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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

On (Mostly) Black Women or Girls on African Book Covers



Moments Pleasure by Mickalene Thomas

I recently got two books featuring a black woman's face prominently on the cover. This got me thinking about African book covers, particularly ones with black women or girl's on the cover - whether as photos or drawings - as well as the different types of covers out there. Covers with women's entire bodies, one's with women looking straight at the reader, to ones with side views or women having their backs to the reader. So, I went looking for book covers ... and as with everything, there is not just one type of cover with a (black) woman or girl on it.

There are those writers, such as Nnedi Okorafor who centre women or girls on their book covers. Others, such as Kopana Matlwa, whose books have been re-issued with covers celebrating the beauty of Black hair and hairstyles. Then there are those book covers that show very little of women, such as Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and others who show Black women's naked bodies, such as Chika Unigwe's On Black Sisters' Street. Well, here are some more covers with black women (and a few with multiracial women). As always, this isn't an exhaustive list of book covers with black women/children. Also, what are your views on women on book covers? 


The Ankara Press ladies designed by Onyinye Iwu


















Buchi Emecheta's books in Batik designed by Marina Elphick

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