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Street Literature: Home

This is a guide to help Street Lit fans find the books they want to read

Welcome, fans of Street Lit!

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Photo by Julie Pactor, 1/29/18. Used with permission


This guide is designed to help you (and your librarian) find the titles you want to read in the FSCJ collection.

This first page is an introduction to street lit for people who may not be familiar with the genre. Feel free to skip to the next two tabs (How to find Street Lit and Featured Titles) to find your next great read.


Faculty Librarian

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Julie Pactor
Florida State College Jacksonville
South Campus LLC
11901 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32246

What is Street Lit?

Street Lit is know by many names: Urban fiction, ghetto lit, hip-hop lit, and gangsta lit. Whatever you call it, Street lit is exploding in popularity and for many students it is their preferred genre for pleasure reading.

Yet, many librarians are unfamiliar with this emerging genre. The purpose of this Libguide is to assist Street Lit fans and their librarians in finding the titles they want to read in the FSCJ collection.

According to Vanessa Irvin Morris, author of The Reader's Advisory Guide to Street Literature (2012), Street lit incorporates the following elements:

  • Fast-paced stories
  • Vivid depictions of the inner-city environment
  • Female and male identity formation, with the protagonists often being young adults
  • Navigation of interpersonal relationships, including surviving abuse, betrayal in friendships, and revenge plots
  • Materialism - lots of name brands and bling
  • Surviving street life and the challenge of moving up and away from the streets
  • Mostly African-American authors and characters

Drawing from the above list, we can define Street Lit as high-octane stories set in low-income neighborhoods and featuring tough African-American characters doing whatever it takes to survive and thrive on the street.


Reader's Advisory Guides

Recommended reading for librarians interested in the Street Literature genre: