Black and Blur by FRED MOTEN
Part one of a trilogy of critical writing, weaving thoughts on music and culture – Frantz Fanon, Theodor Adorno, Charles Mingus, Glenn Gould – into freewheeling discourse in and around the black radical tradition.
The Fire Next Time by JAMES BALDWIN
Never not relevant since they were published in 1963 during the emergence of the civil rights movement, Baldwin’s pair of essays are beautiful, tragic and hopeful.
So You Want To Talk About Race by IJEOMA OLUO
Personal-political guide around the complexities of racism in the USA, conversational, bristling with real talk, and potentially offering a tool kit for action and change.
Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain by PETER FRYER
Published in 1984, penned by a Marxist historian, who points out in his opening sentence the fact, surprising
to many, that: “There were Africans in Britain before the English came here.”
The lives of others
The Good Immigrant by ED. NIKESH SHUKLA
Humorous and poignant windows into 20 lives, documenting diversity and lived experiences for BAME people in post-Brexit Britain.
History we didn’t learn at school…
Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold by MARK COCKER
The realities of western imperialism, based on four historical examples of European depradations abroad. Harrowing but good for correcting the fuzzy warm feelings many Brits still hang onto for empire and its results.
Must-read for woolly liberals
Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by AFUA HIRSCH
Brilliant memoir/social history that will leave you in no doubt that the British middle classes are profoundly, often subtly racist, and deeply muddled about their post-colonial identity.
Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People About Race RENI EDDO-LODGE
Life-changer for anyone still in denial, a rallying cry, a timely analysis of systemic unfairness in today’s Britain. Everyday racism, covert racism and structural racism are all laid bare in this brilliantly angry book.
a black british pantheon
Black and British by DAVID OLUSOGA Enjoyable tales of Roman soldiers, Tudor maids, abolitionist Olaudah Equiano and Lance-Corporal Alhaji Grunshi (first soldier to fire a shot as the Great War commenced), pegged to Olusoga’s BBC TV series.
Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line by ERIN AUBRY KAPLAN
Thoughts on black identity in the USA, with a fine and detailed feel for the human perspective.
Facts, facts, facts
White Rage: the Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide by CAROL ANDERSON (Bloomsbury)
First written as an op-ed in The Washington Post as race riots erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, a meticulous analysis of how white power has deliberately moved to undermine African American progress. Short, sharp and disturbing.
You’re curious about intersectionality…
Sister Outsider by AUDRE LORDE
Essays and speeches by the inspirational black lesbian feminist poet, activist and writer whose radical, consciousness-raising writings embrace themes of sexuality, oppression, self-love and hope.