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Library Guides

Black History Month

Book Selections 2023

Adele Jones | Invisible Families

Invisible Families is a well-researched report aimed at health professionals and those working in or studying education. The book looks at and evaluates many of the services available to black young people and their families, alongside utilising a black perspective to explore young people’s experiences.

Nelarine Cornelius l Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management is a textbook aimed at students, designed to aid their understanding of the line manager’s responsibilities in human resourcing issues. The book covers the fundamental topics within human resource management, alongside chapters on negotiations, the impact of information technology, and management of workforce diversity.

Sonia Boyce l Shades of Black

Shades of Black presents a history of the 1980s Black Arts Movement through 13 original essays, accompanied by illustrations and artwork from various members of the art community that were an active part of the movement. The essays cover topics such as artistic practice, public funding, and the transnational art market.

Heidi Safia Mirza l Race, Gender and Educational Desire

Through looking at the social consequences of gendered and racial division of black women in schools and universities Race, Gender and Educational Desire explores the intersectionality of race and gender in education. Mirza addresses controversial and challenging questions throughout this book, shining light on the largely debated topics through a new lens of a black feminist framework.

Sophie Orlando l Black British Art: Debates of Western Art History

Black British Art introduces readers to a long-marginalised movement of British Black art work during the 1980s. Orlando discusses new narratives for canonical artworks of the movement and provides an analysis of Western Art History.

Beverley Bryan l The Heart of the Race: Black Women's Lives in Britain

Byan is a co-author on the award-winning book The Heart of the Race, which is now seen as a key text for studying Black British history and women’s studies. The book reclaims and records black women’s place in British history, through exploring their day-to-day struggles, experiences of education, and the personal and political battles they have fought to preserve a sense of identity and community.

Deborah Elizabeth Whaley l Black Women in Sequence: Re-Inking Comics, Graphic Novels and Anime

Black Women in Sequence is the first detailed investigation of Black women’s participation in comic art, which examines the representation, production, and transnational circulation of women of African descent in the sequential art world. The book addresses comic book history from the first appearance of a Black female superheroine in 1971 to today.

Barbara Ransby l Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the 21st Century

In Making All Black Lives Matter, Ransby interviewed more than a dozen principal organisers and activists of the Black Lives Matter movement to explore the roots of the movement and how it burst into the national political landscape after 2012. As such, the book is one of the first comprehensive overviews of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Safiya Noble and Brendesha M. Tynes l The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online

In The Intersectional Internet, Noble and Tynes question the organisation of social relations that are embedded in digital technologies and look to understand how power relations are organised through technologies. The insightful book is aimed at those studying courses in Sociology and Psychology.

Octavia E. Butler l Dawn

Dawn is the first book in Butler’s Xenogenesis Trilogy. It is described as a hopeful and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic novel, which explores gender and race through the eyes of characters struggling to adapt during a pivotal time of crisis and change.

Book Selection Authors 2023

Adele Jones 

Invisible Families: the strengths and needs of Black families in which young people have caring responsibilities

Adele Jones is a retired Professor of Social Work, who previously worked at the University of West Indies and the University of Huddersfield. Jones has specialisms in international children's rights and the prevention of violence against women and children. Her research interests are therefore wide-ranging and she has publications on many themes including child abuse, adoption, residential care, child refugees, and more.

Jones has also worked on various projects, including DARE: None In Three and the COPING Project. Follow the links to learn about these projects.

Nelarine Cornelius

Human Resource Management: A Managerial Perspective

Nelarine Cornelius is a Professor of Organisational Studies at Queen Mary University of London, who researches in the fields of social justice, business in society, and the evolution of management practices in emerging and fragile economies.

Cornelius has spoken to the importance of Black History Month, stating that it is “critical not only for Black history but for British history”. She argues that the contributions of black people in British history have been erased, but BHM has a part to play in these contributions being recognised.

Sonia Boyce

Shades of Black

As an artist and Professor of Black Art and Design at the University of the Arts London, Sonia Boyce focusses her interests on art as a social practice and the debates that emerge in this area. Meanwhile, Boyce’s artwork takes various forms (including drawing, print, photography, video, and sound) to ‘explore the interstices between sound and memory, the dynamics of space, and incorporating the spectator’.

Boyce has also made history by being the first black woman to be elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2016 and achieving the same accolade in 2020 when selected to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale.

Heidi Safia Mirza

Race, Gender, and Educational Desire: Why Black Women Succeed and Fail

Heidi Safia Mirza is a self-described 'passionate black feminist Professor of Race Equality and Women's Rights'. Mirza is highly academically accomplished, having won the Eight Women of Colour Awards and being one of the first female professors in the UK.

The Professor’s research centres on gender, race, faith, and culture using postcolonial and black feminist frameworks. Mirza’s recent work looks at contemporary issues like Islamophobia, gendered violence, and debates on multiculturalism.

Sophie Orlando

Black British Art: Debates of Western Art History

Sophie Orlando is an Associate Professor of the History of Art at the Villa Arson School of Art in Nice; Orlando's research centralises on the fabric of narratives in Art History.

Alongside Orlando’s work as a professor, she is a researcher on the Middlesex University project on ‘Black Artists and Modernism’ and has curated exhibitions, including one on the artist Sonia Boyce at the Villa Arson in 2016.

Beverley Bryan

The Heart of the Race: Black Women's Lives in Britain

Since moving to the UK from Jamaica in the early 1960s, Beverley Bryan has become a prominent figure in the history of activism in the UK. Alongside academic endeavours like writing essays and books to raise awareness of the experiences of black women, Bryan has worked alongside communities in organisations such as the Brixton Black Women’s Group and the Black Parents Movement to advocate for the rights of black women in the UK.

You can read more about Bryan’s inspiring story here.

Deborah Elizabeth Whaley

Black Women in Sequence: Re-Inking Comics, Graphic Novels and Anime

Deborah Whaley is an accomplished scholar, having achieved a PhD from the University of Kansas and having held various academic positions, including Senior Scholar for Digital Arts and Humanities for DSPS and Administrative Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Office of the Dean.

Outside of academia, Whaley has published original art and poetry about social movements and popular culture. Achieving highly in this field too, Whaley was nominated for a Rhysling Poetry Award in 2018.

Barbara Ransby

Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the 21st Century

Barbara Ransby is a self-described historian, writer, activist, and professor. Currently, Ransby works at the University of Illinois, Chicago, holding the positions of John D. MacArthur University Chair and Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Black Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History.

Ransby also directs the campus-wide Social Justice Initiative, which works to promote the connections between academics and community organisers doing work on social justice.

Safiya Nobel

The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online

Dr. Safiya Noble is a Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California. Noble’s research focus is internet studies, and she is a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, which helps those vulnerable to online harassment.

Brendesha Tynes

The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online

Dr. Brendesha Tynes is a Professor of Education and Psychology at the USC Rossier School of Education. Tynes’ research looks at youth experiences with digital media and equity in digital literacy. She is currently principal investigator on three primary projects: The Teen Life Online and in Schools Project (TLOS), the E-Cope Project, and the Digital Equity Project. Learn more about these projects here.

Octavia E. Butler


Octavia E. Butler was a prolific African American author, who won a PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award for her body of work. Butler is known for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations.

Although Butler’s books have now gained notoriety, it was only after the time of her death that interest in her books began to rise. Some argue that this is due to her novels exploring themes of Black injustice, global warming, and women’s rights, as these were not such widely discussed topics in the 80s and 90s.

Learn more about Butler and her books here.