Spotlight on: Our Community
Reading is a great way to learn about equality and diversity.
For Black History Month 2023, here is a brand new selection of titles that recognises and celebrates the invaluable contributions of black people in Britain, celebrate our ethnically diverse communities and aims to inspire and empower future generations.
Available to order online or at your local library.
Family Lore by Elizabet Acevedo
Flor has a gift: she can predict, to the day, when someone will die. So when she decides to host her own living wake – bringing together her family and community to celebrate her long life – her sisters Matilde, Pastora and Camila are concerned. What has she foreseen?
But Flor isn’t the only one with a secret. Matilde has tried to hide the extent of her husband’s infidelity for years, and now must confront the true state of her marriage. Pastora – always on a mission to solve her sisters’ problems – needs to come to terms with her past. And Camila, the youngest sibling, has decided she no longer wants to be taken for granted.
Alongside their struggles, the next generation of Marte women face their own tumult of family obligations, infertility, and heartache.
Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Welcome to Chain-Gang All-Stars – the highly popular, highly controversial profit-raising program inside America’s private prison system.
Harkening back to the time of gladiators, but watched by millions of live-stream subscribers, prisoners compete for the ultimate prize: their freedom. Loretta Thurwar and Hamara ‘Hurricane Staxxx’ Stacker, teammates and lovers, are the fan favourites.
If all goes well, Thurwar will be free in just a few matches, a fact she carries as heavily as her lethal hammer.
But will the price be simply too high?
Black Butterfly by Priscilla Morris
Sarajevo, spring 1992.
Each night, nationalist gangs erect barricades, splitting the diverse city into ethnic enclaves; each morning, the residents – whether Muslim, Croat or Serb – push the makeshift barriers aside. When violence finally spills over, Zora, an artist and teacher, sends her husband and elderly mother to safety with her daughter in England.
Reluctant to believe that hostilities will last more than a handful of weeks, she stays behind while the city falls under siege. As the assault deepens and everything they love is laid to waste, black ashes floating over the rooftops, Zora and her friends are forced to rebuild themselves, over and over.
Theirs is a breathtaking story of disintegration, resilience and hope
How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage by Dr Amir Khan
Yousef is the golden child to his strict Pakistani parents, overshadowing his younger sister, Rehana. As he finishes his medical degree in London, Yousef’s life appears to be mapped out for him – become a doctor, marry a suitable girl of his parents’ choosing and, above all, make his family proud.
Then Yousef meets Jess. A fellow medical student, Jess presents a complication to the plan. Suddenly, Yousef finds himself torn between two worlds – keeping each a secret from the other.
Then, as graduation day looms, Yousef’s mother informs him that she’s started looking for his wife.
A Nurse’s Tale by Ola Awonubi
Princess Ademola arrived in England from Nigeria in 1939, full of hope that training as a midwife would give her the skills to provide a better future for her kingdom. But as Nazi Germany rose to power, Ademola found herself living in a country plunged into war.
Working in a busy London hospital, the Princess must navigate not only the challenge of nursing during the war, but the prejudice of the people she is trying to help.
80 years later, in 2019, Ademola’s great niece, Yemi, arrives in London clutching her great aunt’s precious diaries and longs to uncover the mysteries they hold.
All That She Carried by Tiya Miles
A renowned historian and MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow traces a single object handed down through three generations of Black women, from slavery and into the twentieth century, to craft an extraordinary meditation on people who are left out of the archives of history.
Life Lessons from Hip-Hop by Grant Brydon
Take control of your narrative and become the best version of yourself with 50 Hip-Hop inspired lessons that will inspire a new generation.
Grant Brydon has interviewed some of the biggest names in hip-hop. Here he shares the creative directions and tips derived from one-on-one conversations with Pharrell Williams, J Cole, Big Sean, Nipsey Hussle, and many more.
With chapters covering motivation, creativity, authenticity, mental wellbeing, resilience, and more, the advice gleaned from these important artists’ life experiences will help you to face up to your own challenges and inspire you to make simple changes that have major positive consequences.
Black Girl, No Magic by Kimberly Mcintosh
When stories about Black women are limited, there’s a tendency to platform the inspirational.
Yet when it comes to finding kaleidoscopic stories for – and by – black women, they are few and far between. Through Kimberly’s personal stories, the essays in black girl, no magic explore race, class, the meritocracy myth, sex, desire, dating, friendship, the modern family and drugs.
Empire Windrush by Onyekachi Wambu
In June 1948 the SS Empire Windrush docked in Tilbury, carrying with it the hopes and dreams of hundreds of young men and women from the Caribbean.
It was both a point of departure and a historic transformation, a moment which influenced generations of writers and artists and produced much poetry, prose, fiction, journalism and influential essays.
In this collection, journalist and writer Onyekachi Wambu collates some of the best and most significant writing from the 75 years following the arrival of Empire Windrush.
Discover how the migration of people has shaped the modern world.
This book details the movement of people and cultures around the world – from the early migrations of Homo erectus out of Africa 50,000 years ago to modern refugee movements and migrations.
Through striking photographs, evocative illustrations, and intimate first hand accounts, ‘Migrations’ explores famous (and infamous) movements in history, from the Middle Passage and Trail of Tears to the California Gold Rush and the Windrush generation.