Black Love Letters

Cole Brown and Natalie Johnson

“There’s something particularly special about Black Love. When you consider the history of our people, the strife and adversity we’ve overcome, love seems an almost illogically ambitious act of resistance.”

-  from the foreword by John Legend, Get Lifted Books

One of W magazine’s Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2023

“We reserve this space for our humanity in all of its fond, ironic, elated, grief-stricken, confused glory . . . When you find yourself alone and downtrodden, when the news is too much, return to these pages. This one is for you.” —from the introduction by Cole Brown and Natalie Johnson

From celebrated Black writers, creators, and thinkers—and with a foreword by John Legend—comes a collection of letters and original illustrations on the subject of Black love, a powerful and heartfelt celebration of Blackness in all its many forms.





Page count




Sale date

October 24, 2023


5.5 x 7

About the Book

In this exquisite anthology of letters and illustrations, Cole Brown and Natalie Johnson bring together a constellation of influential Black figures to write to the people, places, and moments that mean the most to them. With a foreword from John Legend and contributions from Brontez Purnell, Morgan Jerkins, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Dr. Imani Perry, among many others, Black Love Letters is an ode to a phenomenal community: a testament to the fact that where there has been pain and suffering, there has also always been immeasurable, irrepressible joy and love.

With letters from: Akili King • Reverend Al Sharpton • Alexandra Elle • Allisa Charles-Findley • Barbara Edelin • Belinda Walker • Ben Crump • Bill Whitaker • Bilquisu Abdullah • Brianna Holt • Brontez Purnell • Cole Brown • Danez Smith • Dick Parsons • Deborah Willis • Doug Jones • Douglas Kearney • Imani Perry • Jamila Woods • Jan Menafee • Jayne Allen • Jeh Charles Johnson • Jenna Wortham • Jonathan Capehart • John Legend • Joel Castón • Joy-Ann Reid • Justus Cornelius Pugh • Kwame Dawes • Lynae Vanee Bogues • Mahogany Browne • Malachi Elijah • Michael Eric Dyson • Morgan Jerkins • Nadia Owusu • Natalie Johnson • Raka Reynolds • Rhianna Jones • Chef Rōze Traore • Sojourner Brown • Tarana Burke • Tembe Denton-Hurst • Topaz Jones • Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts • VJ Jenkins


“Achingly beautiful . . . Paired with Johnson’s dazzling illustrations, these letters are sure to play on your heartstrings in the best way.”

- Oprah magazine

“Moving . . . In times of seemingly ceaseless darkness, Black Love Letters is a celebration of the love that binds us.”

- W magazine (Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2023)

One of Bloomberg’s Best Books of 2023


“A wide-ranging collection of testaments to what moves the heart.”

- Kirkus Reviews


- Oprah Daily

“This powerful collection of letters and original illustrations celebrates Black love that exists in spite of the pain and injustice our community has faced.”

- The Root

“There are many books about love but precious few that are love. That’s a more difficult challenge—concentrating love to words on a page, capturing love as it is, delivering it still intact. Cole, Natalie, and the many authors in Black Love Letters have done just that—distilled love to soothe your soul. I just know you’ll love it like I do.” 

- from the foreword by John Legend

John Legend, Natalie Johnson and Cole Brown Discuss Black Love Letters on The View!