This list of Librarian Picks was created by Goodman South Madison Librarians Savannah Carr, Ariel Robinson and Farrah McDaniel in 2021. Whether you're looking for family reads, books for tween/teens, or adult materials, we've got you covered!
A tale of a supportive mother and a brave kid. Written by real-life mother-daughter activist team DeShanna and Trinity Neal, who were also featured in the Gender Issue of National Geographic.
A picture book about Stonewall that focuses on queeroes Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
A father and son talk about identity and self-love. Written by social worker and Queer Eye star Karamo Brown and his son, Jason "Rachel" Brown.
While this book covers people of all races, it includes several profiles of Black LGBTQ+ people like Alvin Ailey, Bayard Rustin, Benjamin Banneker, Ma Rainey, and Josephine Baker.
Books for Teens and Tweens
A collection of of speculative fiction stories written by Black women and gender non-conforming individuals that are inspired by folktales, heritage, and possibilities.
Journalist and activist George M. Johnson recounts his childhood in New Jersey and Virginia.
Jane, a bisexual Black girl fights zombies during the Reconstruction era. Her story continues in the sequel, Deathless Divide.
Set in the South in the 1960's, 13-year-old heroine Staggerlee falls in love with her friend Hazel and comes to terms with her intersectional identity.
An advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr. and a major organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, Rustin was left out of the spotlight for being an openly gay man.
An approachable YA book that blends the history of Glenn Burke, a gay MLB player, with the story of a sixth-grader named Silas who is just beginning the process of coming out.
A collection of speeches and essays by feminist, lesbian, poet, cancer survivor, and mother Audre Lorde.
A documentary focusing on the Black and Latinx ball scene in New York City in the 1980's. The grassroots ball scene provided these communities with a sense of family, pride, and identity. RuPaul's Drag Race owes its success to the drag performers and gender nonconforming people of color in this film.
A memoir of the Black, lesbian poet Audre Lorde chronicling her childhood and early adulthood in Harlem in the 1950s.
This nonfiction text focuses on Black sexual liberation in New York and Philadelphia in the early 20th centrury.
A profile of the man who mentored Langston Hughes, Jacob Lawrence, and Zora Neale Hurston
Pop culture commentary mixed with history in an easily digestible but highly intellectually stimulating book.
An updated, in-depth profile of Civil Rights icon James Baldwin.
An autobiography of transgender media trailblazer Janet Mock.
A fun but honest story of about Black gay men in New York.
McKenzie, the author of popular website BGD (formerly Black Girl Dangerous) explores the multilayered, intersectional experience of queer Black people in an academic but approachable way.
A coming-of-age lesbian romance set in Chicago during the Civil Rights Era. Sinclair blends humor and history in this clever work.
Exploring both African American transgender history and comparing the Civil Rights Movements and the modern trans rights movements, this nonfiction work is detailed and powerful.
"Drawing on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions, including the Haitian Revolution, the US civil rights movement, and LGBTQ rights and feminist movements, Unapologetic challenges all of us engaged in the social justice struggle to make the movement for Black liberation more radical, more queer, and more feminist. "- from publisher
Read the works of Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Alice Walker and other quintessential Black LGBTQ+ authors in this well-curated fiction collection.
A beautiful collection of James Baldwin essays about religious fundamentalism, Russian literature, and the possibility of a Black president.
A partially autobiographic campus novel telling the story of a Black gay graduate student grappling with the thinly-veiled racism at a predominantly white university in an ostensibly Midwestern college town.
"In the series of linked stories at the heart of Filthy Animals, set among young creatives in the American midwest, a young man treads delicate emotional waters as he navigates a series of sexually fraught encounters with two dancers in an open relationship, forcing him to weigh his vulnerabilities against his loneliness. In other stories, a young woman battles with the cancers draining her body and her family; menacing undercurrents among a group of teenagers explode in violence on a winter night; a little girl tears through a house like a tornado, driving her babysitter to the brink; and couples feel out the jagged edges of connection, comfort, and cruelty"- from publisher
A collection of Audre Lorde's poetry and prose, curated and introduced by modern feminist powerhouse author Roxanne Gay