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Afro-futurist books I love

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

Yes, you can have a crush on a book.

High fantasy is my happy place. Combine ancient magic and a Black protagonist and I'm guaranteed to fall fast for a story. I wanted to share some of my "book crushes" from the past year. They'll be fiction and nonfiction, wellbeing and anti-oppression focused with an Afro-futurist lens.

The following three books are for you if you are into incredible narrative storytelling and calls to action. You can find both on Libby, an app for reading or listening to books for free with a library card.

Janet Mock, a director, writer, and activist, shares about growing up as a multi-racial, Black, and Native Hawaiian transgender girl in the 80s and 90s. A must read memoir that gives insights into her nuanced experiences of gender, race, and class.

(cw: anti-trans violence, sexual abuse; 288 pages)

The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

Sonya Renee Taylor offers an outline for how we can collectively move away from body shame to battle systems of oppression. This transforms the “just love yourself” message into radical community healing for marginalized folks.

(cw: ableism; 137 pages)

Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur

A brutal, honest, and beautiful autobiography from one of the most hunted Black women political activists in modern times. I am changed from learning more about Assata Shakur's life and journey to help us all, especially Black folks, move toward liberation.

The following two books are for you if you've got the emotional space for survival and revolutionary stories. You can find them on Libby, an app for reading or listening to books for free with a library card.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti and her university-bound friends are overtaken by extraterrestrials who are not fond of humans to say the least. Galaxies away from home, Binti must rely on indigenous practices and diplomatic reasoning to reach her destination. This quick paced, racism-aware read had me ready to dive into the rest of the series.

(cw: violence; 98 pages)

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

The first book in the Broken Earth trilogy follows Essun, a woman persecuted for her earth-bending powers. She traverses fractured lands and communities in search of her daughter. If you've read Children of Blood and Bone and want for something similar, this could be your match.

(cw: violence; 378 pages)

Let me know if you've read any of these and want to gush!

Love and solidarity,


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