The following is a selective 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 2013 and March 2014. For a list of African-American interest books for young readers, click here.
This I Know for Sure (Sept., paper $15.99) by Babbie Mason. The award-winning gospel singer-songwriter challenges readers to examine their personal relationships with God.
African American History Month Daily Devotions 2014 (Dec., paper $2.49) by Angela Roberts Jones provides a reading a day through the month of February based on Scripture passages and African-American history.
In the Zone: How to Get Over Your Obstacles and Succeed (Feb., $16.99) by Mark Crear uses his own medal-winning Olympic experiences to show how discipline helps overcome success-blocking obstacles.
How Sweet the Sound (Mar., paper $14.99) by Vanessa Miller. Shar Gracey takes a detour through gospel music before she discovers the sweet sound of love.
Bedrock Faith (Mar., paper $16.95) by Eric Charles May looks at a morality clash in an insular Chicago neighborhood.
Haiti Noir 2: The Classics (Jan., paper $15.95) edited by Edwidge Danticat gathers all new stories by today’s best Haitian authors, with a portion of the profits donated to FotoKonbit.
Madam Walker Theatre Center: An Indianapolis Treasure (Oct., paper $21.99) by A’Lelia Bundles (Madam Walker’s great granddaughter) uses images from personal family archives to document the legacy of the landmark building that was formerly the headquarters of one of America’s most successful black-owned businesses.
The Fall of Saints (Feb., $24) by Wanjiku wa Ngugi. A Kenyan expat is living the American dream–until she uncovers her husband’s secrets.
Red Now and Laters (Mar., paper $15) by Marcus J. Guillory reveals 1980s Texan Creole culture where a gifted boy comes of age at the crossroads of privilege and poverty, life and death.
ATRIA / CASH MONEY CONTENT
The Rejected Stone (Oct., $22) by Al Sharpton discusses his personal evolution from street activist, pulpit provocateur to civil rights leader, providing a series of essential life lessons for readers.
Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II (Sept., $26.99) by Farah Jasmine Griffin discusses how three black female artists–novelist Ann Petry, choreographer and dancer Pearl Primus, and composer and pianist Mary Lou Williams–made enormous strides for social justice during the war.
By the Rivers of Water: A Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey (Oct., $29.99) by Erskine Clarke offers a portrait of two very different worlds riven by war and racial hatred and sustained by deep—and, occasionally, shared—faiths.
A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America (Dec., $29.99) by Jacqueline Jones traces the lives of six African Americans who battled economic injustices because of the color of their skin.
Stokely: A Life (Mar., $29.99) by Peniel E. Joseph argues that the young firebrand’s evolution from nonviolent activist to Black Power revolutionary reflected the trajectory of a generation radicalized by the violence and unrest of the late 1960s.
A Time to Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King., Jr. for Students (Nov., $25.95; paper $14) by Martin Luther King., Jr. collects Dr. King’s essential writings for high school students and young people.
Transforming Pain to Power (Mar., $19.95) by Daniel Beaty uses his own personal journey from a childhood rife with poverty, incarceration, and rage, to give readers the tools to overcome any challenge or obstacle in their lives.
Prepared for a Purpose: The Inspiring True Story of How One Woman Saved an Atlanta School Under Siege (Jan., $24.99) by Antoinette Tuff recalls how she faced her own pain, hurt, and rejection, yet held onto grace, faith, and hope to avert a school tragedy.
Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities (Sept., $29.99) by Craig Steven Wilder reveals a history of oppression behind the institutions usually considered the cradle of liberal politics.
Men We Reaped (Sept., $26) by Jesmyn Ward shares her experience of living through the loss of five young men in her life—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty.
Starting At Zero: His Own Story (Oct., $26) by Jimi Hendrix weaves the scraps and bits of the artist’s life together with interviews and lyrics, in his own words.
Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion (Nov., $75) by Robert Gordon offers a character-driven story of a treasured cultural institution and the city that created it.
The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era (Jan., $29.99) by Douglas R. Egerton traces the struggles of some 1500 African-American officeholders, in both the North and South, who fought entrenched white resistance.
