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Five must-read books by female Black authors | The Southern

Emma Matzen

In celebration of Black History Month, here is a list of hand-picked books from multiple genres written by Black authors that we recommend to students. From Young Adult fiction to poetry and essays, I have selected multiple books I hope our readers will enjoy.

1. “So you want to talk about race” by Ijeoma Oluo

First off, I’d love to recommend Ijeoma Oluo’s book “So you want to talk about race.” It’s a wonderful book, which I was introduced to in my ENG 1005: Race Pop Culture class. Oluo is a mixed-race, Black, queer woman who uses anecdotal stories to help readers understand the important concepts she discusses in regards to race that not all readers may be fully familiar with, such as intersectionality and the model minority myth. Called “Fascinating, real, and necessary” by The Root, Oluo’s writing is engaging, and she tackles sometimes difficult subjects with nuance, and often, humor. I believe that it’s a great book for people of every race to read, as it is imperative to be educated on race, to understand the effects racism and how it is part of many people’s lives, as we’ve witnessed in the last year. 

2. “The Black Unicorn” 

by Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde was an important figure in both Black civil rights and LGBTQ+ rights. She also was notably the New York Poet Laureate from 1991 to 1992. A self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Lorde’s work is largely centered on her identity and the politics that surrounded her identity. “The Black Unicorn’’ is a collection of poetry full of passion, in every sense. Lorde’s imagery is wonderfully intense, and there’s so much to discuss about each poem in this collection. A personal favorite  out of the collection is “The Women Of Dan Dance with Swords in Their

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