African-American Interest Adult Titles, 2011-2012

The following is a list of African-American interest books for adult readers; compiled from publisher responses to our October PW Call for Information, these titles are publishing between September 2011 and March 2012. For a list of African-American interest books for young readers, please click here.


The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy (Nov., $50) by Deborah Davis chronicles the full 25 years of The Oprah Winfrey Show through images and essays.


The Taste of Salt (Sept., paper $13.95) by Martha Southgate follows a family tested to the limits by an unending cycle of addiction over the course of two generations.

Running the Rift (Jan., $24.95) by Naomi Benaron tracks a gifted Rwandan boy from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life during the Rwandan genocide.

Panther Baby (Feb., paper $14.95) by Jamal Joseph recounts being a soldier inside the Black Panther movement while charting a path to manhood.


Black and Blue: The Redd Foxx Story (Sept., $27.99) by Michael Seth Starr portrays the trailblazing comedian through interviews with his friends, confidants, and colleagues.


The Goat Woman of Largo Bay: A Novel (Sept., paper $15) by Gillian Royes. The first in a suspenseful new series featuring amateur detective Shadrack, whose quest is to keep his Caribbean village safe.

One Day It'll All Make Sense (Sept., $25) by Common recalls his childhood on Chicago’s South side, his rise in music, and how his roles as a son and a father are his most important.

Commander in Chic: Every Woman's Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady (Nov., $26.99) by Mikki Taylor uses Michelle Obama as inspiration to help readers put a personal stamp on everything they wear.

Our Man in the Dark: A Novel (Nov., $25) by Rashad Harrison rips inspiration from the news story revealing that a famed civil rights movement photographer was an FBI informant.

The T.D. Jakes Relationship Bible: Life Lessons on Relationships from the Inspired Word of God (Nov., $39.99; deluxe ed. $75) by T.D. Jakes shares wisdom on how to cultivate better relationships with God, each other, and self.

Crackhead: A Novel and Crackhead II (both Mar., paper $14 each) by Lisa Lennox revisits the South Bronx, New York City, 1989–and the devastating consequences of crack addiction.

Let It Go: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven (Mar., $25) by T.D. Jakes adds to the bishop’s line of spiritually uplifting literature.

Low Down and Dirty: A Novel (Mar., $23.99) by Vickie M. Stringer. Dirty Red is back with more enemies than she can count, and finds herself running across country in fear of them all while still being in love with Q.


My Soul to Take: A Novel (Sept., paper $14) by Tananarive Due continues the story of descendants of an immortal line of people who are the only ones capable of saving the world.

If Sons, Then Heirs: A Novel (Feb., paper $15) by Lorene Cary explores the power of family secrets, bonds, and love.


MLK: A Celebration in Word and Image (Oct., $15) by Martin Luther King, Jr. gathers photos and quotes into a photo-biography of the life and work of Dr. King.

Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home (Oct., $25.95) by Anita Hill calls for a new understanding about the importance of home and its place in the American dream.

Uncovering Race: A Black Journalist’s Story of Reporting and Reinvention (Oct., $28.95) by Amy Alexander delves into race-related newsroom battles and the changing media landscape.

Thou, Dear God: Prayers That Open Hearts and Spirits (Nov., $20) by Martin Luther King, Jr. collects 68 prayers by Dr. King into six categories.


The Emancipation of Robert Sadler, Updated Ed. (Jan., paper $12.99) updates the classic title which recounts how a five-year old sold into slavery by his own father ended up in ministry.


Trick Baby: The Story of a White Negro (Sept., paper $14.99) by Iceberg Slim. The author who brought black literature to the streets introduces a hustler who both plays the con game and transforms it.

Long White Con: The Biggest Score of His Life (Jan., paper $14.99) by Iceberg Slim follows the epic life of an incredible con man.

Get It Girls: A Harlem Girl Lost Novel (Feb., paper $9.99) by Treasure Blue delivers a gritty urban drama packed with the consequences of revenge and the power of hope.


Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority (Jan., paper $15.95) by Tim Wise addresses whites' anxiety about cultural shifts displacing their power and privilege, and offers ideas on how to move forward.

Redefining Black Power: Reflections on the State of Black America (Feb., paper $16.95) edited by Joanne Griffith surveys black intellectuals, leaders, and activists on the contribution and impact of Obama’s presidency on people of color from across the country.