The Love Playbook (Jan., $24.95) by La La Anthony. The reality star provides empowering advice for healthy relationships and a happy life.
Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin (Feb., $18.95) by Bayard Rustin, edited by Devon W. Carbado and Donald Weise, relaunches the title in honor of Rustin’s being posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
CLEIS PRESS / VIVA EDITIONS
Everything I Needed to Know I Learned From My Six-Month-Old: Awakening To Unconditional Self-Love in Motherhood (Sept., paper $15.95) by Kuwana Haulsey demonstrates that babies are actually extraordinary spiritual teachers who are capable of showing their caregivers the way toward inspired living.
Sister Betty Says I Do (Sept., paper $15) by Pat G’Orge-Walker. This time around Sister Betty is getting married–that is, if she can make it to the altar.
Trinity Falls (Sept., paper $6.99) by Regina Hart follows an uptown girl who escapes the big city and finds true love in a small town.
A Good Dose of Pleasure (Oct., paper $6.99) by Zuri Day returns with the second installment of the Morgan men series, which blends contemporary romance and passion with a modern storyline.
Losing to Win (Oct., paper $15) by Michele Grant weaves a story about a curvy woman and what she will do to win.
Looking For Trouble (Nov., paper $15) by Trice Hickman follows a couple forced to confront their own stereotypes and fears about love, family, friendship, and class.
Love After War (Nov., paper $6.99) by Cheris Hodges features revenge and lost love all wrapped up in one sexy tale.
Nothing to Lose (Dec., paper $15) by Angela Winters mixes scandal, secrets, and betrayal as three ambitious women vie to succeed among Washington, D.C.’s movers and shakers.
Strong Heat (Dec., paper $6.99) by Niobia Bryant delivers the sixth and final book in the Strong Family series.
Hidden Riches (Feb., paper $15) by Felicia Mason looks at a squabbling family turned upside down by a huge inheritance – if only they can find it.
The Replacement Wife (Mar., paper $15) by Tiffany L. Warren weaves together soap opera-worthy drama with an inspirational twist.
The Sweetest Thing (Mar., paper $6.99) by Deborah Fletcher Mello. Two brothers and their search for love features steamy family drama.
DUKE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Legal Fictions: Constituting Race, Composing Literature (Jan., $74.95, paper $21.95) by Karla FC Holloway declares that the black body is thoroughly bound by law and looks at the implications of that claim.
The Black Body in Ecstasy: Reading Race, Reading Pornography (Mar., $84.95, paper $23.95) by Jennifer C. Nash draws on feminism and queer theory, critical race theory, and media studies to rewrite black feminism’s theory of representation.
Witness: Two Hundred Years of African American Faith and Practice at the Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem, New York (Dec., $45) by Genna Rae McNeil et al. details the history of the famous Harlem church from its organization in 1809 through its relocations, its famous senior pastors, and its many crises and triumphs, to the present.
Everybody’s Brother (Sept., $28) by CeeLo Green. The multi-platinum and Grammy-winning artist shows how the underdog can win in his story of rising from the streets of Atlanta to the top of the charts.
The Book of Jezebel (Oct., $27) by Anna Holmes gathers contributions from popular women’s Web site Jezebel.com into an encyclopedia of everything important to the modern woman.
The 3-1-2-1 Diet (Nov., $26) by Dolvett Quince. Fitness guru and The Biggest Loser co-star serves up a diet and fitness program.
Scratching the Ghost (Nov., paper $15) by Dexter Booth offers poetry mourning the losses of childhood, family, and friends.
Urban Tumbleweed: Notes From a Tanka Diary (Nov., paper $15) by Harryette Mullen delivers a series of adapted Japanese tanka, a traditional form made up of 31 syllables.
A Madaris Bride for Christmas (Nov., paper $6.99) by Brenda Jackson blends sensuality and drama into a novel featuring another Madaris heroine.
Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker (Sept., $27.99) by Stanley Crouch draws from firsthand memories of Parker’s closest friends and family members to deliver the first installment of the jazz musician’s biography.
Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance (Sept., $28.99) by Carla Kaplan offers a new perspective of the 1920s in a group biography that uncovers the untold story of the white women of the black Harlem Renaissance.
Dr. J: The Autobiography (Nov., $27.99) by Julius Erving and Karl Taro Greenfeld reveals the double life of an American basketball legend.
Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles, and a Whole Lot of Mail (Mar., $24.99) by Caroline Clarke recounts the search for her birth mother Cookie Cole, the daughter of Nat King Cole – and the relationship that blossomed between them through the messages they exchanged on hundreds of postcards.
Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation (Oct., $45) by Questlove commemorates the legacy of America’s longest-running syndicated TV program.
The President’s Devotional: Daily Spiritual Readings That Inspired a President (Oct., $24.99) by Joshua DuBois. A selection of the daily inspirational messages sent to then-Senator Barack Obama by a staffer during his first presidential campaign.
KAREN HUNTER / GALLERY BOOKS
Secrets of the Southern Belle: How to be Nice, Work Hard, Look Pretty, Have Fun, and Never Have an Off Moment (Nov., $23) by Phaedra Parks. The reality star offers a practical, witty guide to life.
Deceptive Innocence, Part 1 (Jan.), Part 2 (Feb.), and Part 3 (Mar.) (all ebooks, each $1.99) by Kyra Davis. The Pure Sin trilogy follows a beautiful young woman out for revenge – only to find the man she’s targeting has secrets as dangerous as her own.
My Country, ‘Tis of Thee (Jan., $25) by Keith Ellison. The first Muslim elected to Congress looks at America and what needs to change to accommodate different races and beliefs.
Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork (Oct., $50) by Scott Gutterman with Miles Davis. An archive of artworks showcasing the varied skills of the jazz artist, with the artist’s own commentary accompanying.
Birmingham Revolution: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Epic Challenge to the Church (Nov., paper $16) by Edward Gilbreath explores the place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" in Dr. King’s life and work.
LITTLE A / NEW HARVEST
Adé (Oct., $20) by Rebecca Walker. A novella following what happens when the romance between a free-spirited woman and a Swahili Muslim man is interrupted by a world in the throes of massive upheaval.
Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations: 5,000 Years of Literature, Lyrics, Poems, Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs from Voices Around the World (Nov., $40), edited by Retha Powers, culls nearly 5000 quotes from authors, artists, scientists, theologians, activists, politicians, and many others, from the time of ancient Egypt to the present day.
Chasing Utopia (Nov., $19.99) by Nikki Giovanni shares poetry offering contemplative hope for the future of America.
Delilah’s Daughters (Feb., paper $13.99) by Angela Benson. Three talented sisters must decide just how far they’re willing to go to make their dreams come true.
The Hippest Trip In America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style (Mar., $27.99) by Nelson George. A history of the groundbreaking syndicated television show that has become an icon of American pop culture.
WILLIAM MORROW / AVON
Destiny’s Surrender (Sept., paper $7.99) by Beverly Jenkins. A man, his mistress, and the baby he knew nothing about.
WILLIAM MORROW / SHEEP MEADOW PRESS
The Traveling Queen (Oct., $19) by Michael Collins. Poetry about how history shapes our lives.
Eugene Bullard: World's First Black Fighter Pilot (Oct., $19.95) by Larry Greenly profiles pioneering black aviator Eugene Bullard from his birth in 1895 to his combat experiences in both World War I and II and his return to America.
Emigration to Liberia: From the Chattahoochee Valley of Georgia and Alabama, 1853-1903 (Nov., paper $15.95) by Matthew F. K. McDaniel charts the Chattahoochee Valley emigration to Liberia through records of the American Colonization Society, the primary sponsor of the Liberian emigration movement, emigrant correspondence, and local newspapers of the period.
Voices Beyond Bondage: An Anthology of Verse By African Americans of the 19th Century (Jan., $28.95) edited by Erika DeSimone and Fidel Lewis, culls 150 poems from bourgeoning black-owned newspapers of the era, and offers a fresh perspective on African-American life and identity.
