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 2017 and March 2018. For a list of African-American interest books for young readers, please visit African-American Interest Young Reader’s Titles, 2017–2018.


Never Stop (Sept., $17) by Simba Sana. The co-founder and longtime leader of black-owned indie bookseller Karibu Books offers a personal story about struggle and success.


To Funk and Die in LA: A D Hunter Mystery (Sept., $24.95, paper $15.95) by Nelson George. The fourth book in the D Hunter crime-fiction series brings the ex-bodyguard to the City of Angels on a very dark mission when his businessman grandfather is shot dead in a drive-by.

An Unkindness of Ghosts: A Novel (Oct., paper $15.95) by Rivers Solomon explores the struggles of slum dwellers aboard a futuristic space vessel organized much like the antebellum South.

Mouths Don’t Speak: A Novel (Jan., paper $15.95) by Katia D. Ulysse. A Haitian immigrant in the U.S. tries to stay emotionally afloat after the 2010 Haitian earthquake rips her family apart.

We Matter: Athletes and Activism (Feb., $27.95, paper $15.95) by Etan Thomas uses interviews and essays from high-profile activist athletes to explore the intersection of sports and politics.

Knucklehead: A Novel (Feb., paper $15.95) by Adam Smyer. A fierce, intelligent, hilarious novel about a young African American attorney who struggles to keep his cool in the personally and politically turbulent ’90s.


Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies (Sept., $24.99) by Dick Gregory gathers, in his unapologetically candid tradition, a new collection of essays charting the complex and often obscured history of the African American experience.

The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir (Nov., $25.99) by Jenifer Lewis shares the actress’s story of survival and rising above the seemingly insurmountable odds due to her ferocious spirit and sense of humor.

Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires (Jan., $26.99) by Shomari Wills examines the origins of American commerce, recounting how this group of extraordinary individuals overcame obstacles to become America’s first black millionaires.

Open Season: The Systemic Legalization of Discrimination (Jan., $25.99) by Benjamin Crump chronicles one lawyer’s personal journey working on some of the most egregious civil rights cases, including the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown’s cases.


Wild Beauty (Nov., $21) by Ntozake Shange. More than sixty original and selected poems in both English and Spanish that act as a call to action for a new generation of women, people of color, feminists, and activists to follow in the author’s footsteps in the pursuit of equality and understanding.

Parental Discretion Is Advised (Dec., $26) by Gerrick D. Kennedy chronicles the rise, fall, and legacy of N.W.A, one of America’s most iconic enduring music groups, who put their stamp on pop culture, black culture, and who changed hip-hop music forever.


The Awakened Woman (Oct., $26) by Tererai Trent. Oprah’s “favorite guest of all time” shares her journey from a child bride in a small Zimbabwe village to one of the world’s most recognizable voices in women’s empowerment and education.


Believe Bigger (Mar., $24) by Marshawn Evans Daniels delivers a practical and inspirational guide for women ready to reclaim their lives and discover a higher purpose after experiencing regret and disappointment.


Black Ink (Jan., $26) by Stephanie Stokes Oliver traces black literature in America from Frederick Douglass to Ta-Nehisi Coates in a collection of twenty-five essays on the power of the written word.

Homey Don’t Play That! (Feb., $26) by David Peisner shares behind-the-scenes stories to show the lasting impact of In Living Color, the trailblazing sketch comedy show that upended television, launched the careers of some of our biggest stars, and changed the way we talk, think, and laugh about race.

Black Girls Rock! (Mar., $30) by Beverly Bond. The founder of the mentoring organization and awards show Black Girls Rock! pairs specially-commissioned photography with essays from black women trailblazers, celebrities, and influencers of our time.

Heart Talk (Mar., $23.99) by Cleo Wade. “The Millennial Oprah” shares over 120 original poems, mantras, and affirmations to serve as a daily pep talk to keep you feeling empowered and motivated.


Tempest (Jan., paper $7.99) by Beverly Jenkins continues the Old West series with an arranged marriage becoming a grand passion.

