Crucial Books To Read During This Black History Month
They Can’t Kill Us All: The Story of Black Lives Matter
By Wesley Lowery
In They Can’t Kill Us All, award-winning journalist Wesley Lowery presents his findings after a year of investigating the reality of police brutality and racism within the USA. This book delivers an honest, eye-opening account of the front-line through interviews with the families of victims of police brutality, as well as the activists who are demanding change. Lowery effortlessly presents not just statistics, but the human stories that exist behind them. By doing so, They Can’t Kill Us All provides a well-reported, captivating account of the beginning of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the fight against racial injustice. Even though this book is three years old, it could not be more relevant today.
When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Livers Matter Memoir
By Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Livers Matter Memoir is a crucial text to read during the current political climate, but also incredibly heartbreaking to read. The book discusses powerful topics such as police brutality, racial profiling and jail abolitionism with remarkable insight and clarity. However, it is the addition of Khan-Cullors’ personal memoirs of childhood and how she became one of the founders of the #BlackLivesMatter, and the subsequent Black Lives Matter Movement, that really make this an inspirational text. Written with award-winning author and journalist asha bandele, this book creates a reading experience that will make you laugh, cry and ultimately, emerge with a new-found understanding of why the fight against racial injustice is so important.
How To Be An Antirascist
By Ibram X. Kendi
Multi award-winning author and professor, Ibram X. Kendi, has written a book that is absolutely vital reading for today. How To Be An Antiracist argues that racism does not stem from ignorance, but rather, is propelled by profitability and utility within society. Kendi’s work is truly eye-opening, and asks us to honestly reflect on how we are all complicit, to some degree, and how we should all self-evaluate our own actions. Not only this, but Kendi also manages to balance provocative revolutionary ideas with a sense of hope for humanity’s ability to grow, change and accept. Essentially, Kendi provides a transformative handbook on how to recognise, reflect and change our understanding of racism in a way that is accessible, and pivotal, to everyone.
100 Great Black Britons
By Patrick Vernon OBE and Dr Angelina Osbourne
100 Great Black Britons is a brilliant entry-level book if you find yourself, like many, lacking in knowledge of Black British History. Patrick Vernon OBE started the ‘100 Great Black Britons’ Campaign in 2004 as a response to a lack of representation and diversity on the BBC’s ‘100 Greatest Britons’ list. Vernon’s campaign collated nominations by the public of the Black Briton they admired the most, in order ‘to honour the remarkable achievements of key Black British individuals over history’. This endeavour was incredibly successful and Vernon, with Osbourne, decided to commemorate the ‘100 Great Black Britons’ Campaign into a book. The chapters are easy to read, engaging and include amazing Black Britons that range from actors, to abolitionists, to LGBTQI+ activists. If you wish to learn more about some truly inspiring Black Britons, please pick up this book.
Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements
By Charlene A. Carruthers
Carruthers, a truly inspirational and influential activist, not only masterfully puts forward a call-to-arms that is insightful and accessible, but also provides real stories of social movement work that represent the change for which she advocates. Drawing on historical movements such as the Haitian Revolution and the US Civil Rights Movement, Carruthers delivers a powerful manifesto that provides a roadmap to organising and activism that is thorough, powerful and thought-provoking. Unapologetic not only explores these themes, and demands that we take action to eliminate racial injustice, but also critiques the violence and history that it stems from. This text is vital, well-researched and a truly powerful analysis of why Black movements are crucial for us all to understand and support.