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 2016 and March 2017. Also see our list of African-American interest books for young readers.
Green Smoothies for Life: 30 Days to Quick and Lasting Weight Loss (Dec., $19.99) by JJ Smith follows up the 10-Day Greet Smoothie Cleanse with a new meal plan incorporating green smoothies into everyday routines.
ATRIA / 37 INK
The Birth of a Nation: Nat Turner and the Making of a Movement (Sept., $24) edited by Nate Parker ties in to the film of the same name, surveying the history and legacy of Nat Turner while exploring Turner’s relevance to contemporary dialogues on race relations.
Darktown (Sept., $26) by Thomas Mullen. A police procedural set in 1948 Atlanta, exploring a murder, corrupt police, and strained race relations that feels ripped from today's headlines.
Around the Way Girl: A Memoir (Oct., $25) by Taraji P. Henson with Denene Millner recalls the grit it takes to make it to Hollywood and the obstacles all actresses, but particularly black ones, face.
The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson: A Novel (Jan., $25) by Nancy Peacock follows the journey of a former slave turned Comanche warrior who travels from a New Orleans plantation to the Texas frontier searching for both the woman he loves and his own identity.
Never Caught: Ona Judge, the Washingtons, and the Relentless Pursuit of Their Ruanaway Slave (Feb., $25) by Erica Armstrong Dunbar offers new scholarship on how one young woman risked it all to gain freedom from the famous founding father.
Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook (Oct., $24.95) by Ziggy Marley offers recipes inspired by the food of Ziggy’s upbringing in the household of Bob and Rita Marley.
Frederick Douglass in Brooklyn (Jan., $15.95) edited by Theodore Hamm gathers Douglass’s always-controversial speeches given in Brooklyn, New York.
Dance of the Jakaranda (Feb., $15.95) by Peter Kimani reimagines the rise and fall of colonialism in Kenya through three lives joined together by the creation of the railroad in the early 20th century.
AKASHIC / INFAMOUS BOOKS
The Game Don’t Change (Nov., $12.95) by Mazaradi Fox. A posthumous novel from the Queens rapper who was once a member of 50 Cent’s G-Unit crew.
AKASHIC / OPEN LENS
Pressure Makes Diamonds: Becoming the Woman I Pretended to Be (Nov., $15.95) by Valerie Graves. A memoir of a female African American advertising executive’s unprecedented and unlikely success, which began in the Mad Men era.
AKASHIC / PEEKASH PRESS
New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean (Nov., $17.95) edited by Karen Lord collects the best in speculative short fiction from the Caribbean’s up-and-coming voices.
Draw What Success Looks Like: The Coloring and Activity Book for Serious Businesspeople (Oct., paper $12.99) by Sarah Cooper provides hilarious activity and coloring pages tailored to help beat the daily grind.
Exponential Living: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are (Feb., $26) by Sheri Riley offers a nine-principle plan to help busy, goal-oriented people integrate their professional success with whole-life success.
The Lost Champions (Sept., $27) by Gretchen Atwood chronicles the integration of pro football, focusing on the careers of the four black players who were signed in 1946 to the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams amidst a grueling spike in lynching of African Americans, threats of expulsion from families and from public accommodations both north and south.
Show Me A Mountain (Dec., $28) by Kerry Young. Fay Wong witnesses the Jamaica she was never meant to see as she tries to escape the restraints of her privileged upbringing, striving for independence in a homeland that is trying to do the same.
Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case (Feb., $21.99) by Patricia Hruby Powell shows how a devoted couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who were at the heart of a 1955 Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, faced discrimination, fought it, and won.
Bop Apocalypse: Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs (Oct., $25.99) by Martin Torgoff explores the early days of American drug culture and the relationship between drugs and racial boundaries.
Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope (Mar., $27) by John Saunders with John U. Bacon shares the story of his mental illness and his struggle to overcome depression—a topic that’s somewhat taboo in the African American community and the sports world.
DA CAPO LIFELONG
Whoa, Baby! A Guide for New Moms Who Feel Overwhelmed and Freaked Out (and Wonder What the #*$& Just Happened) (Mar., $25) by Kelly Rowland explores the unglamorous yet rewarding experience of life after childbirth in this guide for first-time mothers.