A Princess In Theory (Feb., paper $7.99) by Alyssa Cole follows a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise.


Love Will Always Remember (Oct., $6.99 paper) by Tracey Livesay. The more time they spend together, the more Jonathan begins to fall for his brother’s fiancé–until he’s wishing the pretense were reality.


Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together (Oct., $27) by Van Jones. The CNN political contributor offers a blueprint for transforming our collective anxiety into meaningful change.


Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Nov., $27) by Reni Eddo-Lodge serves as a wake-up call to everyone in denial about the structural and institutional racism occurring in our homes, office, and communities.


At the Altar of Lynching: Burning Sam Hose in the American South (Sept., $29.99) by Donald G. Mathews newly interprets the murder of Sam Hose–a black day-laborer who killed his white employer in a workplace dispute–by looking at how mainline Protestants, including women, not only came to support or accept lynching, but gave the act religious meaning and justification.

The Weeping Time: Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History (Nov., $24.99) by Anne C. Bailey analyzes the operation of the 1859 auction and traces the lives of slaves before, during, and after their sale.


Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent (Jan, $29.95, paper) edited by Reynaldo Anderson and John Jennings collects the essays, poetry, and artwork from the groundbreaking exhibition “Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination.”


Feed The Resistance: Recipes + Ideas for Getting Involved (Oct., $14.95) by Julia Turshen provides recipes, lists, resources, and essays from activists in the worlds of food, politics, and social causes.

200 Women: Who Will Change The Way You See The World (Oct., $50) edited by Ruth Hobday,‎ Geoff Blackwell,‎ and Sharon Gelman. Each woman shares her unique reply to the same five questions to offer empowerment and strength to bring positive change.


Heaven Is All Goodbyes (Sept., paper $15.95) by Tongo Eisen-Martin. From the Pocket Poets series, momentums of political and spiritual convergence, surrealism and blunt materiality, gangsterism and its husk, revolution and perseverance, are captured in the music of metaphor and pure intention.


Game Face (Nov., $27) by Bernard King. The NBA Hall of Famer revisits memorable matchups against some of the all-time greats, including Michael Jordan, Julius Erving, Larry Bird, and Charles Barkley.


The Betting Vow (Sept., paper $7.99) by K.M. Jackson. The women in the Unconventional Brides series make their own rules – and find the most outrageous ways possible to flip wedding day lockstep into true love.

Breakfast In Bed (Sept., paper $9.95) by Rochelle Alers offers the second installment in The Innkeepers series, about four women of different ages and cultural heritages finding romance and new lives in New Orleans.

Dirty Tricks (Sept., paper $15) by Kiki Swinson and Saundra delivers a double dose of drama that will appeal to fans of Ashley JaQuavis and Wahida Clark.

Pearl Tongue (Sept., paper $15) by Tyrone Bentley takes street-lit to another level when one woman must choose between two brothers.

The Perfect Present (Sept., paper $7.99) by Rochelle Alers, Cheris Hodges, and Pamela Yaye deliver three scorching novellas with a holiday theme.

Deadly Rumors (Oct., paper $7.99) by Cheris Hodges. The third installment in the Rumor series pairs a smooth FBI agent with an elite private investigator, as they work together on a case that hits close to home.

The Devil You Know (Oct., $25) by Mary Monroe. The final book in the Lonely Heart, Deadly Heart series blends fear, desperation and suspense into an exciting drama.

Have You Met Nora? (Oct., paper $15) by Nicole Blades thrills with an exploration of identity, lies, and the lengths one woman will go to in order protect the life she has made for herself.

To Love Betray (Nov., paper $9.95) by Shelly Ellis. Secrets and scandals are a way of life for the Murdochs of Chesterton, Virginia, but the lies that bind may end up tearing them apart.

Bad Behavior (Dec., paper $15.95) by Kiki Swinson and Noire join forces to create another thrill ride that will appeal to fans of gritty, sexy novels.

