The Black-Authored Books Everyone Should Buy To Support #BlackPublishingPower

No industry will be left untouched by the vigour of the Black Lives Matter movement. Following the death of George Floyd last month, the push for anti-racism and systemic change has swept the nation like never before, igniting reform all the way from police departments down to The Bachelor. The fight is still ongoing, and this week it’s the publishing industry’s turn to make its mark with #BlackPublishingPower, a push to fill bestseller lists with entirely Black voices and writers. 
The social media message, which asks users to purchase two books by Black authors, began with Amistad Press, an imprint of HarperCollins. 
“This single act of buying only two books authored by Black authors in one week could have a profound affect not only on the publishing industry but also on the consciousness of the community, allowing everyone to witness the vast, powerful, entertaining, informative array of the contributions offered by these writers,” Tracy Sherrod, the editorial director of Amistad Press, told Refinery29 in a statement. “It would also pay respect to the few workers, from editors to assistants, in all departments who rarely see their labours acknowledged in that way, on such an influential platform.” 
It wasn’t long before the initiative picked up steam with the help of Black authors like Brittney Cooper, whose book Eloquent Rage reached the New York Times Bestseller List for the first time last week. 
“As the nation reckons with racism, reading Black voices is critical to having an informed perspective that will actually move the needle in a positive direction,” Cooper told Refinery29 in an email. “My hope is that people will not only support the books on the list, so that they can stay there and keep being impactful, but also that people will support more Black feminist authors, as it is a perspective that is sorely needed.”
Cooper also encouraged those participating in the movement to purchase their two titles from Black-owned bookstores. 
This isn’t the first initiative taken by the publishing industry in response to current events. On June 8, workers in publishing and media took a day of action in response to the demonstrations across the U.S., calling off of work to instead commit themselves to acts of service in support of Black people. 
The day of action and #BlackPublishingPower are both single movements with the goal of instilling lasting change in their participants, and now readers can encourage that ongoing change one book at a time. 

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