With the #BlackLivesMatter movement this week, it’s been a tough and emotional week for our Black friends. Like many others this week, I’ve taken a step back from posting my own content and using my platforms to boost Black voices and learn about the pain, injustice and prejudices that they face everyday.
A lot of us are confronted with the reality that we need to learn and do better. What does that mean for us, and how do we get involved?
If you want to learn more, this video by Emmanuel Acho is an incredibly moving piece from the perspective of a Black person, who gently explains what it’s like in his shoes. It’s definitely worth a watch if you have 10 minutes spare to listen and learn.
Ways to help with #BlackLivesMatter
As an Australian, I often hear “it only happens in the US” and it’s an “American problem”, but when you look at our own backyard, it’s clear that similar problems exist in our own vicinity. Protests for #BlackLivesMatter are happening in Australia as well, and I hope that this momentum doesn’t stop.
- Ways You Can Help carrd provides many useful links to help, no matter where you are.
- Ways to Support the Black Lives Movement in Australia with useful links to petitions, charities and protests happening down under.
What can you do as a reader?
Diversity in a books is not a new thing, but we often see peaks and troughs in the interest that people have in reading diverse books. The more demand that we can place on supporting Black creators and reading diverse stories, the more demand this creates down the publishing chain. Readers need to create that demand – and publishers need to create more opportunities for diverse creators. By reading diversely and including more Black authors on our reading lists, we will not only learn more and about their stories, but also realise how we can do better as allies.
Follow Black creators, support their work, buy and read their books. Recommend them. And read them, all year long.
Here are some threads of Black creators in the book community:
5 Books to Read by Black Authors
While I recognise I need to add more books by Black authors on my TBR, and to dedicate myself to reading & reviewing them throughout the year, there are some recommendations that I would like to share by Black authors:
1. Do You Dream of Terra-Two by Temi Oh is a sci-fi novel about teenage astronauts being launched into space to form a new settlement. I loved this book so much, it was quietly introspective, beautifully written, and covered a found family within the astronauts as well. Check out my review here.
2. The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin is an adult science fiction set in New York, where five people represent each borough and each have their own powers to defend the city from a mysterious invader. There’s a lot of political and social justice commentary here which I enjoyed, and it was just so fascinating. Check out my review here.
3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a must read when it comes to police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement and the injustices that Black people face everyday. I loved Starr’s voice in this one as she talks about her ‘hood life and how she needs to act totally different when attending her private school. Check out my review here.
4. Children of Blood & Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is a powerful YA fantasy inspired by West-African mythology, about a diviner with Reaper magic who traverses her lands, gathering support to overthrow the oppressive world they live in. Check out my review here.
5. The Wicker King by K. Ancrum is a fascinating YA book about two boys who are entirely co-dependant on one another, with one descending into a dream world that overlays reality. This book was dark, mysterious and queer as well which I totally fell in love with. Check it out on Goodreads here. (I just realised I totally forgot to post my review for this on the blog, so I’ll make sure to schedule it soon!).
For more book recommendations, check out 45 Best Black Young Adult Novels to Add to your TBR here.
What are some book recommendations that you can recommend, or some that you have recently added to your TBR?
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