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Britain would not be Britain without very inspiring black British authors. To celebrate Black History Month, I am going to write about the most inspiring black British authors at the moment. Here is what I’m going to look at:
- What is Black History Month?
- What are the themes of Black History Month?
- The most inspiring black British authors
What is Black History Month
Start in the USA
Black History Month started in the USA in the 1920s to commemorate black people. Back then it had a negative name, which I won’t repeat here. It was only 1 week long. Since the 1970s, the Americans have celebrated Black History Month in January and February.
Black History Month in the UK
In the UK, Black History Month was started in 1987 by a Ghanaian councillor in London. Since then, Black History Month has been celebrated all over the UK in the month of October.
What are the themes of Black History Month?
All over the UK, there are different programs and events going on. On the Black History Month website, you can find out about all the different programs and events that have been organised. Organisers are holding some of these events online, due to Covid-19. Since the BLM (Black Lives Matter) protests all over the world in the summer, Black History. Month has taken an even more important role. The organisers of the Black History Month in the UK have said they would like to use this year to make people talk more about the suffering of black people in the UK.
The most inspiring black British authors
The first black British author, who sat earlier this year, at the top of the fiction charts since 2015, Evaristo’s book follows 12 different characters and the struggles they face in society. Evaristo talks very clearly about gender and race in this book. These are two very sensitive issues at the moment, but will also help you in difficult conversations.
This Eddo-Lodge’s debut book from 2017, which made it to the top of non-fiction paperback charts and general book charts. One of her contemporaries said it was a book ‘begging to be written’ and ‘essential’. Here we have the sensitive topics of feminism and racism in British society. This is yet another book for those, who would like to learn about the experiences black British women in the UK.
This book follows the experiences of two characters – Norman, a Jamaican immigrant in the 1950s and Jesse in the 2000s. Despite living in two different centuries, both of them have troubles with their upbringings. This is a very relevant book in the context of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, +) debate going on in Europe at the moment. The writer is one to look out for.
This book is dark comedy. It tells about how hard it is for black people to survive in jobs that are perceived as ‘white dominated’. It can also be classed as ‘self-help gospel’, because it gives advice on how black people can survive in such jobs.
This follows three characters, who go back to Nigeria from London. It is a story of people feeling like aliens in Nigeria. The three characters are connected together by fate. Vocabulary you will find to improve your English includes: love, passion and anxiety.
This is almost semi-autobiographical book. It follows the emigration of two West Indian characters after the Second World War. It also follows two British characters, who house them. But the book is also very historically correct, in the fact that it goes back to the inter-war period, when black people from all over the British Empire were coming to the UK. You will learn a lot of terms to do with identity, love, passion and also, unfortunately, racism.
AnOther magazine online called this a refreshing book in the genre of romance. It tells stories of love starting in ancient times moving to the contemporary examples. The magazine said that the most inspiring part of the book is chapter named ‘Tiara’.
#8. Caleb Femi – Poor*
A book that will be released in November, ‘Poor’ is a mixture of poetry and prose. It is a recognition of Femi’s background and where he grew up in South London. Vocabulary to look out for includes things about joy, desire and longing. Additionally, this book makes Femi one of the most exciting black authors around.
This is Zephaniah’s autobiography from 2018. He tells about his childhood in Birmingham, UK. Furthermore, he also tells us how he made it to the world stage, despite going to prison and being dyslexic. Zephaniah is an inspiring black, British author, because he shows us how people can change their lives around, even if they have a hard childhood.
This book follows characters in Nigeria as well as in London during the 1980s. Furthermore, it goes into a lot of detail about how these characters have anxiety about racism and gentrification. This book took over 20 years to write. Nevertheless, it is a powerful and poignant debut.
As you can see, the most inspiring black British authors are also some of the most exciting authors in the UK at the moment. Additionally, there are lot of reasons to read their books, for example to understand the situation of black, British people in the UK and minority ethnic people, in general, in the world.
Are you looking for other ways to improve your reading skills? Then look at my previous post on the best comic books to improve your English