I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin's Life in Letters (Mar., paper $17.95) edited by Michael Long. Published on the centennial of his birth, over 150 letters reveal the personal side of the civil rights activist who was an openly gay man in a fiercely homophobic era.


The Inspired Vegan: Favorite Ingredients, Simple Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus (Feb., paper $19) by Bryant Terry provides a guide to preparing seasonally-inspired meals using healthy, sustainable ingredients.


Deadly Desires (Oct., paper $6.99) by Ann Christopher. After severing ties with her husband, Kira’s newfound independence seems too good to be true.

All Caught Up (Nov., paper $6.99) by Sophia Shaw looks at a matchmaker whose toughest client might be her next conquest.

Should Have Known Better (Nov., paper $15) by Grace Octavia observes a woman who makes a new start after betrayal shatters the life she knew.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless (Dec., paper $14) by Kinki Swinson and Noire serves up an urban fiction anthology.

Love in Play (Dec., paper $6.99) blends passion and intrigue as Darcy’s son is determined to bring his mom and his new football coach together.

Forever Soul Ties (Jan., paper $15) by Vanessa Davis Griggs tackles adultery, finding true love, and the power of forgiveness.

Smooth Play (Jan, paper $6.99) by Regina Hart goes behind the scenes into the world of basketball players and the game of love.

Deception (Mar., paper $14) by Naomi Chase. Two sisters and one shocking secret that could destroy them both.

One Way or Another (Mar., paper $14) by Rhonda Bowen. A reporter thinks she has her job, family, and friends under control–until she meets a man who changes everything.

Recipe for Desire (Mar., paper $6.99) by Cheris Hodges. A party girl must face the consequences when her partying days are over.


The Talk Show Murders: A Billy Blessing Novel (Dec., $26) by Al Roker. Celebrity chef turned sleuth Billy Blessing finds his plate full of danger once again, as secrets from his long-buried past threaten to make a comeback.


The Passion of Tiger Woods: An Anthropologist Reports on Golf, Race, and Celebrity Scandal (Nov., paper $19.95) by Orin Starn explains how Tiger’s travails and the culture of golf reflect broader American anxieties.

Words of Protest, Words of Freedom: Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement and Era (Feb., paper $24.95) by Jeffrey Lamar Coleman gathers poems written during and in response to the American Civil Rights struggle.


A Woman Scorned 3: Déjà Vu (Feb., paper $15) by Ericka Williams. Bielle seeks therapy in an attempt to move beyond her abusive past, but her therapist has her own twisted reasons for taking her on as a patient.


Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What it Means to Be Black Now (Sept., $25) by Touré examines what it means to be black in America today.


Got A Right to Be Wrong (Jan., paper $15) by K.L. Brady. Charisse Tyson is back and ready to face her fiancé’s dark past before they make the trip to the altar.


The One: The Life and Music of James Brown (Mar., $27.50) by RJ Smith delves into the legendary singer’s tumultuous rise and reign.


Secret Obsession (Sept., $19.99) by Kimberla Lawson Roby. A sisters’ jealousy pushes a family to the edge, exposing life-changing secrets and the power of forgiveness.

Silenced (Oct,, paper $13.99) by Kia Dupree looks at the struggles faced by an inner city family.

Shaq Uncut: My Story (Nov., $27.99) by Shaquille O’Neal covers both the basketball star’s career and colorful life off the court.

Passing Love (Jan., paper $14.99) by Jacqueline Luckett follows a woman in search of the truth about her roots in the magical city of Paris.

Sanctuary Cove (Jan., paper $5.99) by Rochelle Alers. Deborah Robinson returns to her family home, where romance blossoms as she confronts unexpected challenges.

Yes Ma’am, No Sir: The 12 Essential Steps for Success in Life (Feb., $24.99) by Coach Ken Carter delivers a motivational, inspirational book of dedicated life lessons.


Assumption (Nov., paper $15) by Percival Everett. A wild ride to the heart of a baffling mystery once again upends expectations about characters, plot, race, and meaning.

Erasure (Nov., paper $15) by Percival Everett reissues the blistering satire about race and writing.

The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness (Mar., paper $25) by Kevin Young combines essay, cultural criticism, and lyrical chorus to illustrate the African American tradition of lying.


