Rhody Reads: Celebrating six local authors for Black History Month

February 2022


Rhode Island’s literary scene is a rich tapestry of diverse cultures and backgrounds. For Black History Month, Rhody Reads is highlighting six local Black authors who represent an array of styles, from poetry to politics. They all have something unique to say, so be sure to check them out and, as always, support your favorite local bookseller when you make a purchase.

Bloody vampire tales are not for everyone, but if you’re thirsty for a suspense-filled thriller, check out Rhode Island-based author Errick Nunnally’s All the Dead Men, the second book in his Alexander Smith series. Who better to help solve a crime involving bloodsuckers and shapeshifters than the story’s hero – who happens to be a werewolf? He hesitates to get involved, until it becomes personal and the claws come out! Best read at night.

Kou Tukala Nyan’s collection of poems Jesus, Adulting, People in Poetry shines a spotlight on a realization that we all know so well, “Adulting is hard.” With grace and style, URI grad Nyan writes to inspire as she explores her own journey into the phase that follows childhood with “Next Plan.” We can’t stay children forever, but with a little guidance and encouragement, we can successfully navigate our way into a rich and fulfilling life.

To uncover the secrets of the universe, cosmologist Stephon Alexander had to stop studying and start exploring. In his book, Fear of a Black Universe: An Outsider’s Guide to the Future of Physics, the Brown University professor and jazz musician shares his insights and discoveries. Alexander simplifies
complex concepts, opening doors for the reader, while demonstrating the need for more diversity in the various fields of scientific study.

Spoken word artist Clarise Annette Brooks has captured her bold and powerful thoughts and ideas on paper in her new book, Excuse Me While I Live My Life from local publisher Stillwater River Publications. Her themes of mindfulness and responsibility will resonate with readers striving to build a better life for themselves and their surrounding community. Check out the book and see Brooks read her work live in the area when you get the chance.

The word “storyteller” barely scratches the surface when talking about legendary artist Len Cabral. For decades, he has entertained and educated children and adults with his passionate performances. Introduce yourself and others to his work with his retelling of a Haitian folktale, How the Rabbit Lost Its Tail, illustrated by Kate DeCarvalho. The story asks, “Why am I different?” and, more importantly, “What does it matter?

In Yarmulkes & Fitted Caps, Aaron Levy Samuels explores his own identity as the child of a Jewish mother and Black father raised in Providence. Along with his discussion of race, Samuels weaves in topics of family, religion, and teenage angst. With a spirituality and flow, he explores the human condition while simultaneously challenging and celebrating what we know about ourselves and one another.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here