Beneath The Darkest Sky (Jan., $26) by Jason Overstreet. An ex-FBI agent plunges into the darkest shadows of 1930s Europe, where everything he loves is on the line.

If It Ain’t About The Money (Jan., paper $12.95) by Saundra. Three women, one slim chance to beat the streets, no guarantee that cold hard cash will help their escape.

A Sister’s Secret (Feb., paper $12.95) by Cydney Rax. In the wake of a major loss, five sisters agree to meet on the regular to keep it real–but a secret they never saw coming will challenge them and everything they counted on.

Stiletto Justice (Feb., paper $12.95) by Camryn King delivers an intriguing tale of three resourceful women with a ruthless senator in their sights—and even more explosive ways to take him down.


We’re Going To Need More Wine (Oct., $26.99) by Gabrielle Union offers a collection of personal and true essays about gender, sexuality, race, beauty, Hollywood, and what it means to be a modern woman.


My Pride: Mastering Life’s Daily Performance (Nov., $24.99) by Alton Fitzgerald White draws on his life, career and the rich lore of The Lion King to deliver a philosophy that anyone can get through each day with satisfaction, pride and a sense of accomplishment.


Six Words Fresh off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, and Coming to America (Sept., $15.99) edited by Larry Smith marries the immigration-themed TV series Fresh off the Boat with the bestselling Six-Word Memoir series to paint a powerful portrait of who we are as a country, and where we come from.


Dare Not linger: The Presidential Years (Oct., $28) by Nelson Mandela and Mandla Langa completes the second volume of Mandela’s unfinished memoirs with notes and speeches from his presidency.


Failing Up (Mar., $19.99) by Leslie Odom Jr. The originator of the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical Hamilton taps into universal themes of starting something new, following your passions, discovering your own potential, and surrounding yourself with the right people.


The Encyclopedia of Black Comics (Sept., $23.29) by Sheena C. Howard focuses on people of African descent who have made notable achievements within and/or across Black comic culture.


The Book of Leon (Oct., $25) by Leon Black. Leon Black (played by comedian JB Smoove on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm) drops his wisdom and good-bad advice for the masses.

Stand By Your Truth (Oct., $25.99) by Rickey Smiley. Part memoir, testimonial, and life guide, mixing Rickey’s down-home humor with the values he learned from being raised by three generations of elders, steeped in the Baptist church, and mentored by some of the most celebrated comics in the entertainment industry today.

The Last Black Unicorn (Dec., $26) by Tiffany Haddish delivers a sidesplitting, edgy, and unflinching collection of extremely personal essays, as fearless as the author herself, to inspire others through the power of laughter.


The Spice Diet: Use Powerhouse Flavor to Fight Cravings and Win the Weight-Loss Battle (Jan., $27) by Chef Judson Todd Allen offers a diet plan for food lovers using the principles of food science to design creative and flavorful meals low in calories and fat.


High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing (Feb., $27.99) by Ben Austen charts the almost seventy-year history of the notorious Chicago housing project through the lives of a handful of unforgettable characters who struggled to make a home for their families amidst larger forces that were helping speed the complex’s decay.

Unsuccessful Thug (Feb., $26.99) by Mike Epps tracks one comedian’s journey from the Indianapolis projects to Hollywood stardom and the insight he’s gained along the way.

Speak No Evil (Mar., $26.99) by Uzodinma Iweala. Through the eyes of a queer Nigerian character, explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles.


The Hollywood Commandments: A Spiritual Guide to Secular Success (Sept., $25.99) by DeVon Franklin. The Hollywood producer, preacher, motivational speaker, and bestselling author of The Wait shares the spiritual lessons he learned about success in one of the most secular places: Hollywood.


This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America (Jan., paper $15.99) by Morgan Jerkins exposes the social, cultural, and historical story of black female oppression that influences the black community as well the white, male-dominated world at large.


Silencer: Poems (Sept., paper $15.95) by Marcus Wicker share the words of a Midwest-born black man and academic surrounded by close white friends who still squirm when he mentions race.

