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Black and Queer

Black and Queer

This playlist contains a few of my favorite books about the Black, Queer experience.

Playlist Tags: topic: diversity topic: lgbtqa

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The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

By Junauda Petrus
Narrated by: Junauda Petrus, Bahni Turpin & JD Jackson
Length: 9 hours 20 minutes

A Coretta Scott King Honor Book

Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.


Port of Spain, Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out... Read more »

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Red at the Bone

A Novel

By Jacqueline Woodson
Narrated by: Jacqueline Woodson, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Peter Francis James, Shayna Small & Bahni Turpin
Length: 3 hours 52 minutes

Red at the Bone

“ I thoroughly enjoyed the audio book, partially because Woodson’s writing is a joy to listen to, and partially because the different narrators helped keep the story straight. (I was talking to a co-worker who said she was having trouble with this one because she didn’t know which chapter was from which point of view — Woodson, unlike other writers, doesn’t do any favors by telling us at the outset who is narrating, instead making us do the work of figuring it out.) It was short, and to the point, and I liked listening to this one family’s story through the years.”

Watermark Books image Melissa, Watermark Books
Audiobook details

Real Life

A Novel

By Brandon Taylor
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes

A FINALIST for the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the VCU/Cabell First Novelist Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, the NYPL Young Lions Award, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award 
 
“A blistering coming of age story” —O: The Oprah Magazine


Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York TimesThe Washington... Read more »

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Looking for Lorraine

The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry

By Imani Perry
Narrated by: LisaGay Hamilton
Length: 8 hours 26 minutes

Winner of the 2019 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction

Winner of the Shilts-Grahn Triangle Award for Lesbian Nonfiction

Winner of the 2019 Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award

A New York Times Notable Book of 2018

A revealing portrait of one of the most gifted and charismatic, yet...
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You Should See Me in a Crown

By Leah Johnson
Narrated by: Alaska Jackson
Length: 7 hours 18 minutes

You Should See Me in a Crown

“Here is the novel that will restore your faith in humanity in spades. In Campbell, Indiana, being crowned prom royalty is the ultimate recognition. And this year Liz Lighty needs to win that crown because it happens to be attached to an academic scholarship she desperately needs. The cards are stacked against her: she struggles with anxiety, poverty and grief, all while being queer and Black in a staunchly traditional white culture. Alaska Jackson's narration infuses these fresh voices with nuance and vitality. Liz Lighty's journey to finding her voice and claiming her power in a midwestern town that has historically never made space for 'outliers' is a jubilant one that we are so lucky take alongside her.”

Bear Pond Books image Jane, Bear Pond Books
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How We Fight For Our Lives

By Saeed Jones
Narrated by: Saeed Jones
Length: 5 hours 34 minutes

How We Fight For Our Lives

“Saeed Jones is supremely talented, so I expected his memoir to be great. I did NOT expect, however, to be left immobile in my chair after reading that final paragraph, processing the beauty of his words and those indelible sentences he’s generous enough to share with us. How We Fight for Our Lives is a moving and intimate portrait of the writer growing up as a young, gay black man and trying to understand the complex realities of his identity. We also gain insight to Jones’ relationship with his mother, a story that left me in pieces by the end. How We Fight for Our Lives is raw, difficult, and truthful, and completely stuffed with love.”

BookPeople image Eugenia Vela, BookPeople
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Sister Outsider

Essays and Speeches
Crossing Press Feminist: Book #1

By Audre Lorde
Narrated by: Robin Eller
Length: 7 hours 31 minutes

Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action... Read more »

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No Ashes in the Fire

Coming of Age Black and Free in America

By Darnell L Moore
Narrated by: Darnell L Moore
Length: 6 hours

From a leading journalist and activist comes a brave, beautifully wrought memoir.

When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It... Read more »

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Giovanni’s Room

By James Baldwin
Narrated by: Dan Butler
Length: 6 hours 49 minutes

Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality.

With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin’s now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the...

Read more »

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Here Comes the Sun

A Novel

By Nicole Dennis-Benn
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 11 hours 42 minutes

Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis-Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is... Read more »

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Patsy

A Novel

By Nicole Dennis-Benn
Narrated by: Sharon Gordon
Length: 17 hours 9 minutes

Patsy

“I feel that Dennis-Benn is unparalleled in writing the insidious unforgivables. The mother who can't find love for her daughter, the more-than-friend who takes everything you give them and never gives back, the daughter told to be a "good girl" who finds difficulty doing either of those things for the woman who ends up raising her. Like her debut, this novel is filled with characters tormented by the compromises they made but whose character Dennis-Benn refuses to compromise. The painfully recognizable humanity of everyone in Patsy asks us all to reach inside for the empathy we're capable of for people we wouldn't normally think to give it to.”

Water Street Bookstore image Alice, Water Street Bookstore
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Don't Call Us Dead

Poems

By Danez Smith
Narrated by: Danez Smith
Length: 1 hours 14 minutes

Finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry

Winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don't Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place... Read more »

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Homie

Poems

By Danez Smith
Narrated by: Danez Smith
Length: 1 hours 32 minutes

Homie

“In their third collection, Danez Smith shakes to life the parts of people that have gone to sleep waiting for this time in the world to be over. Those emotions that raise up too much anger or grief — all of them are alive again and seen and spoken for with utmost care and a tremendously welcome sense of humor. Pick this book up and carry it with you everywhere. It can be like a video game heart for you, and who doesn’t need an extra heart?”

Moon Palace Books image Luis Lopez, Moon Palace Books
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I Don't Want to Die Poor

By Michael Arceneaux
Narrated by: Michael Arceneaux
Length: 7 hours

One of NPR’s Best Books of 2020
One of Time’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2020

From the New York Times bestselling author of I Can’t Date Jesus, which Vogue called “a piece of personal and cultural storytelling that is as fun as it is illuminating,” comes a wry and insightful essay collection that explores the financial and emotional cost of chasing... Read more »

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Girl, Woman, Other

By Bernardine Evaristo
Narrated by: Anna-Maria Nabirye
Length: 11 hours 6 minutes

Girl, Woman, Other

“The twelve Black British women who are the central characters in Bernardine Evaristo's GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER are so vastly different that when their connections are slowly revealed, like a spider web you didn't see until the light hits it just so, you'll settle in and become entranced. I loved this deep dive into a part of British culture that isn't often depicted. The form is unusual but once you give yourself over to it, you'll see why it works. I particularly loved the last part of the book which reminded me of enjoying a long leisurely meal and still leaving room for the perfect dessert. The ending was terribly satisfying. Highly recommend.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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All Boys Aren't Blue

A Memoir-Manifesto

By George M. Johnson
Narrated by: George M. Johnson
Length: 5 hours 11 minutes

This program is read by the author.

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first...

Read more »

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Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments

Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval

By Saidiya Hartman
Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
Length: 10 hours 5 minutes

In Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Saidiya Hartman examines the revolution of black intimate life that unfolded in Philadelphia and New York at the beginning of the twentieth century. Free love, common-law and transient marriages, queer relations, and single motherhood were among the sweeping changes that altered the character of everyday... Read more »

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Shop early and gift big! Every purchase supports local bookstores. Make a difference