Whilst in the UK Black History Month is celebrated in October, it really is a celebration we should continue the whole year through. The need for this has become more prevalent with issues such as those affecting the Windrush generation. Understanding where we came from is part of the journey into understanding where we want to be.
As Black History Month draws to an end in October, the events to celebrate the amazing achievements of black people become less visible. Whilst we need to address this, there are books that are available the whole year round that you can use to educate yourself to make good of the sacrifices our ancestors made so that we can go on to achieve more great things.
A perfect time to catch up on your reading is when you’re at the salon sat under the dryer, so we’ve put together a list of books that you can add on your reading list for Black History Month and beyond.
Mother Country by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff
Mother Country explores the reality of the Windrush generations experiences of coming to England, and those of their children and grandchildren, through 22 unique real-life stories spanning more than 70 years.
“The story of Windrush, is, like any other, a story of humanity. Of life, love, struggle, hope, misery, success and failure. It’s one that is too often neglected in our media … but this volume acts as a remedy to that failure of story-telling, which I ask you to both savour and share.” – David Lammy MP
Contributors include public figures such as Corinne Bailey-Rae, David Lammy and Lenny Henry alongside many more and those everyday people telling their stories which will now be passed on from generation to generation.
Slay in your Lane by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebiené
The long-awaited, inspirational guide to life for a generation of black British women inspired to make lemonade out of lemons, and find success in every area of their lives.
From education to work to dating, this inspirationa and provocative book recognises and celebrates the strides black women have already made, while providing practical advice for those who want to do the same and forge a better, visible future.
Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century by Kehinde Andrews
Back to Black traces the long and eminent history of Black radical politics. Born out of resistance to slavery and colonialism, its rich past encompasses figures such as Marcus Garvey, Angela Davis, the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter activists of today.
Kehinde Andrews explores the true roots of this tradition and connects the dots to today’s struggles by showing what a renewed politics of Black radicalism might look like in the 21st century.
Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain by Mike and Trevor Phillips
Broadcaster Trevor Phillips and his novelist brother Mike retell the very human story of Britain’s first West Indian immigrants and their descendants from the first wave of immigration fifty years ago to the present day.
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
In this vital re-examination of a shared history, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga tells the rich and revealing story of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa and the Caribbean.
Drawing on new genealogical research, original records, and expert testimony, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination, Elizabethan ‘blackamoors’ and the global slave-trading empire. It shows that the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery and that black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of both World Wars.
War to Windrush by Stephen Bourne
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, Stephen Bourne’s War to Windrush explores the lives of Britain’s immigrant community through the experiences of Black British women during the period spanning from the beginning of World War II to the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948.
War to Windrush retraces the history of those women who helped to build the great, multicultural Britain we know today.