10 Queer Books by Black Authors You Need to Read Right Now
By Christine Siamanta Kinori
February is a month to celebrate the accomplishments of the Black community and acknowledge their critical role in history. Here are some of my favorite queer books by Black authors to add to your shelf.
They are one of the best wordsmiths of our time. Their works in queer fiction spans from middle grade to YA to adult. Their last book released in 2020, Felix Ever After, is a story about a queer, black, trans teen searching for his own happily ever. Their other books also delve into queer identity and coming into your own.
He is an activist who is using his work to further advocate for the queer Black community and tell their stories. He has said that his works have always been inspired by anti-racism, feminism, authentic Black queer experience, and anti-colonialism. His memoir No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. In the book, he uses his own adolescent struggle with racism and homophobia as a lens for the broader fight for equality.
She is an award-winning storyteller and I love her work because I can relate to her heartwarming characters in them. Her books have a way of making a girl feel empowered and I am here for all of it. Her latest project is slated for release on April 12th. In the meantime, her other works such as Let’s Talk About Love, If It Makes You Happy and The Marvelous are must-reads.
James Earl Hardy
James published his debut novel in 1994. His B-Boy Blues series follows the lives of Black gay men in New York City and tells their unapologetic love stories in a humorous yet deeply authentic way. He is considered the first to depict same-sex love stories that take place within the hip-hop community.
Collins is a Jamaican-born Caymanian-British novelist and former lawyer. If you are into the tantalizing drama of a love affair then, The Confessions of Frannie Langton is your book! The novel is about the complicated love affair between a Jamaican maid and her French mistress. It earned her a Costa Book Award and was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish prize.
He is a Nigerian-American author and medical doctor. His last book Speak No Evil is a gay coming-of-age novel that tells the story of a boy named Niru, whose uncomplicated life is turned upside down when his conservative Nigerians parents discover he is gay. The book explores the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, and the diaspora.
She is known for her diverse work that covers historical, science fiction, and contemporary romance novels. I love that she includes Black heroines in her novels and crafts rich characters that many Black women can relate to or aspire to be. Her take on Black queer love is also very refreshing. Her latest work, How to Find a Princess, is about a long-lost princess who falls in love with the female investigator tasked with tracking her down. It is quite an exciting read.
Lastly, the book Black Like Us is definitely a must read. It chronicles 100 years of the African American lesbian, gay, and bisexual literary tradition. It is the most comprehensive collection of fiction by African American lesbian, gay, and bisexual writers ever published. If you want to understand the history of Black queer community in America, then you should read this book.
About the Author:
Christine Siamanta Kinori grew up in a little village in Kenya known as Loitoktok near the border of Kenya and Tanzania. All she wanted to do when she grew up was to explore the world. Her curiosity led her to join Nairobi University to pursue a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She later got a job with an amazing travel magazine Nomad Africa which gave her the opportunity to explore Africa. She also writes for numerous travel websites about Africa and tries to create a new narrative in the media about our aesthetic continent.
Christine claims to have somewhat unhealthy addiction to TV and reading, as it is a fun way to keep herself occupied during the long journeys for her travel writing. She is also a believer of letting people be their beautiful selves. To her, love is love and it is the greatest gift we have as humans.