Celebrate Black Literature: Doreen Boyd’s recommendations

Join us in celebrating black literature! The Texas Book Festival recognizes Black History Month by highlighting black Texas authors, readers, and contributors to the literary community and asking them to share some of their favorite black-authored works. This sharing of past and current books the reader has loved aims to enrich not only our TBR piles, but also our often-too-narrow canon of black literature.

Today’s fantastic list of recommended titles comes from Doreen Boyd, the managing librarian at Austin Public Library’s historic Carver Branch and member of Folktales Black Women’s Literary Society.

Check out the rest of our Celebrate Black Literature blog posts here!

The Poet X – Elizabeth Acevedo

This is a beautifully crafted piece of art. The poetry flows very well with the author sharing stories of her Dominican life in Harlem through poetry. Acevedo’s poetry is skillfully and gorgeously crafted, each verse can be savored on its own, but together they create a portrait of a young poet sure to resonate with readers long after the book’s end. The Poet X has also won multiple prestigious awards, including the Printz Award, the Pura Belpré Award, and the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

God Help the Child – Toni Morrison

I recommend this book as a must read. Toni Morrison captures the essences of the dark-skinned young lady that doesn’t understand or recognize her beauty. Having a mother whom despises her skin color and a father that is totally out the picture, she manages to use her beauty to get the things she wants in life except the love of her mom. As the story unfolds, she will take you through her journey to find that love that she wanted all along.

Brown Girl in the Ring – Nalo Hopkinson

I recommend this book for those that love the Speculative Fiction genre. This is a futuristic novel that takes place in Canada. Nalo Hoppkins has interwoven her native Jamaican roots and folk tales into this story of love and honor. It’s amazing what one will do to save the ancestors.   

Lot: Stories – Bryan Washington

I recommend this book because of the storyline of a young biracial young man with a Black mother and a Latino father coming of age in the city of Houston. The story centers around growing up, fighting with his older brother, and missing his older sister. During this difficult time, he learns the meaning of trust and love in all its unsparing and unsteady forms.