Prepare to #Blackout the Bestseller List to Shine a Light on Your Favorite Black Authors

The voices of Black authors are not getting the recognition they deserve in the publishing industry, but conversations on Twitter have inspired a new initiative to right that wrong. As writer Michael W. Twitty pointed out on Twitter, Black authors often face bias when receiving book reviews and are not compensated for their works to the same extent as their white counterparts. The opportunity to collaborate with other Black writers, editors, and publishers is also scarce, which can affect the outcome of a writer's work as a whole.

In order to shine a light on Black authors and push the publishing industry to be more inclusive, Amistad books — a publisher devoted to uplifting multicultural voices — started an initiative encouraging readers to buy two books by Black authors between now and June 20. The #BlackoutBestsellerList initiative seeks to empower the voices of Black writers one book at a time and push books by Black authors to the top of the bestseller list. "To demonstrate our power and clout in the publishing industry, Saturday June 13 - Saturday June 20, we encourage you to purchase any two books by Black writers," Amistad Books wrote. "Our goal is to Blackout bestseller lists with Black voices."

Authors from all genres, including Roxane Gay, have shared their support for the initiative on Twitter and recommended numerous books by Black women and other Black authors to get everyone started. "Buying books isn't activism but this endeavor does absolutely no harm," Gay wrote in a tweet. "And buying books by Black authors does matter in encouraging publishers to publish more books by Black authors." Keep reading to see more recommendations for books by Black authors and add these books about the Black Lives Matter movement to your reading list.