10 Must-Read Books Celebrating the Black LGBT Community

Commemorate LGBT Pride Month 2015 with these classics.

The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie - In honor of Pride Month, we've rounded up a diverse collection of novels, memoirs and more penned by Black LGBT writers to recognize the major impact the community has had in the literary world and beyond. By Patrice Peck  In 2013, award-winning writer Mia McKenzie won the Lambda Literary Award for The Summer We Got Free. Her debut literary novel tells the story of Ava Delaney, a wild young girl and a brilliant artist who changes dramatically after a violent event rocks her entire family. Dawn Robinson of the Lambda Literary Review heralded McKenzie's novel and described her as "a fiercely brilliant Black queer woman, who layers on discovery, insularity and secrets with a deft touch."(Photo: Black Girl Dangerous Press) 

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The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie - In honor of Pride Month, we've rounded up a diverse collection of novels, memoirs and more penned by Black LGBT writers to recognize the major impact the community has had in the literary world and beyond. By Patrice Peck In 2013, award-winning writer Mia McKenzie won the Lambda Literary Award for The Summer We Got Free. Her debut literary novel tells the story of Ava Delaney, a wild young girl and a brilliant artist who changes dramatically after a violent event rocks her entire family. Dawn Robinson of the Lambda Literary Review heralded McKenzie's novel and described her as "a fiercely brilliant Black queer woman, who layers on discovery, insularity and secrets with a deft touch."(Photo: Black Girl Dangerous Press) 

B-Boy Blues (A B-Boy Blues Novel #1) by James Earl Hardy - If you're seeking an unapologetic love story centered on the African-American male, then check out James Earl Hardy's debut novel. Published in 1994, B-Boy Blues follows the lives of Black gay men in New York City, offering a humorous, sexy and authentic look at different segments of the community: banjee boys, rough trade, homophobic violence and more.(Photo: Alyson Books)

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B-Boy Blues (A B-Boy Blues Novel #1) by James Earl Hardy - If you're seeking an unapologetic love story centered on the African-American male, then check out James Earl Hardy's debut novel. Published in 1994, B-Boy Blues follows the lives of Black gay men in New York City, offering a humorous, sexy and authentic look at different segments of the community: banjee boys, rough trade, homophobic violence and more.(Photo: Alyson Books)

The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir by Staceyann Chin - Jamaican performance artist Staceyann Chin discusses issues of race and sexuality in her brave and fiercely candid memoir. Included in the tender collection of unsettling memories she reveals are her coming out as a lesbian and finding the man she believes to be her father.(Photo: Scribner)

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The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir by Staceyann Chin - Jamaican performance artist Staceyann Chin discusses issues of race and sexuality in her brave and fiercely candid memoir. Included in the tender collection of unsettling memories she reveals are her coming out as a lesbian and finding the man she believes to be her father.(Photo: Scribner)

Photo By Photo: Scribner

The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez - In The Gilda Stories, author Jewelle Gomez reframes the traditional vampire mythology through a lesbian feminist lens. Over a 200-year period spanning from 1850 to 2050, protagonist Gilda witnesses the evils of slavery and racism in North and South America as she struggles to fit into various communities. Fans of Octavia Butler's work would definitely approve!(Photo: Firebrand Books)

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The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez - In The Gilda Stories, author Jewelle Gomez reframes the traditional vampire mythology through a lesbian feminist lens. Over a 200-year period spanning from 1850 to 2050, protagonist Gilda witnesses the evils of slavery and racism in North and South America as she struggles to fit into various communities. Fans of Octavia Butler's work would definitely approve!(Photo: Firebrand Books)

Queer Pollen: White Seduction, Black Male Homosexuality, and the Cinematic (New Black Studies Series) by David A. Gerstner - If you're a big non-fiction fan, then make sure to add Queer Pollen to your summer reading list. The award-winning book explores the unique ways in which three notable twentieth century artists ? painter and writer Richard Bruce Nugent, author James Baldwin and filmmaker Marlon Riggs ? used various media to digest their experiences living as queer Black men.(Photo: University of Illinois Press)

