Black Debut Authors 2021

Inspired by a recent Instagram giveaway where I won a pre-order of a debut black author from @FrenzyReads (to help boost their sales), I’ve decided to put together a list of debuts by black authors which are being released in 2021.

Supporting black debut authors is so important and pre-orders are generally considered to make or break a novel. I’d urge as many people to pre-order these books so we can lend our support to these authors. Also, they just sound bloody fantastic.

The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr

The Halifax plantation is known as Empty by the slaves who work it under the pitiless gaze of its overseers and its owner, Massa Paul. Two young enslaved men, Samuel and Isaiah dwell among the animals they keep in the barn, helping out in the fields when their day is done. But the barn is their haven, a space of radiance and love – away from the blistering sun and the cruelty of the toubabs – where they can be alone together. But, Amos – a fellow slave – has begun to direct suspicion towards the two men and their refusal to bend. 

Publication Date: 5 January 2021

Publisher: @quercusbooks

Author IG: @thesonofbaldwin

Click here to pre-order from Waterstones


Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

Two young people meet at a pub in South East London. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists – he a photographer, she a dancer – trying to make their mark in a city that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence.

Publication Date: 4th February 2021

Publisher: @vikingbooksuk

Author IG: @caleb_anelson

Click here to pre-order links on Penguin’s website


One Carefree Day by Whitney Amazeen

For eighteen-year-old Willow Bates, anxiety is just a part of life. With her every decision ruled by intrusive thoughts, she’s worried she sometimes seems a little odd. Despite Willow’s efforts to hide her OCD from those around her, it isn’t always possible. Her rituals are her coping mechanism, and Willow’s past has left her with a lot to cope with. But when Willow takes things too far, her mother breaks and gives her an ultimatum: Willow must finally start taking meds to treat her obsessive-compulsive disorder, or she’ll have to move out within three months.

Publication Date: 7 Feb 2021

Publisher: @swanpagespublishing

Author IG: @whitneyamazeen

Click here to pre-order on Amazon. I believe this book is being published in the U.S but Amazon seems to ship to the UK on the same publication date.


Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

A refreshingly timely and relatable #ownvoices debut novel about a young woman whose life plans fall apart when she meets her wife. With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know

US Publication Date: 23 Feb 2021

US Publisher: @parkrowbooks (imprint of @harpercollins)

Author IG: @garnetmorgue

Click here for links to pre-order on HarperCollins website This book is being published in the US on 23rd Feb 2021 (my birthday!) but Amazon seems to be delivering pre-orders internationally.


Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S.Bryce

Historical fiction novel that weaves the stories of a grieving film student in 2015 and an ambitious chorus girl in 1925 in a tale of history, love, and secrets that only family can define.

US Publication Date: 30 March 2021

US Publisher: @kensingtonbooks

Author IG: @dennysbryce

Click here for links to pre-order on Penguin Random House CA website but Amazon is delivering internationally (I’ve got my copy ordered!)


Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

Sixteen-year-old Noah Ramirez loves love, but as a trans boy at a conservative school, he never had much hope for an epic romance of his own. To combat the loneliness, Noah created the Meet Cute Diary, a blog dedicated to documenting trans meet cutes across the globe to give his fellow trans people a new hope for love. Only, the Diary’s entirely fiction, inspired by near-meet cutes Noah stumbled into and rewrote happy endings for. 

Publication Date: US 4 May 2021 / UK 10 June 2021

US Publisher: @harpercollins

Author IG: @emeryleebooks

Click here for links to pre-order on Emery Lee’s website (US) or on the Waterstones website (UK)


Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia

Harlem, 1926. Following a harrowing kidnapping ordeal when she was in her teens, Louise is doing everything she can to maintain a normal life. When a girl turns up dead in front of the café, Louise is forced to confront something she’s been trying to ignore – several local black girls have been murdered over the past few weeks. After an altercation with a local police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or let a judge make an example of her.

US Publication Date: 1 June 2021

US Publisher: Bantam Press (imprint of @penguinrandomhouse)

Author IG: @nekesaafia

Click here for links to pre-order on Penguin Random House website but Amazon is delivering internationally


Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light. Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power. Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…

Publications Date: US 1st June 2021 / UK 10th June 2021

Publisher: @macmillanusa and @usborneya

Author IG: @faridahlikestea

Click here to pre-order on Amazon – appears to be available in the US and UK