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Black voices should always be supported and amplified year-round, but with Juneteenth approaching, now is an even better time to add books by Black authors that do not involve Black pain or trauma to your “to read” list.
Diving into a book to escape the world before you, only to be met with the suffering of Black characters happens more often than not. As a result, Black trauma in literature is a topic that also reigns heavy in the book community. While there are plenty of necessary books that depict systemic and historical racism (and the generational trauma that Black people experience as a result), there are other works written by Black authors that inspire, entertain and make us jump out of our seats, going beyond the narratives of Black pain.
It’s imperative to branch out and seek books with Black characters whose only responsibilities are to be human — enjoying life, falling in and out of love, reuniting with friends, healing family bonds, landing dream careers, or even disposing of the bodies of their sister’s dead boyfriends.