Posted in Podcast Episodes

Amplify Black Voices: A Booklist

This posts lists all the books mentioned in the two PABOI IG lives with myself (Yash) and Sarah Cuddie, my wonderful guest co-host.

For the first IG Live “episode”, we dedicated the first half to books for people who wish to educate themselves, and the second half to generally celebrate Black authors, their many voices, and their diverse stories.

In the second IG Live “episode”, we mentioned some of the books we didn’t get the chance to talk about last time, and recommended some more recent and upcoming books.

I’ve linked all the titles to take you to, but if you have a minute, why don’t you look into this list here and support a Black-owned indies instead? If you’re in Canada, A Different Booklist is doing free nationwide shipping until June 11th!

Alright, let’s get to it!

Select Non-Fiction Picks

For Adults:

The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You by David Chariandy

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson*

The Hanging of Angélique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and The Burning of Old Montréal by Afua Cooper

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

Police Black Lives: State Violence in Canada From Slavery to the Present by Robyn Maynard

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin**

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race by Jesmyn Ward

*There’s a movie adaptation starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx
** Recommendation: I Am Not Your Negro documentary

For YA Audiences:

A Little Piece of Light by Donna Hylton and Kristine Gasbarre

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults) by Bryan Stevenson

For MG Audiences:

Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Emerson Dias

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome by Brad Montague and Robby Novak

For Early Readers:

Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange and Kadir Nelson

Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper

Select Fiction Picks!

For Adults:

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stefreeze and Laura Martin

Sula by Toni Morrison

For YA Audiences:

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles*

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

This Side of Home by Renée Watson

A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

*Note: Talking about the characters during IG Live I said “friends”, I think? Pretty sure they’re twin brothers.

For MG Audiences:

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Look Both Ways by Jason Reyndolds (Honourable Mention!)

X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon

For Early Readers:

The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad, S. K. Ali, Hatem Aly

Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange and Kadir Nelson

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou (poem), paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat

New Faves & Black Girl Magic!

For YA Audiences:

Listen to the song by clipping that inspired the book!

The Deep by River Solomon

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Honourable Mention!)

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

For MG Audiences:

Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by Nic Stone

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender

Becoming Billie Holiday by Carol Boston Weatherford and Floyd Cooper

For Early Readers:

An Oscar-winning short film! You totally have 6 minutes to spare, so watch it!

Hair Love by Matthew Cherry and Vashti Harrison

Chocolate Me by Taye Diggs and Shane E. Evans

Pandemic Pubs / Upcoming!

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson and Nina Mata

Twins (Volume 1) by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

Bonus Picks!

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele

Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America by R. Eric Thomas

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nefertiti Austin

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis

When Rap Spoke Straight to God by Erica Dawson

Black Playwrights!

Danielle, one of our dear friends and viewers, provided this list of Black Canadian playwrights to check out when you get the chance:

  • Andrea Scott
  • Amanda Parris
  • Makambe K. Simamba
  • Djanet Sears
  • Donna Michelle St. Bernard

Sarah and Danielle spoke about the one-man play Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers by Makambe K. Simamba. Here’s a trailer for it:

Danielle also mentioned this article on “31 Black Canadian female playwrights you need to know” by Amanda Parris. The article has a short bio and key works for each playwright, plus some videos.

Aaand I think that’s about it for this time! Take care of each other! And remember to drink some water!


Children's literature academic. Writer. Feminist. Fangirl. Warlock-in-training.

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