This guide is for black history fiction books. If you click on the title, you will be brought to our catalog. We have placed the call number next to each title and author for convenience.
All About Skin features twenty-seven stories by women writers of color whose short fiction has earned them a range of honors. The prose in this multicultural anthology addresses such themes as racial prejudice, media portrayal of beauty, and family relationships and spans genres from the comic and the surreal to startling realism. It demonstrates the power and range of some of the most exciting women writing short fiction today
"American Spy" by Lauren Wilkinson FIC BALDWIN
Inspired by true events--Thomas Sankara is known as "Africa's Che Guevara"-- American Spy knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance. This is a face of the Cold War you've never seen before, and it introduces a powerful new literary voice.
"Another Country" by James Baldwin FIC BALDWIN
Set in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and France, among other locales, Another Country is a novel of passions--sexual, racial, political, artistic--that is stunning for its emotional intensity and haunting sensuality, depicting men and women, blacks and whites, stripped of their masks of gender and race by love and hatred at the most elemental and sublime.
"Beloved" by Toni Morrison FIC MORRISON, Axis360
Sethe, an escaped slave living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter and mother-in-law, is haunted persistently by the ghost of the dead baby girl whom she sacrificed.
"The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison FIC MORRISON; CD FIC MORRISON; Axis360 eBook and eAudiobook
The Bluest Eye is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, a black girl in an America whose love for its blonde, blue-eyed children can devastate all others, who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different.
Coming of age during the 1960s, Stevie Stevenson's struggles with her parent's traditional values and her own awakening sexuality are further complicated by her high school's increasing political awareness and demonstrations for civil rights.
"The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas LT FIC THOMAS; Axis360 eBook and eAudiobook
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter lives in two worlds: her poor neighborhood and her suburban prep school. When she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend by a police officer, it becomes a national headline. Khalil was unarmed. Only one person knows what really happened. But what Starr says could upend her community -- and endanger her life.
"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett FIC STOCKETT; CD FIC STOCKETT
In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women--black and white, mothers and daughters--view one another.
"Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison FIC ELLISON, R
Ellison won the National Book Award for this searing record of a black man's journey through contemporary America. Unquestionably, Ellison's book is a work of extraordinary intensity--powerfully imagined and written with a savage, wryly humorous gusto.
"Kindred" by Octavia Butler FIC BUTLER; Axis 360 eBook
Dana, a black woman, finds herself repeatedly transported to the antebellum South, where she must make sure that Rufus, the plantation owner's son, survives to father Dana's ancestor.
Octavia E. Butler's bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred , now in graphic novel format.
"The Last Thing You Surrender" by Leonard Pitts FIC PITTS; Hoopla eBook and eAudiobook
A historical novel of race and war that follows three characters from the Jim Crow South as they face the enormous changes World War II triggers in the United States
"Native Son" by Richard Wright FIC WRIGHT; Hoopla eAudiobook
Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape.
"The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead FIC WHITEHEAD; CD FIC Whitehead; Axis360 eAudiobook
Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future.
"Push" by Sapphire FIC SAPPHIRE
For Precious Jones, 16 and pregnant with her father's child, miraculous hope appears and the world begins to open up for her when a courageous, determined teacher bullies, cajoles, and inspires her to learn to read, to define her own feelings and set them down in a diary.
"Quicksand" by Nella Larsen FIC LARSEN, N; Hoopla eBook and eAudiobook
Born to a white mother and an absent black father, and despised for her dark skin, Helga Crane has long had to fend for herself. As a young woman, Helga teaches at an all-black school in the South, but even here she feels different.
A white family from a notoriously racist neighborhood in the suburbs and a black family from its poorest ward cross Houston''s color line, overcoming humiliation, degradation, and violence to win the freedom of five black college students unjustly charged with the murder of a policeman.
"Sing, Unburied, Sing" by Jesmyn Ward FIC WARD; CD FIC WARD; LT FIC WARD; Axis 360 eBook and eAudiobook
Jojo, 13, and his 3-year-old sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, while their mother, Leonie, struggles with drug addiction and her failures as a daughter, mother, and inheritor of a gift (or curse) that connects her to spirits. Leonie insists that Jojo and Kayla accompany her on a two-day journey to the infamous Parchman prison to retrieve their white father.
"Song Yet Sung" by James McBridge FIC MCBRIDE
A rich historical novel, set in the slave-owning period in the US. Liz, a young runaway with odd dreams, accidentally inspires a breakout from the prison of a notorious slaver, Patty Cannon.
"Sula" by Toni Morrison FIC MORRISON; Axis360 eBook and eAudiobook
Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Their devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret. It endures even after Nel has grown up to be a pillar of the black community and Sula has become a pariah. But their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal--or does it end?
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead FIC WHITEHEAD; CD FIC WHITEHEAD; LT FIC WHITEHEAD; Axis360 eBook and eAudiobook
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
Last updated: April 16, 2020