Life @ U of T

Introduction

Books to read during Black History Month

Books to read during Black History Month

And we’re already into February 2021. January went very, very quickly for me. Looking ahead, February brings the opportunity for greater awareness about Black History Month and here are some great books to delve into and to educate ourselves. There are a few memoirs, novels and a historical book suggestion so have a look and decide which one you’d like to read.

Thank you to the U of T bookstore for the books and descriptions below. All the books listed here are available at the U of T bookstore.


MEMOIRS:

OBAMA, BARACK / PROMISED LAND

OBAMA, BARACK / PROMISED LAND, book cover

Barack Obama very honestly tells his story, from being just a young man to becoming the leader of the free world. Obama includes personal details of his earliest political aspirations and his historic victory to become the first African American President of the United States of America.


HARRIS, KAMALA / TRUTHS WE HOLD

HARRIS, KAMALA / TRUTHS WE HOLD, book cover

Kamala Harris, the first female, African American, and Asian American Vice President of the United States provides insight on the truths that unite her and the rest of the country. Written before Harris assumed the VP seat, this book focuses on her journey uncovering truths in complex issues and leading communities through challenges that they face together.


CLARKE, AUSTIN / ‘MEMBERING

CLARKE, AUSTIN / 'MEMBERING, book cover

Austin Clarke is known for his novels and short stories centred often on the immigrant experience. With his memoir, he takes the reader on a tour of his own experiences from his childhood in Barbados and living in Toronto to becoming a journalist and interviewing Malcolm X.



Black History Month Novels Book Covers

NOVELS:

HILL, LAWRENCE / ILLEGAL

HILL, LAWRENCE / ILLEGAL, book cover

A fictional book rooted in very real issues, touching on race, discrimination and immigration. This book centers on Keita Ali who flees to Freedom State, in fear of facing death if he returns to his home country, Zantoroland. However, Freedom State, bent on deporting refugees, is far from a refuge for Keita. This sends Keita on a constant run from authority to avoid deportation and death.


EDUGYAN, ESI / DREAMING OF ELSEWHERE: OBSERVATIONS ON HOME

EDUGYAN, ESI / DREAMING OF ELSEWHERE: OBSERVATIONS ON HOME, book cover

In this book where Esi Edugyan mixes fiction and non-fiction, she takes us on a journey to different parts of the world from Ghana to Germany. She explores and examines what is meant by home and belonging. What are they to us and how do they change us?


JONES, CHERIE / HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE: A NOVEL

JONES, CHERIE / HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE: A NOVEL, book cover

This is Cherie Jones’ much-anticipated debut novel. It is about the lives of four people who range in race and class living in a resort town in Barbados. Their lives are soon connected after a burglary gone wrong sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences.


HISTORICAL:

FOSTER, CECIL / THEY CALL ME GEORGE

An account on Canada’s black train porters who faced unjust standards compared to others in their field. They fought for and laid groundword for equal opportunities in Canada.


For more curated reading lists and exclusive savings on featured titles, join the UofT Bookstore’s book club! Head to uoftbookstore.com/book-club to sign up.


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