Black British History Books You Must Read

Racism is a serious problem and it is a global one. Systematic racism is everywhere. Though we have come a long way, there is still a lot to do. The black community has been on the receiving end of racism for centuries and in most parts of the world. Even when we have visible sentiment against racism in society, it is important to learn about the history of racism against blacks and other communities so that history is not repeated. People don’t want to be a part of the problem. They want to fix it. For this, they need to learn. This is the reason why the demand for black British history books and other online resources is high. We have seen massive protests in the US after George Floyd’s death in the US. Keep in mind that Britain also has an uncomfortable past of black oppression. If you want to know what the black community has gone through, what is the current situation of racism and what you need to do, find a Black British history book and read. Here is a list of books you must read: 

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Eddo-Lodge in her book uses historical context and her personal experiences to explore colonialism and slavery by the British. The book also looks at racism and white feminism. The author raises important questions on not including black British history in school curricula. She talks about the eradication of black history. 

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire

Known by stage name Akala, the British rapper, author, activist, journalist and poet Kingslee James McLean Daley has always stood against racism. We highly recommend Akala’s Oxford Union address. This is his debut book in which he shares his experiences with his mixed-race family. You can also learn about his experiences in a pan-African Saturday school. He covers structural racism in politics, police and other institutions. 

Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging

When Edward Colston’s statue was pulled down, this sparked a conversation about racist figures in British history and memorialising them. Afua Hirsch, a London based journalist and author wrote this book to encourage people to confront the British Empire’s role in structural racism. Daughter of a British father and Ghanaian mother, the author talks about the current state of structural racism. She also writes about the identity of black, Asian and minority ethnic people being questioned in the UK.   

Me and White Supremacy

This book by Layla F. Saad covers cultural appropriation, white fragility, tone policing and colour blindness to let white people know how they got the benefits of racism. This book is a guide that encourages you to confront systemic racism. She also includes her experiences and the historical context of racism in her book. Here are some more books that you must read: 

Book  Author 
Afropean: Notes From Black Europe Johny Pitts
Black and British: A Forgotten History David Olusoga
Mother Country: Real Stories of the Windrush Children Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff

Want to add a book to this list? Drop your suggestion in the comment section.