Black excellence is not just a phrase, it’s a lifestyle.
Everyday, all day, we are excellent. But when Black History Month comes, we get downright PHENOMENAL!
Recently, Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue announced a launch of “classic novels with new covers promoting diversity.” The new covers were actually a reimagining of literary characters as Black people. Among them were titles that included Frankenstein, Romeo & Juliet, Moby Dick & The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
THIS. A lot of us Black people also have books releasing and could use some “diversity promotion”.— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) February 5, 2020
This is essentially literary blackface.
It is not a homage to Black excellence or Black history AT ALL. There are also tons of Black authors whose work could and should be supported instead. And since we shan’t let nobody rain on our Black History parade, in honor of those authors, we’ve compiled a list.
Below are 29 Black authors whose compelling work is shifting our narrative and collective consciousness. We honor them and we support them, all year long!
Zora Neale Hurston
Octavia E. Butler
Ralph Waldo Ellison
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Photos Courtesy of Penguin Random House/HarperCollins Publishing