12 Books Releases by by Black Authors in 2021

Heya,

I found a list of 35 books written by black authors that are coming out in 2021. The article titled “35 Must-Read 2021 Book Releases by Black Authors” was posted recently on Marie Claire’s page. After going through each book, I found several that I plan to read! I’m so excited about it! Here’s my list! Add them to your Goodreads, like I did, or preorder them! Are you planning to read any of these books?

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  1. Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

This quick-witted satirical debut follows a young man who transforms almost overnight from an unambitious Starbucks employee to a ruthless salesman after a chance encounter with the CEO of NYC’s hottest tech startup. When tragedy strikes, he resets with a new goal: helping young people of color infiltrate America’s sales force.

Available January 5, 2021

  1. Angel of Greenwood’ by Randi Pink

Isaiah Wilson and Angel Hill attend the same school in the Greenwood area of Tulsa, Oklahoma—known as Black Wall Street—and hold different views on how to defeat racism. But when a vicious white mob storms the community of Greenwood on May 31, 1921, leaving the town destroyed and thousands of residents displaced, Isaiah, Angel, and their peers discover who their real enemies are.
Available January 12, 2021

  1. ‘A Glimmer of Death’ by Valerie Wilson Wesley

Fans of cozy mysteries will love this novel about caterer and psychic Dessa Jones who takes a job at a real estate firm when her bakery company goes bust. Her new boss, Charlie, is an abusive jerk, so when he’s found brutally murdered, his many victims become the suspects. As Dessa follows the case, she realizes that she needs to do something fast before she’s either the next victim or the primary suspect.

Available January 26, 2021

  1. ‘This Close to Okay’ by Leesa Cross-Smith

Recently-divorced therapist Tallie Clark is heading home when she saves a man from jumping off of a bridge. Told through both Tallie and the man’s perspective, this is a touching story about two strangers who meet under the worst of circumstances, but end up finding love and healing within each other.

Available February 2, 2021

  1. ‘The Gilded Ones’ by Namina Forna

One of *the* most talked about books of the year is this West African-inspired feminist fantasy set in a patriarchal society, where a woman’s worth is tied to her purity. When Deka bleeds gold—the color of impurity—at the blood ceremony, she’s presented with two choices: stay and be subjected to torture at the hands of her former community, or leave and join an army of girls just like her to fight for the empire. The novel has already been auctioned for a TV adaptation.

Available February 9, 2021

  1. ‘The Conductors’ by Nicole Glover

In a post-Civil War Philadelphia, Hetty Rhodes, a magic user and former conductor on the Underground Railroad, solves murders and mysteries with her husband, Benjy, that the white police ignore. When one of their friends is found murdered in an alley, they set out to find answers, but their search leads them to unexpected revelations that will change everything.

Available March 2, 2021

  1. ‘Act Your Age, Eve Brown’ by Talia Hibbert

The final installment in The Brown Sisters trilogy centers on the flightiest Brown sister, Eve, who sets out to prove herself to her parents by getting a job at a B&B. However, the rigid, perfectionist owner, Jacob, is instantly put off by Eve. When she accidentally hits him with her car, he’s forced to accept her help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen, and his heart.
Available March 9, 2021

  1. ‘Wild Women and the Blues’ by Denny S. Bryce

In 1925 Chicago, the jazz capital of the world, Honoree is trying to dance her way to the top at Dreamland Café, where she socializes with celebrities. In 2015, grieving film student Sawyer Hayes seeks out the 110-year-old Honoree to get answers for his thesis on the legendary filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux. As the past meets the present, it’s a final chance for Honoree to truly be heard and seen before it’s too late.

Available March 30, 2021

  1. ‘Love in Color’ by Bolu Babalola

Following its earlier U.K release last summer, Bolu Babalola’s debut collection, Love in Color, is finally getting published in the U.S. In the anthology, Babalola retells the most beautiful love stories from around the world focusing on the myths, folklore, and history of West Africa, Greece, and the Middle East.

Available April 13, 2021

  1. ‘Sorrowland’ by Rivers Solomon

Sorrowland follows Vern, a young girl who flees the cult-like commune where she was raised to provide a better life for herself and her children. But even in the forest where she has gone, she is a hunted woman. To protect her family, Vern transforms into something terrifying and powerful that may just help her break free from her past. Sorrowland is a powerful story about motherhood, survival, and the cruel treatment of Black bodies.

