10 books to read by Black authors during Black History Month and beyond
23 October 2020, 18:25 | Updated: 23 October 2020, 18:38
Here's just some of the best fiction and non-fiction books to read written by Black authors.
Black History Month will soon come to an end here in the UK. For the entirety of October, we've been amplifying the voices of Black creators, celebrating the contributions Black people have made to the UK and educating ourselves on important issues that Black people are facing right now.
But beyond BHM, it's important to keep the momentum going and that means exploring Black Britishness in literature too. It's paramount that we read up on not only Black history and identity but also stories that are purely showcasing Black love and joy. From fiction to non-fiction, there are countless novels to get stuck into. Here's some of the best.
1) Fattily Ever After: A Fat, Black Girl's Guide to Living Life Unapologetically by Stephanie Yeboah
If you follow Stephanie Yeboah on Twitter, you'll know she is fiercely committed to changing the narrative around body image and fatphobia. Fattily Ever After details Stephanie's own experience as a Black, plus-sized woman and how she has managed to love herself in a world that tells her she shouldn't.
2) Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola
Bolu Babalola has compiled a collection of gripping romantic stories that celebrate love in history and mythology with a particular spotlight on folktales of West Africa.
3) Don't Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri
This powerful book takes us on a journey through history looking at the significance of Black hair. From pre-colonial Africa to the recent Natural Hair Movement and even cultural appropriation, Don't Touch My Hair uncovers the oppressive and celebratory history of Black hairstyles.
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4) Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
You've probably seen Akala calmly and intelligently deliver clear facts on Britain's racial issues on TV. Unsurprisingly, his book is just more of the same, touching upon his own experiences and looking at the social, historical and political factors that have shaped our societal attitudes to race.
5) Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat by Sabrina Strings
Fearing the Black Body gets to the root of fatphobia and examines how Black bodies have historically been policed to validate race, class, and gender prejudices.
6) Taking Up Space: The Black Girl’s Manifesto for Change by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi
As two Black women at Cambridge University, a predominantly white institution, Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi were going to have a wildly different experience in comparison to their peers. Taking Up Space is an empowering guide for people navigating institutions that were not necessarily made for them.
7) Crossfire by Malorie Blackman
We all were hooked on Noughts & Crosses back in the day and Crossfire is the long-awaited new novel in legendary author Malorie Blackman's series. In Crossfire, race and class don't divide people anymore – but things are definitely not easy…
8) Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
It was one of 2019's most raved about novels – and with good reason. Everyone can see themselves in Queenie, a young Black journalist living in London, making questionable choices and attempting to heal from a terrible break up.
9) Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Here Comes the Sun is a compelling story about a Jamaican woman who is in love with another woman, but is forced to sleep with tourists at the hotel she works at to put her younger sister through school.
10) More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth
More Than Enough is an inspiring tale from the former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue. Elaine Welteroth opens about growing up in California and what she learnt whilst on her way to the top.