Frantz Fanon’s seminal work on the trauma of colonization, The Wretched of the Earth made him the leading anti-colonialist thinker of the 20th century. First published in 1961, Fanon’s classic text has provided inspiration for anti-colonial movements ever since, analysing the role of class, race, national culture & violence in the struggle for freedom. With power & anger, Fanon makes clear the economic & psychological degradation inflicted by imperialism.

It was Fanon, himself a psychotherapist, who exposed the connection between colonial war and mental disease, who showed how the … More

“The trial of Angela Davis is remembered as one of America’s most historic political trials, and no one can tell the story better than Davis herself. Opening with a letter from James Baldwin to Angela, and including contributions from numerous radicals and commentators such as Black Panthers George Jackson, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale and Erica Huggins, this book is not only an account of Davis’s incarceration and the struggles surrounding it, but also perhaps the most comprehensive and thorough analysis of the prison system of the United States and the figure embodied in Davis’s arrest and imprisonment-the political prisoner.

Since the book was written, the carceral system in the US has grown from strength to strength, with more of … More

Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life. In the early 80s when punks & Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness & the National Front, Benjamin’s poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations & on the dance floor.

His mission was to take poetry everywhere, and to popularise it by reaching people who didn’t read books. His poetry … More

Renegade : The Life and Times of Darcus Howe. Born in Trinidad during the dying days of British colonialism, Darcus Howe has become an uncompromising champion of racial justice. The book examines how Howe’s unique political outlook was inspired by the example of his friend and mentor C.L.R. James, and forged in the heat of the American civil rights movement, as well as Trinidad’s Black Power Revolution.

The book sheds new light on Howe’s leading role in the defining struggles in Britain against institutional racism in the … More

Born OTD in 1926, American novelist, Nelle Harper Lee. Lee only published two books, yet she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 for her contribution to literature. The plot and characters of To Kill a Mockingbird are loosely based on Lee’s observations of her family & neighbors, as well as an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936 when she was 10. The novel deals with the irrationality of adult attitudes towards race & class in the Deep South of the 1930s, as depicted through the eyes of two children. It was inspired by racist attitudes in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.

Scout, Jem, Boo Radley, Atticus Finch and the small town of Maycomb, Alabama, are all captured in vivid and moving … More

OTD in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. pens his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. It says that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws & to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts. Responding to being referred to as an ‘outsider’, King writes, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

This landmark missive from one of the greatest activists in history calls for direct, non-violent resistance in the fight against … More

Born OTD in 1952, author and professor, feminist & activist, Gloria Jean Watkins, AKA, bell hooks. The focus of hooks’ writing has been the intersectionality of race, capitalism, and gender, and what she describes as their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and class domination. In this classic study, cultural critic bell hooks examines how black women, from the 17th century to the present day, were and are oppressed by both white men and black men and by white women. Illustrating her analysis with moving personal accounts, Ain’t I a Woman is deeply critical of the racism inherent in the thought of many middle-class white feminists who have failed to address issues of race and class.

While acknowledging the conflict of loyalty to race or sex is still a dilemma, hooks challenges the view that race … More

Born out of resistance to slavery and colonialism, the Black radical tradition has a long and proud history, one which reaches from Marcus Garvey and the Black Panthers to the Black Lives Matter activists of today. And yet, the Black radical tradition has also consistently been one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood. The Politics of Black Radicalism explores the roots of this tradition, while also considering what a renewed politics of Black radicalism might look like in the 21st century.

Surveying Black radicalism’s many varied forms and influences, and incorporating feminist and LGBT perspectives, Andrews shows that Black radicalism has … More

When Laurie Cunningham played for England in an under-21s match against Scotland in 1977, he became the first black footballer to represent England professionally. Two years later, he would become the first Englishman to play for Real Madrid. In a time when racist chants flew from the stands, Cunningham’s success challenged how black players were perceived, paving the way for future generations. But Cunningham was more than an exceptional footballer who could play like a dream.

He was a dandy with a love of funk music and bespoke suits, as easily graceful on the dance floor … More