It is no secret around here that I absolutely loved Honorée Fanonne Jeffers’s novel The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois. It was just such a beautiful story. There is so much to take in, and there is so much to think about. While I was reading the novel, I kept thinking of different Black thinkers that I have come across in my life that I could also see in parts of Jeffers’ writing. There is so much more to this novel than the very short list that I have created below, but I wanted to share with you some of the Black feminist authors I thought of while reading Love Songs.
Below, you will find a collection of authors ranging from authors like Ifi Amadiume, who is an award-winning Nigerian poet, essay writer, and anthropologist, to Wiradjuri (Australian) woman Anita Heiss who is an award-winning fiction author, critical thinker, and soon-to-be playwriter as she debuts her novel turned theatre piece, Tiddas in Australia soon.
The works by Sonya Renee Taylor and Tressie McMillan Cottom were monumental for me to read in terms of understanding the self and the body. Taylor’s notion of ‘body terrorism’ was extremely powerful.
I also wanted to include some more tech-driven critical thinking around Blackness too, which is why I’ve included Safia Umoja Noble’s Algorithms of Oppression. This book was extremely eye-opening for me when it came to understanding racism, the internet, and online spaces.
At the end of Love Songs Jeffers’ writes about some of the books that inspired her writing, and while some of these books are mentioned, I used Jeffers’ writing as inspiration for the list below. There are so many more authors I could add to this list, but I also wanted to only recommend books that I have read myself.
- Male Daughters, Female Husbands – by Ifi Amadiume
- Hair Stories: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America – by Lori L. Tharps & Ayana D. Byrd
- Bad Feminist – by Roxane Gay
- Hunger – by Roxane Gay
- Am I Black Enough for You? – by Anita Heiss
- Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment – by Patricia Hill Collins
- Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism – by Bell Hooks
- Writing Beyond Race: Living Theory and Practice – Bell Hooks
- Womanism and African Consciousness – by Mary Kolawole
- Sister Outsider – by Audre Lorde
- Bye-Bye Babar – by Selasi Taiye
- The Souls of Black Folk – by W.E.B. Du Bois
- The Body Is Not An Apology – by Sonya Renee Taylor
- Thick – by Tressie McMillan Cottom
- Algorithms of Oppression – by Safia Umoja Noble
Tell me in the comments what books you would add to this list. As always, share the reading love.
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