Resources to learn more about Black History

As Black History Month comes to an end, it is important to not stop celebrating and remembering the important contributions Black Britons have made throughout history. The events of the summer highlighted that it is vital we continue to support our Black colleagues and friends not just in the short term but also in the long term.

Here we have complied a list of resources on Black history and culture for those looking to learn more.

Black British and Global History:

1.      Natives by Akala

This book looks at the intersections of race and class in Britain, with Akala drawing on personal experiences as well as history to show the rich history of Black Britons.

2.      The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skoot

A look into the life and afterlife of Henrietta Lacks, the American woman whose cells are used to this day in modern medical treatments. It charts the use of her cells taken without her consent, the creation of the HeLa cell and how it went on to become an important medical tool. To this day Henrietta’s cells continue to be used all over the world.

3.      Black and British: A forgotten History by David Olusoga

Historian David Olusoga looks back at the history of the UK Isles and Africa and the Caribbean. Looking back to the roman times, the Tudors and to more present events such as WW2, he charts the lives and contributions of black Britons.

4.      Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch

Part memoir part history book, Hirsch, looks at Black History, culture and politics in the context of the UK, Senegal and Ghana.

5.      Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation by Colin Grant

Drawing on first-hand interviews, archival recordings and memoirs from the women and men who came to Britain from the West Indies during the mid-twentieth century, this work looks at the Windrush generation.

6.      100 Great Black Britons by Patrick Vernon and Angelina Osborne

Building off Patrick Vernon’s 100 Great Black Britons Campaign in 2003, this book focuses on new role models and previously little-known Black historical figures.

Black culture and experience

1.   ‘I will not be erased’: Our stories about growing up as people of colour by gal-dem

This collection of essays from the creators of the website gal-dem contains stories of the authors younger selves, looking at subjects such as race, gender, mental health and activism.

2.   Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Through the telling of 12 different stories through varying generations and social classes, Evaristo looks at modern Black British womanhood.

3.   Hair Love by Matthew A Cherry

This children’s book based on the Oscar-winning short film, tells the story of a father getting his daughter Zuri ready for school.

4.   Black, Listed by Jeffrey Boakye

A look at identity and belonging, Jeffrey Boakye’s book explores 21st century Black identity through looking at how black communities and individuals are represented, oppressed, celebrated and othered.

Media Resources on Black History:

1.      Sitting in Limbo

A show looking at one man’s life during the Windrush scandal. It follows the Anthony Bryan who arrived in the UK in 1965 at 8. The show charts his life as he loses his job, home and is told to return to Jamaica. The show looks at the harsh realities of the Windrush Scandal.

2.      Black is the New Black

Naomi Campbell, Sir Trevor McDonald, Thandie Newton, Lennie Henry and many more famous Black Britons explore what it means to be Black and British in this four-part series. Each contributor tells personal stories and experiences on the journeys they’ve taken to reach where they are today.

3.   Unremembered: Britain’s Forgotten War Heroes

This documentary by MP David Lammy looks at the contribution of Africans in WW1 and the denial of how over 100,000 African’s who died for Britain were denied individual burials.

4.   Back to School

This documentary led by presenter Alison Hammond, looks at Black figures whose history is not often told in the classroom.

5.   Black and British by David Olusoga

This series from the Historian David Olusoga looks at Black British from the medieval period to the modern day