Great reading for Black History Month

Throughout October, we are celebrating Black History Month in the UK, which has been celebrated nationwide every year for nearly 40 years.

What is Black History Month?

The month was originally founded to recognise the contribution that people with African and Caribbean heritage have made to the UK over many generations. It has now expanded to include celebrating the history and culture of not just the Afro-Caribbean community, but of all black people.

Last week, we looked at some of the ways we can learn about the rich cultural heritage of the black community, and we presented our list of must-watch movies which are great for sparking an important conversation on racial equality.

This week, we present a list of books which has been put together by bookseller Waterstones under the themes: Voices for change; Jhalak Prize 2020; Black and British; Remarkable Lives; Staying Power; Classic Fiction; Contemporary Fiction; Young, Gifted and Black; and Young Adult Fiction.

We have chosen some of our suggestions, but see here for more:

  • Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Black Flamingo – Dean Atta
  • Natives – Akala
  • Rise Up – Stormzy
  • Becoming – Michelle Obama
  • The Whole Picture – Alice Procter
  • The Colour Purple – Alice Walker (also a film)
  • The Girl with the Louding Voice – Abi Dare
  • Lot – Bryan Washington
  • To kill a mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
  • And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini
  • Love – Toni Morrison
  • I know why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  • White Teeth – Zadie Smith
  • The Help – Kathryn Stockett (also a film)
  • White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo

Why not buddy up with a friend, family member or neighbour and pick a book that you can read together and then spend time over a virtual coffee to discuss your thoughts. We’d love to hear your book reviews and other recommendations which we can share.


Coming up

Look out for another blog about Black History Month next week, when we celebrate our black icons.