Part of the Black Lives Matter movement is a call for those from other racial backgrounds to educate themselves on the problems the movement is trying to highlight. We've put together a list of book recommendations for those looking to find out more about the societal issues facing Black people in the modern world.
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire
This book covers topics including the police, politics, education, history and the far right and weaves them together with Akala’s personal experiences and locates them in the complex web of race and class. It challenges the reader to rethink their understanding of the British Empire and its legacy.
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
by Reni Eddo-Lodge
‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ started off as a blog post which led to the award-winning book which has since sparked a national conversation about class and race in Britain. This book is described as an essential handbook for anybody who wants to gain a better understanding of race relations, Black history, politics and feminism.
Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century
by Kehinde Andrews
Written by Birmingham City University's Professor of Black Studies Kehinde Andrews, Back to Black argues that racism is embedded into the fabric of society and traces the history of Black radical politics by looking at figures such as the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter activists. Kehinde explores current struggles while showing what a renewed politics of Black radicalism might look like in the 21st century.
The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give – which is also a film – is poignant and hard-hitting. This book is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and is so close to reality, it is eerily powerful and gripping. The story is about a young Black man who is killed by the police and follows his friend’s fight for justice.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
by Robin DiAngelo
‘White Fragility’ refers to the counterproductive and defensive reactions that white people have when discussing racism. This book gives an in depth exploration of white fragility, how it prevents meaningful dialogue around race, how it protects racial inequality and what white people can do to engage more constructively.
Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible
by Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke
This book is an inspirational and honest book that discusses education, work, dating, health and wealth whilst exploring ways in which being a Black female can affect each of these areas of society. Yomi and Elizabeth use their own life experiences, as well as interviews with multiple successful Black women, to offer encouragement and advice to other women who face the same challenges.
Another way to really boost your understanding of the politics of race is with our two Black Studies degrees at Birmingham City University, as these are precisely the sort of issues that are covered. Professor Kehinde Andrews leads both courses - BA (Hons) Black Studies (the first degree of its kind in Europe) and, new for 2020, BA (Hons) Black Studies (Criminal Justice).