The MOJEH Book Club: Five Essential Reads #BlackLivesMatter

4 min read

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Evaristo won the 2019 Booker Prize for her portrayal of a dozen predominantly black British females. The different storylines of the characters – who range in age from 19 to 93 – are engrossing and empathetic, portraits of struggle, imagination and perseverance.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“The only reason you say that race is not an issue is because you wish it was not,” says Ifemelu, the protagonist of this 2013 novel. Ifemelu and her partner Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. A beautiful, self-assured and smart Ifemelu heads for America, where she is for the first time forced to confront what it means to be black in a country ruled by white people. Adichie’s novel melds beautiful descriptive prose with the harsh and unforgiving realities of living the non-American black experience in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
This book-length poem is a beautifully raw and terrifyingly real interpretation of present day racial relations. “Because white men can’t/ police their imagination/ black men are dying,” writes Rankine. Written in 2014, Rankine draws attention to the acts of everyday racism (such as remarks, glances and implied judgments) that continue to flourish in environments where explicit acts of discrimination have been outlawed.

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
Bestselling author Diangelo defines white fragility as the defensive moves and emotions  that white people make and experience when challenged racially such as anger, fear, and guilt. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops and how it ultimately protects racial inequality. White Fragility draws attention to what society can do to engage more constructively making it an essential read for everyone, everywhere.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
“This is a book that was begging to be written. This is the kind of book that demands a future where we’ll no longer need such a book. Essential,” fellow author and 2015 Booker Prize-Winner Marlon James perfectly summarises the power of Eddo-Lodge’s 2018 release.  The book explores everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race; an eye-opening read for anyone ready to reconfigure the way they think.

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