I’m really saying goodbye to my anxiety for the five seconds it takes for me to post this. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that. I’m gonna do it.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
I’m pretty sure I learnt more from this book about the history of race and racism in Britain than my entire time in education. While I was reading, I was so angry. I was so angry that the events and statistics Reni Eddo-Lodge writes about are not common knowledge, left out of our curriculums and media discussions so that they are not examined on the scale they need to be. This information shouldn’t have to be sought out, but be ingrained into us from childhood like the wives of goddamn dead kings are.
Reni Eddo-Lodge also writes about how the fight against racism is usually centred on the US, and I realised that that was true for my knowledge – though again, even US racism was not explored in my school.
I cannot put it better than the author and wouldn’t try to:
‘To assume there was no civil rights movement in the UK is not just untrue, it does a disservice to our black history, leaving gaping holes where the story of progress should be. Black Britain deserves a context.’
That Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race should be required reading is an understatement, and the bare minimum.
Check out Reni Eddo-Lodge’s website!
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin
Ohh, these books. What can I even say about them?
I’ve written a full review for this trilogy that will be out next week so I won’t go into detail here, but every book in this trilogy has shoulder-barged its way to the top of my favourite books list. They didn’t even need to put up a fight.
You can see why these books are multi award-winning and beloved amongst our community. They deserve every word of their praise, and we don’t deserve a single word of their MAJESTY. Book ROYALTY.
Check out N.K. Jemisin’s website!
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
With the Fire on High follows Emoni, an Afro-Puerto Rican teenage girl who has dreams of becoming a professional chef, and is also a mother to her two-year-old daughter.
I loved this book with literally every part of me.
I sat down and read the whole thing in two sittings, in that kind of stupor that you always want to find yourself in as a reader. You know the kind, when you look up and your eyes blur and the only concept of time you have is the state of the sky outside your window.
Elizabeth Acevedo’s writing is so perfect. It’s beautiful and deep and complex, while still being completely accessible to all ages that fall under the YA umbrella. I’ve got a full review coming up on Friday for this book, so keep an eye out for that, if you’re interested!
Check out Elizabeth Acevedo’s website!
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
If you read this book, which I highly recommend you do, you cannot go wrong with the audiobook. I listened to this memoir in one sitting and was just totally enraptured by George M. Johnson’s narration. I’ve never read a memoir that flows so effortlessly and manages to move you with such grace. It really did read like fiction, in that it was so easy to fall into.
This memoir is so important, exploring things like race and sexuality, gender identity and the deep impact of family. It was totally beautiful and I can’t wait to read more from this author.
Check out George M. Johnson’s website!
How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
This was the final book I read in June, taking it at a slower pace than I usually would and stretching it out over the month as it was a book that I wanted to sit with and absorb and make notes on.
Being an antiracist wasn’t a concept I was aware of before reading this book, equating many of the elements of antiracism with simply not being racist. This book clearly explored why the term antiracism and practicing this is what is needed from white people. To be antiracist is to actively oppose and fight against racism, instead of not being actively racist – which is just not enough. To be antiracist requires action rather than merely not causing harm. Dr Ibram X. Kendi writes this book in a very accessible but firm and clear way, combining his experiences growing up as a Black child and a young Black man, with wider academic examination.
Again, this is another book that should be on schools’ required reading lists. In my opinion, it is more than accessible enough for young teenagers, even more so as the focus of teacher-led discussions.
Check out Ibram X. Kendi’s website!
Have I got the hang of it again? I really loved writing this post, and the reviews I mentioned that should be up over the next couple of weeks. They’re all written, it’s just a case of pushing myself to publish them. Saying my confidence in my writing has nose-dived implies that I had any to begin with, but it really has. Hopefully this is a first step in trying to build it up to a level where hitting the ‘publish’ button doesn’t make me want to shut my laptop and never open it again.
Have you read any of the books I mentioned or are they on your TBR? Let me know and we can chat!
Thank you so much for reading, it really means a lot.