December Is National Buy a Book by a Black Author and Give It to Somebody Not Black Month

Time to branch out from Toni Morrison.

Just when you thought there was a month for everything! Blogging for Poets & Writers, author Carleen Brice explains why she created National Buy a Book by a Black Author and Give It to Somebody Not Black Month last year:

After all, it's hard for anyone--of any color--to make it as a novelist without the support of a wide audience, which, for black authors, means the support of white folks. That's why I, a black author, started the blog White Readers Meet Black Authors and launched this annual awareness campaign. Whether it's because of a lack of media exposure or the absence of word of mouth, I don't think white readers hear much about black novelists, except for Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Colson Whitehead, and a few others, so they don't know which of our books they may like.

She's even created a handy guide. If you like Toni Morrison's A Mercy, then try The Book of Night Women by Marlon James. Or if you're a fan of Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore, check out Big Machine by Victor LaValle.

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You can find more info on her blog here.  And here's her mission:

Because if you like to read, you should know about all the good books that are out there. I'm telling you: You like it, we write it! I'm not interested in doing any "favors" for authors who write bad books. This isn't about quotas or affirmative action or liberal guilt. This blog isn't about begging for attention from white people. My mission is to spread the word that there are plenty, PLENTY, of great books that not enough people are hearing about. That's my reason.

I'm all for finding great new books and supporting amazing authors. Anyone have other suggestions?


Tara Lohan is a senior editor at AlterNet.