Black Authors: 11 Great Reads
We’re in the last week of #BlackHistoryMonth! Today, Team Legends in London are here with a whole lineup of book recommendations by Black authors that they’ve personally put together. 📚
Check the list below for your next read…
Books by Black authors, as recommended by Team Legends in London:
1) ‘White Teeth’ by Zadie Smith
– A story of two North London families in the late 20th century linked by an unlikely wartime friendship. It explores race, class, multiculturalism and identity in Britain. It’s a sensational book, really clever and moving.
2) ‘On The Come Up’ by Angie Thomas
– A coming-of-age story about friendship, family, never giving up on your dreams, expressing yourself, and being uniquely you. It’s fierce and a bonus if you like hip-hop.
3) ‘What Momma Left Me’ by Renee Watson
– A touching book that addresses grief, healing, resilience, and love. It’s full of hope as we feel compassion and warmth towards young teenager Serenity.
4) ‘Noughts and Crosses’ by Malorie Blackman
– A truly captivating story of star-crossed lovers in a dystopian London. It explores racism, justice, and forbidden love. Malorie Blackman challenges power systems in the first of an emotional and important series of must-read novels.
5) ‘Queenie’ by Candice Carty-Williams
– A gripping debut novel covering mental health, relationships, friendships, work, politics, and race. It’s a truly great read that takes you through a range of emotions.
6) ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas
– A stunning novel expanded from a short story of Angie Thomas’ that she wrote in reaction to the police murder of Oscar Grant. It’s completely captivating and explores themes including identity, stereotypes, and justice. It’s a great read that opens up important conversations.
7) ‘Rainbow Milk’ by Paul Mendez
– An intersectional coming-of-age story following a young black gay man with a Jehovah’s Witness upbringing, finding his way in London. It explores race, class, sexuality, freedom, religion, and culture, with both gentleness and wit.
8) ‘The 392’ by Ashley Hickson-Lovence
– A fresh novel set purely on a London Bus travelling from Hoxton to Highbury. The book celebrates diversity and explores a range of charismatic voices — among the chaos of division, gentrification, and the trials and tribulations of inner-city London today.
9) ‘Gold From The Stone’ by Lemn Sissay
– A magical, and beautifully written collection of poems exploring race, family, the care system and much more. It’s full of hope and strength, underpinned by Lemn Sissay’s passion, anger, humanity, and powerful life story.
10) ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe
– A book that explores the culture and complexities of Igbo society, as well as British colonialism. It’s an honest, powerful must-read that has a lot to teach us.
11) ‘Fires Shut Up in My Bones’ by Charles Blow
– A compelling novel that explains black and white isn’t so black and white. This novel is gripping and enlightening when it comes to pressing issues within society.
A special shout-out to Lucia from Team Legends for coordinating this list and pulling it together, and to the whole team for their suggestions! ✨ How many have you read?
I had previously spoken to the City Year team in June 2019 at a recruitment fair at Nottingham Trent University....Read more about "City Year pushes you to become the best possible version of yourself"
Saajidah volunteered in Greater Manchester in 2016, following her A Levels. Through City Year she found her passion for working...Read more about Saajidah Begum, City Year Greater Manchester, 2016-17
Beth was one of the first volunteers to serve in the West Midlands in 2013 and ended up staying on...Read more about Beth Crossfield, City Year West Midlands, 2013-14