The best books to read for Black History Month 2022

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October 1 marks the start of Black History Month in the UK. A time to commemorate black history, celebrate the contributions and achievements of black people in the UK and teach us about the struggles and joys of black culture.

Black History Month is celebrated around the world, albeit in different months (e.g. February in the United States), as an opportunity to reflect on the past while striving towards a brighter future. less prejudice. There will be many events to mark it – from food and music festivals to informative talks and workshops.

Picking up a book – whether fiction or non-fiction – is a great way to learn more about black history and engage in discussions about race, identity and Britain.

When is Black History Month?

The month-long celebration runs from October 1-31.

What is Black History Month?

Black History Month is a time to celebrate and recognize Black heritage and culture. It is an annual celebration that originated in the United States in 1969 and lasts for a month.

We’ve rounded up some of the best books to read for Black History Month…

The Métis Experience by Naomi and Natalie Evans

The Métis Experience by Naomi and Natalie Evans

The sisters and founders of anti-racism advocacy platform Everyday Racism – Naomi and Natalie Evans – bring a thought-provoking and educational book about what it means to be biracial in today’s society.

Featuring personal anecdotes of growing up in Britain, interviews with others from mixed backgrounds and relationships, practical advice and in-depth research, The Mixed-Race Experience aims to challenge and inspire readers. to help demystify common stereotypes and false myths.

Discover the complexities of Métis identities, reassure yourself by relating to stories and confront racism in your sphere.

People Person by Candice Carty-Williams

People Person by Candice Carty-Williams

Candice Carty-Williams, the bestselling author of Queenie (another must-read novel tackling topics of race, class, and mental health), will have you laughing out loud with her light-hearted comedic new novel.

Follow the journey of five half-siblings as they reunite after years apart, meeting as adults in times of crisis – all they remember is walking through Brixton in their father’s golden Jeep. Funny and revealing about sibling relationships, the novel deepens its subtext, showing the inequalities black people experience on a daily basis and highlighting the struggle to find a sense of belonging.

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

‘Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget and seven days to get it all back…’ Follow the romance between two writers Eva and Shane who meet in New York City over the summer – they met 15 years ago and fell deeply in love – now they have to pretend to be strangers.

A story of hopeful love, joy and witty moments, there is also an exploration of the complications surrounding black identity and race.

The Black History Book by DK

The Black History Book by DK

Discover the struggles and triumphs of black communities around the world with DK’s educational book, covering milestones in black and African history.

From the ancient world to the present day, expand your understanding of topics like colonization, civil rights, and the Atlantic slave trade with facts, timelines, and charts, plus visual illustrations and charts to help you understand better.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vignes twin sisters may have been born into the same set of circumstances – a small black community in the Deep South – but the way they both escape it at 16 becomes very different. From their families, communities and racial identities, the sisters lead totally separate lives, one living with her black daughter in her same hometown, the other identifying as white with a husband who knows nothing of her past. The Vanishing Half is a moving novel, which delves into the influence of one’s origins and one’s past on future decisions and desires.

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad

Layla F Saad encourages readers to “recognize your privilege, fight racism and change the world”. Following the success of her #MeAndWhiteSupremacy Instagram challenge where she asked people to acknowledge and share their racist behaviors, Saad created this book, leading readers to understand white privilege, unconscious racism and how to change. Presenting historical and cultural contexts, moving stories and exercises to transform behaviors, this book will encourage you to do better.

British by Afua Hirsch

British by Afua Hirsch

Author, journalist and broadcaster Afua Hirsch explores race, identity and belonging in 21st century Britain with her captivating and revealing book Brit(ish). It addresses personal experiences and challenges society, asking exactly what it means to be British and why we as a nation deny our imperial past.

The Inconvenient Truth About Racism by John Barnes

The Inconvenient Truth About Racism by John Barnes

Former professional footballer John Barnes moved to the UK after living in Jamaica for the first 12 years of his life. He became the country’s most prominent black footballer, playing for Liverpool, Watford and England and wrote his book to showcase the ongoing battle against racial prejudice, with personal experiences included. His writing aims to inform readers of the country’s past, present and future while encouraging change.

Mixed/Other by Natalie Morris

Mixed/Other by Natalie Morris

Natalie Morris sheds light on what it means to be mixed race in the UK today with her book Mixed/Other. From job and workplace applications to dating and adapting to societal expectations, she explores the impacts and challenges of being mixed race in everyday life and where to fit in.

Through hard-hitting interviews, in-depth research, and real-life personal experiences, learn first-hand about her identity crisis and be encouraged to let go of all preconceived stereotypes.

Why I don’t talk to white people about race anymore by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Why I don’t talk to white people about race anymore by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Start the conversation about race in Britain today with Reni Eddo-Lodge’s hard-hitting book. Use it as your essential textbook and deepen your understanding of black history – from white domination and eradicated pasts to the connections between class, race and identity. This book started a national conversation when it was first published and is a must-read during Black History Month.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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