Tag: black literature

Expanding Horizons: Why Celebrating Black Authors During Black History Month Matters

Expanding Horizons: Why Celebrating Black Authors During Black History Month Matters

We’ve all heard the saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Well, this is why I decided to become a children’s book author:

As a child who loved reading, I often craved stories with characters I could relate to, who looked like me or who had similar experiences or backgrounds as me…but most books read at school or that I found in libraries had characters that looked nothing like me. Thank goodness times are changing and I can readily offer my kids books written by black authors who showcase narratives and characters they can identify with, still we have a long way to go.

Black authors in Canada – worldwide really – have historically been underrepresented in the literary field, and there is ongoing work to increase visibility and representation for Black voices and perspectives. This includes initiatives to support Black writers, publish their works, and provide opportunities for them to connect with audiences; that being said, Black History Month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of Black individuals, including Black authors.

Celebrating Black authors during this month helps to shine a spotlight on their works, increase visibility, and bring recognition to their voices and perspectives in literature. It also serves as a platform for the promotion of diversity and inclusivity in the literary world. Hopefully, by raising awareness and advocating for greater representation and diversity, we can create a more inclusive and equitable literary landscape for Black Canadian authors.

 So here are five ways you can support black authors during Black History Month (or any other time of the year):

  1. Buy books written by black authors: This is the most direct way to support black authors and help them earn a living from their work. You can purchase books from online retailers or local bookstores that carry works by black authors.
  2. Share and promote books on social media: If you have read a book by a black author that you enjoyed, consider sharing it on social media and recommending it to your friends. This helps to increase the visibility of these authors and their work.
  3. Review books on platforms such as Goodreads or Amazon: Writing a positive review can help to bring attention to the book and the author, especially if you have a large following on these platforms.
  4. Support black-owned bookstores: Buying books from black-owned bookstores is a great way to support both the authors and the stores themselves. These independent bookstores often carry a wider selection of works by black authors and can help to promote diversity in literature. For example, check out HoneyBooks a local NDG bookstore that is Black and Female Owned!
  5. Attend events featuring black authors: If you have the opportunity to attend a book signing, reading, or other event featuring a black author, consider going. This is a great way to show your support and hear from the author in person.

Remember, by showcasing the talents and experiences of Black authors, we are able to broaden our perspectives, deepen our understanding and celebrate the richness and diversity of black history and culture.

I’d love to hear about who are some of your favourite black authors? Have you read any new books written by black authors this Black History Month? Please share in the comments below!

Until next time,

Kalifa Rodriguez M.Sc., RD, CBS

Author of the award-winning book Eating These Foods Makes Me…