Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
About the List
This curation of literary fiction represents the talent and creativity that exists within the black community!
Beloved by Toni Morrison--author of Song of Solomon and Tar Baby--is a writer of remarkable powers: her novels, brilliantly acclaimed for their passion, their dazzling language and their lyric and emotional force, combine the unassailable truths of experience and emotion with the vision of legend and imagination. It is the story--set in post-Civil War Ohio--of Sethe, an escaped slave who has risked death in order to wrench herself from a living death; who has lost a husband and buried a child; who has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad: a woman of "iron eyes and backbone to match." Sethe lives in a small house on the edge of town with her daughter, Denver, her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, and a disturbing, mesmerizing intruder who calls herself Beloved. Sethe works at "beating back the past," but it is alive in all of them. It keeps Denver fearful of straying from the house. It fuels the sadness that has settled into Baby Suggs' "desolated center where the self that was no self made its home." And to Sethe, the past makes itself heard and felt incessantly: in memories that both haunt and soothe her...in the arrival of Paul D ("There was something blessed in his manner. Women saw him and wanted to weep"), one of her fellow slaves on the farm where she had once been kept...in the vivid and painfully cathartic stories she and Paul D tell each other of their years in captivity, of their glimpses of freedom...and, most powerfully, in the apparition of Beloved, whose eyes are expressionless at their deepest point, whose doomed childhood belongs to the hideous logic of slavery and who, as daughter, sister and seductress, has now come from the "place over there" to claim retribution for what she lost and for what was taken from her. Sethe's struggle to keep Beloved from gaining full possession of her present--and to throw off the long, dark legacy of her past--is at the center of this profoundly affecting and startling novel. But its intensity and resonance of feeling, and the boldness of its narrative, lift it beyond its particulars so that it speaks to our experience as an entire nation with a past of both abominable and ennobling circumstance. In Beloved, Toni Morrison has given us a great American novel. Toni Morrison was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Literature for Beloved.
Call Number: PS3563.O8749 B4 1987
Publication Date: 1987-08-12
Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood's debut novel, Soul Kiss, received accolades from reviewers and writers alike. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution hailed it as "exquisite" while Tina McElroy Ansa called it "extraordinary . . . lyrical, intimate, funny, unsettling, enthralling." Now, in her second novel, Youngblood explores the endeavor of a creative coming-of-age, and infuses her story with the same mesmerizing, lush language and impressionistic style of her first remarkable work.Black Girl in Paris wends its way around the mythology of Paris as a legendary hothouse for African-American artists. Like James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker, and Billie Holiday, Youngblood's heroine leaves the American South nurturing a dream of finding artistic emancipation in the City of Light. She experiments freely, inhabiting different incarnations--artist's model, poet's helper, au pair, teacher, thief, and lover--to keep body and soul together, to heal the wounds of her broken family and broken heart, to discover her sexual self, and to wrestle her dreams of becoming a writer into reality.Youngblood's natural lyricism, as effortless as an inspired improvisation, and her respect for the tradition she depicts create a natural tension between old and new, reverence and innovation, and mark this novel as a worthy successor to her much-praised debut.
Call Number: PS3575.O8685 B58 2000
Publication Date: 2000-01-24
The Bluest Eye by NATIONAL BESTSELLER * The acclaimed Nobel Prize winner powerfully examines our obsession with beauty and conformity--and asks questions about race, class, and gender with her characteristic subtly and grace. In Morrison's bestselling first novel, Pecola Breedlove--an 11-year-old Black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others--prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment. Here, Morrison's writing is "so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry" (The New York Times).
Call Number: PS3563.O8749 B55 2007
Publication Date: 2007-05-08
The Bondwoman's Narrative by Written in the 1850s by a runaway slave, THE BONDS- WOMANS NARRATIVE is both an historically important literary event and a gripping autobiographical novel in its own right.When her master is betrothed to a woman who conceals a tragic secret, Hannah Crafts, a young slave on a wealthy North Carolina plantation, runs away in a bid for her freedom up North. Pursued by slave hunters, imprisoned by a mysterious and cruel captor, held by sympathetic strangers, and forced to serve a demanding new mistress, she finally makes her way to freedom in New Jersey. Her compelling story provides a fascinating view of American life in the mid-1800s and the literary conventions of the time. Quite possibly the only novel written by a runaway slave, THE BONDSWOMANS NARRATIVE is a provocative literary landmark and a significant historical event that will captivate a diverse audience.
Call Number: PS1449.C673 B66 2002b
Publication Date: 2002-04-02
Invisible Man by Both a deeply compelling bestselling novel and an epic milestone of American literature. Originally published in 1952 as the first novel by a then unknown author, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The book's nameless narrator describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", before retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, James Joyce, and Dostoevsky.
Call Number: PS3555.L625 I5 1952
Publication Date: 1995-03-14
The Mothers by The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community - and the things that ultimately haunt us most. It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, 17-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. They are young; it's not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance - and the subsequent cover-up - will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.
