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Look through your bookshelves and assess whether you need to diversify the voices that you’re reading. My guess is you probably do – that we all do. When browsing my own shelves as a former English Literature student, I realised how little we read from black authors over those three years. The events of last summer were the biggest wake-up call many white people had encountered in recent years in terms of realising how rife racism is – even down to the voices we read and prioritise.
Reading work from a range of diverse voices can only better our understanding of each other and of plight’s we might not otherwise consider. But that being said, work by black writers isn’t there just to educate the white reader. There’s so much joy and celebration in these book picks, as well as heavier reads that call for deeper reflection and then action.
If you’re looking for your next unputdownable read, I think you’ll find it here. There’s Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, which I’ve been recommending to anyone who will listen since I finished it, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo whose skillful portraying of womanhood had me crying in the work kitchen, and classics like poems by Langston Hughes.
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