Ali: A Life (Oct., $30) by Jonathan Eig reshapes the understanding of the complicated man in this unauthorized biography.

The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the End of Baseball’s Golden Age (Oct., $28) by Sridhar Pappu chronicles the 1968 baseball season which culminated in one of the greatest World Series contests ever, during one of America’s most tumultuous years.

Garden of the Lost and Abandoned: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Woman and the Children She Saves (Nov., $27) by Jessica Yu explores the mission of journalist Gladys Kalibbala, who writes a weekly column for Uganda’s largest newspaper to reunite castaway and lost children with their families.


Uncompromising Activist: Richard Greener, First Black Graduate of Harvard College (Sept., $24.95) by Katherine Reynolds Chaddock profiles the activist and scholar (1844–1922) who during Reconstruction was the first black faculty member at a southern white college, and the first black US diplomat to a white country–but who died in obscurity.

The Black Skyscraper: Architecture and the Perception of Race (Nov., $42.95) by Adrienne Brown explores this architecture’s effects on how race was seen, read, and sensed at the turn of the twentieth century.

College Athletes’ Rights and Well-Being: Critical Perspectives on Policy Practice (Nov., paper $34.95), edited by Eddie Comeaux hears from athletes on everything from concussion protocols and collective bargaining to amateurism, Title IX’s gender-separate allowance, and conference realignment.


The Goddess of Mtwara and Other Stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2017 (Nov., paper $16.95) gathers seventeen short stories including five shortlisted for Africa’s leading literary prize, plus stories written at the 2017 Caine Prize Writers’ Workshop in Tanzania.


An Extraordinary Union: The Loyal League #1 (Mar., paper $15) by Alyssa Cole blends Civil War action, intrigue, history, and romance, as freedwoman Elle goes undercover as a mute slave in order to spy for the Union.


Unforgivable Love (Sept., $15.99 paper) by Sophfronia Scott. Heiress Mae Malveaux rules society with an angel’s smile and a heart of stone–but she’s unprepared for what can happen between a man and a woman when the thrill of the chase spirals wildly out of control.


All The Women In My Family Sing: Women Write The World–Essays on Equality, Justice and Freedom (Jan., paper $15.95) by Deborah Santana gathers prose and poetry from 69 women writers of color on the complexities of their varied life journeys.


Langston’s Salvation: American Religion and the Bard of Harlem (Nov., $35) by Wallace D. Best weaves together the varied and often controversial strands of Hughes’s life to paint a more complete picture of a nonconformist and his modern relationship with religion.

Facing the Rising Sun: African Americans, Japan, and the Rise of Afro-Asian Solidarity (Jan., $30) by Gerald Horne reveals the surprising alliance between Japan and pro-Tokyo African Americans during World War II.

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (Feb., $28) by

Safiya Umoja Noble looks at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms.


100 Amazing Facts About the Negro (Oct., $40) by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. offers questions and answers to shine light on the complexity and diversity of being African American.


Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors: Stories from the Jim Crow Museum (Oct., $24.95 paper) by Dr. David Pilgrim uses images from the museum and stories from the author’s journey, challenging the integrity of racial narratives.


Black Girl Magic (Jan., $16.99) by Mahogany L. Browne, illus. by Jess X. Snow

challenges the conditioning of society by crafting an anthem of strength and an invitation to readers to find magic in themselves.


Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives Are Surveilled and How to Work for Change (Dec., $34) by Angela J. Hattery and Earl Smith walks readers through critical issues facing African Americans in the criminal justice system—from police brutality to exoneration and re-entry.

Jazz in the 1970s: Diverging Streams (Jan., $40) by Bill Shoemaker explores a pivotal decade in jazz history, examining both the diverse musical innovations and cultural developments that elevated jazz internationally.

The Politics of Black Radicalism (Jan., $120) by Kehinde Andrews provides the theoretical and political basis for understanding and reviving the tradition of Black radicalism, which is essential for transforming the conditions of racism across the globe.

