Keep Reading | February Book Releases

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February has rolled in and here’s a list of upcoming and newly released books by Black authors coming to the scene this month.  

Nubia: Real One, L.L. McKinney; illustrations, Robyn Smith (Feb. 2) (Young Adult)

Have you heard of Nubia, Wonder Woman’s Black twin sister? In this young adult comic book series, author L.L. McKinney revamps the DC Comics character for contemporary teens. 

In “Nubia: Real One,” a teenager named Nubia struggles to find her place in society as someone feared by others for her superhero strength. Despite her similar abilities, she’s told by others she’s no Wonder Woman. Nubia challenges their doubts when she decides to defend her best friend who was threatened by a boy who thinks he owns the town. 

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrations, Floyd Cooper (Feb. 2) (Picture Book)  

A powerful look at the 1921 Tulsa Oklahoma Race Massacre, this picture book comes nearly 100 years since the terrorist act. “Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre” traces the history of Black people in Tulsa’s Greenwood District and the devastation of their community by attacks from a white mob on May 31 and June 1, 1921. 

This book sensitively introduces young readers to the “Black Wall Street” tragedy through illustration and concludes with a call for a better future. 

Opal’s Greenwood Oasis, Quraysh Ali Lansana and Najah-Amatullah Hylton; illustrations, Skip Hill  (Feb. 2) (Picture Book)  

Another picture book to add to your children’s library in honor of the Tulsa centennial. 

“Opal’s Greenwood Oasis” illustrates the hustling, bustling Greenwood community in Tulsa through the eyes of a girl named Opal Brown. She shows the reader the busy stores and happy families in the thriving business district and that “everyone looks like me.” Soon after, Greenwood is lost in the Tulsa Race Massacre. This book provides an opportunity for children to celebrate what was built in Greenwood.  

The Body Is Not an Apology, Second Edition: The Power of Radical Self-Love, Sonya Renee Taylor (Feb. 9) (Nonfiction)  

This book is an offering to heal our relationship with our bodies from violence inflicted by systems of oppression. Originally released in 2018, world-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame.  

This second edition includes stories from Taylor’s travels around the world combating body terrorism and a brand-new final chapter where she offers resources to confront racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia. In March, Taylor will be releasing a workbook entitled “Your Body Is Not an Apology Workbook: Tools for Living Radical Self-Love.” 

Unsung: Unheralded Narratives of American Slavery & Abolition, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Feb. 16) (Nonfiction)  

“Unsung” is a new historical anthology from transatlantic slavery to the Reconstruction Era, curated by Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The anthology places well-known documents by abolitionists next to lesser-known accounts of everyday life and activism during enslavement. Rare histories and first-person narratives collected by the center’s founderhistorian Arturo Schomburgare included.

Own the Arena: Getting Ahead, Making a Difference, and Succeeding as the Only One; Katrina M. Adams (Feb. 23) (Nonfiction) 

Katrina M. Adams, the first Black woman and youngest person ever to be President of the United States Tennis Association, takes us behind-the-scenes of her career, which involved running the U.S. Open (the largest and most lucrative sports event in the world).   

Under her four-year presidential term, UTSA opened its national campus in Orlando, Fla., renamed the association’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Court in New York, and spearheaded outreach to underserved communities of color. In the book, Adams shares lessons that can be applied across readers’ lives.

Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought, Briona Simone Jones (Feb. 23) (Nonfiction)  

Tap into this collection of intellectual thought by Black lesbian writers. Spanning the 19th to 21st century, “Mouths of Rain” includes writing by Black women who’ve shared intimate and loving relationships with other women, Black women who see bonding as mutual, Black women who’ve self-identified as lesbian and Black women who’ve written about Black Lesbians.  

Contributors include Barbara Smith, Beverly Smith, Bettina Love, Dionne Brand, Cheryl Clarke, Cathy J. Cohen, Angelina Weld Grimke, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Audre Lorde, Dawn Lundy Martin, Pauli Murray, Michelle Parkerson, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Alice Walker and Jewelle Gomez. 

This anthology serves as the companion to Beverly Guy-Sheftall’s 1995 anthology, “Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought.” The title was inspired by a poem written by Lorde. 

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