Feature image credit: @oneworldbooks

We love hearing which books inspired our favorite authors in their own writing journey. Our guest editor, Kenya Hunt, is a Fashion Director, journalist and the author of Girl Gurl Grrrl: On Womanhood and Belonging in the Age of Black Girl Magic out this month. Here, she shares her personal book recommendations with our readers.

Read our interview with the author about her new book here.

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel’s impeccably researched and reported The Warmth Of Other Sons helped me reach a deeper understanding of my own family’s history in the American South, so when she released her latest work, Caste, I knew I needed to bump it to the top of my reading list.

The book is a vital read for 2020 in that she effectively illustrates how we got here, to this polarised place. I love her use of language, particularly how she explains the history of the racial divide, without using the term racism, and in so doing inspires us to process the information differently.

Whites by Otegha Uwagba

I really appreciated Otegha’s cutting critique of performative allyship (and the trendy language we use to describe it) on Twitter. Her essay, which unpacks the trauma so many of us experienced in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, is one that will long be revisited and remembered.

Luster by Raven Leilani

This is the debut everyone in my social network was talking about all summer. I can’t wait to finally read Leilani’s story of an extramarital affair that takes an unexpected turn.

The Half God Of Rainfall by Inua Ellams

Written in rhymed triplets, Ellams tells a tale of Greek and Yoruba Gods — and basketball. I’m intrigued!

Black Futures by Jenna Wortham and Kimberly Drew

Wortham described the experience of completing her visual anthology, mid-pandemic, as a ‘balm, a séance, a spell.’ I think we could all use a bit of that.

Read more about Kenya’s book, Girl Gurl Grrrl, and the experiences that drove it in our interview with the author.