The TORONTO URBAN BOOK EXPO is coming up on February 13th. Together with them in honour of Black History Month, we created a list of Black Canadian books (in no particular order) that you should read.
1) Pressing Forward – Akwasi O. Afriyie
A “relevant and informative” book equipped to motivate its readers to greatness, Pressing Forward is written especially with the readers with a thirst for accomplishment and success in mind. Packed with nuggets of wisdom and practical advice, Pressing Forward is the book to read for the destiny seekers.
2) Take me to Church – LaTania Christie-Powell
Take Me to Church. discusses the traumatic and life-altering events that occurred in the childhood of LaTania Christie-Powell that helped to shape her into the powerful woman she is today. Through her novel readers can hope to find healing and inspiration in their own life.
3) Concrete Jungle – Kamilah Haywood
Kamilah Haywood is a rising Canadian Author of Urban Fiction. Her stories usually consist of raw and explicit tales of youth in the streets of Toronto. In her book Concrete Jungle, we learn of two kindred spirits whose paths cross both on a forbidden journeys of overcoming the trials and tribulations that come with being lost in the streets.
4) Far From Over: The Music and Life of Drake – Dalton Higgins
This is the first biography of Drake’s rap career at a time when album sales were plummeting and Drake’s 2010 debut album, Thank Me Later, went platinum. In Far From Over, the award-winning writer and hip hop expert Dalton Higgins examines the life of Aubrey Drake Graham and his rise to fame which has been anything but typical.
5) Rap n Roll – Dalton Higgins
In his sixth book Rap N’ Roll, award-winning journalist, author, broadcaster and blogger Dalton Higgins takes a collection of pop culture essays touching on the more touchy subjects Higgins has written about. He even tackles topics like cultural appropriation and hones in on the future of hip hop culture and reggae. Is rap the new rock n’ roll? Find out the answer to questions like this in Higgins book.
6) Straight Hood – Allan Brentt Hood
Straight Hood is a compilation of short stories about the life of Alan Brentt Hood and touches on subjects of race, faith, addiction, the mistreatment of women, and overall degradation of moral values. It makes people stop and think addressing the choices they make and hold themselves accountable for the actions they take. They question some of the “norms” of society to hopefully set a standard for youth that are heavily influenced by the negative effects of the society we live in.
7) Derive – Jennylynd James
Dérivé (pronounced Dreevay), French for drift focuses on the huge drift of nineteen year old Jennylynd James who moved from her home in Trinidad and Tobago, to attend university abroad. The constant struggle to find balance between her need for adventure and her desire to return to her homeland is retold through stories of her own nostalgia.Through this novel, readers are exposed to the lifestyle and culture of the Caribbean melting pot.
8) My Eyes Can See – Andree Nicole
In My Eyes Can See, Andre Nicole tackles the concept of change and new beginnings that enabled him to gain tremendous insight. He shares is experiences through this novel to motivate and inspire women to open their eyes, mind, heart, and soul to the rich lives they deserve.
9) Request to Rewind – Stacey Marie Robinson
In Request to Rewind, readers are introduced to Abigail, a twenty-seven year old aspiring photographer who is constantly under pressure by her parents to pursue a traditional career while working a dead end job at the mall. When Abigail meets Toronto’s top nightclub promoter, Karl “Karisma” Marshall, she quickly falls for his charm and is soon introduced to DJ Rewind and experiences a roller coaster of unending drama, music, and social unrest. Thrown into an unexpected love triangle, Abigail sees a new side of Toronto, and has the opportunity to raise community awareness and her personal profile through her photos.
10) A Walk in my Stilettos – Makini Smith
A Walk in my Stilettos follows the shoes of Makini Smith who decides to push through the social normalities and is determined not to become nothing more than another statistic. Through dedication and perseverance, she was able to push past many obstacles in her life and now shares her story to inspire the world around her.
TORONTO URBAN BOOK EXPO 2016
Kya Publishing’s TORONTO URBAN BOOK EXPO (#TUBE2016) is an urban book fair, taking place on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at the North York Central Library (5120 Yonge Street, North of Sheppard) from 12pm to 4pm. This free Black History Month event—co-sponsored by the Toronto Public Library—features 30+ urban writers from Toronto, the U.S., and Caribbean, as well as urban cultural businesses, giveaways, and refreshments. There will also be live hip hop, R&B, reggae, and soca music provided from DJ Majesty.