The murder of US George Floyd on the 25 May 2020 has sparked a global Black Lives Matter (BLM) response. People around the world are currently protesting against racism and white supremacy, after the 46-year old black man was murdered on camera by a white police officer who continued to kneel on his neck despite his pleas for his life.
Police brutality and institutionalised racism is a prevalent problem in the US, and many of us look to ‘The States’ in anguish as we see George Floyd’s name join Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, and Philando Castille. This anguish has also, justifiably, put British racism back on the agenda. Although the UK police force rarely hits the headlines for using this level of lethal force on black citizens, British racism is still just as institutionalised and just as deadly. In Britain, guns are replaced with discriminatory policing, longer sentences, racism in education, employment bias, higher risk of death caused by COVID-19, and sometimes wrongful detention and deportation. We too have a long list of names, Hubert Howard, Richard Stewart, Mark Duggan, Anthony Walker, Zahid Mubarek, Christopher Alder, Kingsley Burrell, Darren Cumberbatch, Stephen Lawrence. Each and every name failed by Britain in its sheer complacence to prevent racism from ending or ruining their lives.
Such experiences, that are now being discussed on BBC News, Good Morning Britain, and other prime time news stations, are regular occurrences that many of us know all too well about.
The racial slurs.
The ‘go back to your own country’. (wherever that may be)
The can I touch your hair?
The ‘although you had all the relevant experience and qualifications, you just aren’t the right fit for the job’.
The flash of police lights and catching yourself wonder ‘what have I apparently done this time’.
The banana peel thrown at your head on the school bus.
The lack of positive black figures in any of your high school history classes.
The stares that you get when you try to profess that William Wilberforce was not the sole reason that slavery was abolished.
The ‘you’ve just got a chip on your shoulder’.
The I’m not racist, but…
The list goes on, and on, and on.
The BLM movement has rightfully caused a mass discussion about both overt and covert forms of British racism, from workplace microaggressions, to hate crimes. But with discussion comes interest, and with interest comes a demand for resources. This demand for resources means that many of our best loved authors and books on racism are now sold out. If you, like me, look to literature to educate yourself on all forms of racism and bigotry, the thought of being unable to replenish your bookshelves may have filled you with dread.
But luckily, there are a number of free resources online to educate people on issues such as colonialism, British racism, police brutality, or to empower them through black feminism.
Free Ebook – In the shadow of Powell – by Shirin Hirsch
50% off Ebook – Life after Grenfell – Edited by Edited by Dan Bulley, Jenny Edkins, Nadine El-Enany
Reduced Ebook (£4.99) – Superior by Angela Saini
Free Ebook – Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850-1954 – by Stephanie Y. Evans
Free Ebook – When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir – by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Free Ebook – The Hate U Give (extended Sampler) – by Angie Thomas
Free Ebook – The History of Mary Prince A West Indian Slave – By Mary prince
Free Ebook – Bwana Kidogo: Scenes from a colonial childhood – By Chris Durrant
Free Ebook – Young, Female and Black Kindle Edition – by Safia Mirza
Reduced Ebook (£2.99) – Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible – by Adegoke, Yomi, and Elizabeth Uviebinené.
Reduced Ebook (£2.99) – How To Be an Antiracist – by Ibram X. Kendi
Verso books are offering a 50% discount on books written by Black authors