The Last Holiday: A Memoir (Jan., $25) by Gil Scott-Heron provides observations on the civil rights movement and the tumultuous changes of the 1960s as he comes of age as a man and an artist.


The Loom (Dec., paper $14.99) by Shella Gillus. A slave owner’s wife harbors a secret that threatens to unravel her marriage and the lives of those around her.


The Go-Away Bird (Dec., paper $12.95) by Warren FitzGerald. A Rwandan child refugee finds unlikely comfort and camaraderie in a middle-aged man dealing with a violent past of his own.


The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World (Oct., $22.95) by John Carlos recounts the life story of half of the pair of courageous athletes who made the Black Power salute on the 1968 Mexico City Olympic podium.

Is Just A Movie (Mar., paper $14.95) by Earl Lovelace. The Caribbean author’s first novel in over a decade revisits the theme of calypso as a weapon of black self-empowerment.


No Fear: A Whistleblower’s Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA (Sept., $27.95) by Marsha Coleman-Adebayo recalls her bold stand against corruption and discrimination at the EPA which inspired the passage of the first civil rights and whistleblower protection law of the 21st century.

Simeon’s Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till (Sept., paper $12.95) by Simeon Wright shares his personal account of the kidnapping and murder of his cousin Emmett Till.

The Girl with Three Legs: A Memoir (Oct., $26.95) by Soraya Miré follows her journey from female genital mutilation to a life of hope and redemption as an activist against it.

Ashamed to Die: Silence, Denial and the AIDS Epidemic in the South (Nov., $24.95) by Andrew J. Skerritt reveals the ongoing complexities of battling AIDS in the rural American South, despite the spread of AIDS awareness and medical breakthroughs of the past 30 years.

I Dare to Say: African Women Share Their Stories of Hope and Survival (Feb., paper $17.95) edited by Hilda Twongyeirwe illuminates the struggles endured daily by contemporary African women.


Zulu Hart (Sept., paper $10.95) by Saul David. As Britain heads to war with the Zulus, George Hart leaves the racial prejudice of Britain for his native Africa, and must make a choice between the two battling sides of his identity.


Nameless (Jan., paper $15) by Kyle Chais. A debut fantasy novel about fallen angels, written by a college sophomore.

Redefining Diva (Mar., paper $15) by Sheryl Lee Ralph. The original Dreamgirl shares secrets about love, life and Hollywood.


Broken Dignity: A Novel (Dec., paper $22.95) by Michael J. Lando. How does a former porn star rebuild a normal life when the world refuses to forget who she was?


A Steele for Christmas (Oct., paper $6.25) by Brenda Jackson. A committed bachelor has vowed that no woman will ever capture his heart–until he sets up a business arrangement with Stacey Carlson.

A Christmas Affair (Nov., paper $6.25) by Adrianne Byrd celebrates the joy of romance and the spirit of the holiday season.

Baby, Let it Snow (Nov., paper $6.25) by Beverly Jenkins and Elaine Overton. A two-in-one collection demonstrating that the power of love can help overcome any obstacle.

Capital Wives (Nov., paper $14.95) by Rochelle Alers follows three women, married to powerful Washington, D.C. insiders, who find friendship in each other as they all navigate a treacherous path.


Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 (Nov., $50) by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. traces African American history from the arrival of the conquistadors to the election of Barack Obama.


Harlem Renaissance Novels: The Library of America Collection (Sept., $70) edited by Rafia Zafar. A collector’s edition two-volume set of nine works, portraying African American culture in a moment of tumultuous change and tremendous hope.

Harlem Renaissance: Five Novels of the 1920s (Sept., $35) edited by Rafia Zafar gathers works by Jean Toomer, Claude McKay, Nella Larsen, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Wallace Thurman.

Harlem Renaissance: Four Novels of the 1930s (Sept., $35) edited by Rafia Zafar traces the flowering of the Renaissance in diverse genres and forms.


Power and Beauty: A Love Story of Life on the Streets (Oct., $23.99) by Tip “T.I.” Harris offers a street-lit epic of two kids facing long odds but sharing a bond that will hold off anyone that tries to break them apart.

Being Lara (Mar., paper $14.99) by Lola Jay looks at three women–mother, birth mother, and daughter–their choices, and the fragile family bond they try to create across time and continents.


