Black Voices for Pride Month: Titles You May Have Missed on Hoopla

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh annually celebrates Pride Month in June with displays, community events, and Read Proud booklists for adults, teens, and children. The Stonewall Uprising in 1969 in Manhattan, New York City was famously led by activist Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans woman. If you are interested in researching more about Stonewall Inn Riots and LGBQTIA+ history, ask a librarian how to utilize our various online reference databases. While selecting LGBTQIA+ titles to celebrate Pride Month, definitely add these great authors and writers to your reading list.

These books are always available on Hoopla and free to check out with your library card. Don’t have a library card? All Allegheny County residents can sign up for one for free online. You can access Overdrive and Hoopla through our eResources page or by downloading the Libby or Hoopla app to your device. You can view tutorial videos here for more information. Are you interested in more book recommendations? Fill out our Book Recommendation form and a librarian will curate a list of suggestions for you!  Contact Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on any of our social media platforms or email us at if you have any questions.

The following titles are exclusive to Hoopla:

Death’s Echoes by Penny Mickelbury

Police Lieutenant Gianna Maglione heads up the DC Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit. She investigates those who espouse and perpetrate acts of hatred. Mimi Patterson is the lead investigative reporter for Washington DC’s top newspaper. The evils of racism, sexism, homophobia, misogyny, and religious intolerance pervade every aspect of our modern society. After so many years and so much hatred, Mimi and Gianna must finally come to terms with the price paid for their personal commitments to their jobs and to each other. And this time, the violence hits close to home, and the voices of its victims live on in the minds and consciences of Mimi and Gianna.

SBF Seeking… by La Toya Hankins

Four months before her wedding, Yvette Thurman realizes this might be her last chance to have a sexual fling with a white man. But she never thought placing a personal ad would lead her to discover she was a lesbian. Yvette’s small town life in eastern North Carolina never prepared her for the personal journey she undertakes as she struggles to find her heart’s path. Through personal ads and late night visits to an adult bookstore, Yvette learns more about her own personal desires than she ever did when she was engaged to be married. If she embraces her true self, can she find acceptance and love from her family and friends?

Rachel by Angelina Weld Grimké

Rachel is a young, educated, middle-class woman. But she is born into an African-American family in the early 20th century – a world in which ignorance and violence prevail. While her family and neighbors find different ways to survive, Rachel’s dreams of getting married and becoming a mother collide with the tragic events of her family’s past as she confronts the harsh reality of a racist world. Written exactly midway between the American Civil War and the end of slavery, and the explosion of Civil Rights in the 1960’s, this hauntingly beautiful and profoundly shocking play still asks urgent questions for today.

Dawn: Book 1 of Xenogenesis Trilogy

When Lilith lyapo wakes from a centuries-long sleep, she finds herself aboard the vast spaceship of the Oankali. She discovers that the Oankali – a seemingly benevolent alien race — intervened in the fate of the humanity hundreds of years ago, saving everyone who survived a nuclear war from a dying, ruined Earth and then putting them into a deep sleep. After learning all they could about Earth and its beings, the Oankali healed the planet, cured cancer, increased human strength, and they now want Lilith to lead her people back to Earth — but salvation comes at a price. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

The Gilda Stories

After escaping enslavement Gilda finds chosen family with “those who share the blood.” We see her grow and mature into her new life over the course of several centuries. This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Hoopla.

No One in the World

Cobi Winslow is a gay, educated social climber; Eric Reed, his twin brother, is a career criminal. Separated as children, they reunite 30 years later. A former cellmate of Eric’s concocts a scheme to secure a loan from Cobi and he will get his money whether or not Cobi agrees to cooperate. Meanwhile, Cobi needs to come up with some cash to fund his campaign for city council – but in order to inherit his father’s estate, he needs to marry a woman. Threatened to be forced apart yet again, the brothers are tested at every turn in this taut drama, told from both points of view. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.


Irene Redfield is living an affluent, enviable life with her husband and children in the thriving African American enclave of Harlem in the 1920s. That is, until she runs into her childhood friend, Clare Kendry. Since they last saw each other, Clare, who is similarly light-skinned, has been “passing” for a white woman, married to a racist man who does not know about his wife’s real identity. Irene is both fascinated and repulsed by Clare’s dangerous secret, and in turn, Clare yearns for Irene’s sense of ease and security with her Black identity and community. As the two women grow close, Clare begins to insert herself and her deception into every part of Irene’s stable existence, and their complex reunion sets off a chain of events that dynamically alters both women forever. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Shut Up, You’re Pretty: Stories

A woman contemplates her Congolese traditions during a family wedding, a teenage girl looks for happiness inside a pack of cigarettes, a mother reconnects with her daughter through their shared interest in fish, and a young woman decides to shave her head in the waiting room of an abortion clinic. These punchy, sharply observed stories blur the lines between longing and choosing, exploring the narrator’s experience as an involuntary one. Tinged with pathos and humor, they interrogate the moments in which femininity, womanness, and identity are not only questioned but also imposed. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla and as eBook on Hoopla.

Since I Laid My Burden Down

DeShawn lives a high, creative, and promiscuous life in San Francisco. But when he’s called back to his cramped Southern hometown for his uncle’s funeral, he’s hit by flashbacks of handsome, doomed neighbors and sweltering Sunday services. Amidst prickly reminders of his childhood, DeShawn ponders family, church, and the men in his life, prompting the question: Who deserves love? A raw, funny, and uninhibited stumble down memory lane, Purnell’s debut novel explores how one man’s early sexual and artistic escapades grow into a life. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.

Under the Udala Trees

Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does; born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. When their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself. But there is a cost to living inside a lie. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla, as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.

An Unkindness of Ghosts

Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She’s used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. Aster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot–if she’s willing to sow the seeds of civil war. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla, as eAudio on Overdrive/Libby, as eBook on Hoopla, and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.