Hosted by Melyssa at A Page Before Bedtime, Mocha Girl Musings is where we chat about all things bookish.
With Black History month in February and Women’s History Month following it, I thought I’d highlight some of the awesome things Black women are doing in various literary spaces. We’ve been telling stories since the beginning of time, and 2019 looks to be no different. There are several enticing stories recently published and some set to debut this year. I’m sharing just a handful of some I have on my ever-growing TBR (to be read) list.
Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America by Dorothy Butler Gilliam
Published January 2019 by Center Street
We all need a little non-fiction in our lives, right? In Trailblazer, Dorthy Butler Gilliam tells the story of her 50+ year career as a journalist in America. Her story is one of social justice, race relations, and representation. As the first African American female journalist at The Washington Post, Gilliam by her very essence, is a trailblazer. While Gilliam did work in a time where there were also African American-specific publications that targeted this demographic, I can appreciate the importance of African Americans, like her, who exhibited boldness by first occupying spaces where we were not traditionally welcomed. I recently saw Gilliam interviewed on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and I found her to be absolutely brilliant. I have no doubt her book will be just as profound in showcasing her journey to create diversity and accurate representation in newsrooms in America.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Published February 2019 by Balzer + Bray
Many of us fell in love with Angie Thomas’ writing style in her provocative young adult debut, The Hate U Give. So, it should be no surprise that her highly anticipated book, On the Come Up, is on a lot of lists already. Word on the street is that this story centers around a 16-year old black girl who has dreams of becoming a legendary rapper. In The Hate U Give, Thomas used hip hop as a plot device, and it appears that she is taking it a step further in On the Come Up by employing it as a central theme to the story. Thomas tends to write what she knows, and any reader can tell it comes from the heart. I am looking forward to where her new book takes me.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
Published February 2019 by Berkley
OK. Besides the intoxicating cover art, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls appears to be a compelling story. This book is about family, trials, and the ties that bind them together. It’s so important that we have diverse stories that reflect our community comprehensively. I have a good feeling about this one. Critics are comparing it to the equally successful books: The Mothers and An American Marriage. So, if you are a mother or if you have one, Anissa Gray’s book should probably make your 2019 list.
Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward by Valerie Jarrett
Expected Publication April 2019 by Viking
Valerie Jarrett made several appearances in Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming that was released in November 2018. The New York Times refers to her as “the ultimate Obama insider.” She is the longest serving advisor in the Obama White House. In Michelle Obama’s book, she describes Jarrett as a big sister-type to she and Barack, a mentor, an advisor, and a confidante. Life is all about connections, and Jarrett’s connection with Michelle, before she married the 44th President of the United States, set Jarrett’s already established career in politics to new heights. I’m looking forward reading her book and getting insight to her perspective. Ms. Jarrett is definitely accomplished in her own right, and she has a story to tell!
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
Expected Publication July 2019 by Berkley
Looking for some chick lit? The Wedding Party is the third installment in Guillory’s popular, bestselling series. The story follows The Wedding Date and The Proposal. I know, to many people, it seemed like The Proposal should have preceded The Wedding Date. However, these stories aren’t told in any particular chronological order with respect to the titles. The books stand alone, and I think that’s a great benefit – you don’t necessarily have to read them in order. Guilliory does recycle characters within the series where secondary characters from one book become more dominate characters in another. Her writing style is contemporary and fun. She’s mastered her genre and writes intriguing stories that keep her target audience coming back.
I hope this article has been helpful, and maybe you’ve even added a book or two to your reading list. Please support authors by purchasing or borrowing books from legitimate sources.
And don’t forget to let me know what you’re planning on reading this year in the comments.
Until next time … Read on!