As part of our celebration of Black History Month UK, Amoria Bond’s inclusion advocates have curated a collection of engaging, inspiring and enlightening books from black authors to share as part of our book club initiative.
Every month, Amoria Bond provides employees with an allowance to purchase a book, e-book or audiobook of their choice. In October 2021, we’re recommending our staff select an option that speaks to the often underserved voices of black Britain from this great selection of books, both fiction and non-fiction.
But we didn’t want to keep such a significant collection of fantastic reads to ourselves, so we thought we’d share our top recommendations with all our followers. Enjoy:
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire
“Part biography, part polemic, this powerful, wide-ranging study picks apart the British myth of meritocracy” – The Guardian.
Musician and political commentator, Akala, uses his own story to shine a light on the systemic and rarely acknowledged institutionalised racism at the heart of British life. Akala uses experiences from the first time he was stopped and searched as a child, to the day he realised his mum was white, to his first encounters with racist teachers, to take aim at British denial of the widespread social, political and historical issues in the country today.
100 Great Black Britons
Patrick Vernon OBE & Dr Angelina Osborne
“This book is timely and so important. Especially now, during the Black Lives Matter movement, people all over the country are looking to expand their knowledge of Black British historical figures, and this book will help people to do just that. It is never too late to do the right thing - recognition is long overdue. I am sure you will see this book on many bookshelves and I would encourage everyone to buy it!” - Dawn Butler MP
16 years after Vernon & Osborne launched the 100 Great Black Britons campaign to challenge the almost complete exclusion of the Black British community from mainstream education and media, they released this book compiling the achievements of some of the most influential black figures who have shaped British history.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
“A call to action for everyone concerned with racial justice and an important tool for anyone concerned with understanding and dismantling this oppressive system.” - Sojourners
An overnight phenomenon, sparking conversation around the racist control built in the USA’s system of mass incarceration. Civil rights advocate and litigator, Michelle Alexander, reveals in her award-winning book the discrimination that is still legally used against convicted criminals, which used to be legal against African Americans. Once you’re labelled a felon, the old forms of discrimination – employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits – are suddenly legal.
“I am shouting from the rooftops to anyone who will listen about this book. It’s so so good - realistic and funny and so truthful it almost winded me” - Dolly Alderton
An exploration of two couples at the crossroads of life. How will they be changed by new babies, lost parents, long relationships, old friendships and the challenges of love; and how will they maintain their sense of identity through these times? Shortlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction, Diana Evans London-based novel is set to a blistering soundtrack that supplements the high points and crushing lows of her instantly relatable characters.
Such a Fun Age
“Smart, fast-paced and beautifully observed, Reid tackles timely themes around race and political correctness with wit and verve” – Mail on Sunday
Longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, Kiley Reid’s debut novel focuses on the surprise connection between a young black babysitter and her well-intentioned employer, and reveals the deeper challenges of racial blindness that threaten such relationships. A smart, important book about race and privilege presented in a fast-paced and warm-hearted story.
“In the best moments of Becoming, the miracle of Michelle Obama arises” - Vanity Fair
Reflecting on her life as a child growing up in the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive to her position as First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama unleashes an honest, personal and inspiring story of a true icon whose wisdom and resilience will influence generations.
Why I Don’t Talk To White People About Racism
“A revelation ... Undoubtedly essential” ― Spectator
Winner of multiple awards, Reni Eddo-Lodge’s furious book, a progression of her viral 2014 long-read article, explores the life of a British person of colour – from the fallacy of meritocracy to white-washed feminism, to the eradication of black people from history books, to white privilege and the link between race and class. A vital book for understanding the challenges of being black in modern Britain.