Well Sistah Girls, we’ve reached that time of the year again. The wick of the 2022 candle is in its last month aflame, and Black literature remains #1 in categories across the board.
Debate someone else, because I said what I said.
As many of the book-loving community do, I too logged into Goodreads.com during the month of January to set my reading goals. Keeping it all the way real, I capped myself at 50 books for these 12 months, #READINGSLUMPTHINGS. Nonetheless, I was able to meet and exceed that initial 50.
This is a success that I owe 100% to the Black author baes telling Black stories. All love and respect to you pen-pushing bosses! Please bask in the flowers of my reverence for you all sharing your art with the world, and helping a thug cross that finish line.
Now that we’ve taken care of housekeeping, let’s review 2022!
Sistah Girls, take a second to pour a glass of your favorite fermented grapes. Then kick back and read on as your favorite Midwest Gypsy hits rewind to look back at some themes and trends that have been embraced in Black literature this year.
THE CATEGORY IS: MENTAL HEALTH
As a reader who grew up under the wings of urban literature, and in an era where “what happens in this house stay in this house,” I must throw my wrists out of the sockets as I flail them in praise for Black authors having the gall to use their platform to illustrate the importance of mental health in the Black community.
Whether their characters were healing from family trauma, old heartbreak, or simply identifying who they wanted to be in the world; this Black literary season, authors were telling the freeing—yet painful—truths of what it is like to take control of your mental health and break those generational curses.
Word to Lauryn Hill, the author baes were on one this year with the mental health awareness theme!
With each story that I completed, the characters were strumming my pain with the relatability of their words, as they laughed, cried, and learned to love themselves one page at a time.
THE CATEGORY IS: AUDIOBOOKS
Audiobooks are a hands-free method that allows listeners to multitask while catching up with their favorite books’ characters. Additionally, this popular new-ish wave of reading has also created a space for Black voice actors to narrate characters that look and feel like them.
While I have yet to embrace this new reading technique (a thug has sensory issues like a mug), I have scrolled through the socials enough to know that plenty of Sistah Girls are L-O-V-I-N-G it.
And I for one don’t blame them. It is one thing to read about Black love, but to be able to hear it also! Talk about a new fantastic point of view 🥵.
If you have yet to try an audiobook, I suggest you check out this listicle by BookLoverSistah as a starting point in the whole new work that is audiobooks.
THE CATEGORY IS: PROTECTING BLACK LITERATURE
Sistah Girls, too many times this year, I have been scrolling the timelines only to witness real Black literature face an attack from inside of the house.
Readers who speak with the tone of all lives matter, have taken it upon themselves to attempt to discredit and disrespect Black authors and the stories they illustrate.
Anytime that this has occurred, trust and believe that the Black literary congregation shows the world what we are made of.
From reposting our favorite authors to shedding light on the various subgenres of Black literature, all the way to a tastefully comical—sometimes necessary gathering of the offender.
The real Black literary community pulls up with love, support, and protection for our sacred space.
THE CATEGORY IS: BOOK CONTENT CREATORS
There is no way that I could talk about how outstanding of a year Black lit has had without tipping my hat and shouting my yessss to some of the unsung heroes in the business…the book content creators.
From quality edits, rousing recommendations and reviews, book blogs, and humorously relatable skits, these content-creating baddies have been applying pressure to the Black literary game, producing nothing less than gems with each upload.
Sistah Girls, join me in giving a manicured round of applause to all of the phenomenal literary content creators who have been putting on for Black literature in 2022.
FINAL SCORE: 40/40
So how dope is Black literature you ask? Well, in a matter of 365 days, Black authors have managed to provide the same romantic stories we have always enjoyed.
However, they have done so in a way that it has opened up the floor for a conversation that many of our parents and our grandparents weren’t able to have with us regarding our mental health.
In 2022, Black literature has created a way to help the busy reader continue to enjoy their favorite hobby without disrupting their to-do list. As well as creating an opportunity for creatives to use their skills to bring our favorite characters to life.
Black literature has formulated partnerships and friendships with like-minded individuals who will go to bat to protect Black authors and their stories.
In 2022, Black literature has created a sense of community where everyone had a role that makes the reading world go round.
All these factors together represent a continuously bright future for Black literature. The type of future where the stories we write and/or read will one day grace the big screen or get a seven-season Netflix deal.
A future where the little Sistah Girl who enjoys stories about aliens and adventure doesn’t have to search too hard to see herself between the pages. Or a busy mom can still feel as though she’s doing the things she likes to do even though her schedule is full.
In this reader/writer’s opinion, with the innovative minds that are within the Black literary community, there is nothing that can stop Black literature from continuing to soar.
Well Sistah Girls, that’s all from me this year. What are some trends or themes you all noticed in Black literature this year? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Until next time, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and remember; that Black all by itself is luxury.
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