Like many of us, as the black lives matters movement swept through our social media feeds and news outlets I quickly decided that expanding my knowledge through reading would be a first step towards my anti-racism learning.

My initial list comprised of non-fiction works, I admit that I don't read enough non-fiction, and so my list grew and grew and I committed to educating myself through reading fact over fiction. 

But then, I came across this article written by Girl, Woman, Other author Bernardine Evaristo in Vogue about how 'literature can foster and express our shared humanity'. Bernardine rallies for a diverse literary culture and passionately talks about broadening the narrative of who we are in Britain ~ something she achieves so wonderfully in her Booker Prize-winning novel.

She says "we know people who read fiction are more empathetic because they are well-practised in stepping into the shoes of fictional characters who are different from themselves". 

So, while I'll be reading plenty of non-fiction, I will also be expanding my bookshelves over the course of the year (and beyond) with novels, written by black authors, and I urge you to do the same. 

Lastly, I loved an idea I heard on the High Low podcast this week about creating a book collective between friends, not necessarily to share your reading (although, that would be good too) but so you can each buy a book, read it, then pass it on through the group. That way you get access to many books without the expense. 


Here's the list: 

so you want to talk about race book Brit(ish) book Girl, Woman, Other
Black listed The girl with the louding voice Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race
What we lose Queenie I know why the caged bird sings
My sister the serial killer Malcolm X Grand union
The color purple how to be an antiracist An american marriage
white fragility black and british the underground railroad
June 11, 2020 — Alice Paling