Black History Month Reading List

To highlight the personal stories of black and brown people in the UK, we have put together a list of book recommendations.


Black History Month is a recognition of the heritage, culture, and achievements of Black British people. 

This year’s theme, ‘Proud to Be’, celebrates the personal stories and diverse legacies of black and brown people in the UK. 

To help share these stories, we have provided 10 fantastic book recommendations (this is by no means an exhaustive list – but we had to stop somwhere right?). 

  1. 1 Maybe I Don't Belong Here by David Harewood


    In this powerful and provocative account of a life lived after psychosis, critically acclaimed actor, David Harewood, uncovers devastating family history and investigates the very real impact of racism on Black mental health.

  2. 2 Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga


    In this vital re-examination of a shared history, award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga tells the rich and revealing story of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa and the Caribbean.

  3. 3 I Am Not Your Baby Mother by Candice Brathwaite


    When Candice fell pregnant and stepped into the motherhood playing field, she found her experience bore little resemblance to the glossy magazine photos of women in horizontal stripe tops and the pinned discussions on mumsnet about what pushchair to buy. Leafing through the piles of prenatal paraphernalia, she found herself wondering: "Where are all the black mothers?".

  4. 4 The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla


    Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be 'other' in a country that doesn't seem to want you, doesn't truly accept you - however many generations you've been here - but still needs you for its diversity monitoring forms.

  5. 5 Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge


    Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism.

    It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.

  6. 6 How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X.Kendi


    Not being racist is not enough. We have to be antiracist.

    In this rousing and deeply empathetic book, Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracism Research and Policy Center, shows that when it comes to racism, neutrality is not an option: until we become part of the solution, we can only be part of the problem.

  7. 7 Women, Race & Class by Angela Y. Davis


    Ranging from the age of slavery to contemporary injustices, this groundbreaking history of race, gender and class inequality by the radical political activist Angela Davis offers an alternative view of female struggles for liberation.

  8. 8 How to Argue With a Racist by Adam Rutherford


    Racist pseudoscience may be on the rise, but science is no ally to racists. Instead science and history can be powerful allies against bigotry, granting us the clearest view of how people actually are, rather than how we judge them to be.

    How to Argue With a Racist dismantles outdated notions of race by illuminating what modern genetics can and can't tell us about human difference. It is a vital manifesto for a twenty-first century understanding of human evolution and variation, and a timely weapon against the misuse of science to justify racism.

  9. 9 Afropean by Johnny Pitts


    Afropean is an on-the-ground documentary of areas where Europeans of African descent are juggling their multiple allegiances and forging new identities.

  10. 10 Don't Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri


    From women's solidarity and friendship to forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian's braids, the scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic.

    Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in black hairstyles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don't Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.


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Sammi Wright

Sammi is a member of the Students Association staff team.