Call Number: PS3602.E66444 M68 2016
Publication Date: 2016-10-11
Mr. Loverman by Winner of the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction "Evaristo''s confident control of the language, her vibrant use of humor, rhythm and poetry, and the realistic mix of Caribbean patois with both street and the Queen''s English...fix characters in the reader''s mind." --New York Times Sunday Book Review A Top Ten Favorite of the American Library Association''s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table''s 2015 Over the Rainbow List "As a writer at the Guardian once proclaimed, if you don''t know Evaristo''s work, you should...the novel proves to be revolutionary in its honest portrayal of gay men...and Evaristo''s writing is both intelligible and compelling." --Library Journal (starred review) "The writing is poetic, the characters are realistic and all sides are well portrayed." --Huffington Post "Evaristo crafts a colorful look at a unique character confronting social normativity with a well-tuned voice and a resonant humanity." --Publishers Weekly "In this vibrant novel, Evaristo draws wonderful character portraits of complex individuals as well as the West Indian immigrant culture in Britain." --Booklist "Although Evaristo has always been an innovative stylist, her latest novel, the critically acclaimed, award-winning smash, Mr. Loverman, is her chef d''oeuvre; a masterful dissection of the life of a 74-year-old, British-Caribbean gay man." --Huffington Post, feature on Bernardine Evaristo Included in the Bay Area Reporter''s "Pride Reading List: Prose & Poetry" Included in Baltimore Out Loud''s Pride Reading List "If the novelist''s job is to make sense of the world, Bernardine Evaristo''s entire oeuvre attests to her desire to upend preconceived notions of what is and isn''t impossible and reflect that mirror right back at her readers. Mr. Loverman is a powerful, morally rigorous and joyful novel and Bernardine Evaristo is a writer at the height of her imaginative powers." --Huff Post Books "Barrington Jedediah Walker lives in London, but he also lives a lie...As his marriage self-destructs, Barrington sees an opportunity to be with the man he loves, but after such protracted misery in this comic, touching book, happiness seems distant and frightening." --Village Voice "Mr. Loverman is a brilliant portrayal of a life that is only lived fully during the twilight years and the struggle within to get there...This is a book for everyone, not to be shelved into a grouping for just one sector of society." --NEWZ4U.NET "Barrington is the kind of character that is naturally likeable; from his love of Shakespeare down to the tips of his boots, he oozes charm and charisma." --Lit Reactor "It takes you and shakes you silly, leaving you stunned...Of the many books I''ve read so far this year, Mr. Loverman is one of the best." --1330v "Bernardine Evaristo uncovers characters lost to history and myth and with compassion, an original and brilliant voice, and an unparalleled craft--all tinged with humor--she restores them and thus us." --Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas "Evaristo is extremely attentive to the function of language, the power of words to shape reality." --Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World Barrington Jedidiah Walker is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he''s lived in Hackney, London, for years. A flamboyant, wise-cracking character with a dapper taste in retro suits and a fondness for Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father, grandfather--and also secretly gay, lovers with his childhood friend, Morris. His deeply religious and disappointed wife, Carmel, thinks he sleeps with other women. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away? With an abundance of laugh-out-loud humor and wit, Mr. Loverman explodes cultural myths and shows the extent of what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves.
Call Number: PR6055.V25 M72 2014
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
Pet by NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * STONEWALL BOOK AWARD WINNER * ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S 100 BEST YA BOOKS OF ALL TIME NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times * Time * Buzzfeed * NPR * New York Public Library * Publishers Weekly * School Library Journal A genre-defying novel from the award-winning author NPR describes as "like [Madeline] L'Engle...glorious." A singular book that explores themes of identity and justice. Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look? There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother's paintings and a drop of Jam's blood, she must reconsider what she's been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption's house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question--How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist? A riveting and timely young adult debut novel that asks difficult questions about what choices you can make when the society around you is in denial. "[A] beautiful, genre-expanding debut" -The New York Times "The word hype was invented to describe books like this." -Refinery29
Call Number: PZ7.1.E474 Pet 2019
Publication Date: 2019-09-10
Real Life by Almost everything about Wallace, an introverted African-American transplant from Alabama, is at odds with the lakeside Midwestern university town where he is studying for a biochem degree. For reasons of self-preservation, he has kept a distance even from his own friends - some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with a young straight man, conspire to fracture his defences, while revealing hidden currents of resentment and desire that threaten the equilibrium of their community.
Call Number: PS3620.A93534 R43 2020
Publication Date: 2020-02-18
The Salt Eaters by
Call Number: PS3552.A473 S2 1981
Publication Date: 1981-08-12
Born Under A Bad Sign (1967) is a contemporary jazz and blues album by American blues guitarist and singer Albert Nelson, known by his stage name Albert King. Having a renowned career as a musician, he became known as one of the "Kings of the Blues," along with musicians B.B King and Freddie King. This album is Albert King's most popular and influential work.
For other black artists in jazz and blues, visit the Naxos Music Library Jazz database:
Naxos Music Library Jazz Limited to five (5) simultaneous users.
Streaming audio of jazz recordings from the Naxos label as well as Blue Note Records, Warner Jazz, EMI, and Fantasy Jazz, among other record labels.