Authors Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant. (Photo: PostScript’d)
There was a time when Black bookstores flourished in major cities, and there were plenty of books by African American authors to fill them. Back when major bookseller chains had the latest works of Black authors prominently displayed for eager readers. Sadly, that time has passed.
With the exception of the largely self-published street lit genre, Black authors have all but disappeared from view. Writers Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, who’ve been writing together for nearly two decades recently announced that they won’t be releasing any more books because of changes in the industry. Big publishers have kicked even successful Black authors to the curb. Blame it on the Internet, declining book sales or whatever, but the bottom line is, our culture and communities suffer when we don’t have the chance to tell our stories.
When’s the last time you read a good book by a Black author? Do you also miss great contemporary fiction by authors like Connie Briscoe, Bebe Moore Campbell and E Lynn Harris? Are you still in a book club?