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:

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
    Based on the true story of a black slave woman, Margaret Garner, this novel encapsulates the flashbacks and the haunting legacy of slavery that continued to torment many former slaves’ minds, even once they became free. 
  • Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch
    Exploring national identity in a country in denial of its history, this book is written from Afua Hirsch’s experience, yet is relatable to so many. 
  • My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay
    Based on the true story, this book follows Lemn Sissay’s mistreatment in the care system in Britain, into which he was placed after being taken away from his mother in Ethiopia.
  • Still Breathing by Suzette Llewellyn
    Written by actress Suzette Llewellyn, this monumental book bears testimony to over one hundred black British voices’, including herself and other musicians, artists, members of parliament, civil servants and more, to express their experiences of racism in Britain and its institutions.  
  • The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon
    An essential book to read, this was one of the first to address poor, working-class black people following the 1948 British Nationality Act, addressing the struggles of the Windrush generation within a city divided by race, class and gender. 
  • The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
    Set in an American book publishing office, The Other Black Girl is the story of an only black employee whose experience at work worsens following the arrival of a second black employee.
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
    Exploring the lives of twin sisters, this book delves into an examination of racial identity, with a specific focus on the American history of passing. 
  • What White People Can Do Next: From Allyship to Coalition by Emma Dabiri
    From this inspiring and empowering collection of essays, Emma Dabiri bounds years' worth of her own research from her Visual Sociology PhD, with her own lived experience, to exclaim ways in which to combat complicity and complacency within white supremacy and racism. A must read for anyone who is striving to create long-lasting change.

Decolonising and diversifying your Library

Find out what we are doing to make our collection more inclusive.

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