We have all learned a lot over the last year, but I will be the first to admit that I have so much more to learn.
At the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, a lot of individuals in the United States, and even the world opened their eyes to the underrepresentation of Black people in countless industries, and several different areas of everyday life.
Like many other individuals, I started making a conscious effort to shop at small businesses, and whenever possible to support black owned businesses. I made an effort to listen to the black voices of my peers, and in the media. Ordering a cake? Find a black owned bakery. Looking for jewelry, support black entrepreneurs. Searching for black creators for our news, podcasts, and even the books we read, we made a mindful decision to begin uplifting the voices of black people.
Masses of citizens began to ask questions, and companies from every corner of the sphere, such as Condé Nast & Bon Appetit, Amazon, L’Oréal and even Disney were pressured to start better representing the members of the black community. Calling for a higher percentage of senior executives to be made up of the underrepresented groups, asking for higher and equal pay for black employees, and ensuring that black owned businesses in every sector of the market are being evenly represented.
During these months many people were also faced with quarantine, and the numerous ‘stay at home orders” due to the covid-19 pandemic – and to pass the time a lot of people turned to reading.
In June of 2020, Amistad launched the #BlackoutBestsellersList campaign on social media, encouraging readers all over the globe to “blackout” the Bestsellers list with all black authors in the top ten slots.
“To demonstrate our power and clout in the publishing industry, June 14 – June 20, we encourage you to purchase any two books by Black Writers. Our goal is to Blackout Bestseller lists with Black Voices.”
Several outlets such as Refinery29, Oprah, The Guardian all wrote articles about the movement last year, and in an effort to continue uplifting the voices of black authors. I jumped on this bandwagon instantly, since I love a good reason to buy a bunch of books, and I also had just recently built a bookshelf with my dad that needed filling…
In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to share some awesome reads by black authors that I have completed over the last year. Some thrillers, some tearjerkers, race studies, and even some sci-fi… a little for everyone.
If you haven’t heard of the website Bookshop.org, I wanted to take a quick second to tell you about this awesome website.
Now, on to the recommendations!
New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/06/business/corporate-america-has-failed-black-america.html
Publisher’s Weekly: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/83593-amistad-launches-blackoutbestsellerlist-on-social-media.html
Oprah Mag: https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/books/a32906813/what-is-blackout-bestseller-list/
This is a space for me to share my thoughts, experiences, and more. I hope you enjoy!