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 2014 and March 2015. For a list of African-American interest books for young readers, please visit this page.
Culture Worrier: Reflections on Race, Politics and Social Change, Selected Columns 1984–2014 (Sept., paper, $17) by Clarence Page collects articles by the widely syndicated Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit.
Justice While Black: Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System (Oct., paper, $14) by Robbin Shipp, Esq. and Nick Chiles offers practical information about how young black men (and the people who love them) can best navigate encounters with America’s police, courts, and prison system.
Imagine This: Creating the Work You Love (Nov., paper, $15) by Maxine Clair. A memoir/guide to creative expression by a writer whose own unconventional path to literary success will inspire others.
The Beat of My Own Drum (Sept., $26) by Sheila E. The Grammy–nominated singer, drummer, and percussionist celebrates the healing power of music inspired by five decades of life and love on the stage.
Impolite Conversations (Sept., $25) by Cora Daniels and John L. Jackson, Jr. A journalist and a cultural anthropologist express opinions that are widely held in private, but rarely heard in public.
Brothas Be Like, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You? (Oct., $27) by George Clinton with Ben Greenman talks four decades of hit songs, drug abuse, legal pitfalls, and the evolution of pop, rock, and soul music.
Citizens Creek: A Novel (Nov., $26) by Lalita Tademy evokes the true story of Cow Tom, a once-enslaved man who earned his freedom serving as a translator for his Indian master and the U.S. Government during the 19th-century American Indian wars.
The Abduction of Smith and Smith (Jan., $25) by Rashad Harrison. Historical tale of two enemies who become the unlikeliest of allies as they fight to save their own lives aboard a hell ship headed into the dangerous unknown.
Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding (Feb., paper, $15) by Ben Jealous gathers stories from black men from all walks of life revealing how each, in his own way, became a source of hope for his community and country.
Corruption Officer: From Jail Guard to Perpetrator Inside Rikers Island (Mar., paper, $16) by Gary L. Heyward. A former corrections officer shares a gritty insider’s account of his descent into criminal life selling drugs inside the infamous Rikers Island jails.
Welcome to My Breakdown (Mar., $26) by Benilde Little delivers a “momoir” about her own journey caring for aging parents, raising children, being married, plunging to the depths of depression, and climbing her way out.
Zane’s Infinite Words (Mar., paper, $16) by Zane offers a practical writing and publishing guide inspired by the advice she gives online, her writing workshops, and the questions she receives from fans on a daily basis.
ATRIA / 37 INK
Soar: How Boys Learn, Succeed, and Develop Character (Sept., $25.99) by David C. Banks. A respected educator presents a plan for teaching the country’s most educationally endangered group—boys.
Dear White People (Oct., $19.99) by Justin Simien channels the voice and humor of the lead characters from the Sundance Award-winning film of the same name, to coincide with the national release of the film.
Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (Feb., $26) by Issa Rae compiles humorous essays on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits, and black as cool.
ATRIA / STREBOR
Between the Sheets (Feb., paper, $15) by Cairo. Sinful fantasies become sensually heated realities when one power couple takes voyeurism, intimacy, and open-mindedness to new sexual heights.
Hittin’ It Out the Park (Mar., paper, $15) by Allison Hobbs observes a love triangle between a multi-millionaire baseball star, his wife, and the groupie who’s trying to ruin their marriage—if a long-held secret doesn’t destroy it first.
The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (Sept., $35) by Edward Baptist draws on slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the personal papers of dozens of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, to reveal that slavery was not a side note in the history of the American economy, but its very foundation.
All Eyes Are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn (Dec., $32) by Jason Sokol reveals how despite electing black politicians and rallying behind black athletes and cultural leaders, the Northeast was actually being torn apart by segregation and deep-seated racism.
Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country (Mar., $25.99) by Shelby Steele argues that the roots of our current political impasse can be directly traced to the 1960s.
CHICAGO REVIEW PRESS
Cold Sweat: My Father James Brown and Me (Sept., $24.95) by Yamma Brown unwraps a raw portrait of what it was like to be daddy’s little girl to a drug addict, egotist, wife beater, and legendary musician.
Joe Black: More Than a Dodger (Feb, $27.95) by Martha Jo Black and Chuck Schoffner shares a personal account of life with single dad and first African American pitcher to win a World Series.
CHICAGO REVIEW PRESS / LAWRENCE HILL BOOKS
A Light Shines in Harlem (Sept., $24.95) by Mary C. Bounds looks at New York City’s first charter school and the reform movement that followed.
Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland (Oct., $29.95) by Tanya Holland stars more than 80 recipes for re-creating the favorites from the popular West Oakland soul food restaurant.
DA CAPO PRESS
Benson: The Autobiography (Sept., $25.99) by George Benson and Alan Goldsher follows the guitarist’s unexpected rise from humble beginnings, to success and recognition as one of the most prolific and beloved jazz musicians of his era.
Narratives of the Underground Railroad (Sept., paper, $4.50) edited by Christine Rudisel et al. gathers firsthand accounts by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and others to provide authentic insights into the Civil War era and African-American history.
Mark of the Beast (Jan., $25.99) by Adolphus A. Anekwe. A medical thriller by a renowned doctor, about the ramifications of isolating a gene that causes violent behavior.
Dark Redemption (Sept., $17) by Angie Sandro. Deep in the Louisiana bayou, haunted by her otherworldly past, Mala LaCroix only wants to hide her special abilities and care for the man she's come to love.
A Christmas Prayer (Oct., $20) by Kimberla Lawson Roby looks at what happens when the holidays are full of pain and darkness instead of joy and light.
Loving You Always (Oct., $17) by Kennedy Ryan. When tragedy strikes, the razor's edge between love and loyalty grows sharper than ever.
Wanting Forever (Oct., $17) by Diana Gardin. A sexy novel of betrayal, desire and the price that one pays for decisions of the heart.
The Light of the World: A Memoir (Mar., $26) by Elizabeth Alexander. A personal memoir from the poet reflecting on the beauty of her married life, the loss of her husband, and being strong for her two sons.
HARLEQUIN KIMANI ROMANCE
Eve of Passion (Wintersage Weddings) (Sept., paper, $6.50) by A.C. Arthur. As their wedding date looms, Janelle and Ballard wonder: Is this marriage a mere political ploy?
Hot Christmas Nights (Sept., paper, $6.99) by Farrah Rochon, Terra Little, and Velvet Carter delivers an anthology featuring three new sexy and sensual holiday stories.
Seduced By the Heir (The Morretti Millionaires) (Sept., paper, $6.50) by Pamela Yaye.
As passions collide and Rafael and Paris give in to desire at a private villa, will a sudden web of blackmail destroy Rafael’s good name and sabotage their precious second chance?
Sweet Silver Bells (The Eatons) (Sept., paper, $6.50) by Rochelle Alers. After a hotel designer and a corporate attorney spend a passion-filled night in his penthouse, he can’t accept their liaison as a onetime fling.
Falling Into Forever (Wintersage Weddings) (Oct., paper, $6.50) by Phyllis Bourne. When former high school sweethearts meet after so many years have passed, can they bury the pain of the past and build a promising future together?
This Holiday Magic (Oct., paper, $6.99) by Celeste O. Norfleet, Janice Sims, and Felicia Mason. An anthology of three new sweet and heartwarming holiday stories.
Twelve Days of Pleasure (The Boudreaux Family) (Oct., paper, $6.50) by Deborah Fletcher Melo. A sexy FBI agent is forced to choose between his career and the woman he has come to cherish.
A Mistletoe Affair (Wintersage Weddings) (Nov., paper, $6.50) by Farrah Rochon.
Vicki falls for her best friend’s divorced brother–but will the sudden reappearance of his ex-wife and an explosive scandal end their dream of forever?
Seduced By Mr. Right (The Morretti Millionaires) (Feb., paper, $6.50) by Pamela Yaye. Race car legend Emilio Morretti feels like a winner again when he meets voluptuous life coach Sharleen Nichols–but will an enemy’s vendetta destroy the happiness finally within their reach?
HARPERCOLLINS / AMISTAD
Act Like A Success, Think Like A Success (Sept. $25.99) by Steve Harvey shares easy advice and sensible principles as a road map to identifying your gift, perfecting it, and letting it transform your life.
Conversations With God (Oct., $19.99) by James M. Washington compiles the most poignant and profound African-American prayers, redesigned and repackaged for its 20th anniversary.
Bill Duke’s Dark Girls (Nov., $35) by Bill Duke & Shelia P. Moses. Companion book to the NAACP Award-nominated documentary celebrating dark-skinned women from all walks of life, sharing intimate insights into what their dark skin means to them.
Becoming Richard Pryor (Dec., $27.99) by Scott Saul traces Pryor’s life from childhood until 1974, just as Pryor’s career began to take off, and pins down just what was fact and what was fiction.