DUKE UNIV. PRESS
Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983 (Sept., $99.95, paper $27.95) by Tim Lawrence uses interviews with DJs, party hosts, producers, musicians, artists, and dancers to chronicle a tumultuous time in New York's party scene, charting the sonic and social eruptions that took place in the city’s subterranean party venues as well as the way they cultivated breakthrough movements in art, performance, video, and film.
Love, H: The Letters of Helene Dorn and Hettie Jones (Sept., $29.95) by
Hettie Jones follows a forty-year correspondence between two artists who survived their time as wives in the Beat bohemia of the 1960s and went on to successful artistic careers of their own.
The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland (Nov., $24.95) by Robyn C. Spencer traces the Black Panther Party's organizational evolution in Oakland, California, where hundreds of young people came to political awareness and journeyed to adulthood as members.
Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush (Feb., $34.95) edited by Marshall N. Price. A catalog accompanying the first solo exhibition of the provocative and iconoclastic African-American artist Nina Chanel Abney.
Familiar Stranger: A Life between Two Islands (Mar., $29.95) by Stuart Hall. One of the black diaspora's most important theorists recounts his early life in Jamaica and his immigration to the UK in the 1950s.
South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s (Mar., $28.95) by Kellie Jones explores how the artists in Los Angeles's black communities during the 1960s and 1970s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism.
Stand Tall: Fighting for My Life, Inside and Outside the Ring (Dec., $27.99) by Dewey Bozella recounts his life and the twenty-six years he spent behind bars for a murder he did not commit.
Whatever Happened to Interracial Love (Dec., paper $15.99) by Kathleen Collins offers stories exploring issues of race, gender, family and sexuality that shape the ordinary moments in our lives.
The Man Who Shot My Eye Out is Dead (Jan., $24.99) by Chanelle Benz collects stories about characters whose thirst for adventure sends them rushing toward the moral crossroads, becoming victims and perpetrators along the way.
No One is Coming to Save Us (Mar., $26.99) by Stephanie Powell Watts follows an extended African-American family in the contemporary South and their colliding visions of the American Dream.
Man On The Run (Jan., $25) by Carl Weber. When a man escapes prison to clear his name and protect his family, everyone will find out just how much drama a friendship can survive.
Bestiary: Poems (Oct., paper $16) by Donika Kelly explores what makes us human through encounters with animals, legendary beasts, and mythological monsters.
Difficult Women (Jan., $25) by Roxane Gay gathers stories of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection.
HARLEQUIN KIMANI ROMANCE
Unwrapping The Holidays (Nov., paper $6.50) by Nana Malone & Sheryl Lister features two holiday stories of passion and longing as two couples fall in love under the mistletoe.
Waiting For Summer (Nov., paper $6.50) by Sherelle Green. Summer’s childhood friend is ready to create a future together, but can he turn his passion into a love story?
A Chase For Christmas (Dec., paper $6.50) by Candace Shaw. A video game developer and an artist are brought together through their work giving sick children joy for Christmas.
Kissed By Christmas (Dec., paper $6.50) by Jamie Pope. A paramedic must convince the woman he rescued to trust that their future is worth every risk.
One Mistletoe Wish (Dec., paper $6.50) by A.C. Arthur. Can a building’s new owner put his past aside and turn a festive fling into the sweetest forever?
This Is Love (Feb., paper $6.50) by Nana Malone & Sienna Mynx. A duo of novellas featuring Valentine’s Day-themed romances.
HARPERCOLLINS / AMISTAD
My Life With Earth, Wind & Fire (Sept., $27.99) by Maurice White and Herb Powell. The founder of the group reflects on the blessings music has brought to his life and the struggles that have been placed before him.
Jump: Take the Leap of Faith to Your Life of Abundance (Dec., $25.99) by Steve Harvey helps readers engage the Divine Spirit within to find their life’s desire and use their own imagination to make their life’s vision a reality.
The Original Black Elite: Daniel Murray and the Story of a Forgotten Era (Feb., $27.99) by Elizabeth Downing Taylor chronicles the rise and calculated fall of the black elite, from Emancipation to the Jim Crow laws era, through the experiences of black history pioneer Daniel Murray.
Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self-Determination (Mar., $27.99) by Herb Boyd blends memoir, love letter, history, and reportage to look at the evolving culture, politics, economics, and spiritual life of Detroit.
HARPERCOLLINS / AVON
Breathless (Jan., paper $7.99) by Beverly Jenkins. A strong-willed beauty finds herself in the arms of the handsome drifter from her past.
