Best African American Books
1 The Color Purple
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 303,697 ratings
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2 Their Eyes Were Watching God
by
3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 139,173 ratings
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3 The Autobiography of Malcolm X
by
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 81,267 ratings
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4 Beloved
by
3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 181,447 ratings
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5 Invisible Man
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 89,016 ratings
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6 I Know Why the Caged Bird S...
by
4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 175,560 ratings
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7 The Bluest Eye
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 92,677 ratings
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8 Native Son
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 52,016 ratings
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9 A Raisin in the Sun
by
3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 34,844 ratings
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10 Kindred
by
4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 25,363 ratings
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11 Song of Solomon
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 44,740 ratings
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12 Narrative of the Life of Fr...
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 39,465 ratings
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13 Black Boy
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 29,414 ratings
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14 Push
by
3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 33,406 ratings
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15 Roots: The Saga of an Ameri...
by
4.39 of 5 stars 4.39 avg rating — 92,758 ratings
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16 A Lesson Before Dying
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 30,533 ratings
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17 The Souls of Black Folk
by
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 14,337 ratings
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18 The Women of Brewster Place
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 11,152 ratings
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19 The Help
by
4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 1,120,501 ratings
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20 The Collected Poems
by
4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 10,492 ratings
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21 Sula
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 29,716 ratings
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22 The Secret Life of Bees
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 752,760 ratings
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23 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cr...
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 80,301 ratings
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24 The Coldest Winter Ever
by
4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 17,858 ratings
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25 Cane River
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 30,007 ratings
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26 The Fire Next Time
by
4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 9,867 ratings
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27 The Known World
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 22,941 ratings
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28 Black Like Me
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 36,890 ratings
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29 Parable of the Sower (Earth...
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 15,745 ratings
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30 Up from Slavery
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 10,504 ratings
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31 The Temple Of My Familiar
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 9,938 ratings
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32 The Mis-Education of the Negro
by
4.42 of 5 stars 4.42 avg rating — 3,429 ratings
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33 Your Blues Ain't Like Mine
by
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 4,809 ratings
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34 Go Tell It on the Mountain
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 20,277 ratings
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35 Assata: An Autobiography
by
4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 5,884 ratings
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36 Paradise (Toni Morrison Tri...
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 15,062 ratings
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37 Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy...
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 9,804 ratings
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38 The Color of Water: A Black...
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 63,452 ratings
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39 Incidents in the Life of a ...
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 20,356 ratings
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40 Someone Knows My Name
by
4.41 of 5 stars 4.41 avg rating — 34,030 ratings
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41 Passing
by
3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 7,157 ratings
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42 The Autobiography of Miss J...
by
4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 6,869 ratings
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43 Dreams from My Father: A St...
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 85,787 ratings
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44 Jubilee
by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 2,027 ratings
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45 Zami: A New Spelling of My ...
by
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 7,089 ratings
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46 The Ways of White Folks
by
4.36 of 5 stars 4.36 avg rating — 1,977 ratings
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47 Mama Day
by
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 5,885 ratings
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48 Selected Poems
by
4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 4,240 ratings
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49 The Autobiography of an Ex-...
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 4,063 ratings
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50 Notes of a Native Son
by
4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 5,385 ratings
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51 Uncle Tom's Cabin
by
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 112,598 ratings
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51 Wild Seed (Patternmaster, #1)
by
4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 6,701 ratings
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53 Parable of the Talents (Ear...
by
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 7,143 ratings
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54 Ain’t I a Woman: Black Wome...
by
4.32 of 5 stars 4.32 avg rating — 3,904 ratings
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55 Jazz (Toni Morrison Trilogy...
by
3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 12,310 ratings
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56 Sister Outsider: Essays and...
by
4.45 of 5 stars 4.45 avg rating — 5,270 ratings
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57 An Autobiography
by
4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 2,616 ratings
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58 Giovanni's Room
by
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 16,453 ratings
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59 for colored girls who have ...
by
4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 17,755 ratings
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60 Tumbling
by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 1,826 ratings
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61 Another Country
by
4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 5,986 ratings
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61 The Interesting Narrative o...
by
3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 4,464 ratings
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63 Manchild in the Promised Land
by
4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 4,576 ratings
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64 The Darkest Child
by
4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 3,822 ratings
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65 A Testament of Hope: The Es...
by
4.55 of 5 stars 4.55 avg rating — 1,095 ratings
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66 Dust Tracks on a Road
by
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 3,155 ratings
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67 Nobody Knows My Name
by
4.28 of 5 stars 4.28 avg rating — 1,117 ratings
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68 Cane
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 4,391 ratings
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69 The Best of Simple
by
4.37 of 5 stars 4.37 avg rating — 754 ratings
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69 Erasure
by
4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 1,734 ratings
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71 Possessing the Secret of Joy
by
4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 9,917 ratings
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72 Medical Apartheid: The Dark...
by
4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 1,333 ratings
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73 The Street
by
4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 2,714 ratings
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74 The Audacity of Hope: Thoug...
by
3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 83,204 ratings
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75 Chains (Seeds of America, #1)
by
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 20,382 ratings
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76 The Warmth of Other Suns: T...
by
4.26 of 5 stars 4.26 avg rating — 20,279 ratings
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77 Waiting to Exhale
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 9,419 ratings
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78 Soul on Ice
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 6,978 ratings
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79 The Kitchen House
by
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 107,366 ratings
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80 Fledgling
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 8,471 ratings
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81 The Price of the Ticket: Co...
by
4.72 of 5 stars 4.72 avg rating — 268 ratings
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82 I Love Myself When I Am Lau...
by
4.41 of 5 stars 4.41 avg rating — 1,276 ratings
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83 Sugar (Sugar Lacey, #1)
by
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 3,009 ratings
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84 Lilith's Brood (Xenogenesis...
by
4.26 of 5 stars 4.26 avg rating — 5,974 ratings
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84 A Call to Conscience: The L...
by
4.46 of 5 stars 4.46 avg rating — 364 ratings
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86 A Little Yellow Dog (Easy R...
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 2,291 ratings
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87 Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesi...
by
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 3,961 ratings
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88 Family
by
4.36 of 5 stars 4.36 avg rating — 1,282 ratings
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89 The Living Blood (African I...
by
4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 1,259 ratings
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90 Coffee Will Make You Black
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 2,713 ratings
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91 To Be Young, Gifted and Black
by
4.37 of 5 stars 4.37 avg rating — 1,228 ratings
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92 What Looks Like Crazy on an...
by
3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 14,437 ratings
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93 Dutchman & The Slave
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 1,321 ratings
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94 Bloodchild and Other Stories
by
4.26 of 5 stars 4.26 avg rating — 3,948 ratings
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95 Fences (The Century Cycle #6)
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 7,970 ratings
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96 Black Betty (Easy Rawlins #4)
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 2,577 ratings
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97 Little Scarlet (Easy Rawlin...
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 2,440 ratings
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98 Silver Sparrow
by
3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 6,689 ratings
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99 Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed ...
by
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 2,924 ratings
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100 Brothers and Sisters
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 2,572 ratings
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flag this list (?)
525 books · 621 voters · list created July 4th, 2008 by JG (The Introverted Reader) (votes) .
129 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


