October marks Black History Month here in the UK, and this year, it feels more important than ever.
First launched in the ’80s in London, it aimed to challenge racism and provide education about Black British history that wasn’t taught in schools. Since then, it has evolved to be celebrated on a much bigger scale, with events happening all across the country to further amplify Black voices, educate and celebrate the country’s Black history.
We want to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of the most exciting books by Black authors you should read this month. From thrilling novels by female writers to Obama’s life story in his own words, these books should go on your reading list right now…
Red at the Bone is an extraordinary new novel about the influence history can have on a contemporary family. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, the book most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives – even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be…
Written in an entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a ‘what if’ can be more powerful than an experience itself. It’s the last season of high school life for Nadia, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. When her teen romance results in a pregnancy, she hides her secret from everyone, including her God-fearing best friend. The years move quickly and the protagonists find themselves constantly dogged by the same nagging question: what if they had chosen differently?
If you haven’t read Octavia E. Butler’s 1979 masterpiece yet, now’s the time you should. In a ground-breaking exploration of power and responsibility, it tells the extraordinary story of two people bound by blood, separated by so much more than time. If you like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Powerand Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, you’ll be into this too.
By the authors of the highly acclaimed Slay In Your Lane comes an important and timely anthology of black British writing, featuring essays from the diverse voices of twenty established and emerging black British writers. From assessing the cultural impact of Marvel’s Black Panther to celebrating activism in local communities, this collection explores what it means to them to exist in these turbulent times.
Such A Fun Age tells the story of Emira, who is apprehended at a supermarket for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she’s actually babysitting. Her employer Alix, a feminist blogger with the best of intentions, resolves to make things right but Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of her desire to help. When she meets someone from Alix’s past, the two women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know – about themselves, each other, and the messy dynamics of privilege…
Dorothy Koomson’s gripping novel All My Lies Are True deals with the enduring effects of deception. Verity is telling lies and that’s why she’s about to be arrested for attempted murder. Her mother Serena has been lying for years, which may have driven Verity to do something unthinkable. Poppy’s lies have come back to haunt her but will her quest for the truth hurt everyone she loves? And whose lies are going to end in tragedy?
The son of a black African father and a white American mother, former US president Barack Obama recounts an emotional odyssey in his book Dreams From My Father. Retracing the migration of his mother’s family from Kansas to Hawaii, then to his childhood home in Indonesia and finally his travels to Kenya, he confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.