We've got your next powerful read right here.
Many of us don't choose our books by the author. Sure, we all have our favorites. But in general, we look for genres we enjoy, storylines that entice us, or (come on, let's admit it) covers that look intriguing. That said, publishing has a serious diversity problem. According to the most recent Diversity Baseline Study conducted in 2019, 79 percent of respondents identified as white, 78 percent as women, 88 percent as straight, and 92 percent as non-disabled. This is a problem because the people who work in publishing serve as the gatekeepers who decide what voices get amplified, which stories get told, and which experiences readers see reflected. And that matters, both for marginalized populations to get their voices heard and for those of us who come from a place of privilege to learn about experiences that aren't our own.
Reading broadens our perspectives. It lets other voices inside our heads, and gives credence to those stories. We can push back against that lack of diversity by supporting Black, POC, and otherwise marginalized authors. Even the most far-fetched fantasies come from someone's lived experience, and it's beyond time to make sure our bookshelves are as diverse as our world. To that end, we've gathered a list of some of our favorite Black authors. There's a new favorite here for everyone, guaranteed.