A Summer Reading List by Nashville Authors


Image credit: The Black Book Project

Here is a list of summer reading options, with works by African American authors (some local from Nashville too!), a way to ensure diverse literature is provided to the youth in the community, and a writers group for locals too!

Rosa Parks Beyond the Bus: Life Lessons and Leadership

H.H. Leonards has compiled an inspiring collection of memories that date back to the time Rosa Parks was a guest at H.H. Leonards’ family home. This book shares a personal perspective of Rosa Parks life, beliefs, and wisdom – giving us a glimpse into her “heart, mind, and spirit”.

Black Bottom Saints

Detroit native, current Nashville resident, and New York Times best selling author Alice Randall has written a host of literary works that has her named one of the most significant voices in 21st century African American fiction. Black Bottom Saints has an autobiographical element with the goal to give readers an opportunity to step back in time to become “honorary citizens of Black Bottom”.

Truth’s Table

Podcast co-hosts and now authors, Christina Edmondson, Michelle Higgins, and Ekemini Uwan have crafted stories “by Black women for Black women”. These stories review and expand on perspectives on deep issues such as culture, gender, race, politics, and theology.

We Are Family

Lebron James and Andrea Williams have curated a children’s book that shares a basketball themed story of a group of children seeking “an escape, a dream, a family” and covers common challenges you children encounter.

Baseball’s Leading Lady

Effa Manley was the co-owner and business manager of the Newark Eagles, before the Major League Baseball’s color barrier was broken in 1947. Effa showed up strong in the game of baseball, and was devoted to Black Empowerment. Andrea Willaims shares the full story of the first and only woman who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Soul Food Love

Nashville authors + Mother and Daughter pair Alice Randall & Caroline Randall Williams crafted a cookbook redefining soul food with 80 healthy recipes. Intertwined in the recipes you will find family history and traditions.

Additional Resources:

The Black Book Project, launched by Meredith McKinney, mom and Metro Schools employee, recognized a great need for diverse representation in children’s literature and decided to help address it. Per the website, you may share new or gently used books that feature Black Characters of all shades and/or are created by Black authors and illustrators.

Are you a writer too? Nashville has a community group for creatives to share their voice. Explore Colors of Light – Black People Write with other local writers.

Enjoy your guide for summer reading! Tag us at #urbaanite when you jump into each book!

Hit us up at hello@urbaanite.com if you want to share your experience good or not so great. We always want to make sure we are sending our readers to a welcoming environment.

To get more guides and stories of the people behind the culture and soul of Nashville, subscribe to our weekly newsletter HERE.

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