These 17 stories, written by contemporary black authors, demonstrate how diverse the teenage black experience can be: a Trinidadian immigrant's guardian angels (her cousins) save her from falling for the wrong guy; a humorous Jason Reynolds story follows four Brooklyn boys walking home after a swim, fantasizing about sandwiches from their neighborhood bodega; a high schooler keeping her application to a historic black college hidden from her father. Both black and non-black readers will benefit from the insights these well-crafted stories provide.
Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today—Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America.
Black is...sisters navigating their relationship at summer camp in Portland, Oregon, as written by Renée Watson.
Black is…three friends walking back from the community pool talking about nothing and everything, in a story by Jason Reynolds.
Black is…Nic Stone’s high-class beauty dating a boy her momma would never approve of.
Black is…two girls kissing in Justina Ireland’s story set in Maryland.
Black is urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—because there are countless ways to be Black enough.
Contributors: Justina Ireland Varian Johnson Rita Williams-Garcia Dhonielle Clayton Kekla Magoon Leah Henderson Tochi Onyebuchi Jason Reynolds Nic Stone Liara Tamani Renée Watson Tracey Baptiste Coe Booth Brandy Colbert Jay Coles Ibi Zoboi Lamar Giles
About the Author
Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her writing has been published in The New York Times Book Review, The Horn Book, and The Rumpus, among others. She is the author of American Street, a National Book Award finalist, and Pride. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their three children. You can find her online at www.ibizoboi.net.
Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton met while attending the New School’s acclaimed Writing for Children MFA program. Sona is a journalist who has written for the New York Times, People, Parade, Cosmopolitan, and other major media. Dhonielle is a librarian at a middle school in Harlem, and taught English at a cutthroat ballet academy. Together, the pair cofounded CAKE Literary, a boutique book packaging company with a decidedly diverse bent. Find them online at www.cakeliterary.com.
Lamar Giles writes for teens and adults. He is the author of the Edgar Award finalists Fake ID and Endangered as well as the critically acclaimed Overturned, Spin, and The Last Last-Day-of-Summer. He is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and resides in Virginia. Visit him online at www.lamargiles.com.
Justina Ireland is the author of the teen novels Dread Nation, Vengeance Bound, and Promise of Shadows. She enjoys dark chocolate and dark humor and is not too proud to admit that she’s still afraid of the dark. She lives with her husband, kid, and dog in Pennsylvania. You can visit her online at www.justinaireland.com.
A poet An artist
One black One white
Two voices One journey
Jason Reynolds & Jason Griffin are superheroes.
Liara Tamani lives in Houston, Texas. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College and a BA from Duke University. Calling My Name is her first book. www.liaratamani.com
Rita Williams-Garcia's Newbery Honor-winning novel, One Crazy Summer, was a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, a National Book Award finalist, the recipient of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and a New York Times bestseller. The sequel, P.S. Be Eleven, was also a Coretta Scott King Award winner and an ALA Notable Children's Book for Middle Readers. She is also the author of six distinguished novels for young adults: Jumped, a National Book Award finalist; No Laughter Here, Every Time a Rainbow Dies (a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book), and Fast Talk on a Slow Track (all ALA Best Books for Young Adults); Blue Tights; and Like Sisters on the Homefront, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Rita Williams-Garcia lives in Jamaica, New York, is on the faculty at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in the Writing for Children & Young Adults Program, and has two adult daughters, Stephanie and Michelle, and a son-in-law, Adam.
★ “A poignant collection of stunning short stories by Black, rock star authors” — Booklist (starred review)
★ “A breath of fresh air…nuanced and necessary.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
★ “Each entry is deftly woven and full of such complex humanity that teens will identify with and see some of their own struggles in these characters... This collection presents the beauty of black humanity in all its many forms.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
★ “The stories, all worth savoring, share a celebratory outlook on black teenagers fully and courageously embracing life.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Ibi Zoboi, author of National Book Award finalist American Street and Jane Austen update Pride, dazzles again with this stunning, marvelously diverse collection of 17 stories of the teen experience by black authors [writing] ‘about teens examining, rebelling against, embracing, or simply existing within their own idea of blackness.’” — Buffalo News
★ Praise for AMERICAN STREET: “Mixing gritty street life with the tenderness of first love, Haitian Vodou, and family bonds, the book is at once chilling, evocative, and reaffirming.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
★ Praise for AMERICAN STREET: “Filling her pages with magic, humanity, tragedy, and hope, Zoboi builds up, takes apart, and then rebuilds an unforgettable story. This book will take root in readers’ hearts.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
★ Praise for AMERICAN STREET: “Zoboi’s stunning debut intertwines mysticism and love with grit and violence…Fierce and beautiful.” — Booklist (starred review)
★ Praise for AMERICAN STREET: “A breathtaking story about contemporary America that will serve as a mirror to some and a window for others, and it will stay with anyone who reads it.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for AMERICAN STREET: “Zoboi urges us to examine the American dream to see if there is room within it to hold the ones we love.” — Ebony Magazine
Praise for AMERICAN STREET: “Will reach young readers regardless of their background.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Praise for AMERICAN STREET: “A poignant meditation on one girl’s struggle to find her way in a new world.” — Nicola Yoon, New York Times bestselling author of The Sun is Also a Star and Everything, Everything
Praise for AMERICAN STREET: “Brimming with culture, magic, warmth, and unabashed rawness, “American Street” is ultimately a blistering tale of humanity. This is “Manchild in the Promised Land,” for a new generation, and a remarkable debut from Zoboi, who without question is an inevitable force in storytelling.” — Jason Reynolds, award-winning co-author of All American Boys
Praise for AMERICAN STREET: “Zoboi’s nascent storytelling gifts ensnare from page one. To this spellbinding voice of the next generation, I bow.” — Rita Williams-Garcia, New York Times bestselling author and three-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award