Black History Month at the Library

Details of our planned activities for Black History Month.

Reading lists

We've collated resource collections of fiction, non-fiction, films, and documentaries about Black history and Black experience. Our lists have a mixture of digital and physical resources.

  • Black British history and culture - including Windrush, Akala, Andrea Levy, David Olosoga, and Reni-Eddo Lodge.
  • Global Majority - including the Civil Rights movement, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker in the USA, and Apartheid, Nelson Mandela and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in Africa.
  • Books and resources for creatives at City Campus.
  • Poetry - immerse yourself in the words and thoughts of prominent Black poets.
  • Children's books with Black, Asian and minority ethnic characters from our Education Resources Collection.

Black History resources

These resource lists are not exhaustive. Please use library search to view our full collection.

Book giveaways

Our very popular book giveaway is back this year. We'll be hiding copies across our libraries and sharing clues about where to find them on our Instagram Stories. Follow us on Instagram @uwelibrary for your chance to win a book. You can find out when we're giving books away by viewing the Black History Month events on the Events Diary.

Our titles for this year are:

  • The mixed-race experience by Naomi Evans and Natalie Evans
  • Founders of the anti-racist advocacy platform Everyday Racism, sisters Naomi and Natalie Evans, discuss the experience of being mixed-race. This book contains their lived experiences of growing up mixed-race in Britain, as well as anecdotes from other people from mixed-race backgrounds. The book contains facts and research but also more introspective topics such as what it means to define yourself.
  • The Attic Child by Lola Jaye
  • Dikembe and Lowra both end up trapped in the same attic, but nearly a century apart. Their stories are told through rotating chapters that weave together the where and why of the attic and reveal their connection. Culminating in a beautiful twist, this book is one that will stay with you for a long time.
  • The Fire People by Lemn Sissay
  • A blistering collection of Black British poetry, rising from the influence of reggae, roots and hip-hop. You may not be familiar with all the poets in this book, but once you have read their work, you will know them.
  • Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth by Wole Soyinka
  • This Nobel prize winning book tells a satirical story of modern Nigeria. Covering corruption, religion and power in Nigeria as a group of old friends investigate the selling of body parts. Exaggerated characters and a complex plot come together to give us a window into political and social life in the country.
  • The Black History Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by D.K. Publishing and David Olusoga
  • This book is a chronicle of Black History; it tackles tricky topics and themes in a simple and easy to follow format. It has everything from the earliest humans in Africa to the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. Suitable for novices and experts, with a mixture of graphs and timelines as well as illustrations and graphics.
  • Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
  • Decolonising the Mind is a perfect example of a top practitioner setting out a total rationale, complete with backstory and running examples, of the political and cultural implications of choosing one language over another. It is among the most important texts of the postcolonial canon, and one of the most iconic essays written by an African writer ever.
  • How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • How to be an Antiracist opens the conversation about racial justice and helps guide us to new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. This is a vital read for anyone looking to take the next step in their awareness of racism. Some would call this book controversial, we would call it essential.
  • We Need to Talk About Money by Otegha Uwagba
  • This book will be familiar to most of us. A book about class, privilege, racism and beauty. About toxic workplaces, misogynist men, getting payrises and getting evicted. About shame, pride, compulsion and fear. About money.

Decolonising and diversifying your Library

Find out what we are doing to make our collection more inclusive. You can suggest titles for your reading lists to be entered into a monthly prize draw.

Decolonising and diversifying your Library

Social media celebration

Join us on our social media accounts as we celebrate Black history, achievement and culture.

Twitter @UWELibrary

Instagram @uwelibrary

Facebook @UWELibrary