7 Books by Black Authors that Should Become Films

Parable of the Sower

I’m still reeling from the excitement of last Saturday’s premiere of With this Ring, which aired on Lifetime. With this Ring was the movie adaptation of The Vow, a book written by Mitzi Miller, Angela Burt-Murray and Denene Millner, women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and in some cases, working with. With this Ring was a cute, fresh and funny take on dating for a group of 40-ish women who made a pact to be married within a year. I knew the movie would be good based on who created it and I’m glad that it got good reception.

Hopefully, movie trends like this will continue, and just in case there are executive producers out there who don’t know where to start, I’ve provided a short list of books written by talented Black authors that should be turned into a movie.

1. Nappily Ever After 

Nappily Ever After

Nappily Ever After is the first in a series of several books by Trisha R. Thomas, following the life of Venus Johnson from single woman to mom and disgruntled wife. There has long been a rumor that this will become a movie starring Halle Berry but that has been the word on the street for years and with no product to back it up, so we’ll have to wait and see.

2. Octavia Butler’s Parable series

Parable of the Talents

Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents chronicles the life of hyperempathic Lauren Olamina (Talents focuses more on Olamina’s daughter). Olamina, in part one (Parable of the Sower), is a young woman trying to survive in a dystopian United States after her family is torn apart. During her new, nomadic lifestyle she creates a new religion, Earth Seed, and becomes a target for the uber Christian government with a vendetta against outliers.

3. 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter

Ernessa T. Carter

32 Candles is the quirky tale of an ugly duckling who runs away from an abusive  mother and bullies in her small southern town. She settles in L.A. and reinvents herself until people from her past resurface and bring up old memories, but this former ugly duckling hatches a plot for revenge.

4. Vampire Huntress Series by L.A. Banks

Vampire Huntress

The Vampire Huntress series follows the adventures of Damali. She is the Nteru, or in other words, a vampire huntress whose mission it is to destroy evil from the world. There are several books in this series that would lend themselves well to either a movie or even a TV series.

5. Misconceptions by Blu Daniels


Alexandra is gorgeous and successful but she’s stuck in a vicious cycle with her friends with benefits, a.k.a. Bad Habit. She continues to sleep with Bad Habit, who doesn’t really want anything to do with her outside of the bedroom, and ends up getting knocked up with quadruplets. Hilarity ensues.

6. Guestlist by Jay Fingers


Juliet Feliz leaves her mundane life in Florida behind for New York City. Once in New York City, she finds herself faced with similar challenges as her hometown until she meets celebrity party promoter Napoleon Fey who introduces her to an exciting new world.

7. Joplin’s Ghost by Tananarive Due

Joplin's Ghost

Phoenix Smalls was 10 when she was nearly crushed to death by a turn-of-the-century piano at her parents’ jazz club. By the time she reaches adulthood, Smalls is steadily at work on a burgeoning pop career, but a chance visit to a historical site in St. Louis complicates her life after igniting a series of strange encounters with a spirit who might actually be Scott Joplin.

About the author

Starrene Rhett Rocque is co-founder of The Hollywood Shuffle. She's an experienced entertainment journalist based in Brooklyn, New York.