Reads for Black History Month

January 31, 2019

Black History Month is upon us and with it, the opportunity to pick up a great book by an African American author. The Chatfield College library has many books on African American history, and many by black authors – however a plethora of awesome titles are available to you through the SEO consortium and the Ohio Digital Library. From the recently released The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray to classics like Beloved by Toni Morrison and popular nonfiction books like Hidden Figures, the consortium has got you covered! You can order books online through our website with your student ID, or you can call, email, or stop by the circulation desk for assistance.

At the end of this post I will link several good articles with reading recommendations, but first here’s what’s on my to read list:


The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

This is a rom-com inspired novel featuring the ever popular “fake dating” turned real. Recommended to me by a coworker, she described it as a fun and quick read. And this is coming from a lady with a reading list a mile long and a tendency to drop a book the moment it loses her interest. This multicultural romance is the perfect pick for Valentine’s Day, and is at the top of my list. If you like this one, the author already has a second book out, with a third to follow later this year.   




The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi


This Young Adult novel is the first in a series that is sure to be a massive hit. According to Seira Wilson with the Amazon Book Review:  Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel is the start of what promises to be an epic, addictive new series. The Children of Blood and Bone is influenced by Adeyemi’s West African heritage, and in it she bends religious deities (the Orïsha) and a diverse landscape into a refreshing new take on fantasy. The Children of Blood and Bone is told from multiple points of view, as Inan and Amari, children of the iron-fisted king, and Zélie and Tzain, siblings who have suffered greatly under the king’s regime, find themselves on a dark, magic-filled quest for power. Their journey is accompanied by violence and betrayal, but friendship and even star-crossed love also play a part. Enriched with themes that resonate in today’s social and political landscape, The Children of Blood and Bone takes on injustice, discrimination, and a struggle for change. The action and danger ramp up with each chapter, and I found myself racing through the final pages, holding my breath right up to the cliffhanger ending.” According to a friend of mine, “Read it already.”


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


Now a movie starring Amandla Stenburg, The Hate U Give follows Starr Carter after she witnesses the killing of a friend by a white police officer. A fiction account of events that are far too real for many, this book is a timely and necessary read. Several friends of mine found the movie intense and moving, another found the book “heart wrenching and powerful”. The holds line on both the movie and book are long, so if you hope to read or watch it in February, you’d better reserve it through the consortium now. I’m on hold for the audiobook through the Ohio Digital Library.     



The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot


A couple of years ago, I was taking an exam in my Human Rights and the Judicial Process class… All was silent except the scrawl of pencils on paper, the ticking of the clock, and the tutting and gasping of my professor as he read this book while we tried to answer essay questions. While it was highly distracting, he can be forgiven –  by all accounts The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is the kind of book that elicits reaction. Both he, a retired human rights lawyer, and my mother, a nurse practitioner, feel it is a book that should be read by everyone in their respective professions. It is the most highly recommended book on my list and it is available at the library, so you should come pick it up before I do!


Here are some really good articles to further assist you in picking out just the right book!


These New and Upcoming Books by Black Authors Will Give You Life …


46 Books By Women of Color to Read in 2018 – Electric Literature

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