NORTH ATLANTIC BOOKS
Unfinished Agenda (Jan., paper $18.95) by Junius Williams uses notes, interviews, and articles to describe his journey from a black boy in the segregated South to his climb to community and political power as a black lawyer in the 1970s and '80s in Newark, N.J.
Louis Armstrong, Master of Modernism (Feb., $39.95 by Thomas Brothers blends personal accounts to recall how the jazz musician navigated the legacies of racial inequality to forge two new musical styles.
The Autobiography of an African Princess: Queenship and Power (Nov., $95) by Fatima Massaquoi, edited by Vivian Seton, et al., chronicles her birth in southern Sierra Leone, continues through her childhood in Liberia, moves on to Hamburg, Germany, where she lived and experienced the rise of the Nazi movement, and ends with her life in the United States.
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS
Racisms: From the Crusades to the Twentieth Century (Jan., $39.50) by Francisco Bethencourt argues that in its various aspects, all racism has been triggered by political projects monopolizing specific economic and social resources.
PUTNAM / AMY EINHORN
The Secret of Magic (Jan., $26.95) by Deborah Johnson. Young attorney Regina, a mentee of Thurgood Marshall, leaves Harlem to fight a murder case in 1940s Mississippi.
Waking from the Dream: The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jan., $27) by David Chappell studies the civil rights movement after Martin Luther King, and the battle over King's image and legacy.
SANTA FE WRITERS PROJECT
Black Livingstone (Sept., paper $15) by Pagan Kennedy looks at the life of William Sheppard, a 19th-century African-American who operated a missionary run by black Americans in the Belgian Congo.
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (Oct., $34.95) by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Donald Yacovone. The companion book to the six-part PBS documentary series chronicling 500 years of African-American history from the origins of slavery to Barack Obama serving his second term as President.
SPIEGEL & GRAU
Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life (Jan., paper $18) by Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson offers solutions based on the practical lessons learned through raising their own son.
ST. MARTIN’S PRESS
The Wedding Gift (Sept., $25.99) by Marlen Suyapa Bodden explores the powerful bonds between a slave girl, her mother, the slave master’s wife, and her daughter.
All That I Desire (Nov., paper $7.99) by Francis Ray follows a woman’s life, liberty, and pursuit of passion.
The Glamorous Life 2: All That Glitters Isn’t Gold (Nov., paper $15.99) by Nikki Turner. A gritty urban tale of a woman’s fight for her and her brother’s survival in an unforgiving world.
Unique IV: Love & Lies (Jan., e-novella $1.99) by Nikki Turner. Unique's husband and lover has always been willing to do whatever it takes to protect what's his, but now payback has come knocking on his door.
Unique V: Secrets Revealed (Feb., e-novella $1.99) by Nikki Turner concludes Unique’s saga as her husband has his back against the wall as the wolves come closing in.
Always Unique (Mar., paper $15.99) by Nikki Turner is a special print bind-up of three of Turner’s novellas previously available only in E!
Fortune & Fame: A Novel (Feb., paper $15) by Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley reunite two heroines as they battle out their First Lady drama on reality TV.
Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina (Mar., $24.99) by Misty Copeland describes overcoming adversity to make history and achieve her dreams of becoming a leading ballerina in the American Ballet Theatre.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS
Making Freedom: The Underground Railroad and the Politics of Slavery (Sept., $27.95) by R. J.M. Blackett uses the experiences of escaped slaves and those who aided them to explore the inner workings of the Underground Railroad and the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law.
Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time (Sept., $30) by Adrian Miller delves into the influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition.
W. E. B. Du Bois and The Souls of Black Folk (Sept., $49.95) by Stephanie J. Shaw reads Du Bois's book as a nuanced interpretation of the souls of black Americans at the turn of the twentieth century.
Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940 (Oct., $39.95) by Jonathan Scott Holloway explores the stories black Americans have told about their past and why these stories are vital to understanding a modern black identity.
Crafting Lives: African American Artisans in New Bern, North Carolina, 1770-1900 (Nov., $30) by Catherine W. Bishir offers an in-depth portrayal of African-American artisans in the small but important port city of New Bern.