HARPERCOLLINS / DEY STREET BOOKS
Losing Isn’t Everything (Nov., $26.99) by Curt Menefee and Michael Arkush looks at athletes whose legacies have been reduced to one defining moment of defeat.
Snake (Nov., $27.99) by Mike Freeman covers the life and times of pro football’s first bad boy, famed Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler.
Hairlooms: The Untangled Truth About Loving Your Natural Hair and Beauty (Feb., paper $14.95) by Michelle Tapp Roseman explores how black women can overcome the multi-layered challenge of embracing their natural hair and beauty.
I'm Judging You: The Do Better Manual (Sept., paper $17) by Luvvie Ajayi serves up necessary advice for the masses in a hilarious book of essays.
Words on the Move: Why English Won’t–and Can’t–Sit Still (Like Literally) (Sept., $28) by John McWhorter looks at how the English language is evolving before our eyes–and explains why we should embrace and not fight its transformation.
My Life, My Love, My Legacy (Jan., $30) by Coretta Scott King, as told to the Reverend Dr. Barbara Reynolds. The life story of the wife of Martin Luther King Jr., as told, toward the end of her life, to one of her closest friends.
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS
Selma’s Bloody Sunday: Protest, Voting Rights, and the Struggle for Racial Equality (Jan., $45.95, paper $19.95) by Robert Pratt explores how the march from Selma to Montgomery starkly illustrated the claims of the civil rights movement–and the raw brutality of the forces arrayed against it.
Nat Turner and the Rising in Southampton County (Mar., paper $32.95) by David Allmendinger, Jr. studies one of the bloodiest slave rebellions in the history of the South.
An Extraordinary Union: A Novel (Mar., paper $15) by Alyssa Cole. Caught in a tightening web of Civil War intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, two spies must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other.
KENSINGTON / DAFINA
Holiday Temptation (Sept., paper $7.99) by Donna Hill, Farrah Rochon and K.M. Jackson offer three novellas where the winter season provides a warm background.
Schemes (Sept., paper $15) by Kiki Swinson and Saundra delivers a street lit novella duo about robbers pulling off the ultimate scheme with consequences no one could have foreseen.
The Strivers’ Row Spy (Sept., $25) by Jason Overstreet. In the Roaring Twenties, the FBI’s first ever black agent, caught in a web of lies and violence that are more than he bargained for, is left finally with one simple task: saving his own life.
Perfect Pleasures (Oct., paper $7.99) by Deborah Fletcher Mello returns with the second in a two-book series centered around two brothers finding love.
The Thunder Beneath Us (Oct., paper $15) by Nicole Blades debuts with a novel about learning to carry loss without breaking, and to heal and forgive.
Insert Groom Here (Dec., paper $7.99) by K.M. Jackson kicks off her Unconventional Brides Romance series about brides who will break the rules, turn tradition into scandal, and improvise as much as it takes to turn their wildest wedding dreams into real love.
The Mark (Jan., $25) by Kiki Swinson. A master thief's ultimate payday delivers the deadliest game of all.
Wives, Fiancees And Side Chicks Of Hotlanta (Jan., paper $15) by Sheree Whitfield. Fresh out of college and heading to career as a fashion designer, Sasha’s not worried about getting caught up in the drama–until she’s romanced by a baller of her own.
The Inheritance (Feb., paper $9.95) by Rochelle Alers begins a new series, The Innkeepers, featuring four women of different ages and cultural heritages finding romance and themselves in New Orleans.
The Rest I Will Kill: William Tillman and the Unforgettable Story of How a Free Black Man Refused to Become a Slave (Sept., $26.95) by Brian McGinty recounts how a free black man was able to defy efforts to make him a slave and become an unlikely glimmer of hope for a disheartened Union army in the war-battered North.
W. W. NORTON
Blood at the Root (Sept., $26.95) by Patrick Phillips recalls the racial cleansing a century ago in Forsyth County, Georgia as a harrowing testament to the deep roots of racial violence in America.
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
In The Midnight Hour: The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett (Jan., $27.95) by Tony Fletcher chronicles the life of one of the most famous and influential figures in soul and R&B.
When Ivory Towers Were Black: A Story about Race in America’s Cities and Universities (Mar., $35) by Sharon Egretta Sutton recounts how, in the 1960s, a cohort of Black and Puerto Rican students earned degrees from the world-class Columbia University's School of Architecture.
