books with black female leads

Seven-year-old Lulu loves animals. In Jesmyn Ward’s second novel, the National Book Award winning Salvage the Bones, the main character, Esch, is bookish and friendless but tethered to her family as they prepare for Hurricane Katrina. And Nola Darling is iconic. Clever text and playful visuals give this book a few campy thrills and titillating chills—which are both, of course, essential to the ultimate sleepover experience. Revisiting something iconic brings the burden of the original subject’s weight. $7.99. Her prose will break your heart by the end of the first chapter—a testament to her skill in any form. When Igbo-Nigerian born Ifemelu comes to modern America to further her studies after 9/11, she encounters American-bred racism, and her mental health suffers, especially a painful violation. So, when she wants to play Peter Pan in the school play, nothing is going to stop her.

The debut novel of Adiche, Purple Hibiscus is a coming-of-age story of 15-year-old Kamibili. Get new fiction, essays, and poetry delivered to your inbox. Dana yearns for legitimacy outside of her father, outside of men, and comes to understand herself and her own mother more than she thought possible. Though enslaved on a Jamaican sugar plantation in the 19th century, Lilith is a spirited teenager who dreams of a better life and is determined to break the cycle of her persecution. Morrison writes on a loom, weaving place, time and history into the telling of her story, long before Sula is even introduced.

Ninth Ward, by Jewell Parker Rhodes By Brooke Obi e. January 17, 2017. Along with Lee’s films, the ‘90s brought us Family Matters, Hanging With Mr. Cooper, Fresh Prince, Living Single and more. The show’s writers were obviously working to atone for misogynistic errors of the source material. From Americanah to Their Eyes Were Watching God. This exquisite story is about eleven-year-old Serafina, who lives in a rural village in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and dreams of becoming a doctor. Whatever Happened to Interracial Love by Kathleen Collins. Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio and Leuyen Pham Hardcover From birthdays, to field trips, to the day her journal is discovered by Tiffany Harris, the “meanest muffinhead” in second grade, following Keena out of each mix-up is a delight.

But just before the town throws a big parade in Wilma’s honor, a new girl arrives wearing fancy new shoes, and challenges Alta to a race. $5.99. $15.99 A self-proclaimed “sex-positive, polyamorous, pan-sexual” who isn’t into labels, the character sometimes felt more tethered to grand statements than to truth. The Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis Keena Ford, the most “important person in her journal” because it’s hers, is a lovable troublemaker who has to find her way out of the most sticky situations. She is feminist and sexual, proudly black, political and brainy, sometimes brittle and confused. The Street, Ann Petry’s 1946 novel set in Harlem about protagonist Lutie Johnson, a single black mother trying to make her way, sold a million copies when it came out. Will things turn around for Izzy when the big 10k comes to town? In a hypnotic Jamaican vernacular, James tells the story of the Night Women in their own tongue, lending veracity and long-overdue dignity to a people taking freedom into their own hands, and reminding readers that there is power and magic in our tongues.

For characters that feel feminist and challenging, that trouble stereotypes and expand my imagination with depth and complexity, I often turn to novels. A 17-year-old Igbo girl who sees visions and dreams dreams, Addis is a gardener enslaved to the first president of a new country. She had been looking all along for a friend, and it took her a while to discover that a lover was not a comrade and could never be — for a woman. The old folks call it “making a way out of no way.” In the film Lemonade, Beyoncé describes it as “[spinning] gold out of this hard life.” But the best definition of the art of black women and femmes holding down communities, surviving impossible odds, and bearing unbearable burdens, generation after generation after generation was coined by CaShawn Thompson: “#BlackGirlsAreMagic.”. Site designed in collaboration with CMYK. It’s 10 year old Maddy’s turn to have a summer in Bayou Bon Temps with her grandmother; it will be her first time away from home in the city. Nola Darling, the protagonist of the film and series, was played with buoyance by DeWanda Wise in the new version, but how the show handled her sexuality drew mixed reactions from audiences. Please, Baby, Please, by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee. Paperback Growing up in Medallion, Ohio, in the early 1900s, Sula never has much in the way of material possessions or loving family, outside of her best friend Nel.

Flygirl, by Sherri L. Smith $16.99. That’s because she can only be understood if you understand where she’s from. Those techniques scaffold my work now, frame how I process real events, visualize fictions, and distill them into a story. 'Homegoing' by Yaa Gyasi. An epic tale of love, loss, and the cost of liberation, Book of Addis: Cradled Embers is the first novel in a 3-part literary fiction series. An entertaining story with a strong protagonist and an explanation of the voting and Electoral College process that even adults can learn from! Electric Lit relies on contributions from our readers to help make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive. Wielding the power of the pen, Ifemelu writes her way into the American dream. Written entirely in black vernacular, Book of Addis not only honors the poetry and genius of black dialects, but is an homage to a true magical black woman named Oney Judge who escaped from George Washington in 1796 and lived to tell her story. Hardcover I thnink Terry McMillan gets short shrift in the canon, mostly because of the blockbuster level popularity of her third novel Waiting to Exhale and the quotidian sensibility of the terrain she covers. But each book also introduces a new animal friend, whether it’s one of Lulu’s many pets, or one she rescues along the way. Her passions are sundry and are the lifeblood of the novel.

It’s 1961, and sweet, spunky Alta wants to be the fastest runner in Clarksville, TN, just like her idol, three-time Olympic gold medalist Wilma Rudolph. Her perspectives on God, family, and the world around her depict her love of words and story, and masterfully reveal her place as a young girl in the beautiful space of becoming. $18.99. Dealing With Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles series) by Patricia C. Wrede.

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