Seeing Race in Modern America (Nov., $34.95) by Matthew Pratt Guterl focuses on how and why we come to see race in very particular ways.
African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina (Dec., paper $19.95) by Sarah Bryan et al. Interviews with more than 90 artists open doors to a world of jazz, rhythm and blues, funk, gospel and church music, blues, rap, marching band music, and beach music. Includes a CD with 17 music tracks.
Conceiving Freedom: Women of Color, Gender, and the Abolition of Slavery in Havana and Rio de Janeiro (Dec., $69.95, paper $34.95) by Camillia Cowling. Focusing on late nineteenth-century Havana and Rio de Janeiro, argues that enslaved women played a dominant role in carving out freedom for themselves and their children through the courts.
Confederate Slave Impressment in the Upper South (Dec., $39.95) by Jaime Amanda Martinez provides a social and political history of slave impressments, highlighting how the strong governments of the states contributed to the war effort.
Freedom's Debt: The Royal African Company and the Politics of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1672-1752 (Dec., $45) by William A. Pettigrew analyzes the ideological arguments of the RAC and its opponents in Parliament and in public debate.
Geographies of Liberation: The Making of an Afro-Arab Political Imaginary (Feb., paper $29.95) by Alex Lubin. Spanning the 1850s through the present, reveals the vital connections between African American political thought and the people and nations of the Middle East.
Ain’t Got No Home: America's Great Migrations and the Making of an Interracial Left (Mar., paper $32.95) by Erin Royston Battat argues for understanding Depression-era migrations as interconnected responses to the capitalist collapse and political upheavals of the early twentieth century.
Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the Twentieth-Century South (Mar., $39.95) by Blain Roberts shows how the pursuit of beauty in the South was linked to the tumultuous racial divides of the region.
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA PRESS
Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America (Nov., $34.95) by Quincy T. Mills chronicles the cultural history of black barber shops as businesses and civic institutions, from 19th-century barbers to the bustling enterprises of today.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS PRESS
Black-Brown Solidarity: Racial Politics in the New Gulf South (Jan., $60) by John D. Márquez studies the new coalitions between Latinos and African-Americans emerging throughout the Gulf South, where previously divided ethnicities are forging an unprecedented challenge to white hegemony.
UNIVERSITY PRESS OF KENTUCKY
The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy (Oct., $39.95) by Pellom McDaniels III chronicles the life of the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby three times, whose life spanned the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the adoption of Jim Crow legislation.
In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma (Nov., $35) by Bernard LaFayette Jr. and Kathryn Lee Johnson shares the story of his years in Selma as cofounder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
Roy Wilkins: The Quiet Revolutionary of the NAACP (Dec., $40) by Yvonne Ryan chronicles the life and significant contributions of the civil rights activist.
River of Hope: Black Politics and the Memphis Freedom Movement, 1865-1954 (Mar., $40) by Elizabeth Gritter examines how Memphis was on the forefront of black political participation and who supported the movement.
Who Asked You? (Sept., $27.95) by Terry McMillan. A cast of characters addresses the hot issues of the day and how they play out in families and communities.
The Invention of Wings (Jan., $27.95) by Sue Monk Kidd follows an urban slave and the woman whose handmaid she becomes.
VIKING / PAMELA DORMAN
Queen Sugar (Feb., $26.95) by Natalie Baszile follows an African-American woman who inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana, and the new life and new family it brings together.
WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith (Nov., $29.95) by Peter J. Hammer and Trevor W. Coleman surveys the education, influences, major cases and personal commitments of the enforcer of civil rights law.
WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY PRESS
African American Connecticut Explored (Jan., $40) edited by Elizabeth J. Normen et al. presents more than 50 essays by Connecticut’s leading historians, plus photographs, highlight important people and events from the first years of colonization in the 1630s and continuing into the 20th century.
Small Moments: A Child’s Memories of the Civil Rights Movement (Jan., $15) by Mary M. Barrow describes how an African-American housemaid taught a young white girl to see the world not in terms of color, but in terms of kindness and love.