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Queer Pollen: White Seduction, Black Male Homosexuality, and the Cinematic (New Black Studies Series) by David A. Gerstner - If you're a big non-fiction fan, then make sure to add Queer Pollen to your summer reading list. The award-winning book explores the unique ways in which three notable twentieth century artists — painter and writer Richard Bruce Nugent, author James Baldwin and filmmaker Marlon Riggs — used various media to digest their experiences living as queer Black men.(Photo: University of Illinois Press)

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The Color Purple by Alice Walker - Clich? or not, Alice Walker's National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple, deserves to be on any and every reading list, especially those with an LGBT focus. The landmark novel tells the story of Celie, a southern Black woman who suffers a lifetime of abuse from her father and, later, her husband before meeting Shug, a sultry, confident blues singer whose sisterhood helps Celie to come into her own.(Photo: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)

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The Color Purple by Alice Walker - Cliché or not, Alice Walker's National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple, deserves to be on any and every reading list, especially those with an LGBT focus. The landmark novel tells the story of Celie, a southern Black woman who suffers a lifetime of abuse from her father and, later, her husband before meeting Shug, a sultry, confident blues singer whose sisterhood helps Celie to come into her own.(Photo: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)

Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual African American Fiction by Don Weise - Considered the most comprehensive collection of fiction by African-American lesbian, gay and bisexual writers ever published, the award-winning Black Like Us showcases the work of literary giants like Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker and many more. This is definitely a must-have fiction anthology for your library!(Photo: Cleis Press)

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Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual African American Fiction by Don Weise - Considered the most comprehensive collection of fiction by African-American lesbian, gay and bisexual writers ever published, the award-winning Black Like Us showcases the work of literary giants like Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker and many more. This is definitely a must-have fiction anthology for your library!(Photo: Cleis Press)

A Visitation of Spirits: A Novel by Randall Kenan - Randall Kenan's first novel, published in 2000, tells a vivid and horrific tale through the generations of a Black North Carolina family. The San Francisco Chronicle, among others, praised Kenan for continuing "[James] Baldwin's legendary tradition of 'telling it on the mountain' by giving voice to the unvarnished truth about Blacks and homosexuality."(Photo: Vintage Publishers)

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A Visitation of Spirits: A Novel by Randall Kenan - Randall Kenan's first novel, published in 2000, tells a vivid and horrific tale through the generations of a Black North Carolina family. The San Francisco Chronicle, among others, praised Kenan for continuing "[James] Baldwin's legendary tradition of 'telling it on the mountain' by giving voice to the unvarnished truth about Blacks and homosexuality."(Photo: Vintage Publishers)

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name ? A Biomythography (Crossing Press Feminist Series) by Audre Lorde - Award-winning writer and activist Audre Lorde's ZAMI beautifully details her early life as a struggling Black lesbian in New York City and spotlights the women who shaped her life, romantically and platonically. "Every woman I have ever loved has left her print upon me," she writes.(Photo: Crossing Press)

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Zami: A New Spelling of My Name – A Biomythography (Crossing Press Feminist Series) by Audre Lorde - Award-winning writer and activist Audre Lorde's ZAMI beautifully details her early life as a struggling Black lesbian in New York City and spotlights the women who shaped her life, romantically and platonically. "Every woman I have ever loved has left her print upon me," she writes.(Photo: Crossing Press)

Coffee Will Make You Black: A Novel by April Sinclair - A coming-of-age story set in mid-to-late 1960s Chicago, April Sinclair's first novel features frank writing about the blossoming sexuality and racial identity of Jean "Stevie" Stevenson: "I still thought breasts might be more trouble than they were worth. Growing up reminded me a little bit of Hide and Go Seek. When it was your time to grow up, Nature said, 'Here I come, ready or not.' And Nature could always find you."(Photo: Harper Perennial)

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Coffee Will Make You Black: A Novel by April Sinclair - A coming-of-age story set in mid-to-late 1960s Chicago, April Sinclair's first novel features frank writing about the blossoming sexuality and racial identity of Jean "Stevie" Stevenson: "I still thought breasts might be more trouble than they were worth. Growing up reminded me a little bit of Hide and Go Seek. When it was your time to grow up, Nature said, 'Here I come, ready or not.' And Nature could always find you."(Photo: Harper Perennial)