Upcoming Books By Black Authors
By Malachi Martin
As we celebrate Black voices this October, this week’s feature commemorates Black voices within the publishing landscape and highlights upcoming books written by authors of Colour.
First on the list is a Marvel graphic novel titled Sabretooth: The Adversary. Based on the adversary of the famous Marvel Comics character Wolverine, Sabretooth: The Adversary is written by Victor LaValle. LaValle has several written works consisting of both comic books and novels, including The Ballad of Black Tom, which won the 2016 Shirley Jackson Award for best novella. Sabretooth: The Adversary will be released on 4 October 2022.
The 11 October will see the release of Me and Muhammad Ali written by Jabari Asim, illustrated by A.G. Ford and published by Penguin Random House. Me and Muhammad Ali is a children’s picture book about a young boy named Langston who gets to meet his hero, the boxing champion. Asim has been described as one of the most influential African American critics of his generation and is a poet, playwright and fictional writer. Additionally, Asim was the former Editor-in-Chief of the NAACP.
On the same day, Macmillan will publish Will Do Magic For Small Change, which was written by Andrea Hairston. A historical fantasy, the book’s hardcover description details its plot, stating: “a tale of alien science and earthbound magic and the secrets families keep from each other.” Hairston is an accomplished author, having won the James Tiptree Jr. Award in 2011 for her novel Redwood and Wildfire, alongside winning the Carl Brandon Parallax Award for her first novel, Mindscape (2006). She is also a playwright.
On 18 October, The Talk is set to be published by Simon & Schuster’s Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books imprint. The Talk is a picture book which will touch upon the real-world issues that Black people face in an age-appropriate fashion, told through the eyes of a young boy who is given “the talk” by his mother. Alicia D. Williams and Briana Mukodiri Uchendu wrote and illustrated the picture book respectively. Williams has written several books which have featured Black protagonists and her debut novel, Genesis Begins Again (2019), won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in 2020. Meanwhile, Briana Uchenda’s illustrative debut will be in The Talk.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come. More books by Black authors can be found on the African American Literature Book Club, a website that aims to highlight Black-centred stories written by Black authors.