Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

#BlackPublishingPower Initiative Urges Readers To Buy Books By Black Authors

Erika Hardison

Staff Writer

Erika Hardison is a writer, social media junkie, podcaster, publisher and aspiring novelist from Chicago currently residing in New Jersey. When she's not bridging the gap between Black feminism and superheroes on, she's spending sleepless nights as a new mom with her talkative toddler playing and giggling under the covers.

The Black Publishing Power Initiative encourages everyone to buy two books written by Black authors this week, to help close the gap on the racial inequality in the publishing industry. The initiative was created by Amistad Books, a publisher of Black and multicultural books since 1967, and announced on Twitter using hashtags #BlackoutBestSellerList and #BlackPublishingPower.

On Twitter and other social media, several notable Black writers including Roxane Gay, Mikki Kendall, and Ibram X. Kendi have reposted the above image, which reads:

“black publishing power. To demonstrate our power and clout in the publishing industry, Sunday, June 14–Saturday, June 20, we are encouraging you to purchase any two books by Black writers. Our goal is to Blackout bestseller lists with Black voices.”

When the hashtag #PublishingPaidMe went viral on Twitter last week, the public saw firsthand the discrimination that Black writers face when it comes to their book advances. This racial disparity was exposed as Black authors urged white authors to list the advances they received for their debut books. The results showed that white authors, some with no prior writing experience, frequently receive bigger advances than Black writers.

Last week’s The New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller list was almost entirely Black authors, as readers look for resources on anti-racism.

Need suggestions? Celebrate Pride and amplify Black voices with these queer YA books and audiobooks by queer Black authors. For the kiddos, pick up a couple of Black children’s books or middle grade reads. This must-read list of books on racism contains several titles by Black writers. You can also preorder these upcoming books by Black authors.