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Anti-Racist Reading List: Black-Centred Fiction

In 2020 the Booker prize announced its most diverse shortlist ever, with four writers of colour among its six authors. When discussing the shortlist, Margaret Busby, who became the first Black woman publisher in Britain when she co-founded Allison and Busby in 1967, said “[t]he best novels often prepare our societies for valuable conversations, and not just about the inequities and dilemmas of the world – whether in connection with climate change, forgotten communities, old age, racism, or revolution when necessary – but also about how magnificent the interior life of the mind, imagination and spirit is, in spite of circumstance”.

In order to challenge racist orthodoxies, literature must not only be difficult; it must be joyful. We must see Black protagonists who are agents of their own destiny, who are complex and imperfect, who are not only concerned with race but who experience the full range of human experiences, as do the white protagonists who have dominated literature since time immemorial

With this in mind, our next reading list celebrates Black-centred fiction.

Anti-Racist Literature

Black-Centred Fiction

The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

Native Son, Richard Wright

Beloved, Toni Morrison

Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams

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