Black Life & Literature Collection

A series of book covers from black authors

The Gloria J. Coles Black Life and Literature Collection is a rich collection of materials that are either authored by African Americans or that speak to the African American experience.

It includes fiction by such well-known authors as Toni Morrison and Walter Mosley, non-fiction by James Baldwin and Barack Obama and poetry by Maya Angelou and Kevin Young. In addition to classic and well-known authors, we present a wide variety of genres from popular authors. Romance, Street Lit, Mysteries, political analysis, discussions of race and racism, histories: every subject and genre are included in the Black Life Collection.

The books and materials are intentionally gathered together and shelved adjacent to general fiction and non-fiction materials. Grouping Black Life materials together makes the collection browsable, similar to a bookstore where books are often shelved by topic or interest. New items are displayed on the “New” shelves in the lobby.

We hope everyone looking for materials on Black Life will find the collection well-stocked and wide ranging. We also hope that people browsing our shelves who may not be looking specifically for Black Life materials will discover and explore them. Many materials on Black Life topics are available for download in eBook or audiobook form or for viewing from our streaming movie service.

Honoring Gloria J. Coles

The collection is named in honor of Gloria J. Coles, Director of Flint Public Library from 1984 through 2004. It was her vision that began the Library’s decades-long commitment to collecting and growing the Black Life and Literature Collection. Under Ms. Coles’ leadership, the Library hosted many African American authors to talk about their work and arranged for extensive author/speaker series to lead community conversations about the Black experience in America.

Suggest a Purchase for the Black Life & Literature Collection

The library is continually adding to the collection. Use the Suggest a Purchase form to let us know about items you recommend we add.