Available May 4, 2021

  1. ‘The Other Black Girl’ by Zakiya Dalila Harris

 With an adaptation already in the works at Hulu, Zakiya Dalila Harris’s debut novel is one of the most highly-anticipated books of the year. When Nella Rogers, an editorial assistant at the predominantly white publishing firm, Wagner Books, meets Hazel, she is initially thrilled to no longer be the only Black girl at work. Then, the threatening notes start appearing, and Nella can’t help but wonder if Hazel is behind them.

Available June 1, 2021

  1. ‘Seven Days in June’ by Tia Williams

This beautiful love story follows an erotica writer, Eva, who’s juggling her career and single motherhood when she reconnects with the love of her life, Shane, who’s now a famous literary author. However, Eva’s not sure she can trust the man who broke her heart, and she wants him out of her life—after she gets some answers, of course.

Available June 8, 2021

The Importance of Feeling Heard

I learned something about myself last night. 

Standing on our upstairs porch, listening to my guy brainstorm about what he would do with $1 million, watching the stars twinkle in the sky. I learned that I still have a lot of growing to do. I felt attacked, pushed aside, and hurt as he talked about things that didn’t include me. Things I also thought would be fun to do. Of course, I had forgotten that the “I want to start a scholarship for writers” and “I want to travel to Barcelona, and Greece, and find out my African ancestry and go wherever that is” from my turn hadn’t included him.

Do I call myself a hypocrite? Do I mention double standards? Do I call it pure selfishness or self-centeredness? 

When I was a kid, my adoptive mom said I was selfish. It never made sense to me because I loved giving others presents, I loved helping people with their problems, and I loved taking care of people. There are many “I”s in that sentence. As a foster kid, I spent a hefty amount of my childhood feeling unheard, unwanted, and unloved. It tore me to pieces, made me feel empty and lonely. I see how those feelings translate into my adulthood. And I don’t like it. 

With all my healing and meditation and introspection, I can’t seem to shake the worst of my childhood ghosts. 

Ask anyone. I talk a lot. I talk over people. I interrupt and interject and sometimes I’m not listening to hear. I’m listening to say my piece. I know why. I know it’s because I felt like no one ever listened to me as a kid. My words were stunted and they felt empty. As an adult, I constantly fall to my default response – input my thoughts as quickly as possible, before everyone is no longer listening. 

The importance of feeling heard as a child translates to listening skills as an adult, I’m sure of it.

Honestly, I think I’ve been blind and it hurts my heart. I hurt my heart. I didn’t notice how bad it was until Covid 19 forced me to take online courses for the Fall 2020 semester. My internet wasn’t the strongest, and this meant I couldn’t speak up during class – or in break-out-groups. I was told to give my input in the chatbox. Participation points. However, this often meant that I was the only person typing in the box and I felt no one was reading it anyway. I felt useless, unproductive, and passed over. 

And oh lord, the anxiety. 

It forced me to think about my input. Is what I’m saying important? Do my thoughts benefit anyone or am I just speaking to feel included? There’s an intense desire to be accepted by others. Feeling heard plays into this because you want others to know who you are. Know you’re ‘down’. Despite knowing that those I strive to be accepted by might not be healthy for me. “Alone, Not Lonely” is the anthem for my particular kind of introversion. However, my periods of introspection never ask if I’m a delight to be around or if I’m the reason others might feel uncomfortable. 

I live by the philosophy that we are all the center of our OWN universe. 

And it’s true. But there doesn’t have to be two extremes: “self-care is selfish” or “I put everyone before myself”. There can be a commonplace and this is where I find myself, in practice. But I don’t appear this way. I’m not sure if others see the person who is thoughtful and kind. They only see what I show them. And I think it might be a perception of self-centeredness. But am I what I show others? Do I become the mask that I wear?

I’ve noticed my tendencies toward self-centeredness in some of my writing groups. 

After we met up, I would talk. And talk. And talk. And sometimes I would say, “wow. Can you please tell me to shut up when I talk too much?” I guess the good thing is that I meant the words genuinely. I’ve always said, “I want to be where I’m wanted”. But am I wanted nowhere because I’m a social pariah that pushes others away because I can’t stop talking about MYself or MY projects or MY issues? My adoptive mom always said I needed to get my nose out of books because I didn’t have any social skills. She said that isolation coupled with deep introversion would set me back.

And I fall back into this often.

I don’t have all the answers. If I did, I’d probably be a better person. I’d probably talk less about myself. Which – as you know, if you know me – means I’d be a quieter person. I want to be a better listener and a better friend. I want to truly hear what others are saying. People always feel comfortable enough to tell me their secrets, their problems, and I help them see things in a different light. So, I know that I have it in me. Those brief moments of lucidity when I can untangle my tongue and absorb the world around me.

I just have to try.