Great Books by Black Authors
While fiction builds plot and character within the world of the imagination, nonfiction attempts to look directly at a thing and name it. Question it. Analyze it. There is no hiding behind made-up characters and plots.
We assume we are being told the truth as best as the author can bear witness to it. And yet, there is always the unreliability of memory; there is always the bias of perspective. But we call it nonfiction, rather than fiction, because we must have a starting point for fact, a ground zero.
This year heralded a wealth of nonfiction publications from black authors. Two award-winning poets gave us memoirs. One of the greatest cultural critics of our generation gave us a love letter to black life. The most powerful black female TV writer and producer—a game changer in her own right—published her first memoir. And many other black writers penned nonfiction works of intelligence, courage and grace. Here are 14 of the most memorable.