October is Black History Month, which has been running in the UK since 1987. To celebrate the 31st anniversary we have a selection of writing exploring the contemporary social and political world. Our booksellers introduce some of their favourites below.
Back to Black by Kehinde Andrews
An engaging, concise and clear-sighted history of black radicalism from Garvey to Black Lives Matter, travelling through Rastafarianism and the Nation of Islam to Assata and Tupac Shakur. Placing movements within the context of international politics and capitalism, Andrews questions whether justice and freedom can ever be achived when racism is embedded so deeply within these systems. Accessible, authoritative and engrossing, I'd urge anyone with an interest in the struggle to overcome racism to read this right now.
Heather, Campaigns Manager
Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith
Queer, black and HIV +, Danez Smith's voice is one of the most exciting and essential in contemporary poetry. This collection blew me away. Almost every line led me to exclaim, "this is good, really good". There isn't a poem here that fails to live up to the extraordinary praise heaped upon Smith's work. That he manages to pull off a moving (yes, it made me cry) poem about gay dating apps is reason enough to pick up this collection.
James, Charing Cross Road
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