Excessive Use of Force: One Mother’s Struggle Against Police Brutality and Misconduct (Mar., $34) by Loretta P. Prater confronts the far-reaching consequences of police brutality through the personal case of her son, numerous examples of other cases, and a review of related research.


So You Want to Talk About Race (Jan., $27) by Ijeoma Oluo looks to facilitate informed, positive dialogue with each chapter focusing on a question–for anyone who wants to talk about race, or doesn’t want to but knows we need to.


August Snow (Jan., paper $15.95) by Stephen Mack Jones follows ex-cop August Snow from the wealthy suburbs to the remains of Detroit’s bankrupt factory districts in a fast-paced tale of murder, greed, sex, economic cyber-terrorism, race, and urban decay.


The Darkest Child (Jan., paper $14.99) by Delores Philips visits a fictional Georgia town in 1958 where a thirteen-year-old girl tries to break free from her mother’s violent grasp by attending the first integrated class at a nearby white high school.


The Last Day of Emily Lindsey (Oct., paper $15.99) by Nic Joseph. After a woman is found holding a knife, covered in blood that is not her own, a man must get inside her head to solve a mystery without a crime.


The Silence of Our Friends (Jan., paper $9.99) by Mark Long and Jim Demonakos, illus. by Nate Powell. A semi-autobiographical tale set in 1967 Houston, as a white family from a racist suburban neighborhood and a black family from its poorest ward cross Houston’s color line to win the freedom of five black college students unjustly charged with the murder of a policeman.


Not Our President: New Directions from the Pushed Out, the Others, and the Clear Majority in Trump’s Stolen America (Sept., paper $22.95) edited by Haki R. Madhubuti and Lasana Kazembe calls for critical thinking and action, and progressive movement-building among everyday people.

Rise of the Phoenix: Voices from Chicago’s Black Struggle, 1960 to 1975 (Sept., paper $32.95) edited by Useni Eugene Perkins documents the lives and voices of the people who participated in the events of the Black Empowerment and Black Arts movements of the 1960s and 1970s.


Love’s Not Color Blind: Race and Representation in Polyamorous Communities (Mar., paper $14.95) by Kevin Patterson. A polyamorous black man explores the intersections of racism and polyamory, and its impact on people of color navigating an already misunderstood lifestyle.


In a Language That You Know (Oct., paper $15.95) by Len Verwey offers poems striving to understand the complexity of South Africa, one of the most unequal, violent, yet most vibrant societies in the world.

Think of Lampedusa (Oct., paper $15.95) by Josué Guébo, trans. by Todd Fredson.

A collection of serial poems addressing the 2013 shipwreck that killed 366 Africans attempting to migrate secretly to Lampedusa, an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Stray (Mar., paper $17.95) by Bernard Farai Matambo features poems that both capture the essence of identity and articulate the pain of displacement and speak to the vulnerability of Africans who have left their native continent.


Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Educational Equality (Sept., $26) by Pamela Grundy draws on two decades of interviews with students, educators, and alumni of a community’s beloved school to tell a broader American story of education, community, democracy, and race while raising questions about present-day strategies for school reform.

Game of Privilege: An African American History of Golf (Sept., $30) by Lane Demas explores the role of race, class, and public space in golf course development, the stories of individual black golfers during the age of segregation, the legal battle to integrate public golf courses, and the little-known history of the United Golfers Association (UGA)–a black golf tour that operated from 1925 to 1975.

Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition (Oct., $90, paper $29.95) by Adam Gussow argues that there is more to the story of the devil and the blues than the usual clichéd understandings.

Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South (Oct., $26) by Karen L. Cox revisits a 1932 crime in Natchez, Mississippi, providing a unique lens through which to view the transformation of the plantation South into the fallen, gothic South.

Jah Kingdom: Rastafarians, Tanzania, and Pan-Africanism in the Age of Decolonization (Oct., $90, paper $32.95) by Monique A. Bedasse argues that repatriation to Africa represents the most important vehicle of Rastafari’s international growth.

