Because Black Lives Matter, Read Black Authors
Yesterday I tweeted and said something that really resonated with me: Collections Have Consequences. What we buy, what we read, what we share – it all helps shape the narrative. Today I just want to uplift Black authors. Here are a collection of lists of YA books written by Black authors. If you buy books for a library, I challenge you to see how many of these books your library owns. If you parent or are a reader, see how many you have read or bought for the people in your life. And keep in mind, books by Black authors don’t always have to be about Black Lives Matter, because part of what we mean when we say that Black Lives Matter is that they matter every day, in every way. Black youth deserve to see themselves in every day stories full of joy, hope, and promise. And white readers, like me, need to read contemporary stories about Black life that normalize and celebrate every day Black joy. On Twitter yesterday I saw a Tweet by Christine Taylor-Butler that said, “in this time of stress people want to “flood” their kids with books about racism. Please provide 20 joyful books for every one book on racism. They also need to know POC kids are like every other kid.” This is really important for those of us who build collections to keep in mind always.
31 YA Books by Black Authors: https://www.buzzfeed.com/ehisosifo1/ya-books-by-black-authors-that-you-cant-miss-this-year
Diverse Meet Cutes: https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=meet-cutes-come-all-colors-YA-diversity-romance-POC
The YA Books by Black Women You Need to Read: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/04/228625/best-ya-books-by-black-women
Great Reads for Teens by African American Authors: https://www.bcls.lib.nj.us/great-books-teens-african-american-authors
YA Books by African American Authors: https://www.lapl.org/teens/books/african-american-literature-and-history-young-adults
YA Fiction by Black Authors: https://seattle.bibliocommons.com/list/share/1058529507/1132097257
If you have additional booklists to share or books to recommend, please leave a comment.
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About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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