Black History Month 2022

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Black History Month happens in October, but the teaching of Black history is all-important all year round.

Although Black History Month only happens once a year, the teaching and learning of Black history doesn’t begin and end there. 

There are countless groups of people and key events throughout history that have had an effect on Britain as a country and how it has become the multicultural society that it is. 

Below are a selection of books that can be used in the classroom and at home, to learn more about the contributions and the stories of the people, places and journeys that shaped Britain.

Early Readers:

Coming to England: An Inspiring True Story Celebrating the Windrush Generation    
Written by Baroness Floella Benjamin, illustrated by Diane Ewen, published by Macmillan Children’s Books

A story about the triumph of hope, love, and determination, Coming to England is the inspiring true story of Baroness Floella Benjamin: from Trinidad, to London as part of the Windrush generation, to the House of Lords. 

Granny came her on the Empire wind rushGranny Came Here on the Empire Windrush
Written by Patrice Lawrence, illustrated by Camilla Sucre, published by Nosy Crow Ltd

This heart-warming and heartfelt debut picture book from multi-award-winning author, Patrice Lawrence, will help ensure that the struggles and achievements of the Windrush generation are never forgotten.



Black and British: An Illustrated History
Written by David Olusoga , illustrated by Jake Alexander and Melleny Taylor, published by Macmillan Children’s Books

This children’s edition of the bestseller Black and British: A Forgotten History is beautifully illustrated in full-colour with maps, portrait galleries, timelines, photos and portraits. The essential starting place for anyone who wants to learn about Black British History. David Olusoga’s thought provoking text charts the forgotten histories of Black people in Britain from Roman times right through to the present day. 

Fluent Readers:

The Bristol Bus Boycott: A fight for racial justice
Written by Sandra A. Agard, illustrated by Chellie Carroll, published by HarperCollins Publishers

This is the story of a group of brave people who fought against the system of injustice in Bristol, UK, and how, like Martin Luther King Jnr, they had a dream of equality which they fought hard to achieve.



The Place for Me: Stories About the Windrush Generation
Written by Dame Floella Benjamin , K. N. Chimbiri, E. L. Norry, Judy Hepburn, published by Scholastic

Explore the lives of the Windrush generation in this full-colour anthology. With a foreword from Baroness Floella Benjamin, DBE.

This book presents 12 moving tales of sacrifice and bravery, inspired by first-hand accounts of the Windrush generation. Each inspiring story helps to bring the real experience of Black British people into focus.

Produced in partnership with Black Cultural Archives to honour the Windrush generation. Includes ten photo-packed fact sections.

Written by Catherine Johnson, published by Scholastic

An action-packed and pacey story about a boy’s experience of slavery in Britain.

Nathaniel doesn’t want to move to England with his master’s family, leaving behind his mother and sister on the Jamaican plantation. But then he remembers what his mother told him: once a slave sets foot on English soil, they’re free. Perhaps he can earn his fortune and buy his family’s freedom, too.

Walter Tull’s Scrapbook
Written by Michaela Morgan, published by Frances Lincoln

The inspirational true story of Walter Tull’s life is vividly presented as a scrapbook, drawing on photographs, documents and records of his life. Born in Kent, in 1888, Walter Tull became not just the first black British professional outfield football player – for Tottenham Hotspur and Northampton Town – but also the first black officer in the British Army. His leadership and courage in the trenches of the First World War won him a recommendation for a Military Cross that was never awarded because of his skin colour. Discover his life story, from his childhood in an orphanage, through his footballing years, to his eventual tragic death, aged 29, on the Somme. The legacy of Walter Tull lives on.

Windrush ChildWindrush Child
Written by Benjamin Zephaniah, published by Scholastic

In this heart-stopping adventure, Benjamin Zephaniah shows us what it was like to be a child of the Windrush generation. 

Leonard is shocked when he arrives with his mother in the port of Southampton. His father is a stranger to him, it’s cold and even the Jamaican food doesn’t taste the same as it did back home in Maroon Town. But his parents have brought him here to try to make a better life, so Leonard does his best not to complain, to make new friends, to do well at school – even when people hurt him with their words and with their fists. How can a boy so far from home learn to enjoy his new life when so many things count against him?

World Book Day Book Club featured title: Visit our Book Club page where you can read an extract from Windrush Child, watch our Book Club videos with the author, Benjamin Zephaniah and download our Book Club questions to go with the book.

Independent Readers:

Please be aware that most of the books listed as being suitable for Independent Readers in this will include content that is not emotionally suitable for a young person under the age of 12 and some will be intended for an older teen.

Musical Truth Musical Truth: A Musical Journey Through Modern Black Britain
Written by Jeffrey Boakye, illustrated by Ngadi Smart, published by Faber & Faber

Music can carry the stories of history like a message in a bottle.

Lord Kitchener, Neneh Cherry, Smiley Culture, Stormzy . . . Groundbreaking musicians whose songs have changed the world. But how? This exhilarating playlist tracks some of the key shifts in modern British history, and explores the emotional impact of 28 songs and the artists who performed them.

This book redefines British history, the Empire and postcolonialism, and will invite you to think again about the narratives and key moments in history that you have been taught up to now.

Thrilling, urgent, entertaining and thought-provoking, this beautifully illustrated companion to modern black music is a revelation and a delight.

Coram Boy
Written by Jamila Gavin, published by Farshore

The Coram man takes babies and money from desperate mothers, promising to deliver them safely to a Foundling Hospital in London. Instead, he murders them and buries them by the roadside, to the helpless horror of his mentally ill son, Mish.

Mish saves one, Aaron, who grows up happily unaware of his history, proving himself a promising musician. As Aaron’s new life takes him closer to his real family, the watchful Mish makes a terrible mistake, delivering Aaron and his best friend Toby back into the hands of the Coram man.

It tells the story of a dark time in English history. Fans of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Goodnight Mr Tom will love this.

Black and British: A short, essential historyBlack and British: A short, essential history
Written by David Olusoga, published by Macmillan Children’s Books

A short, essential introduction to Black British history for readers of 12+ by award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga.

When did Africans first come to Britain?

Who are the well-dressed black children in Georgian paintings?
Why did the American Civil War disrupt the Industrial Revolution?

These and many other questions are answered in this essential introduction to 1800 years of the Black British history: from the Roman Africans who guarded Hadrian’s Wall right up to the present day.

Black History Matters
Written by Robin Walker, published by Hachette Children’s Group

Black history is an integral part of world history. From the injustices of the past and present, we can learn and be inspired to make the world we live in more fair, equal and just.

Black History Matters chronicles thousands of years of Black history, from African kingdoms, to slavery, apartheid, the battle for civil rights, the global Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 and much more. 

Cane Warriors
Written by Alex Wheatle,  published by Andersen Press

Please note this book contains graphic descriptions of violence and brutality throughout.

Nobody free till everybody free.

Moa is fourteen. The only life he has ever known is toiling on the Frontier sugar cane plantation for endless hot days, fearing the vicious whips of the overseers. Then one night he learns of an uprising, led by the charismatic Tacky. Moa is to be a cane warrior, and fight for the freedom of all the enslaved people in the nearby plantations. But before they can escape, Moa and his friend Keverton must face their first great task: to kill their overseer, Misser Donaldson. Time is ticking, and the day of the uprising approaches . . .
Irresistible, gripping and unforgettable, Cane Warriors follows the true story of Tacky’s War in Jamaica, 1760.