Anti-Racist Reading Recommendations for All Ages

We have created this blog post because we stand in solidarity with the black community, all over the world, and wanted to use our platform in a way that supports the Black Lives Matter movement. In the words of Angela Davis:

“In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”

We are committed to enacting change and we will not remain silent.

We are members of a society that actively consume the commodification of black culture. Yet, black people in the U.K. and around the world are continually ignored, denigrated, dehumanised, underpaid, underfunded and abused.

The countless acts of ignorance and violence enacted upon black people over the course of history should not be ignored or forgotten. We need to get to grips with the fact that these horrors are still being perpetrated by a structurally racist and supremacist society today.

As a team of white and non-black POC women we understand that we will never understand. With this in mind, we have put this post together to amplify black voices. We must listen, learn and act.

It is more important than ever that those of us who are not black educate ourselves on the injustices and inequalities that have pervaded, and continue to pervade throughout the world, since the beginnings of colonialism and the routine, industrialised exploitation of black people.

It is crucial to seek out and uplift black voices, so that they may continue to tell their own stories in their own words.

Speaking of education, there are several petitions pushing for education reform in the U.K. to end the whitewashing of our curriculums. Every signature is a cry for change, so please do take the time to sign them:

Reform Britain’s Education System: Why Are Curriculums Still Failing Black Students?

Amend The British School Curriculum to Teach About Racism and British History

Teach British Children About The Realities of British Imperialism and Colonialism

Make White Privilege and Systemic Racism A Compulsory Part of the British Education Course

Anti-Racism Education to be Compulsory in U​.​K Schools

Battle racism by updating GCSE reading lists

Plus, an amazing social enterprise you can support: The Black Curriculum

We might be able to ensure that future generations are taught about white supremacy and systematic racism at school but for now we must seek the truth ourselves. If we are better educated, we are better equipped to take action.

So, here are some reading suggestions to help you get started, including books that can be read with and by children – it’s never too early to start educating children about race.

These lists are, obviously, non-exhaustive. There’s a wealth of exceptional literature beyond what has been included here and we urge you to explore for yourself.

Please feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments!

We have also included links to petitions you can sign and places you can donate at the end of this post. These, too, are non-exhaustive – continue to sign, share and donate when you can. We cannot lose momentum now.


Reading Lists

 

 

Books for Children and Teens

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara – board book

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beatty and David Roberts – picture book

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison – biographies and illustrations of important black woman in history

Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison – biographies and illustrations of important black men in history

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman – illustrated children’s book for young readers

High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson – the first in a brilliant mystery series recommended for readers aged 8+

This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell and Aurelia Durand – recommended for children aged 10+

A Change is Gonna Come Ed. Mary Bello – story and poetry anthology for teenagers

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta – YA novel about a teenager coming to terms with his identity as mixed race and gay

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds – YA ‘remix’ of Stamped by Ibram X Kendi which shows how racist ideology has been embedded in the US since 1415 and what we can do to eliminate it

 

 

Fiction

The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon

That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu

Queenie by Candice Carty-William

Trumpet by Jackie Kay

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Small Island by Andrea Levy

Citizen by Claudine Rankine

Salvage The Bones/Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie

 

 

Non fiction

Natives by Akala

Taking Up Space: The Black Girls Manifesto for Change by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde

How to Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement by Barbara Ransby

Men We Reaped/The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward

The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward

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

 

 

Black Owned Bookshops IN THE UK

Round Table Books

No Ordinary Bookshop

New Beacon Books

This Is Book Love 

Jacaranda Books

African Books Collective

Books of Africa

MyBookBasket

Peepal Tree Press

 

 

Petitions

Compiled list of petitions calling for justice for victims and legislation change mainly pertaining to the US

Compiled list of UK-based petitions

Medical schools must include BAME representation in clinical teaching

The UK government must condemn Trump’s response to George Floyd’s murder #speakupBoris

Suspend UK export of tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields to USA

Introduce Mandatory Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting

Protect Black Trans Women in the UK

Include Afro Hair Education In The Hairdressing NVQ

Protect Afro textured hair! Amend the UK Equality Act to include hair.

 

 

Donate

International donations for US victim fundraisers, organisations, bail funds and more

Black Lives Matter UK

Black Protest Legal Support UK

Stand Up To Racism

The Racial Justice Network

Runnymede Trust

Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust

Black LGBTQIA Charity Fund 

Support Belly Mujinga’s Family

Southall Black Sisters

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One thought on “Anti-Racist Reading Recommendations for All Ages

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