Medicalizing Blackness: Making Racial Difference in the Atlantic World, 1780-1840 (Oct., $90, paper $27.95) by Rana A. Hogarth examines the creation and circulation of medical ideas about blackness in the Atlantic World during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

The Promise of Patriarchy: Women and the Nation of Islam (Oct., $90; paper 29.95) by Ula Yvette Taylor documents their struggle to escape the devaluation of black womanhood while also clinging to the empowering promises of patriarchy.

Radical Intellect: Liberator Magazine and Black Activism in the 1960s (Oct., $90, paper $29.95) by Christopher M. Tinson offers a history of the organization that produced the monthly magazine dedicated to the dissemination of a range of cultural criticism aimed at spurring political activism.

Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital (Nov., $39.95) by Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove tells the four-century story of race and democracy in our nation’s capital, highlighting the city’s rich history of local activism as Washingtonians of all races have struggled to make their voices heard in an undemocratic city where residents lack full political rights.

The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta (Nov., $29.95) by Maurice J. Hobson complicates the long-held view of Atlanta as a mecca for black people by highlighting a striking schism between the black political elite and poor city-dwellers.

Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era (Nov., $29.95) by Ashley D. Farmer demonstrates how female activists fought for more inclusive understandings of Black Power and social justice by developing new ideas about black womanhood.

Winning Our Freedoms Together: African Americans and Apartheid, 1945–1960 (Nov., $90, paper $32.95) by Nicholas Grant examines how African Americans engaged with, supported, and were inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, and questions the dominant perception that U.S.-centered anticommunism decimated black international activism.

Black Firefighters and the FDNY: The Struggle for Jobs, Justice, and Equity in New York City (Dec., $39.95) by David Goldberg demonstrates how black firefighters in New York helped to create affirmative action from the “bottom up,” while simultaneously revealing how white resistance to these efforts shaped white working-class conservatism and myths of American meritocracy.

Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South (Feb., $39.95) by Kimberly M. Welch draws on over 1,000 examples of free and enslaved black litigants who used the courts to protect their interests and reconfigure their place in a tense society.

Frederick Douglass: America’s Prophet (Feb., $28) by D. H. Dilbeck interprets Douglass’s life through the lens of his faith, providing essential new perspective on his place in American history.

May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem (Feb., $26) by Imani Perry illuminates how the twin acts of singing and fighting for freedom have been inseparable in African American history.

Louis Austin and the Carolina Times: A Life in the Long Black Freedom Struggle (Mar., $34.95) by Jerry Gershenhorn chronicles Austin’s career as a journalist and activist, highlighting his work during the Great Depression, World War II, and the postwar civil rights movement.


Cape Verdean Blues (Mar., $15.95) by Shauna Barbosa explores how we locate ourselves within the definitions of words, how we interrogate encounters and how we give them space.


Convicted: A Crooked Cop, an Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship (Sept., $21.99) by Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins with Mark Tabb shares the true story of how these two men’s lives were forever changed because of a chance encounter in a community long troubled by racial strife.

The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For (Jan., paper $15.99) by Jo Saxton examines biblical figures and shares her personal story as she invites readers to turn to the One who knows them intimately and loves them deeply.


How to Fix a Broken Record (Nov., $16.99 paper) by Amena Brown chronicles the spoken word poet’s journey of healing as she’s allowed the music of God’s love to replace the scratchy taunts of her past.

Can’t Nothing Bring Me Down: Chasing Myself In the Race Against Time (Feb., $22.99) by Ida Keeling. The 102-year-old record holder for the 60-meter dash in her age group shares her inspirational story about growing up as a child of immigrants during the Depression and later raising four children as a single mother, offering time-tested truths gathered from a lifetime of watching a nation change.

Wholeness (Feb., $22.99) by Touré Roberts shows how to remove invisible boundaries from our lives that keep us from realizing our highest potential.