Driving The King: A Novel (Jan., $25.99) by Ravi Howard explores race and class in 1950s America, told through the experiences of Nat King Cole’s driver, Nat Weary.
God Loves Haiti (Jan., $24.99) by Dimitry Elias Léger. In the aftermath of the major earthquake, the First Lady is having second thoughts about choosing a glamorous life in Europe over a passionate love in a tropical paradise. Is her lover even still alive?
Eye on the Struggle (Feb., $25.99) by James McGrath Morris recounts the life of pioneering journalist Ethel Payne, the “First Lady of the Black Press,” from a childhood in South Chicago to a journalist who became only the third African American in history to be granted a press pass by the White House.
Life Is Not An Accident (Mar., $26.99) by Jay Williams details the life of the promising professional basketball player: his rise to stardom with the Chicago Bulls, the terrible accident that ended his career and took him into the depths of a deep and life-altering depression, and how he clawed his way out.
The Unraveling of Mercy Louis (Mar., $25.99) by Keija Parssinen explores the anxieties of American girlhood in an evangelical age, the healing power of friendship, and the relationships between mothers and daughters.
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT
Fire Shut Up In My Bones: A Memoir (Sept., $27) by Charles M. Blow shares the New York Times columnist’s coming of age story of psychic survival and self-invention.
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS
Freedom Time: The Poetics and Politics of Black Experimental Writing (Nov., $44.95) by Anthony Reed delves into extended analyses of works by African American and Afro-Caribbean writers.
Pulpit & Politics: Separation of Church & State in the Black Church (Oct., paper, $22.99) by Marvin McMickle seeks to provoke an emergence of a new generation of black preacher-politicians who will move beyond spiritual leadership into advocacy and social justice.
A Man of Good Hope (Jan., $26.95) by Jonny Steinberg. One of South Africa’s distinguished journalists chronicles the life of Asad Abdullah, a Somali man whose life has been shaped equally by violence, displacement, and fierce determination.
Selected Letters of Langston Hughes (Feb., $35) edited by Arnold Rampersad et al. forms a comprehensive collection of the correspondence of the iconic African American author.
The Weary Blues (Feb., $26) by Langston Hughes. A beautiful new edition of the poet’s first collection, originally released in 1926 when he was just twenty-four.
God Help the Child (Mar., $24.95) by Toni Morrison unfolds in the aftermath of an allegation made by a student about a teacher.
Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin (Oct., $30) by David Ritz reveals the story behind the Queen of Soul.
Common Wealth: Art by African Americans in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Jan., $50) by lowery Stokes Sims, et al. gathers works by leading figures from the nineteenth century to the present, from enslaved craftspersons to contemporary painters, printmakers and sculptors.
MICHIGAN STATE UNIV. PRESS
The African Union’s Africa: New Pan-African Initiatives in Global Governance (Nov., paper, $29.95) by Rita Kiki Edozie with Keith Gottschalk examines the initiatives of the African Union as the organization and its precursor celebrate their Jubilee as international actors.
Welcome to Braggsville (Feb., $25.99) by T. Geronimo Johnson follows four liberal students who stage a mock lynching during a Civil War reenactment in the deep South, and experience the type of enlightenment that only an idealistic college student can.
How to be Drawn: Poems (Mar., $20) by Terrance Hayes explores how we see and are seen.
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS
Story/Time: The Life of an Idea (Sept., $24.95) by Bill T. Jones. The acclaimed dancer, choreographer, and director reflects on his art and life as he describes the genesis of Story/Time, a recent dance work produced by his company and inspired by the modernist composer John Cage.
F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature (Jan., $29.95) by William J. Maxwell draws on nearly 14,000 pages of newly released FBI files to expose J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI’s intimate policing of five decades of African American poems, plays, essays, and novels.
The Hero’s Fight: African Americans in West Baltimore and the Shadow of the State (Feb., $35) by Patricia Fernández-Kelly looks at the effects of deindustrialization on Baltimore’s urban poor, and the unintended consequences of welfare policy on our most vulnerable communities.
LYNNE RIENNER PUBLISHERS:
Metaracism: Explaining the Persistence of Racial Inequality (Feb., $68.50) by Carter A. Wilson focuses on the elusive dynamics of contemporary racism.
Muslims in U.S. Prisons: People, Policy, Practice (Feb., $65) edited by Nawal H. Ammar explores the cultural, legal, political, and religious issues shaping the Muslim prison experience.
