A list of Revolutionary Black Books for our Time
Assata Shakur Autobiography
This book is 390 pages long, it is a vital read for anyone who wants to have a better understanding of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. It is one of the most powerful and moving books I have ever read, and the way in which Assata slots help life into different chapters all while expresses the plight of Black people globally, is nothing short of phenomenal. You can purchase it here.
2. Black For A Cause Not Just Because by Winston N. Trew This book focuses on Black British revolutionary activism in the 1970s. It talks about the trial of the Oval 4 ( only just last year the conviction was overturned- 40 years later) and the black grassroots movements that were around at the time. It is a really great way of understanding some of the Black movements that were ground at this time, and the ways in which they operated. You can purchase here.
3. Huey P. Netwon Revoluntary Suicide This book is a true gem from the Co-founder of the Black Panther Party. You get a holistic understanding of Huey’s political understanding and how he was able to reach out to people in his community. It is perfect for those thinking about the long-term mobilisation of community- based projects, or those that want to explore more African -American history.
4. Doing Nothing Is Not An Option ‘ The Radical Lives of Eric & Jessica Huntley’ by Margaret Andrews This book gives you a global colonial context to the Black liberation movement. The writer focuses on this power couple from Guayana, and showcases the key role activism played in helping them change the communities they found themselves in- because of British imperialism and colonisation. 5. Stuart Hall- Familiar Stranger In this book, Stuart Hall explains and expands on his personal life through the lens of history. He looks into the history of colorism and pigmentocracy in Jamaica. The legacy of the British Empire is a theme that is found throughout the book; he later explores his life in the UK. This book can be purchased here. 6. Malcolm X’s Autobiography This book is highly respected and sort after generation after generation. It was said to be the book that even changed Fela Kuti. This book has been guiding Black intellectual thought and production since it’s inception. This book speaks for itself and I would urge you to take time and really study this text gifted to us by Malcolm X. Please purchase here or on Amazon. 7. Here to Stay Here To Fight a ‘Race Today’ Anthology Race Today, is the journal of the revolutionary Race Today Collective- a magazine about the struggle for racial justice in Britain. Placing race, sex and social class at the core of its analysis, it featured in its articles and pamphlets contributions from some of the leading writers and activists of the time: C. L. R. James, Darcus Howe, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Walter Rodney, Bobby Sands, Farrukh Dhondy and Mala Sen and many more. This book is key to getting a better understanding of UK Black organisations and their global connections. Please purchase here. 8. Angela Davis’s Autobiography This book gives you an in-depth understanding of Angela Davis and in particular, looks at the Soledad Brothers trial. It is a reflection of her work in the liberation in the US and globally. Please purchase here
9. Walter Rodney ‘ How Europe Underdeveloped Africa’ Walter Rodney in this book explains how Africa was deliberately exploited and underdeveloped by European colonial regimes. He explains why all Africans ( in a Pan- African sense) must understand the capitalist system and work toward its overthrow. Please purchase here.
10. Inadmissible Evidence By Evelyn A. Williams This book is a reflection of the writer's own life as a Black lawyer in America. She explores the intersection of Race and Class in America and how her thorough understanding of this, aided her when representing her niece Assata Shakur. She pays close attention to the ‘personal being the political’ as she explains to the readers what life is like as an African-American.
11. Decolonising the Mind by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o Decolonising the Mind is a collection of essays about language and its constructive role in national culture, history, and identity. The book, which advocates for linguistic decolonization, is one of Ngũgĩ’s best-known and most-cited non-fiction publications, helping to cement him as a pre-eminent voice theorizing the “language debate” in post-colonial studies. It explores concepts around centring blackness in all spheres of life and challenges the reader to disconnect from inherited westernised norms. Purchase here.
I would also like to add the Pluto Press is having a half-price sale on BAME authors until the 21st of June 2020. I would urge you all to check out some of the books on there too.