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

How does a government steal a child and then imprison him? How does it keep it a secret? This story is how. At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in a foster family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.

This is Lemn’s story: a story of neglect and determination, misfortune and hope, cruelty and triumph. Sissay reflects on his … More

Our next PM Book Club, we’ll be discussing Reni Eddo-Lodge’s,’Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’. The book that sparked a national conversation. Exploring everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race, ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ is the essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain today.

New members welcome. Next meeting is on Monday, 2nd September 6pm at the shop.  Book available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1924, American novelist, playwright, and activist, James Baldwin. Baldwin’s novels and plays fictionalize fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures thwarting the equitable integration of not only African Americans, but also gay and bisexual men, while depicting some internalized obstacles to such individuals’ quests for acceptance.

When David meets the sensual Giovanni in a bohemian bar, he is swept into a passionate love affair. But his … More

Born OTD in 1909, black American writer, Chester Himes. Himes wrote about African Americans in general, especially in two books that are concerned with labor relations and African-American workplace issues. ‘If He Hollers Let Him Go’ – which contains many autobiographical elements – is about a black shipyard worker in Los Angeles during World War II struggling against racism, as well as his own violent reactions to racism.

Robert Jones is a crew leader in a naval shipyard in Los Angeles in the 1940s. He should have a … More

It doesn’t take much familiarity with the news to see that the world has become a more hate-filled place. In Others, a group of writers explore the power of words to help us to see the world as others see it, and to reveal some of the strangeness of our own selves. Through stories, poems, memoirs and essays, we look at otherness in a variety of its forms, from the dividing lines of politics and the anonymising forces of city life, through the disputed identities of disability, gender and neurodiversity, to the catastrophic imbalances of power that stands in the way of social equality.

Whether the theme is a casual act of racism or an everyday interaction with someone whose experience seems impossible to … More

First published OTD in 1960, Harper Lee’s, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. A beautifully crafted graphic novel adaptation of Harper Lee’s beloved American classic. `Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit `em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’A haunting portrait of race and class, innocence and injustice, hypocrisy and heroism, tradition and transformation in the Deep South of the 1930s, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird remains as important today as it was upon its initial publication in 1960, during the turbulent years of the Civil Rights movement. Now, this most beloved and acclaimed novel is reborn for a new age as a gorgeous graphic novel.

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