JG (The Introverted Reader)
JG (The Introverted Reader)
2490 books
351 friends
Dawn
Dawn
409 books
13 friends
Todd
Todd
285 books
83 friends
Jessica
Jessica
2121 books
100 friends
Pat
Pat
586 books
121 friends
Lurlene
Lurlene
62 books
2 friends
Steven
Steven
10590 books
1854 friends
Rachel
Rachel
538 books
54 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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message 1: by Imani ♥ ☮ (last edited Mar 29, 2010 01:04PM) (new)

 Imani ♥ ☮ some real books on this list. real liturature. I jus realized something tho, why in the world is Uncle Tom's Cabin on here?!? It was written by a Northern white woman!


message 2: by Shanae (new)

Shanae Imani wrote: "some real books on this list. real liturature. I jus realized something tho, why in the world is Uncle Tom's Cabin on here?!? It was written by a Northern white woman!"

But it was based on an African American man's story - Harriet Beecher Stowe stole it...just like most stole stories from African Americans & made mad money off it. Smh.


message 3: by Antoine (new)

Antoine And is the same true of Alice in Wonderland?


message 4: by Speakwright (new)

Speakwright I'd like to recommend and suggest

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African
Written By Himself


message 5: by Antoine (new)

Antoine Did you vote it in? That's a great choice.


message 6: by Shanae (new)

Shanae Antoine wrote: "And is the same true of Alice in Wonderland?"

I don't think so for Alice in Wonderland - but there are other African novels that people have compared to Alice in Wonderland, like My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, maybe that's why the book made it to the list.


message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Has anyone out there read
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidgwe Danticat? It should be at the top of the list. She also wrote Krik? Krak! I suggest them both. She is one of the finest writers writing today.


message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 13, 2010 11:20PM) (new)

CRY,the BELOVED COUNTRY is a great book. I don't think it belongs on this list because it's all about South Africa and written by a South African. It's included on my list of BEST BOOKS by AFRICAN AUTHORS.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads OK, is this list for books by African-Americans, or for ones about them?


message 10: by Antoine (new)

Antoine I think it can go either way, but that that really should be it. Books about Africa which don't feature Americans (Cry the Beloved Country for instance) don't belong. Books about Americans in which questions of race, and especially African descent, don't figure prominently, also don't belong.

The question that begs, and I don't know how to answer it, would be how to handle a book like Gone With the Wind, in which race certainly plays a role, but so offensively that one could hardly call it an "African-American Book."


message 11: by Dana (new)

Dana Jeffrey-williams Mcgill keeps you on the edge wanting more!


message 12: by Julie (new)

Julie add The Emperor of OceanPark


message 13: by J (new)

J For those who are really interested in Black History, please check out my non-profit educational organization. It's called the Black-a-Day Project.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bl...


message 14: by Garth (new)

Garth My vote is for Bebe Moore Campbell's Your Blues Ain't Like Mine.

Whenever I hear someone rave about The Help, I suggest they read Your Blues Ain't Like Mine. The Help has good parts, but on the whole Your Blues Ain't Like Mine -- a novel based on the Emmett Till murder -- seems so much more realistic and honest about how horrible conditions were for African-Americans in the 1950s South.

Here's a post I wrote about the novel for Newsworthy Novels, a blog that matches novels to today's headlines and events (this entry was for Black History Month): http://newsworthynovels.blogspot.com/...


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You could vote for it, of course. Listopia lists are not closed.


message 16: by Garth (new)

Garth I did vote for it.


message 17: by Linda (new)

Linda Shanae wrote: "Imani wrote: "some real books on this list. real liturature. I jus realized something tho, why in the world is Uncle Tom's Cabin on here?!? It was written by a Northern white woman!"

But it was ba..."

What story was it based on?


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship Antoine wrote: "I think it can go either way, but that that really should be it. Books about Africa which don't feature Americans (Cry the Beloved Country for instance) don't belong. Books about Americans in whi..."

I don't think white authors can write "African-American fiction" any more than Americans can write Chinese fiction. That would have to be "books with protagonists of color" or "books dealing with race."


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