A little more than two weeks ago a brand new book service started taking its first book orders. This is not just some average book service, this is an exceptional and much needed book service. Noir Reads is a subscription service that will send you two to three books fiction and nonfiction books written by black diaspora authors right to your door. Their website describes their service as a: “simple and easy way to read Black literature to develop or deepen your understanding of Black culture and the Black experience by introducing readers to writers of the Diaspora and engaging in dynamic discussions with a growing private online community.”
When I went to subscribe today, they were sold out. This doesn’t surprise me, they had 100 subscriptions their first week and had prepared 200 boxes for launch. “Our aim was to create a resource comprised of narratives on the black experience and the multiplicity of Blackness,” co-creator, educator and Black Lives Matter activist, Zellie Imani told The Huffington Post. “With Noir Reads, we aim to help people discover voices of African descent actively exploring the Black experience through fiction and nonfiction. It can be hard to find diverse Black literature and a community to engage around it – we hope Noir Reads can make it easier,” the website reads. For launch, Noir Read chose a specific set of books, reflecting current events and climate, for their opening subscription including Angela Davis’ Freedom Is A Constant Struggle and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.
Noir Reads future deliveries will include:
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me
Assata Shakur’s Autobiography
James Baldwin’s Going to Meet the Man
Cornel West’s Democracy Matters
“…We wanted books to help readers navigate this racist political landscape and offer ways to move forward,” Imani said. “The books can help us process these issues in an efficient way.” Noir Reads selects books specific to a theme as well as surveys readers on what they would enjoy.
If you have already read any of the books listed here, there is still something for you. Because their purpose is to connect people with great work by voices of African descent, books that are considered but not included are listed in the “recommended reading” section of their reading guide.
Subscriptions are sold as $35 a month or $100 for three months. Easy, affordable access to seriously under acknowledged and underappreciated authors. I not only wish Noir Reads tremendous success, I will be signing up for a subscription as well.
— Tiffanie Lathan