of Zuri and Zoboi's writing.

Monday, October 29, 2018

A Wedding One Christmas by Therese Beharrie: A Romance Novel For The Grown & Sexy


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A Wedding One Christmas by Therese Beharrie
Add to Your Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon
Of all the weddings in all the world, Angie Roux had to be mistaken for a bridesmaid in this one.

Caledon, South Africa, is supposed to be just a stop on the way to Christmas in Cape Town, part of Angie’s long-avoided homecoming. She never expected to star in a bizarre comedy of errors, but here she is: convincing a handsome stranger to be her fake boyfriend for the day. 

Ezra Johnson, the handsome stranger in question, turns out to be a pleasant distraction from both the wedding and thoughts of her first family Christmas without her father. And he seems to loathe weddings just as much as she does. He’s the perfect temporary companion.

But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours. Including a connection so strong it tempts them both into thinking of something more permanent…

Review 
5 out of 5 stars
What a refreshing romance that perfectly balanced maturity and budding love. Perfect for readers looking for fictional relationships without all the fuss and childishness.

Imagine dreading going home for the holidays to the very family that you've spent the last couple of years running from--and running into the arms of a man you barely knew--to escape a never-ending wedding party, whose bridal party's clothing oddly matches your own.

The beginning of this novel gave me major Serendipity nostalgia. If you haven't seen that movie, do yourself a favor and watch.

I am a huge favor of happenstance, and destiny when it comes to romance. I absolutely adore the idea of characters having chance meetings and the author fully delving into that. 

This novel was my perfect balance--dialogue, banter, humor, an attractive couple, and the holidays. I LOVE the holidays. I'm the type that strings lights, bakes cookies, all the while twirling alone to music classics like 'Rocking Around The Christmas Tree.'

If you're not ready for the holidays, you will be. 

Angie is witty and clever. She's going through a lot but she manages not to tamper her own light. Ezra is intelligent and mature. He's open-minded and damaged but healing--but none of their issues interfere with the romance that grows between them.

This book is heavy on the dialogue--and though it might sound strange, all you want to do is hear them talk. When I realized how heavy the dialogue was, I was nervous it would do something bad to the story. But you won't get enough of Ezra and Angie. Everything that happens outside of them won't be as important as getting to know these two.

Expertly-written and thoroughly developed this is one of the better reads I've read this year, as it pertains to structure and the development of the characters.

Gosh, it's just a really great read with everything it needed to have, and nothing that it didn't.

It's amusing and romantic with a building spark that set the pages ablaze towards the end. Although I think mature readers will love this one, it's perfect for any romance lover, with an HEA that will warm your heart. 

I can't wait to see what else this author has to offer.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Great "Black" Read--100 Books by African American Authors You Need To Read Before You Die

Pile of Assorted Novel Books

The Great American Read List is cute but if I had my choice--these are the books I would have put on it. All of these writers are African American. This a list generated based solely off of my opinion. If there are other books by African American authors you feel should be on this list. DO NOT hesitate to share them, the more the merrier! They are in no particular order.

1. Native Son Richard Wright
2. True to the Game Teri Woods
3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou
4. Not Without Laughter Langston Hughes
5.Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
6.Between The World and Me Ta-Nehisi Coates
7. Manchild in The Promised Land Claude Brown
8. Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
9. Breath Eyes Memory Edwidge Danticat
10. The Souls of Black Folk W.E.B. Du Bois

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11. Kindred Octavia E. Butler
12. The New Jim Crow Michelle Alexander
13. Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
14. The Warmth of Other Suns Isabel Wilkerson
15. Black Boy Richard Wright
16. Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime J. California Cooper
17. Flyy Girl Omar Tyree
18. Devil in A Blue Dress Walter Mosley
19. Push Saphire
20. Tyler Johnson Was Here Jay Coles
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21. Long Way Down Jason Reynolds
22. If Beale Street Could Talk James Baldwin
23. Song of Solomon Toni Morrison
24. Dutch Teri Woods
25. Midnight Sister Souljah
26.Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dream Girl Sheryl Lee Ralph
27. You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have To Explain Phoebe Robinson
28. Up From Slavery Booker T. Washington
29. Ghost Boys Jewell Parker Rhodes
30. Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass

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31. Brown Girl Dreaming Jacqueline Woodson
32. Monster Walter Dean Myers
33. The Color Purple Alice Walker
34. The Sellout Paul Beatty
35. Monday's Not Coming Tiffany D. Jackson
36. Calling My Name Liara Tamani
37. The Autobiography of An Ex-Colored Man James Weldon Johnson
38. A Mercy Toni Morrison
39. Coffee Will Make You Black April Sinclair
40. Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self Danielle Evans
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41.The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl Issa Rae
42.Waiting To Exhale Terry McMillan
43.Little Leaders Bold Women in Black History Vashti Harrison
44. Sing Unburied Sing Jesmyn Ward
45.The Mis-Education of the Negro Carter G. Woodson
46. Born A Crime Trevor Noah
47. The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead
48. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
49. American Street Ibi Zoboi
50. The Skin I'm In Sharon G. Flake

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51. All American Boys Jason Reynolds
52. Roots Alex Haley
53. God Don't Like Ugly Mary Morrison
54. Piecing Me Together Renee Watson
55. Homegoing Yaa Gyasi
56. A Piece of Cake Cupcake Brown
57. The Coldest Winter Ever Sister Souljah
58. Your Blues Ain't Like Mine Bebe Moore Campell
59. Year of Yes Shonda Rhimes
60. Sister Sister Eric Jerome Dickey
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61. Invisible Life E. Lynn Harris
62. Letter To My Daughter Maya Angelou
63. Sula Toni Morrison
64. Ghost Jason Reynolds
65. Nappily Ever After Trisha Thomas
66. Silver Sparrow Tayari Jones
67. Electric Arches Eve L. Ewing
68. The Man in 3B Carl Weber
69. The Cutting Season Attica Locke
70. The Women of Brewster Place Gloria Naylor

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71. Second House From the Corner Sadeqa Johnson
72. Around The Way Girls La Jill Hunt
73. Bronx Masquerade Nikki Grimes
74. A Raisin in the Sun Lorraine Hansberry
75. We are Only Taking what We Need Stephanie Powell Watts
76. A Lesson before Dying Ernest J. Gaines
77. Happy To Be Nappy Bell Hooks
78. Woman, Thou Art Loosed T.D. Jakes
79. Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
80. How To Be Black Baratunde R. Thurston
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81. Salvage The Bones Jesmyn Ward
82. Mina's Joint Keisha Ervin
83. The Naked Truth Chunichi Knott
84. American Marriage Tayari Jones
85. Dreams From My Father Barack Obama
86. Zora and Me Victoria Bond, T.R. Smith
87. White Teeth Zadie Smith
88.The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X
89. Sister Betty God's Calling You Pat G'orge Walker
90.Love Honor or Stray E.N. Joy

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91. A Hero Ain't Nothin' But A Sandwich Alice Childress
92. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered suicide/when the rainbow is Enuf Ntozake Shange
93. Dear Martin Nic Stone
94. Hunger Roxanne Gay
95. Land of Shadows Rachell Howzell Hall
96. The Collected Poetry Nikki Giovanni
97. A Street in Bronzeville Gwendolyn Brooks
98.Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman
99.Dirty Red Vickie M. Stringer
100.Drinking Coffee Elsewhere ZZ Packer

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