The Big Payback (Nov., paper $16) by Dan Charnas interviews 300 hip-hop industry giants about the victories, defeats, corporate clashes, and street battles along the 40-year road to hip-hop's dominance.


A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home (Jan., $24.99) by Steve Pemberton. A young boy in a cruel foster family finds his only refuge in a box of books gifted to him by a kind stranger.

I Am Second: Real Stories. Changing Lives (Jan., $19.99) by Dave Sterrett and Doug Bender shares stories of notable people who have had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ.


A Woman's Work: Street Chronicles (Sept., paper $14). A collection of stories depicting women who sacrifice to stay on top of their hustle and seize the power, money, and fame they can’t live without.

Money Never Sleeps: A Millionaire Wives Club Novel (Dec., paper $15) by Tu-Shonda Whitaker. The ladies are back for a second season of backstabbing, divorce parties, and family sagas.


Makeda (Sept., paper $15.95) by Randall Robinson weaves a universal tale of family, heritage, and the ties that bind.


Diet-Free for Life (Jan., paper $17) by Robert Ferguson offers a weight-loss program that shifts fat storing to fat burning.


Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation At War (Sept., $25.99) by Leymah Gbowee chronicles the Liberian women’s journey from hopelessness to empowerment.


Decoded (Nov., paper $25) by Jay-Z. An updated, revised, and enhanced edition of the performer’s collection of lyrics and their meanings.


Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness (Feb., paper $14.95) edited by Rebecca Walker. Acclaimed thinkers discuss what makes Black the new black.


Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny (Oct., $27) by Nile Rodgers offers behind-the-scenes tales of his popular songs and the outsider subculture he lived through.

Fraternity (Jan., $25) by Diane Brady follows five of the black men recruited to the College of the Holy Cross in 1968 by a visionary priest, and how both their lives and the course of history was changed.


Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self (Sept., paper $15) by Danielle Evans) gathers essays looking at the experience of being young and African-American or mixed-race in modern-day America.

How To Read the Air (Oct., paper $15) by Dinaw Mengestu explores love, family, and the power of imagination.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey (Nov., paper $15) by Walter Mosley. Marooned in an apartment that overflows with mementos, 91-year-old Ptolemy Grey is forgotten by his family and the world–until an unexpected opportunity arrives.

When the Thrill Is Gone (Jan., paper $15) by Walter Mosley. Detective Leonid McGill returns to sort out a woman’s crooked tale–which might bring him to death’s door, if his family’s misadventures don’t kill him first.


My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir (Oct., $25.99) by Mark Whitaker. A reporter’s search for the factual and emotional truth about his complicated and compelling family.


Ali and Liston: The Ugly Bear and the Boy Who Would Be King (Nov., $24.95) by Bob Mee follows the contrasting lives of the two fighters through a time of upheaval and change in American history.


Health First! The Black Woman’s Wellness Guide (Feb., $27.95) by Eleanor Hinton Hoytt and Ann Hilary Beard provides important insights that black women need to reprioritize their health and establish new traditions of well-being through self-love and self-care.


Inspiration: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World (Mar., $40) by Crystal McCrary combines photographic portraits and text profiles of influential black women in America today.


Lost In Language & Sound: Or How I Found My Way to the Arts: Essays (Dec., $22.99) by Ntozake Shange combines memoir and essay to reflect on what it means to be an artist, a woman, and a woman of color.

Twelve Gates to the City (Dec., $25.99) by Daniel Black. A man finally realizes that his gifts were bestowed upon him not for his own glory, but for the transformation of his people.


Eviction Notice: A Hood Rat Novel (Oct., paper, $14.99) by K’wan. Three girls into all kinds of ‘hood foolishness have 72 hours to come up with the money to pay months of back rent.

White Lines II: Sunny (Jan., $14.99) by Tracy Brown. Beautiful Sunny is unhappy and worries that she might never find love again.


Betrayed: A Novel (Sept., paper $12) by Suzetta Perkins. Mimi Bailey makes a desperate attempt to protect her secret when she returns to the scene of the crime.

Can We Talk? Claiming the Happiness That You Deserve (Oct., paper $13) by C. T. Shackleford reveals the many dysfunctions that cause relationships to fail.

Rise of the Phoenix: Larger Than Lyfe II (Oct., paper $15) by Cynthia Diane Thornton. Keshari Mitchell is back in Los Angeles after faking her death to escape from a life of crime.

