Black Historical Fiction Authors

Black Historical Fiction Authors

Looking for some Black historical fiction books? Here is a roundup of some fantastic Black historical fiction authors!

black historical fiction books

Black Historical Fiction Authors

I’m always looking for diverse voices in the historical fiction market. For so long it seemed to be a genre saturated with castles and royalty. Those stories are still entertaining and even important in their own way. I’m interested in the Tudors as much as the next girl. But there are so many other important stories out there! I’m loving that the market is expanding so dramatically! In the last year alone I’ve been exposed to so many new cultures and historical periods. I’m loving it! Today I want to focus on some amazing Black historical fiction authors I’ve found. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!


Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins has made a name for herself as the “Queen of Black historical romance”. She is a recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Award, the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, and has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in literature. She has also been featured on NPR, CBS Sunday Morning, the Wall Street Journal and People Magazine.

Since her first book, Night Song, debuted in 1994, she has been trail blazing the way in writing historical romance stories with Black and multicultural characters.

Learn more about her at her website- https://beverlyjenkins.net/ and shop her books below!

Black historical fiction authors

Black historical fiction authors

Lola Jaye

You may have seen her most recent book- The Attic Child hitting the bestseller lists and getting attention with Book of the Month etc. But before this haunting story, Jaye was already writing thought provoking historical fiction.

Wartime Sweethearts is a unique multicultural take on the popular WWII time period of historical fiction and Orphan Sisters is an immigration story as well as a deeper look at life in 1950s London.

To learn more about Lola Jaye- visit her website at https://www.lolajaye.com/ and shop her books below!


Dr. Vanessa Riley

Have you read Island Queen yet? This book floored me and was one of my top historical fiction reads of 2021! But before this groundbreaking true story about a former slave girl who becomes one wealthiest and powerful landowners in the West Indies, Riley had already made a name for herself in the historical fiction market.

Her work as classified as straight historical fiction as well as historical romance and historical mysteries– all taking place in Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras.

Her books have been featured in Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Publisher’s Weekly and more!

To learn more about Dr. Vanessa Riley check out her website here- https://vanessariley.com/ and shop her books below!

Black historical fiction authors

Yaa Gyasi

Gyasi has become a legend in the historical fiction world. Her debut novel, Homecoming, came out in 2016 and at the tender age of 26– won her the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award, the Pen/Hemingway Award, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honors, and the American Book Award. She also received a Vilcek Proze for Creative Promise in 2020.

To say this woman is talented is an understatement. But more importantly, she makes us think. Not only does she write about large sweeping periods in history to understand the ripple effects of events over time and generations, but she has also written and offered interviews in multiple publications about what reading in general does for us. How we read, why we read, what effect reading has on society etc.


If you enjoyed this post– be sure to subscribe to Joyana’s Blog below to never miss a future post!

Why are libraries important?

Why are Libraries Important?

We equate libraries to books, but they offer so much more!

Why are Libraries Important?

Why Libraries Are Important

I’ve always loved libraries. Those of you who’ve read my newsletter in the past already know this about me. But today, I want to dig a bit deeper into why libraries are important and share a bit more about their history and magic.

Today would have been my grandmother’s 101st birthday. She passed away last year and I’m still missing her greatly.

My grandmother was a woman ahead of her time and a true inspiration. She worked as a librarian in one of the largest public libraries on Long Island and then volunteered in my school library after she retired.

Growing up, my grandmother creatively shared her love of the library with my sister and me. She set up a pretend library in her basement by pasting envelopes into the back of each book. We then used index cards and stamps to “check out” books, taking turns playing librarian and patron. (This was obviously long before the computerized check out systems of today lol!)

She also taught me about the history of the public library system in America. Although Ben Franklin is credited as setting up the first public library in Philadelphia in 1731- this wasn’t exactly true. You see, Ben Franklin’s library was a subscription service where patrons had to pay to belong. This obviously still kept barriers in place as to who could avail themselves of this service.

The first real tax-supported “public” library wasn’t created until 1833 in Petersborough, New Hampshire. The Petersborough library was the first of its kind, not only in the US, but in the world! A truly public library available to everyone, regardless of class? It was groundbreaking.

Today, the library continues to serve as a class equalizer, providing not only access to books, but much-needed services for the community. Public Wi-Fi, computer access, tax help, language classes and more. Most people are unaware of the far-reaching public services the library provides, but you name it and the library probably provides it in some form.

I’m attending the American Librarian Association conference in DC this weekend. I’m excited for the prospect this provides me as an author- the chance to get my book into libraries nationwide is goose bump invoking!

But, there’s also a form of honor I feel to contribute and further this community institution. Because I know it will be at the library where any child or adult, regardless of money in their pocket, might stumble across my book on a shelf and find escape in its pages. And that- is magic!

*Please help me and other authors create this magic- You can get a book into a library!

  • How to Request Your Library Purchase a Book
    • First, google the name of your library and “purchase request” or “suggest a purchase.”
      • Most libraries will have a dedicated form that you can fill out requesting a book be purchased and added to the library’s collection. Usually the page will pop right up on Google.
  • The form will usually ask for your information (including library card number), plus details about the title, including the ISBN number.
    • You can find the ISBN number for any book by googling the title of the book and “ISBN number.” 
  • Fill the form in, press submit and you’re good to go!
    • Obviously there is no guarantee your library will choose to purchase it, but my experience has been that MOST of the time they do!
  • But, it’s important that you as READERS help authors with this because most libraries have some guardrails around these purchase requests!
    • Generally you need to have a current library card to put in a
      request. 
    • Most libraries will not accept purchase requests from authors for their own books.

So, please do your part to help your favorite authors get their books into your local library! If you don’t see a book listed- put in a request! Thank you!!

To see some of Joyana’s other articles about society and books- check here!