Black History Month is a time for memory, celebration, education and awareness
Black History Month is important for countless reasons. From remembrance to celebration, education to awareness, it's a time in the year that should always be paid with homage.
We know that books are the perfect way to learn new things, celebrate important landmarks and help nurture enjoyment about topics, that's why we've collected some recommended reads to mark Black History Month.
Happy here - A collection of black authors and illustrators
Featuring a foreword from Sharna Jackson, this book houses a collection of 10 short stories from a range of black authors and illustrators. Having recently been sent to every primary school in England thanks to the amazing work from CLPE, this book is already a staple of importance. The range of stories means there's something for everyone and its importance in platforming black voices is unprecedented. Grab your copy of Happy here from this link and be blown away by a range of new and old voices creating one wonderful masterpiece.
The Place For Me - Stories about the Windrush Generation - Collection of authors
Starting with a foreword from Dame Floella Benjamin, this book also features authors including E.L. Norry, K.N. Chimbiri, Judy Hepburn and more. Focussing on the Windrush generation, this book is comprised of 12 inspiring stories of bravery and sacrifice from first-hand accounts of the voices of Windrush. Each story helps to set in stone the story of this period in history which must not be ignored, and as one member poignantly sums up the feeling of the book 'Home ain't jus' where you live. Home is your heart an' yer history'. Grab yourself a copy of this book here.
African and Caribbean Folktales, Myths and Legends - Wendy Shearer
Ever wondered how the leopard got its spots? Now you can find out! This book is full of old-as-time stories and folktales of African and Caribbean descent and takes those both familiar and new to these tales on an adventure through time. For fans of mythology and gripping tales, grab yourself a copy now from this link.
The Story of Afro Hair - K.N. Chimbiri
Charting the history and origins of Afro hair, join K.N. Chimbiri on this journey through 5,000 years of tradition, fashion and history. Joelle Avelino has also created stunning illustrations to match the powerful words created by Chimbiri on this investigation into Afro hair and its place throughout time. For anyone looking to be enlightened, fascinated and wowed with facts about hair, and world history, this book is for you! Grab it here.
Coming To England - Floella Benjamin and Diane Ewen
This picture book story collaboration tells the story of Dame Floella Benjamin's own journey from Trinidad to The House Of Lords as part of the Windrush generation. After two weeks alone on a ship aged just ten years old, Dame Floella arrived into a cold and rather unforgiving London, this book tells Floella's journey from arriving here in the UK all the way to her political work, and even when she met the queen! Find out more about Dame Floella's journey by getting the book here.
Race Cars - Jenny Devenny and Charnaie Gordon
Race Cars is a picture book introducing children to the concept of white privilege, it's goal is to support educators, parents and carers to facilitate conversation around this sensitive but important topic. The book follows the story of two best friend cars, one white and one black, both of which have very different past experiences who then face different rules when entering the exact same race. If you're looking for a way to introduce this topic to children, this is the book for you. Head here to grab yourself a copy.
Angel of Greenwood - Randi Pink
Suitable for those aged between 12 and 17, this book tackles some heavier topics. Based in 1921 in Greenwood Oklahoma, also known as "The Black Wallstreet", this book also is set to the backdrop of the Tulsa race massacre. When an angry mob descends upon the black community of Greenwood, the story's protagonists' perspectives on life begin to change. For an important look into the state of the US pre World War Two, this is a fantastic book, so grab it here.
The Black Flamingo - Dean Atta
This story explores queerness in people of colour and follows the story of a black gay teen reclaiming his identity as a drag artist. Shining an important light and a new perspective on what it is to be black and queer, this feel-good poetry storybook is a must-read for any YA lover. Get yourself a copy here.
The Cost of Knowing - Brittney Morris
This YA powerhouse of a book follows a fascinating storyline when a 16-year-old's ability to see into the future of anything or anyone he touches turns his life into turmoil. Alex sees his Brother's imminent death which starts him on a journey traversing the intricate folds of their relationship, and what it's like to be a black man in America. Grab yourself a copy of The Cost of Knowing here.
The Hill We Climb - Amanda Gorman
Is there a better way to kick off a book than with an opening from Oprah Winfrey? Amanda Gorman rose to fame after her poetry performance at the inauguration of Joe Biden back in January this year. Her performance of "The Hill We Climb" was the hot topic for weeks and her talent was instantly recognised by the masses. This book is the transcription of her powerful piece that will go down in history books everywhere. Find out more and get a copy here.
Girl, Woman, Other - Bernadine Evaristo
Okay yes, this book did win the Booker Prize back in 2019 so it's hardly an original recommendation, but it is however timeless and important. Evaristo's writing has been hailed as some of the most important in modern black British history and this book takes a look into Modern Britain and its relationship with black Womanhood. Following twelve protagonists, we experience love, joy, pain and celebration as we see a brighter side to identity. If you've not gotten round to reading this masterpiece yet, make sure to get yourself a copy and add it to your list!