As every book blogger there are more books than time to read much less review. And yes this can be stressful, but hey there is the added joy that you’re never stuck for something to read. As such I’ve listed five books that are on my radar.
SAFE: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space edited by Derek Owusu
A powerful anthology of essays collated and edited by Mostly Lit podcast host Derek Owusu. With contributions from writers, poets, actors, journalists, and musicians SAFE explores the experience of Black men in Britain with regards to identity, race and diversity, and what it really means to reclaim and hold space in the landscape of our society. SAFE also examines where Black men belong in schools, the media, their families, in the conversation about mental health, in the LGBT community and in grime music and how their voices can inspire, educate and add to ongoing conversations about diversity.
“Kill the Black One First” by Michael Fuller
I’m actually listening to this memoir by Michael Fuller, Britain’s first ever Black Chief Constable, at the moment. A child of Windrush generation parents, Fuller was largely brought up in the care system and from an early age knew he wanted to become a police officer to fight injustice. At a time where there were few Black police officers and relations between the police and the Black community was at breaking point, he experienced a meteoric rise up the career in policing, and took a pivotal role in the formation of Operation Trident before being appointed as chief constable of Kent.
My First Trip to The Gambia by Makayla Safiya Williams
Written by 12 year old Makayla Safiya Williams, My First Trip to The Gambia is her account of her holiday to The Gambia and how she got over her initial fears about going. During her visit Makayla realised that much of her fears and worries were based on what she had seen and heard in the media, which she discovered were not the truth. Instead she found beautiful and amazing people with great stories to tell. Available for purchase at www.makaylahwilliams.com
Black, Listed by Jeffrey Boakye
Following the success of his debut title Hold Tight, in Black, Listed , Jeffrey Boakye continues to explore the theme of black identity through a list of insults, insights and everything in between. Using cultural and social examples including entertainment, sport, art, politics, music, and history, Boakye investigates the ways in which black people have been represented, oppressed, mimicked, celebrated and othered throughout history.
Darling by Rachel Edwards
“I knew she was trouble from the moment I saw her. I felt it as she stood in the doorway that day: disaster. Not just because she was so different, that skin and that hair, as different from me as it’s possible to be.
A white teenage girl clashes with her new black stepmother in this thought-provoking exploration of a complex relationship between a mother and a daughter.