BLACK LIVES MATTER: BOOKS TO READ

Hello my loves,

Following on from my lastย postย I thought I would share some black book recommendations to help you further educate yourselves on the current movement and why it’s so important. As an avid reader and someone who’s learnt endless things through books including a lot about racism, this is a great way to further educate yourselves and learn many important things that you need to know. It is not the job of black people to educate you on your own ignorance therefore you must go out of your way to become aware of these things and learn about them.

Again, I was unsure how to write this post as my voice is not the one that needs to be supported right now. I’m still trying to educate myself every day on how to handle these situations so that I can be as productive and supportive as possible – I was unsure whether to write about these books myself (as this is not about me) or just provide a list with synopsises. I wanted to put more time and effort into this post rather than just providing a list I could have copied and pasted from anywhere so, the first half are my personal recommendations and therefore there is some of my commentary included, but that is absolutely not the main focus here nor do I believe it to be. The second half is a list of books and recommendations from black readers, which you should be paying attention to.

Here are some book recommendations that are more than capable of getting you started with the education process.

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The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

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One of the first books I always recommend whenever this topic comes up. The most incredible read – so informative and emotive, you really get a sense of what it’s like to live in such a terrifying world where you’re killed for existing, simply because of the colour of your skin. It’s a huge wakeup call and a huge eye opener – when I’d finished, I put the book down and just thought wow, wow wow wow. The whole thing was just absolutely brilliant and I recommend everyone to read it at least once in their lifetime – I did a whole post dedicated to this book and the Black Lives Matter movement after I’d read it because I just needed to talk about it and give it the recognition it so truly deserves. Angie Thomas is amazing.

Synopsis: “Expanded from a short story she wrote in college in reaction to the policeย shooting of Oscar Grant. The book isย narrated by Starr Carter, a 16-year-old black girl from a poor neighbourhood who attends an elite private school in a predominantly white, affluent part of the city. Starr becomes entangled in a national news story after she witnesses a white police officer shoot and kill her childhood friend, Khalil. She speaks up about the shooting in increasingly public ways, and social tensions culminate in a riot after a grand jury decides not to indict the police officer for the shooting.”

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On The Come Up – Angie Thomas

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Again, Angie Thomas is brilliant. I was in the middle of reading this one during the horrific death of George Floyd, and it really just brought it home. It was like a huge smack in the face. Yet again, Angie Thomas has written a brilliant story about race and the struggles black people face – what it’s like to live in a world where you have to fight to be heard, where violence is around every corner, in a world of prejudice where the news and media constantly targets black people and paints them in a bad light as thugs and criminals. In a world where media praises white people and calls them heroes for “acting” against the “violent black criminals”, as if they are some kind of disease that needs to be wiped out. This book is absolutely brilliant and you’re a fool if you don’t read it.

Synopsis:It tells the story of Bri, a sixteen-year old rapper hoping to fill the shoes of her father and ‘make it’ as an underground hip-hop legend. Overnight, Bri becomes an internet sensation after posting a rap hit which sparks controversy. As Bri defeats the odds to ‘make it’ she battles controversy to achieve her dreams.”

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Becoming – Michelle Obama

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What can I say about Michelle Obama other than the fact I think she may be God herself. The most incredible, elegant and beautiful woman, this autobiography is everything. I think it’s incredibly obvious why you should read this book – so please do.

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Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo

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Recognised as one of Barack Obama’s top books of 2019, we follow the lives of 12 (mostly) black women as we learn about their experiences with feminism, politics, patriarchy, success, relationships and sexuality – “the novel explores how race, sexuality, gender, history and economic stratification intersect to define the experiences of the women in the novel.”

Bernadine Evaristo says: “I wanted to put presence into absence. I was very frustrated that black British women werenโ€™t visible in literature. I whittled it down to 12 characters โ€“ I wanted them to span from a teenager to someone in their 90s, and see their trajectory from birth, though not linear. There are many ways in which otherness can be interpreted in the novel โ€“ the women are othered in so many ways and sometimes by each other. I wanted it to be identified as a novel about women as well.”

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The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd

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I was unsure whether to include this one as this was written by a white author, and is one of 2 white-written books in this post. However, it’s one of my favourite books of all time and is incredibly beautiful, so I thought an extra book in this list couldn’t hurt.

The Secret Life of Bees is a novel set in 1964 South Carolina. It’s about a 14 year old white girl, Lily, who lost her mother young and is therefore cared for by a black maid, Rosaleen, instead. Rosaleen is an independent and powerful woman who stands up for what she believes in – she is arrested for pouring “snuff juice” on three white men after they racially abuse her and Lily breaks her out of the hospital so they can run away together. They meet three black sisters who take them in, and the story follows their journey.

There’s a lot of history and race throughout this book – slavery, the struggles black people face…especially in 1960s America. It’s a very powerfully black, feminist book and it was a beautiful story. I think it’s something everyone should read.

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Moon Women – Pamela Duncan

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As above, this book is also written by a white author however, I did want to include this one here too as I thought it was a beautiful read, and I still think about it sometimes.

This Novel is set in North Carolina and follow the lives of the Moon women – black, powerful and strong. It follows three generations of the women in the family and their struggles, kind of similar to Girl, Woman, Other but in novel format.

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More Books

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forcoloredgirlsbookclub on IG

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wellreadblackgirl on IG

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sammisaysread on IG

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blackgirlthatreads on IG

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bookishandblack on IG

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asbthebookworm on IG

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

The Blood of Emmett Till – Timothy B. Tyson

I Am Not Your Negro – James Baldwin

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

The Colour Purple – Alice Walker

Where Do We Go From Here – Martin Luther King Jr.

We Cast A Shadow – Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Between The World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates

Look Both Ways – Jason Reynolds

How to Be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi

Lot – Bryan Washington

We live for the We – Dani McClain

Open City – Teju Cole

wow, no thank you. – Samantha Irby

Wild Beauty – Ntozake Shange

Real Life – Brandon Taylor

Men We Reaped – Jesmyn Ward

Salvage The Bones – Jesmyn Ward

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker – Damon Young

Hood Feminism – Mikki Kendall

Eloquent Rage – Brittney Cooper

Looking for Lorraine – Imani Perry

Freedom is a Constant Struggle – Angela Y Davis

How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America – Kiese Laymon

Queenie – Candace Carty-Williams

The Poet X – Elizabeth Acevedo

With the Fire on High – Elizabeth Acevedo

Unapologetic – Charlene A. Carruthers

The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead

Good Talk – Mira Jacob

Sister Outsider – Audre Lorde

Your Silence Will Not Protect You – Audre Lorde

Locking Up Our Own – James Forman Jr.

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Another masterpost of books to readย here.

The list is endless. I will now be starting a BLM series on my blog where I focus on Black lives, Black history and how we can all help to end the insufferable racism and inhumane treatment these people did nothing to deserve. We all must do better and I will be using this platform to educate not only myself, but hopefully my readers too, on this movement and how we can change the world for the better because of it.

To sign petitions, text, call, learn about protesting, educate yourself, vote and donate, clickย here.

blacklivesmatter.com

All my love,

Chloe .xx

30 thoughts on “BLACK LIVES MATTER: BOOKS TO READ

  1. brunettelondoner says:

    This is an amazing post Chloe! I’m really trying to diversify my reading- and this is a great list! I haven’t read Becoming yet, but I’ve watched the Netflix documentary and it’s incredible! Michelle Obama is such an inspiration! I think I might read the Secret Life of Bees next- sounds like a beautiful book! This has just shown me how many books I have yet to discover and I’m excited to start reading them- thank you for sharing! ๐Ÿงก ๐Ÿงก

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Thank you so much! I’m trying to diversify mine too and I think little recommendations can go a long way, especially if you’re unsure of where to start! The Secret Life of Bees is really such a beautiful book, one of my favourites – I definitely recommend it! I’m sure you’ll love it ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—x

      Like

  2. seaofwordsx says:

    Such an important post! โค๏ธ I’m also going to read more books about black lives. Reading is the best way to educate yourself. I would love to read the books from Angie Thomas and of course the one from Michelle Obama. It’s so good of you to use this platform to educate yourself and all your readers too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hannah says:

    I had completely forgotten about The Secret Life of Bees until I read the synopsis and suddenly started having flashbacks to the movie. Weird how you can completely forget about a book or movie and then suddenly everything comes flashing back in a moment!
    Thank you for sharing this list of books – there are so many that I have not read that I would like to read. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Hahaha I remember you saying something like that to me before! The Secret Life of Bees really is one of my favourite books, I just thought it was so beautiful. Thank you for reading this post Hannah .xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kathnotkat says:

    Ahhh lots of books here I will be putting on my list!! I am also someone who likes to learn through reading and I can’t wait to be reading more and more books to educate myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Keira says:

    This is an incredible post!!! Iโ€™ve read the hate u give and I feel like I had the same reaction as you did. It really puts you in the shoes of people who experience the worst extent of fear and racism in this country. I also read becoming and I agree Michelle Obama is so elegant and I enjoyed every second of her book. I am saving this post for future reference I havenโ€™t read the other books but I definitely will now!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. infinitelyadaydreamer says:

    Thank you for this Chloe. Literature is a brilliant way to drive a point home and connect to so many people. I’ve read a few of the books mentioned here and found myself deep in thought every time. I’m aiming to read a few more in the coming weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kojo says:

    This is fantastic.

    I am actually guilty. I have not been doing a good job of supporting Black authors and creators. I need to do better. Thank you so much for this list. I will definitely refer to it when looking for new books.

    You are such an amazing person, advocating for Black Lives Matter and equal rights. Thank you so much for all you do ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพโค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      I’m exactly the same, I need to do more to support their platform and start consciously reading books by black authors as right now I’d say 85% of my shelf is white! Hope you’re well Kojo โค๏ธx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Gracie says:

    Angie Thomas is honestly phenomenal and The Secret Life Of Bees is one of my all time fav books too, I’ve read it countless times. I’m hoping to get Where Do We Go From Here by MLK soon. Noughts And Crosses by Malorie Blackman is my absolute favourite series ever, nothing even comes close, and I would 1000% recommend that one to anyone looking to become more educated and see life from a different perspective xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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