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Following latest Government guidance most Essex libraries are temporarily closed to the public. Sixteen sites remain open to offer Registration Services and public computer access by appointment only.

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Books to help you understand more about race and racism

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10 June 2020

If you want to understand more about race, racism and experiences of racism, this list of books may help. All the titles are available to borrow in e-book and e-audio format with your library card. There’s a mix of fiction, non-fiction and titles for children and young adults too.

The e-books and e-audiobooks are available from Borrowbox. The e-comic titles are available from RBdigital.

They're free and it's easy to borrow them using your library card!

e-books - non-fiction

Black Tudors: African Lives in Renaissance England by Miranda Kaufmann 

Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga

Civilisations First Contact: The Cult of Progress by David Olusoga

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi

MLK on “The Other America” and “Black Power”

How to be Black by Baratunde Thurston

Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism by Robin Diangelo

We Need to Talk About Race: Understanding the Black Experience in White Majority Churches by Ben Lindsay

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Mouth Full of Blood by Toni Morrison

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

I am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck and James Baldwin

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

The Underground Railroad Records: Narrating the Hardships, Hairbreadth Escapes, and Death Struggles of Slaves in their Efforts from Freedom by William Still

They Don’t Teach This by Eniola Aluko

The End of White World Supremacy by Malcolm X

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Afropean by Johny Pitts 

e-books - fiction

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou

Beloved by Toni Morrison

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu

Hold by Michael Donkor

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Lot by Bryan Washington

Don't Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

e-audio - non-fiction

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi

“Kill the Black One First”: A Memoir by Michael Fuller

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Mouth Full of Blood by Toni Morrison

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Racism by Alana Lentin

Stamped by Jason Reynolds

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Afropean by Johny Pitts

Don't Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown

Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch

The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

e-audio - fiction

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Delaney's Desert Sheikh by Brenda Jackson

The Travelers by Regina Porter

A Brother's Honor byBrenda Jackson

e-books - Young Adult

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman 

Nought Forever by Malorie Blackman

Cross Fire by Malorie Blackman

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon 

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo 

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

e-audio - Young Adult

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman 

Cross Fire by Malorie Blackman

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

e-books - Childrens

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women by Elena Favilli

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

Oh My Gods by Alexandra Sheppard

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi 

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis 

A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée

e-audio - Childrens

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

e-comics

Barack Obama: The Comic Book Biography

March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell

Black Panther