Darling Nikki (Feb., paper $13) by E. V. Adams. A vengeful seductress lures her ex to his murder during a staged romantic encounter, not realizing that her jealous husband is on their trail.

Death of the Cheating Man: What Every Woman Must Know About Men Who Stray (Feb., $24) by Ray J takes a wild ride through his cheating stories as he learns how to face the issues of his past.

Man Swappers: A Novel (Mar., paper $15) by Cairo explores the taboo topic of women openly sharing other women’s men.


The Secret Life of Barack Hussein Obama (Oct., $26) by Mondo Frazier divulges the little-known details of Obama’s past.

This Is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House (Oct., $25) by Herman Cain answers his most asked question: who is Herman Cain?

Blacklash: How Obama and the Left Are Driving Americans to the Government Plantations (Mar., $26) by Deneen Borelli argues that Obama’s policies are harming the black community and America as a whole.


Game On (Sept., $24.99) by Emmitt Smith reveals principles he has learned along the way to both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Dancing with the Stars.

Bound for Glory (Nov., $16.99) by Timothy Botts and Patricia Raybon. The calligrapher and the author look at the history and struggle of slavery through visual interpretations of spirituals combined with reflective readings.


Love In a Carry-On Bag (Mar., paper $14.95), by Sadeqa Johnson depicts a long-distance love affair set between the publishing world of New York City and the jazz clubs of Washington, D.C.


W.C. Handy: the Life and Times of the Man Who Made the Blues (Sept., paper $19.95) by David Robertson charts his rise from a rural Alabama childhood in the 19th century to his emergence as one of the most celebrated songwriters of the 20th century.

Darkroom: A Memoir in Black & White (Mar., paper $19.95) by Lila Quintero Weaver. An illustrated graphic memoir of one girl’s immigration from Argentina to Alabama’s rural black belt region in 1961 during the civil rights movement.


In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917-1939 (Nov., $39.95) by Minkah Makalani reveals how early-twentieth-century black radicals organized an international movement centered on ending racial oppression.

Integrating Schools in a Changing Society: New Policies and Legal Options for a Multiracial Generation (Nov., $49.95) edited by Erica Frankenberg and Elizabeth DeBray gathers scholarly essays arguing about the dangers of resegregation while offering practical, research-grounded solutions.

John Brown Still Lives! America’s Long Reckoning with Violence, Equality, and Change (Nov., $30) by R. Blakeslee Gilpin clarifies Brown's complex legacy and his importance in the nation's struggle with the role of violence, the meaning of equality, and the intertwining paths these share with the process of change.

My Southern Home: The South and Its People (Nov., $69.95; paper $27.95) by William Wells Brown culminates the abolitionist’s long writing career with his account of his search for a home in a land of slavery and racism.

Brown's Battleground: Students, Segregationists, and the Struggle for Justice in Prince Edward County, Virginia (Dec., $34.95) by Jill Ogline Titus draws on archival sources and new interviews to reveal how ordinary people battle over the role of public education in the United States.

Whiting Up: Whiteface Minstrels and Stage Europeans in African American Performance (Dec., $39.95) by Marvin McAllister explores the enduring tradition in which African American actors, comics, musicians, and even everyday people have studied and assumed white racial identities.

War! What Is It Good For? Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military from World War II to Iraq (Jan., $34.95) by Kimberley L. Phillips examines how blacks' participation in the nation's wars galvanized a vibrant antiwar activism that reshaped their struggles for freedom.

American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta (Feb., $24.95) by Nan Elizabeth Woodruff chronicles the individual and collective struggles as black sharecroppers fought to earn equal rights.

Death Blow to Jim Crow: The National Negro Congress and the Rise of Militant Civil Rights (Feb., $39.95) by Erik S. Gellman shows how the NNC agitated for the first-class citizenship of African Americans and all members of the working class.

White Over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812 (Feb., $70) by Winthrop D. Jordan charts the evolution of white Englishmen's and Anglo-Americans' perceptions of race.

Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper (Mar., $45) edited by Bernard L. Herman gathers essays contextualizing Dial’s works on paper in the body of American art.


This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement (Feb., $45) edited by Leslie G. Kelen collects the work of the nine activist photographers during the 1960s.