Dead in Long Beach, California by Venita Blackburn

Coral grew up as a closeted lesbian, but if you ask me, she’s none too secure as an adult either. She's now older than her niece’s mother, Naima, was at her death. At the end of the novel, Coral is visited by four ghosts while at a drive-through takeout window, and by then, you’re not surprised but rather feel fulfilled by this most classic of all classical tropes.

Flies and Spiders

It had been a frustrating few weeks at school. Individually, a number of white students had displayed their bias in the usual ways—not so funny “jokes,” being adamant about slavery and the Civil Rights Movement being “so long ago,” half-compliments, stereotyping me and my friends—and I wasn’t having it. I fully understand how it’s necessary to let a lot fly—I mean, if I stop to correct someone every time they show their lack of racial understanding, I’ll never get anything done—but enough was enough.