Celebrating Black Voices This Month & Every Day

Some things to be mindful of and intentional about this Black history month…and the other 11 months of the year:

  • Celebrate all Black History
  • Listen to and Learn from Black educators and creators
  • Support Black-owned businesses + creators
  • Amplify, listen, and center Black voices first


Honoring the Black community every day of the year, but this February is a great time to be extra mindful of it and join the efforts of others to support unity. Check to see if your community/city is hosting any Black History Month events or programming and support them with attendance or financial gifts.


Many Black educators and creators are putting out paid and free resources for Black history month. Support them on Patreon, buy their classes, and drop some funds in their Venmo or KoFi.

Here are some book recommendations from Sadie Hartmann, Mother Horror

Linda D. Addison’s THE PALACE OF BROKEN THINGS written with Alessandro Manzetti

“There were no hard rules, we agreed to riff off any of the words in the title: Place; Broken; Thing(s). The real magic is how the book flowed from us, as we allowed our imagination freedom to play, trusting the dark, surrealistic tales told would fit; and they did!” – Linda D. Addison

THE BETWEEN by Tananarive Due“A banger debut novel! This book was released a year after I graduated from high school and I’m sad my young, horror-loving heart didn’t know about it then. I know it would have blown my mind.
But I’m fine with finishing it this weekend in my 40s because it still blew my mind, I just already knew it would.”
–Sadie Hartmann

ROOTWORK Conjure Series Book 1 by Tracy Cross– “Rootwork fearlessly brings folk horror to the Deep South. Tracy Cross paints a dark portrait of Black family life with all the wisdom of our ancestors—their accomplishments, their sorrows, their unresolved hope and rage—and in doing so delivers uniquely American horror without pulling any punches. If you’re a fan of historical fiction and tales of the supernatural this book will resonate with you long after you’re done reading it.John Edward Lawson

RING SHOUT by P. Djèlí Clark

The stakes are so high in this story and the evil is overwhelmingly powerful and scary. Clark moves this tale along at a breakneck pace with edge-of-your-seat suspense. Every chapter ends with a fresh urgency to continue. I want more for this universe. I hope P. Djèlí Clark has more Maryse Boudreaux stories to tell because, even though Ring Shout felt like a complete book and I was not found wanting, I could see the potential for Maryse’s journey to either continue into more quests/adventures or for the author to write some of the backstories to some of the unusual/unique characters. 

Even if we only get Ring Shout out of this universe, it truly is enough. I am enraptured by this book and can’t sing its praises loud enough or long enough. I’ll forever be recommending it as an all-time favorite.”- Sadie Hartmann

THE PUSSY DETECTIVE by DuVay Knox“It absolutely doesn’t have to be anyone’s cup of tea but on the other hand, it doesn’t owe anybody anything. This is the kind of art that exists because people believe in its importance and readers can agree or disagree but reading it with an open mind is the requirement in order to communicate a valid opinion on the matter. This reader’s opinion is that I enjoyed my experience in Reverend Daddy Hoodoo’s world. I believe DuVay Knox is an important voice that deserves to be heard and I hope he gets to publish a series of Pussy Detective novels. I think Knox has a lot of stories to tell and only he can tell them so I’m glad the industry is giving him the space and the opportunity to do that because there is an audience ready to enjoy them.” -Sadie Hartmann for Cemetery Dance

FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOMINIDS by Nalo Hopkinson– Support Nalo Hopkinson on Patreon

“Overall, this collection is rife with Caribbean folklore and influences and reimagines several tales in our collective literary imaginations. Hopkinson’s enchanting prose rippled with patois encourages us to read her stories aloud for full effect. While not all of her characters are fully human, you’ll leave this collection feeling more connected to the world around you, as well as to your chosen species.”Black Lesbian Literary Collective

MY SISTER THE SERIAL KILLER by Oyinkan Braithwaite“This book is so much fun; revealing its secrets a little at a time. The sisterly relationship between Korede and Ayoola is so complicated and layered–the author certainly keeps the reader on their toes with curiosity. How is this going to end? I kept thinking about how this story could have easily been told from Ayoola’s side too and how the reader would get to see so much more–those intimate moments between Ayoola and the men in her life…but it’s just enough, what we come to know from Korede’s POV. I loved the short, edge-of-your-seat chapters, the flashbacks, and the whole ‘style’ & tone. A new favorite book for sure. I’ll be recommending this one a lot.” – Sadie Hartmann

WE ARE HERE TO HURT EACH OTHER by Paula D. Ashe– “One of my favorite aspects of this collection is how the stories are so different in style and substance but also interconnected. 
A dark thread line through the whole book.
There are absolutely awful, horrible people in this book. I found nothing relatable, only cruelty after brutal cruelty, and yet, Paula D. Ashe’s prose is so lavish, so provocative, I can’t help but sing this book’s praises. Just don’t fault me for the depravity inside.
I honestly can’t recommend We Are Here to Hurt Each Other, enough. Immediately upon finishing, I sought more work out. Reader beware.
” Sadie Hartmann reviewed for SCREAM Magazine

GHOST SUMMER by Tananarive Due- “As an emotional reader that gets overly invested in the lives of the fictional characters I fall in love with, Tananarive Due is an author that I can recklessly indulge in full well knowing that the subject matter of her stories could destroy me, while others will fill me with hope and optimism. I recommend this collection to any reader who enjoys, historical fiction horrors, strong female protagonists, and brave, curious children told by a voice with powerful convictions.” – Sadie Hartmann

FLOWERS FOR THE SEA by Zin E. Rocklyn– “Since this book is so short, there is a real risk of reviews giving too much of the reader’s discovery away. The comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale and Rosemary’s Baby are accurate but I think this is an experience best enjoyed by going in dark; no expectations. A powerful tale of the threats against female agency set against a dystopian dark fantasy backdrop at sea. A debut not to be missed.” -Sadie Hartmann 

A SPECTRAL HUE by Craig Laurance Gidney“It’s challenging to try and pin any solid genre labels on this debut novel from Craig Laurance Gidney. There are elements of magical realism, fantasy, and horror. At its core, an ancestral ghost story but swirling around this core, intimate and lyrically expressed themes of queerness, race, identity, and this gravitational, historical beauty surrounding all of it known as the spectral hue.
Gidney gives a voice to so many underrepresented communities of people all woven together to create a cohesive work of art. Truly an inspired work of fiction.”
-Sadie Hartmann

RAZORBLADE TEARS by S. A. Cosby“Layered into the fast-paced storyline are the nuances of social commentary. Themes of racism, privilege, love, forgiveness, hate, revenge, and redemption ebb and flow–boil and simmer. As I mentioned, it’s quite an emotional journey–plenty of opportunity for the reader to run through an entire spectrum of emotions. S. A. Cosby is definitely on my list of authors who *always* deliver. I will read anything this author puts out into the world and will expect nothing less than the best.” -Sadie Hartmann

ZONE ONE by Colson Whitehead– “While Zone One is set in a very real feeling post-apocalyptic world, fear of the zombies is not the key motivator here.  This is a novel about trying to reclaim civilization. It is an interior novel; one that takes place mostly in our hero’s, Mark Spitz, head. The moments of pure pleasure in reading this novel come from his observations about how the world has changed, and from Whitehead’s amazingly realistic and chilling descriptions of the landscape in his created world.” –Becky Spratford (My review is being published somewhere else and is not available yet)

SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noir edited by Nicole Givens Kurtz

SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire is an anthology celebrating vampires of the African Diaspora. And since I enjoyed doing some research and educating myself on words and phrases that were new to me, I thought that I would pass on some of the information I learned without assuming every reader comes to a book fully informed on all things. (wink)
Diaspora: Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the involuntary mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories.

So right away, I encourage reviewers to read this book with minds and hearts open to hear unique and diverse voices. I love that there was a strong adherence to the theme represented in all of the stories. There’s intentionality among the authors to be united with one purpose but also remarkably unique. 
All of this being said, I want to highlight some of my favorite stories, amplifying the ones that stood out among the others but also making it clear that there was something special about every offering to the vampire noir genre as a whole.”
Sadie Hartmann

THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM by Victor LaValleBook Blurb: “A modern classic, this book deserves to be on everyone’s shelves as the gold standard for Lovecraftian fiction. LaValle deals with Lovecraft’s racist, antiquated, xenophobic undertones by allowing a new generation of readers to see the imaginative mythos through the eyes of Tommy Tester. Genius.” -Sadie Hartmann

TELECOMMUTING by L. Marie Wood“Wood takes her protagonist, a seemingly normal guy going through a breakup with a live-in partner or a divorce (I can’t remember), and plunges him down into a dark spiral of paranoia. It’s quite an unsettling and uncomfortable reading experience. Chris has normal, everyday interactions with his neighbors but somehow, they always get weird and twisted out of context in his mind. It becomes increasingly difficult to discern if our narrator is reliable or actually losing his mind.” -Sadie Hartmann


Let’s cut right to the chase: This is a sex book. Excuse me. Correction.
A brutal sex book. A collection of poetry for readers with a specific kink or curious readers who just enjoy peeking in on that lifestyle.

The author starts with an introduction in order to lay down some realistic expectations.
“These are expressions of raw, bleeding, passion. These are poems to make angry, rapturous, sensuous, violent love to.”
Not your typical love poems.
Consider the title, ‘If You Died Tomorrow I Would Eat Your Corpse.” A convincing indicator that the words on the pages contained within will not resemble your stereotypical sweet nothings whispered in one’s ear.”


“I feel a little twinge of dread every time I see a new white person on the block. Who did they replace?”

WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING is a thriller teetering on the edge of paranoia-horror that boasts a comparison to ‘GET OUT meets REAR WINDOW’. The mash-up of those two films sold me. GET OUT with its psychological horror tropes and heavy social commentary mixed with an Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece about spying on your suspicious neighbors?
Sounds almost too good to be true, did Alyssa Cole deliver?
Yes, I think so. But allow me to unpack the reasons.”
FULL REVIEW by Sadie Hartmann on Goodreads

THE YEAR OF THE WITCHING by Alexis Henderson– “I think this book has enough dark subject matter and teeth to warrant a recommendation to read this book or at least keep an eye on this author. The social commentary of gender and race was given ample page time and didn’t feel overly wrought or heavy-handed; in the tradition of The Handmaid’s Tale as a horror-adjacent, dystopian fantasy. Definitely a must-have if you have an affinity for folk, cult horror, witches, rituals, and racial and sexual commentary with a strong historical fiction flavor. An eye-catching debut from Alexis Henderson.” -Sadie Hartmann

HELL HATH NO SORROW LIKE A WOMAN HAUNTED by R. J. Joseph The Black women in these tales are women we all know. The mothers, wives, business owners, creatives, and more, that we see in everyday life. They perform the impossible and hold all ends together.

Sometimes, they’re an open book, their stories written in the beloved lines of their faces and the varied bodies they wear with pride or weariness.

Other times, their secrets squirm beneath the surface, aching for release and discovery while beckoning others to lean in. They whisper the horror of their predicaments, closer to home than you realize.

These Black women are more than we know. They’re also victims, monsters…and often, a little of both.


THE SPITE HOUSE by Johnny Compton


THE REFORMATORY by Tananarive Due

LONE WOMEN by Victor LaValle

SWEEP OF STARS by Maurice Broaddus



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