Vintage Black Glamour (Oct., $70.55) by Nichelle Gainer draws from rarely accessed photographic archives and her family history to unearth historic photographs of famous actors, dancers, writers and entertainers who worked in the 20th-century entertainment business, but who rarely appeared in the same publications as their white counterparts.
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League (Sept., $27) by Jeff Hobbs exposes the aspiration to live a decent life and the obstacles along the way.
Arrows of Rain (Jan., $15.95) by Okey Ndibe reissues the powerful fable about the colonial legacy of corruption, and the power of story to overcome injustice.
SPIEGEL & GRAU
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Oct., $28) by Bryan Stevenson. The social justice advocate and MacArthur genius describes his legal battle to free a black man from execution, while transforming his understanding of justice and mercy.
Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America (Jan., $28) by Jill Leovy follows the murder of a young black man in South Los Angeles and the determined detective investigating the crime.
Black Broadway: African Americans on the Great White Way (Feb., $39.95) by Stewart F. Lane. The theater historian and six-time Tony Award-winning producer explores the history of African-American theater through text and photos.
Inside a Silver Box (Jan., $25.99) by Walter Mosley. Two people join to protect humanity from destruction by an alien race hell-bent on regaining control over the Silver Box, the most destructive and powerful tool in the universe.
UNIV. OF CALIFORNIA PRESS
The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Volume VII: To Save the Soul of America January 1961–August 1962 (Oct., $75) edited by Clayborne Carson and Tenisha Hart Armstrong. The seventh of the anticipated fourteen-volume edition looks into King’s early relationship with President John F. Kennedy and his efforts to remain relevant in a protest movement growing increasingly massive and militant.
The Night Malcolm X Spoke at the Oxford Union (Nov., $23.95) by Stephen Tuck uses the human story behind the 1964 Oxford Union debate as a starting point to discuss larger issues of Black Power, the end of empire, British race relations, immigration, and student rights. Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Malcolm X’s speech at Oxford.
UNIV. OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS
The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region (Sept., $35) by Marcie Cohen Ferris presents food as a new way to chronicle the American South’s larger history.
Finding Your Roots: The Official Companion to the PBS Series (Sept., $30) by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. investigates the personal and genealogical histories of more than 20 luminaries.
Oberlin, Hotbed of Abolitionism: College, Community, and the Fight for Freedom and Equality in Antebellum America (Sept., $34.95) by J. Brent Morris portrays the complete history behind the iconic antislavery symbol of both the college and the community.
Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era (Nov., $34.95) by Dan Berger reconsiders 20th century black activism, the prison system, and the origins of mass incarceration.
Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South (Mar., $29.95) by Charles L. Hughes draws on interviews and rarely used archives to bring to life the daily world of session musicians, producers, and songwriters at the heart of the country and soul scenes to show how new ways of thinking about music, race, labor, and the South were born.
UNIV. OF OKLAHOMA PRESS
Black Spokane: The Civil Rights Struggle in the Inland Northwest (Sept., $26.95) by Dwayne A. Mack recovers a crucial chapter in the history of race relations and civil rights in America by revealing how Spokane, Washington elected its first black mayor.
A Step Toward Brown v. Board of Education: Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher and Her Fight to End Segregation (Oct., $24.95) by Cheryl Elizabeth Brown Wattley describes the legal battle of the woman who in 1946 was denied admission to the University of Oklahoma College of Law because she was African American.
UNIV. OF WISCONSIN PRESS
A Black Gambler’s World of Liquor, Vice, and Presidential Politics: William Thomas Scott of Illinois, 1839-1917 (Oct., paper, $24.95) by Bruce L. Mouser introduces the entrepreneur and political activist who in 1904 briefly became the first African American nominated by a national party for president of the United States before the hustling that had brought him business success proved his undoing as a national political figure.
All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color (Nov., paper, $24.95) edited by Jina Ortiz and Rochelle Spencer features twenty-seven stories by women writers of color whose short fiction has earned them a range of honors.
Early African Entertainments Abroad: From the Hottentot Venus to Africa’s First Olympians (Nov., paper, $29.95) by Bernth Lindfors uses case studies to reveal how Africans and people of color were exhibited as freaks in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe and America.
Herbie Hancock: Possibilities (Oct., $29.95) by Herbie Hancock with Lisa Dickey shares his musical influences, behind-the-scenes stories, his long and happy marriage, and how Buddhism inspires him creatively and personally.