This collection presents powerful, transformative works of non-fiction on the subjects of race, racism, and demarginalizing history. These are books that educate, illuminate, and set the record straight. Books that expose injustices, and give voice to contemporary counternarratives. In short, these are books with the power to change the status quo.

Hot off the press, we have to shpout about This Thread of Gold by Catherine Joy White: this incisive, joyous celebration of Black female resistance showcases notable figures alongside the author’s personal journey. Traversing continents across time to the present-day, it simmers with resilience, recreation and reclamation.

We must recommend Nicola Rollock’s The Racial Code - Tales of Resistance and Survival. With scholarly clarity, this transformative work sees Rollock, Professor of Social Policy and Race at King's College London and an esteemed racial justice expert, share lived experiences of the contemporary costs of racism while unpacking the racial code that perpetuates it.

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge is another absolute must-read for anyone seeking deeper knowledge of Black British history, and for readers who are seeking to understand systemic white privilege. Poignantly personal and steeped in research, it’s a stirring call-to-action.

Also enlightening and rousing, Layla Saad’s Me and White Supremacy presents readers with ways to dismantle internalised white privilege so they can stop harming people of colour. Sparked by an Instagram shout-out for people to admit their racist behaviours, the resulting book is packed with uncomfortable admissions framed by the truth that awareness engenders action, and action engenders change. 

History and the racist legacies of Britain’s empire and Western Imperialism are unpacked with engaging aplomb in Kehinde Andrew’s The New Age of Empire, Afua Hirsch’s Brit(ish) and Akala’s Natives – Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire. If you’re looking for readable, comprehensive coverage of Black British history, David Olusoga’s Black and British is essential reading. There are children’s versions of this, too.

Enlightening, inspiring personal insights come courtesy of Beryl Gilroy’s Black Teacher. After moving to Britain from British Guyana in 1958 to study Child Development, and after being overlooked for teaching positions and faced with racist colour bars, she rose to become Camden’s first black headteacher in 1969. Gilroy’s resilience and commitment to her calling are staggering.

Finally, for another impactful autobiographical account of institutionalised racism, Parm Sandhu’s Black and Blue tells of her thirty-year career in the Met, during which time she became a Met chief superintendent, yet found herself vilified and confronted with accusations of gross misconduct when she spoke out against racism and discrimination.