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Must-read books by Cincinnati Black writers.

Cincinnati Black writers share love stories, life testimonies, and detailed research into the lives and roles of the Black community. Adding books from the listed Cincinnati Black writers to bookshelves only makes sense. No need to struggle to find a new book; the perfect list is below!

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Licking (2024)

Licking, By J.V. Sadler

J.V. Sadler
A collection of short stories tip-toes the waking and unconscious world. Take a peek into the upside-down world of Licking. Transcending reality, the stories integrate a sinister twist to the mundane.

From Graduation to Glory (2023)

From Graduation to Glory

Don Ella Cruz
The struggle for Justin to graduate senior year kept the author in the presence of God. God’s words gave a mother and son motivation and strength in the son graduating high school.

African Princess (2022)

African Princess

Rita Burns
Ethiopian heiress SaRita Appiah faces incredible challenges from Ethiopia to Peru. The riveting historical saga depicts the monumental changes endured along the way to America during the Civil War era.

Adoption Is An Option: Your Step-by-Step Guide To Growing Your Family (2022)

Adoption is an Option

Dr. Regina R. Whitfield Kekessi
Adoption requires a significant commitment! The adoption process, however, confuses, frustrates, and overwhelms many who wish to become parents. Dr. Whitfield Kekessi offers guidance through those challenging hurdles to ease the process.

Unprecedented Times: Strategies& Tactics Every Leader Needs to Know During a Pandemic (2020)

Unprecedented Times

Tashawna Thomas Otabil and contributing authors
Provide strategies and tactics to survive challenges related to education, finances, faith, relationships, and physical and mental health.

Gems of Cincinnati’s West End: Black Children & Catholic Missionaries (2020)

Gems of Cincinnati

LaVerne Summerlin
The project began with Summerlin’s interviewing about 100 alums educated in inner-city Catholic schools between 1940 and 1970. The personal stories are at the core of the narrative that details the Catholic church’s impact on lives.

The Sky Falls Twice (2020)

Cincinnati Black writers

Lora M Ward-Clark
The book follows Lora’s experience of dealing with the many different stages of grief. Lora went through grief very early in life when Lora’s best friend died from leukemia. Later on, Lora’s dad and husband lost battles with lung cancer. Follow Lora’s journey to healing.

Related article: Good Books for Black Children and Children ages 3-12

Naughty by Nature (2020)

Cincinnati Black writers

Daren Ward, Sr.
Life is 90% what happens and 10% what is done. The book gives biblical strategies on how to deal with everyday life.

Jim Crow Sociology: The Black and Southern Roots of American Sociology (2020)

Jim Crow Sociology

Earl Wright II, Ph.D.
The eye-opening book examines Black Sociology’s origin, development, and significance. The examination is done through the accomplishments of early African American sociologists at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Cross Wires (2019)

Cincinnati Black writers

Greg Stallworth
The mystery highlights the dangers of being caught in a vice between loyalty to the company and reporting to the authorities.

Free (2019)


Lucille Banks
Free is a story about Noel, who has nothing to lose and will risk everything and everyone in the way of freedom.

Related article: Books about the History and Life of African Americans in Cincinnati

Doppelganger: Part 1 (2018)

Doppelganger book Part 1

Sasha Deux Fois
Elena Kendall’s return to the Bloody Hell Convention to reprise the killer role as Terryn Myles takes an unexpected turn.

Forever My Brother (2018)

Cincinnati Black writers

Isaiah Bealer
Read through the lives of four Black male youths growing up in Cincinnati who bond on and off the court. As the challenges and pressures from sports arise, relationships and loyalties are tested.

King (2018)

Cincinnati Black writers

Qiantria McNear
King and the family have created a legacy in Cincinnati, Ohio. The choices the family made along the way have hurt the one person who’s sacrificed the most. As everyone comes to terms with fate, the hard part is dealing with what was caused.

The Lover’s Game (2018)

Cincinnati Black writers

Brandon C. Brown
The Lover’s Game is an intriguing tale of love, betrayal, anger, secrets, and redemption in one man’s search for love.

The Story of Marissa Ray (2018)

Marissa Ray

Chara Bee
A fictional story about lust, deceit, and betrayal: a Black woman struggles with relationships with family and friends.


Related article: Good books every African American teenager should read.

Worth the Wait (2018)

Worth the wait

Lesley Blunt
The novel deals with a young lady, Layla Morris, who has trouble finding love. Layla navigates through finding “the one” but is wrong about it.

Embracing a New Normal (2017)

Embracing a New Normal

Rhonie McBerry
Take a glimpse into a struggle to forge a new path when faced with a sudden health crisis. Embracing a New Normal is a story of courage and strength gained by faith in God.

Through Her Own Eyes: This Is Only the Beginning (2016)

Through her own eyes

Kiya Renae
Evolution, Darwinism, and Freudian theories would say that women are “emotional beings.” Why can’t women just be “expressive?” The “categories” of what is and what isn’t are part of the conflict between being accepted versus unaccepted.

Degree of Murder (2015)

Degree of Murder

Sasha LaShae
Vivian, a freshman with vivid psychic visions, assists a local detective in uncovering Arkhaven’s true intent.

Related article: Visit the only Black-owned bookstore in Cincinnati

Everyone Plays Chess (2015)

Everyone Plays Chess

Felipe Morris
Love, lust, and happiness have nothing to do with income status and educational background. Morris explores a tale of Black men and women forced to look outside that box through extreme circumstances.

Cincinnati Black Authors

Loyal to Love (2014)

Tori D.
The young Desiree longs for the life and love once known before transitioning from the suburbs to the ghetto.

Cincinnati (2007)

Black America Series Cincinnati

Gina Ruffin Moore
Learn about Cincinnati’s African American heritage through fascinating images of African American life. Community, churches, education, politics, entrepreneurship, civil rights, community benevolence, and sports are all featured.

Frontiers of Freedom: Cincinnati’s Black Community 1802–1868 (2005)

Frontiers of Freedom Cincinnati's Black Community

Dr. Nikki M. Taylor
The book follows the Black community, moving from alienation and vulnerability in the 1820s toward collective consciousness. The collective consciousness eventually leads to political self-respect and self-determination.

Related Article: Black Self-help books to expand thinking

If any Cincinnati Black writers were missed, please submit the title, author, year published, a 25-word description, a .jpg or .png cover image, and a link to purchase to [email protected].

Written by: Marissa Staples

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Written by Crystal Kendrick

Crystal Kendrick is the publisher of The Voice of Black Cincinnati. With a vision to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans in the region, Crystal oversees all content creation and publication, ensuring each piece aligns with the outlet's mission to inform, engage, and inspire. A lifelong advocate for community engagement and empowerment, Crystal's leadership steers The Voice of Black Cincinnati toward being a pivotal platform to find community resources, local Black-owned businesses, culturally relevant events, jobs with equal opportunity employers and scholarship for higher education. Connect with Crystal on LinkedIn to explore her experiences and contributions to Cincinnati's media landscape.