The Portable Frederick Douglass (Sept., $22) by Frederick Douglass, edited by John Stauffer offers a full course on the diverse career of Frederick Douglass.
The Sobbing School (Sept., $18) by Joshua Bennett. A debut collection of poetry presenting songs for the living and the dead that destabilize and de-familiarize representations of black history and contemporary black experience.
Twelve Years A Slave (Oct., $17) by Solomon Northup. A harrowing memoir about one of the darkest periods in American history.
Amiable With Big Teeth (Feb., $28) by Claude McKay. The newly discovered final novel by the seminal Harlem Renaissance writer offers a rich and multilayered portrayal of life in 1930s Harlem and a historical protest for black freedom.
The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers (Feb., $22) edited by Henry Louis Gates gathers the expressions of African American women in print before, during, and after the Civil War.
Map to the Stars (Mar., $18) by Adrian Matejka. The author’s fourth poetry collection navigates the tensions between race, geography, and poverty in America during the Reagan Era.
Gone ‘Til November (Oct., $23) by Lil Wayne. The rap superstar offers a personal and revealing account of his eight months spent incarcerated on Rikers Island in 2010.
You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain (Oct., paper $16) by Phoebe Robinson. The stand-up comedian and WNYC podcaster offers humorous essays in which she discusses what it's like to be the black friend, how to cope with those who have white guilt, and, of course, why you can't touch her hair.
PRINCETON ARCHITECTURAL PRESS
Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad (Feb., $40) by Jeanine Michna-Bales imagines a journey along the Underground Railroad as it might have appeared to one freedom-seeker, based on the photographer’s ten-year odyssey of research to identify and photograph sites along the Underground Railroad.
Reading With Patrick (Mar., $28) by Michelle Kuo. A memoir about the life-changing friendship between an idealistic young white teacher and her gifted black student, jailed for murder in the Mississippi Delta.
Race, Riots, and the Police (Oct., $62.50, paper $25) by Howard Rahtz offers both a history of race riots and police responses in the US, and a prescription for developing and maintaining a police force that is a true community partner.
Roots of African American Violence: Ethnocentrism, Cultural Diversity, and Racism (Mar., $75) by Darnell F. Hawkins et al provides a provocative explanation for the racial disparities in rates of criminal violence in the United States.
LYNNE RIENNER / FIRSTFORUM PRESS
The Borders of Race: Patrolling “Multiracial” Identities (Nov., $75) by Melinda Mills explores the phenomenon and consequences of racial border patrolling in both public and private spaces.
The Boys of Dunbar: A Story of Love, Hope and Basketball (Sept., $26) by Alejandro Danois profiles the Dunbar Poets of Baltimore, a high school basketball team who overcame despearate circumstances in 1980s Baltimore to produce four NBA players and give hope to a city thanks to a relentless coach who challenged his team to achieve greatness.
S&S / HOWARD BOOKS
Believing In Magic (Sept., $26) by Cookie Johnson. The wife of NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson shares details of her marriage, motherhood, faith, and how an HIV diagnosis twenty-five years ago changed the course of their lives forever.
Four Things Women Want From A Man (Feb., $14.99) by AR Bernard reveals the four qualities women want in a man—qualities that contribute to a satisfying and happy relationship.
S&S / KAREN HUNTER PUBLISHING
The Gay Preacher’s Wife (Oct., paper $16) by Lydia Meredith. The personal memoir of a woman who spent almost thirty years married to a preacher, only to have her husband leave her for a man, and how her life becomes a testimony of tolerance and a theology of love and acceptance.
Killing Biggie (Mar., $26) by Aston George “Funkmaster Flex” Taylor, Jr. marks the twentieth anniversary of the unsolved murder of hip-hop icon The Notorious B.I.G. (aka Christopher Wallace), by offering a definitive inside look at his tragic life and death.
S&S / NORTH STAR WAY
Now Or Never (Dec., $23.99) by Alexi Panos and Preston Smiles. The internationally recognized next generation thought leaders redefine what’s possible in relationships, career, and life.
Invisible Men: A Contemporary Slave Narrative in the Era of Mass Incarceration (Oct., $22.99) by Flores A. Forbes. The former imprisoned Black Panther leader offers essays mining his experience with incarceration, hiding and re-entry into society, and the issue of increasing struggles and inequality for formerly incarcerated men into a collection of poignant essays, giving invisible men a voice and face in society.
Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American (Oct., $25) by Okey Ndibe shares his own immigrant’s tale, where what is lost in translation is often as hilarious as it is harrowing.
SPIEGEL & GRAU
Rest In Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin (Jan., $26) by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. A parents' story showing the extraordinary strength, dignity, grace, and faith it takes to turn pain into purpose, chaos into community, and their son's legacy into a cultural shift.
ST. MARTIN’S PRESS
Way of the Reaper: My Greatest Untold Missions and the Art of Being a Sniper (Sept., $27.99) by Nicholas Irving and Gary Brozek recalls Nick "The Reaper" Irving's 10 greatest sniper kill missions that provide insight into the art of being a sniper.
The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own (Jan., $25.99) edited by Veronica Chambers gathers essays in a tribute to America’s beloved first lady, Michelle Obama, as she leaves the White House.
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America (Mar., $23.99) by Michael Eric Dyson speaks out honestly and provocatively to white America.
ST. MARTIN’S / THOMAS DUNNE
A Consequential President: The Legacy of Barack Obama (Jan., $27.99) by Michael D'Antonio offers a bold assessment of the lasting successes and major achievements of President Obama.
ST. MARTIN’S GRIFFIN
Diamonds and Pearl (Oct., paper $16.99) by K’wan. As the stakes get higher, Diamonds has to push away his past if he’s to grab hold of his future—but by doing so, will he show Pearl that all that glitters isn’t gold?
Luxe Two: A LaLa Land Addiction: A Novel (Oct., $15.99) by Ashley Antoinette.
With a crack cocaine addiction that she can’t seem to escape, Bleu has two great loves that want to come to her rescue–but will both men lose her to a love she can’t get rid of?
King of the Dancehall (Jan., paper $15.99) by Nick Cannon ties in to the movie starring Cannon about a Brooklyn man who travels to Jamaica and triumphs in the dance halls.
TIME INC. BOOKS / LIBERTY STREET
Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White (Sept., $27.95) by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explores the origins of bias and inequality through the most socially relevant issues of our day.
UNIV. OF PITTSBURGH PRESS
Spirit Boxing (Feb., paper $15.95) by Afaa Michael Weaver mines his own experience as a factory worker in his native Baltimore, to build poems that extend from his life to the lives that inhabit the entire landscape of the American working class.
Instill and Inspire: The John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African American Art (Mar., $49.95) by Grace Stanislaus includes 58 works of art by 20 African American artists working primarily in the twentieth century.
True South: Henry Hampton and Eyes on the Prize, the Landmark Television Series That Reframed the Civil Rights Movement (Jan., $30) by Jon Else. The series’ producer and cinematographer shares the inside story of one of the most important and influential TV shows in history.
Detox Your Heart: Meditations for Healing Emotional Trauma (Feb., paper $16.95) by Valerie Mason-John provides meditation exercises based on the Buddhist principles of mindfulness, loving kindness, and compassion as tools to help us heal our own hurts and to close the gap that toxic emotions create between heart and mind.
YALE UNIV. PRESS
Celia, a Slave (Sept., paper $18) by Barbara Seyda foregrounds twenty-three diverse characters to recall the events that led to the hanging of nineteen-year-old Celia, an African American slave convicted in a Missouri court of murdering her master, the prosperous landowner Robert Newsom, in 1855.
Gather Out of Star-Dust: A Harlem Renaissance Album (Feb., paper $21.95) by Melissa Barton showcases fifty objects–letters, journal entries, photographs, artworks, and first editions, from the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters at Beinecke Library–accompanied by mini-essays telling pieces of the story about this dynamic period.
Self-Evident Truths: Contesting Equal Rights from the Revolution to the Civil War (Feb., $40) by Richard D. Brown shows how high principles fared in criminal trials and divorce cases when minorities, women, and people from different social classes faced judgment.
The Poetry of Pop (Mar., $26) by Adam Bradley reveals the poetic artistry of popular song lyrics from Delta blues to rock ‘n’ roll to today’s hits.
Simulacra (Mar., paper $20) by Airea D. Matthews offers poems that cross historical boundaries and speak emphatically from a racialized America where the trajectories of joy and exploitation, striving and thwarting, violence and celebration are constrained by differentials of privilege and contemporary modes of communication.