12 Books Written By POCs In Our 2020 Jopwell Book Club

Estimated reading time ~ 3 min
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We just ended a decade of exploration, education, f inspiring literature, and an increase of POC writers publishing their work. Although stories have been told by people of color for many years, we are more recently seeing the celebration of these writers and their literature brought to the forefront of literature and recognized for its brilliance.

It’s important to build on the legacy of diverse writers and continue to read, share, and write more stories that are seldom heard in mainstream media. In 2020, exercise your right brain by challenging yourself to the Jopwell Book Club. Continue reading for 12 books written by POCs that you can read each month in 2020.

  1. Birdie: A darkly comical and moving first novel about the universal experience of recovering from the wounds of the past, informed by the knowledge of Cree traditions.
  • Written By: Tracey Lindberg, an award-winning writer, scholar, lawyer and Indigenous Rights activist from the Kelly Lake Cree Nation in British Columbia. She is Cree-Métis and a member of the As'in'i'wa'chi Ni'yaw Nation Rocky Mountain Cree.
  1. Halsey Street, A modern-day story of family, loss, and renewal. The story focuses on the life of a young artist who recently scrapped her career to move back to the recently gentrified Brooklyn to help her father.
  • Written By: Naima Coster, Afro-Dominican-American writer Halsey Street is her debut novel published in 2018.
  1. When We Were Alone: The story of a difficult time in history filled with anecdotes of empowerment and strength. It begins with the curious daughter of a Native grandmother and her stories of the past that have created an unforgettable legacy.
  • Written By: David Robertson, an Indigenous graphic novelist and writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  1. When They Call You a Terrorist: Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, among other things. The story centers around the reason behind the movements and why it’s important for marginalized groups to have their stories told.
  • Written By: ritten by Patrisse Khan-Culler and Asha Bandele, two of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement.
  1. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter: Two sisters raised in the same family have two very different points of views of who they want to be. The story explores what it means to be mexican and the culture norms that many mexican families hold firmly.
  1. What We Lose: Based on Clemmons’ own experiences, the novel tells the story of a young woman whose mother is diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Written By: Zinzi Clemmons, an American writer from Culver City, California.
  1. Monkey Beach: Tragedy strikes a Native community when a family’s 17-year-old son goes missing. The boy’s sister sets off alone in search of her brother through Monkey Beach—a shore famed for its sasquatch sightings.
  • Written By: Eden Robinson, an award-winning Aboriginal Canadian author. She is a member of the Haisla and Heiltsuk First Nations.
  1. Just Mercy: The novel tells a story of Stevens’ unique perspective on criminal justice reform and his effort to redefine what it means to be on a “road to redemption” by dissecting the truth about the prison institution.
  • Written By: Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer, social justice activist, founder/executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and a clinical professor at New York University School of Law.
  1. With the Fire On High: Protagonist Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions, especially since she got pregnant freshman year of high school. Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates. Once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.
  1. Planting Gardens In Graves: A powerful collection of poetry celebrating connecting, mourning heartbreak and, that hones in on the themes dearest to his readers. It celebrates connection, mourns heartbreak, and above all, empowerings its readers to seek the love they deserve.
  • Written By: R.H.Sin, New Jersey native and award-winning poet.
  1. Here Comes the Sun: The novel tells the authentic story of a Jamaican woman in search of a better life for herself and her family.
  1. What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky: The story takes place in a world ravaged by climate change and geopolitical conflict. As its inhabitants endure challenges of the refugees who've been displaced in the turmoil, many also take solace in a discovery that purports to ease all human woes.
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