Books to read during Black History Month: MM’s essential reads

Celebrating BHM month Tasnim Chowdhury gives you a list of her favourite books

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

Reni explores gender, class and race in Britain. Explore the untold history of Black people in Britain. A powerful read on what it is like to be a person of colour in Britain. Personally, this is one of my favourite reads. It gives you the insight you wouldn’t necessarily find anywhere else, it shocked me to find out how little I knew. For me, this is a must read for anyone and everyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain.

  1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s autobiography about her childhood, from the tender age of three to her teens. She writes about how the love of literature and strength of character can help overcome racism. This moving autobiography shows us Angelou transition from a withdrawn child to a confident woman. IKWTCBS is a gripping and honest look at the racial prejudice in the US during the 1930s and 40s. 

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr is a young black girl attending a predominantly white prestigious school. Starr becomes part of a national news story after she witnesses her friend being shot by a police officer. The Hate U Give is a compelling novel about a teenage girl’s brave battle for justice. A line that resonates the most with me is “What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” I recommend this to anyone who wants to understand black teenagers and their fights for justice. 

  1. Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is an Ivy League student, despite this he faces the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates, to cope Justyce begins a journal to Dr Martin Luther King in a search of solace. A police shootout finds Justyce under attack after a media fallout. This is definitely the type of book to get young people thinking as well as adults and touches upon themes that are prevalent in society today. The sequel Dear Justyce has recently been published.

  1. Loud Black Girls: 20 Black Women Writers Ask: What’s Next? by Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke 

Authors Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke ask 20 Black British female writers to focus on what the future holds in our current climate whist there is also more opportunities for black women to thrive. The authors give Black women the voice and platform to share their insightful stories. Again, this is a good read to really understand what the world is like for a British Black woman. “We are defiant, bolder and unapologetic with a promise to be greater than our foremothers who came before us.”

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