‘Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You’ imagines the world’s 1st racist

In 2019, Ibram X. Kendi released the book How to be an Antiracist. In the book, Kendi argues that antiracism is, in layman’s terms, an action or policy that is specifically meant to deconstruct racism and racial prejudice. Various other Black authors have since weighed in on antiracism in their own books, sparking new conversations. Ibram […]

Poet Hannah Sawyerr says a writer’s work should ‘make the reader feel seen’

Hannah Sawyerr is a Sierra Leonean-American author and an MFA candidate at the New School for creative writing. In 2016, Sawyerr was named the Youth Poet Laureate of Baltimore. Sawyerr’s poetry has been featured on the British Broadcasting Channel and published in ROOKIE and Sesi magazines. Sawyerr sat down with rolling out to discuss her […]

Author Abesi Manyando’s ‘Jarvais Po’ unpacks racism for young children

Talking about racism with children is hard. For many teachers, parents and mentors, finding a good way to tell a child of color that the world might see them differently because of the color of their skin feels impossible. But it’s still necessary. Fortunately, many children’s book authors continue to find new ways to start […]

Why ‘A Black Women’s History of the US’ is a must-read

Chinua Achebe, the great Nigerian novelist, once said; “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” The saying conveys a sad truth: that the people who teach history share only the narratives that make themselves look good. The implications of this truth impact underrepresented communities the […]

‘Thick’ details the misogyny Black women face in publishing

In the opening to her groundbreaking essay collection, Thick: And Other Essays, Tressie McMillan Cottom writes, “I was pregnant at thirty. Divorced at thirty-one. Lost at thirty-two.” McMillan Cottom’s Thick chronicles the challenges Black women face in trying to make a space for themselves in the world and how quickly one can become lost in that effort. […]

Kiley Reid’s ‘Such a Fun Age’ deconstructs the ‘White savior’ trope

It is easy to write a story coming from one’s own experience. It takes a truly skilled writer to accurately record the experiences of a character outside one’s own identity. Written as a dual perspective story, Kiley Reid’s novel Such a Fun Age follows 25-year-old Black college graduate Emira Tucker, and Alix Chamberlain, a White, wealthy […]

Teen author Maryam Muhammad says everyone must live their truth

Maryam Azeeza Muhammad is a 19-year-old journalism student and poet attending Temple University in Philadelphia. She is the author of the book Bantu Knots and Butterflies: A Written Reflection, a collection of poems in which Muhammad explores spirituality, self-determination and femininity. Rolling out sat down with Muhammad to discuss her new book and women’s empowerment. […]

Vanessa Baden Kelly explains developing characters as a writer and an actress

Vanessa Baden Kelly is an acclaimed actor, screenwriter, and author. Her career began as a child actress on the beloved TeenNick show “Kenan & Kel” and continued acting in movies such as the 2014 drama “Secrets of the Magic City.” Kelly also has worked as a screenwriter on the popular TV series “Giants” and carried […]

Brit Bennett’s ‘The Vanishing Half’ explores racial passing

In June 2015, the world discovered Rachel Dolezal, a White woman who pretended to be a Black activist for years. Dolezal’s extended performance as a Black woman is a clear instance of racial “passing.” Racial passing is generally defined as an instance in which a person from one racial group is accepted into another group, […]

Vanessa Baden Kelly tackles gender roles and marriage in new book

Rolling out sits down with actor, screenwriter and writer Vanessa Baden Kelly to discuss her upcoming book, Far Away From Close to Home. In the book, which is a collection of essays, Kelly discusses womanhood, maternity and the lived experience of Black millennials.

Novelist Okey Ndibe describes the challenge of writing during a pandemic

Okey Ndibe is an award-winning author and essayist. He published his first novel, Arrows of Rain, in 2000. The New York Times listed Ndibe’s second novel, Foreign Gods Inc., as one of the best books of the year. After finishing Foreign Gods Inc., a story about a Nigerian immigrant who learns that the American dream […]

Novelist Brian Thompson wants to see more people of color represented in sci-fi

Brian Thompson is a teacher, journalist and prolific writer in the literary genres of urban fantasy and science fiction. He has written several novels including The Lost Testament, Revelation Gate, and his newest book, The Nuclear Winter. Rolling out sat down with Thompson to discuss his literary career and motivations as a writer. What made you […]

5 classic books that explore race and feminism

Black women are criminally unrepresented in the publishing world. Despite this, Black women have written some of the most influential works of literature in American history. Here are five classic books by Black women that you’ve got to read or reread before the end of Black History Month.Passing by Nella Larsen Nella Larsen’s Passing follows Irene Redfield […]

Bestselling writer Tochi Onyebuchi pens memoir

Author of the popular sci-fi and fantasy novels Riot Baby and Beast Made of Night, novelist Tochi Onyebuchi is known for depicting complex social issues in fantastical worlds and settings. Readers will be surprised to learn that Onyebuchi’s latest project will be a work of nonfiction. He announced his latest book, (S)kinfolk: Chimamanda Adiche Ngozi’s Americanah, […]

5 Black sci-fi novels to add to your library

It is often hard to find science fiction books with Black people as the central characters. That being said, representation matters, and in recent years, Black science fiction has begun to pick up steam with major publishers. Here are five Black sci-fi novels to add to your personal bookshelf. 1. Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi  Tochi Onyebuchi’s Riot […]