Black Lives Matter learning materials: Books, Articles, and Films, Documentaries and Television

Learning materials

Credit: This list of learning resources was originally compiled by two inspiring young ladies, Gabby Menezes-Forsythe and Mirriam Bennun. It has since been updated and added to by many members of the BAME community, including our colleagues Isabella Mascarenhas, DeAuntra Sennet and Anthony Randall. Its purpose is to provide empowering and enlightening information to help foster open conversation and better understanding of our histories and how they form our respective viewpoints.

Books

Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch: An excellent analysis of race and identity within the UK. Outlines the subtleties of racial alienation that people of colour face.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge: Eddo-Lodge discusses the frustrations and complexities of demanding explanations of racism from Black People, and how often those discussions are co-opted

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad: ‘An indispensable resource for white people who want to challenge white supremacy but don’t know where to begin’ Robin DiAngelo

Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri: A deep dive in to the complicated history of Black hair and the shame, pride, culture and politics it is associated with. A really good reference point for those that may have been baffled by conversations around ‘black fishing’ and cultural appropriation and the damage it causes.

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall: An excellent book about the failure of mainstream feminism to represent black women properly. I’m sure you will have heard the term white feminism, and this book accessibly and concisely presents an indictment of that ideology.

Natives by Akala: Part memoir but sociological study of growing up black in the 1980s and 1990s. Akala is so articulate and he writes and speaks extremely accessibly, and references the British colonial legacy and how it explains Britain’s own brand of racism.

The Heart of the Race by Beverly Bryan, Stella Dadzie and Suzanne Scafe: These authors were instrumental during the black feminist movement in Britain and founded the Brixton Black Women’s group, later known as the Organisation for Women of African and Asian Decent. The book itself focuses on the lives of black British women in the 1950s-80s.

We Need New Names* NoViolet Bulawayo Bildungsroman: shortlisted for the Booker Prize by a Zimbabwean author talking about life as an African immigrant in America and life in Zimbabwe (formerly British Colony known as Rhodesia) really just a Very Good Read

Americanah* by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Looks at existing as a black person between the US, Nigeria (former colony) and the UK and the societal differences!

How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston DEFINITELY the most accessible book on the African American existence, written by a comedian it discusses all the stereotypes African Americans face and the uncomfortable situations they face every day living under white supremacy

I Do Not Come to You by Chance* by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani: Very funny, accessible and well written book looking at coming of age in an education obsessed society like Nigeria and how young people end up in the world of the famous email scams • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead Pulitzer prize winning novel in the tradition of Toni Morrison about two slaves in Georgia and the Underground Railroad

Films, Documentaries and Television

When They See Us on Netflix: A fictionalised account of the trials of the real Central Park Five. Depicts the reality of a racialised legal system and the damage it inflicts.

Thirteenth on Netflix: A film that does a deep dive into the injustice of the USA incarceration system and how its history is rooted in modern slavery and denial of civil rights

The Black Panthers: Vaguards of the revolution: In depth documentary about The Black Panther organisation

Policing the Police on Vice: https://video.vice.com/en_uk/video/policing-the-police-the-copwatchmovement/5bb3cfb3be4077755f429ccc

Dear White People on Netflix: More light hearted, but touches on important topics surrounding race on college campuses in engaging ways, the original film is definitely a better watch than the series

Contrapoints ‘America is still Racist’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWwiUIVpmNY

I am not your Negro: Excellent BAFTA award winning documentary on James Baldwin and the Civil Rights movement, narrated by Samuel L Jackson

Famalam: A comedy sketch show currently on BBC three, it makes (painfully accurate) jokes about Black British life such as our lack of representation on mainstream tv, the boastful aunties at hall parties, grime culture, the day to day stereotypes we face and also covers Black British history!

Chewing Gum: BAFTA winning sitcom about a young Beyonce loving woman in London and her experience grappling with religion and sexuality

Newspaper Articles

100 ways to take action against racism today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2020/05/29/george-floyd-deathdonations-resources-justice-petitions/5282539002/

Why you need to stop saying All Lives Matter: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/politics/a27075028/black-livesmatter-explained/

Books about race flying off the shelves: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2020/06/04/booksrace-flying-off-shelves-following-george-floyds-death/3143169001/

Further learning resources will be posted regularly, so please check back for new posts.