Black Historical Fiction Books That Should Definitely Get Film Adaptations

Who is Barry Jenkins? Another question is have you read The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead? What do these three have in common as of right now?

Well, the bestselling book, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, has caught the attention of director Barry Jenkins, who won an Oscar for Best Picture for the movie Moonlight, and will be adapted into a series. This news was released last year, however, it leads us to the reality that stories of the south, slavery and survival are resurging in not only great stories, but from a vantage point rarely seen as openly in the past. That vantage point is coming directly from African Americans and/or people of color who, for the most part, are descendants of the people who survived these fictionalized yet calling for many truths in stories.

Of course, there are the classic stories such as Roots that all are familiar with, however, modern day books written about times past bring a fierce excitement and fearlessness, not holding back on truth as seen by the oppressed and/or also bringing these stories to life for a generation that may have lost them altogether if it were not for stories that can tell the living, breathing stories of the life of struggles far before freedoms.

Therefore, here are books of slavery, strength and brilliance with touching on truth throughout the stories.  First of them being…

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

“Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.” – Amazon

It’s never a question that reading the book is more in depth than the movie or television series will be, therefore, it’s best to read up before you watch up. Either way, it’s coming as a limited series, courtesy of Mr. Jenkins.  Surely, both the visual and the pages will keep you glued.  Theme: ESCAPE

Curse the Cotton by Mirika Mayo Cornelius

“Life on the plantation for a Negro woman was already worse than any livelihood that existed, but when the wealthiest “massah” in the area destroys the only grasp on true, unquenchable love that Shelone has left to live for, her thirst for revenge is unleashed, starting in the vast cotton fields and ending in bloodshed all across the Marksman plantation!” – Amazon

This five star novel may not be going to the movies yet, but it would be shocking if it never reached that destination.  The power of women has come to the forefront in today’s society, but it is one of the things seen clearly in this novel by Mirika Mayo Cornelius along with power of generations formed from struggle and loss but knowing clearly what to do about it.  Wrong or right, there is a winner, and there is only room for one.  That winner is freedom, and it is taken by any means necessary.  Theme: REVENGE

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

“The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.” – Amazon

Not only is this a great story, but it’s what even reality shows are made of right now in this day in time – tracing DNA and where it ends up.  In the case of Homegoing, as can be read by the synopsis, this is a story of two lives out of one ending up living two different lives.  Theme: DNA & DESTINY

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

“Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father. As she grows older, Mattie becomes more like family to Lisbeth than her own kin and the girl’s visits to the slaves’ quarters—and their lively and loving community—bring them closer together than ever. But can two women in such disparate circumstances form a bond like theirs without consequence? This deeply moving tale of unlikely love traces the journey of these very different women as each searches for freedom and dignity” – Amazon

Finally, here is a book that follows relationships from two different worlds but yet the same. Books of this nature bring everyone a bit closer to what it would have been like and creates a sense of empathy. Theme: RELATIONSHIPS

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