Arcade Book Corner: Black Authors

Meredith Abdelnour, Arcade Editor

ac-book corner-full
Ashley Chen

In honor of Black History Month, this month’s book corner highlights some incredible recent work by Black authors. All of these books focus on Black stories and Black voices. Whether you’re looking for a lighthearted read or skillfully crafted poetry, The Hullabaloo has you covered. 

The Black Flamingo” by Dean Atta 

Dean Atta’s debut novel follows Michael, a mixed-race gay teen, as he tries to navigate his identity while growing up in London. At university, he finds a new home in the Drag Society and explores his drag alter ego, the Black Flamingo. “The Black Flamingo” is written in verse, which only enhances the emotions present in the story. The book was the recipient of a Stonewall Book Award in 2020. 

Pride” by Ibi Zoboi

This witty novel based on Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” remixes the classic for a modern audience. Instead of rural England, this novel takes place in the quickly gentrifying Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. While “Pride” keeps some of the romance from Austen’s novel, the real focus is protagonist Zuri Benitez, who cares deeply for her family, her Haitian and Dominican culture, and her neighborhood. 

The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett

Brit Bennett’s critically acclaimed novel “The Vanishing Half,” focuses on a pair of twin sisters who grew up together in a small Louisiana town but parted ways at 16. After years apart, the sisters are living completely different lives as Desiree settles down in their hometown while Stella flees the South. The book spans nearly a half-century, from the 1950s to the 1990s, as the sisters grow up and start their own families. “The Vanishing Half” is beautifully written and explores compelling themes of abandonment, race and identity. 

Magical Negro” by Morgan Parker

Described as an “archive of Black everydayness,” Morgan Parker’s “Magical Negro” is a dazzling collection of poetry. Parker uses a mix of wry wit and lyricism to create poems that will make you laugh one moment and feel like a punch in the gut the next.

On the Come Up” by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas, author of the popular novel “The Hate U Give” strikes again with “On the Come Up,” the tale of Bri, a 16-year-old aspiring rapper. Thomas herself was a teen rapper and is still passionate about hip-hop, and this love shines through in the novel. Bri’s desperate fight for her dreams while facing the threat of homelessness makes her a character you can’t help but root for, and the novel is captivating and rich.