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:
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.
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
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
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