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Celebrate Black History Month: Historical Fiction

February is Black History Month! Check out these recommended reads by Black authors at Oak Lawn Public Library

Although technically fictional , Historical Fiction can borrow true elements from the past to craft a narrative that creates a visual and emotional connection to the time period. Below are Black authors and their historical fiction works you can read to celebrate Black History Month. Click the title to place a hold!

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Dana, a 20th century Black woman, is transported back in time to the antebellum South when slavery is still legal. She must insure that the plantation owner's son survives in order to father her own ancestor.

If you like: Time Travel, Science-Fiction, Interracial Relationships

Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair

Set on the Southside of Chicago during 1965, this story follows 11 year old Jean "Stevie" Stevenson through high school as she grows up during the Civil Rights era.

If you like: Coming-Of-Age Stories, LGBTQIA+ Stories, Strong Sense of Place

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis (Also available in Large Print)

This Oprah's Book Club pick is set against the Great Migration and tells the story of Hattie Shepard's 9 children (plus one grandchild). Chapters are framed through the lens of each one of Hattie's children as they navigate through life devoid of the motherly love Hattie was never able to give them.

If you like: Large Cast of Characters, Family Sagas, Bittersweet Stories

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Also available in Large Print)

Cora is a slave on a plantation in Georgia when a man arrives and tells her about the underground railroad. Together they escape to another state but a slave catcher is close behind. With every journey Cora is confronted with the question of whether she can ever be free.

If you like: Strong Female Characters, Thought-Provoking Reads, Descriptive Writing

Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin

Written in 1953 but with a 1930s Harlem backdrop, this literary classic chronicles the experience of John Grimes, a 14 year old Black boy on one Saturday in March. As the stepson of a Pentecostal church pastor and fixture in their African-American community, John learns to navigate his identity against who the church tells him he should be.

If you like: Literary classics, Religion, Coming-of-Age Stories


Created by Kristin Lansdown on Feb 4th, 2018 @ 4:59 PM.
Updated on Feb 6th, 2018 @ 4:20 PM.