BCALA and GNCRT Collaboration: Black Lives Matter, Black Literature Matters

BCALA x GNCRT: Black Lives Matter Black Literature Matters - Comics Reading List

About the Project

As the next iteration of our ongoing collaboration between the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), and the Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table of the American Library Association (GNCRT), we are launching an updated version of our Black Lives Matter comics reading list with a focus on Black Literature. Black Lives Matter, Black Literature Matters.

This list of 50 comics titles for Juvenile, Teen (YA), and Adult audiences is centered on Black creators, Black stories, and Black histories for all ages. This list includes many titles from our earlier comics list, while adding others. The goal of this list is not to be a prescriptive spectrum of all the subject or format content out there in the landscape of Black stories or comics. Rather, this is a step, another step, towards building collections and conversations that spark hope, demand justice, address erasure, and agitate for learning - using both sides of our brains through words and pictures. Because when ‘Black lives are lost, Black stories are lost’ (Stacey Robinson).



Criteria for Inclusion in BCALA x GNCRT #BLM Comics Reading List

Title must be published sequential art, with one of more of the following elements:

  • Created by a Black storyteller
  • Displays empathy and respect for Black bodies
  • Introduces readers to Black art, people, history, organizations and communities
  • Represents Black experiences both domestically and throughout the world
  • Showcases a diversity of artistic mediums
  • Includes the lived experiences of Black people from all demographics
  • Reinforces Black stories of success, resistance, endurance and love
  • Employs a wide array of genres
  • Demonstrates an understanding of cultural nuance
  • Represents independent and non-traditional publishing
  • Includes stories of ancient Black civilizations as well as Black people’s continued existence in the future
  • Improves access to authentic Black stories for all patrons
  • Exposes Black creators to wider audiences

*Not all elements listed above are required for inclusion; to date, all titles included are in English

Additional Resources:

Suggestions for further reading:

The Case for Loving
Little Leaders
Little Legends
Drowned City
Strange Fruit Volume II
A Wreath for Emmett Till
Black AF
The Silence of Our Friends
Silver Wire