Next month is Black History Month! So, let’s draw attention to the achievements of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPoC) in society. The Black History Month can be used as an opportunity to look at a small selection of literary works from BIPoC authors.
Even in 2023, black people do often not have the same platform as white people. This makes it much more important to open our eyes to great works that entertain, enlighten, and empower us.
So let´s take a look at three books by people of color that you should move into your bookshelves!
Angie Thomas: The Hate You Give
Angie Thomas, a black author herself, witnessed a shooting in her childhood. This inspired her to write “The Hate U Give”: The young girl Starr lives in two worlds. She lives with her family in Garden Heights, a low-income neighborhood referred to as the “ghetto”. Starr develops her “other personality” at her school, which has not the slightest thing in common with her place of residence. Her life changes abruptly when she witnesses a fatal shooting of her unarmed friend, Khalil. His killer: a policeman. Suddenly Starr has to decide how to deal with this event. She doesn’t want to tell anyone that she was present at the shooting, because in the worst case it could put her life in danger…
Aminata Touré: Wir können mehr sein
“For all those who walk paths that no one has walked before them.” That is the dedication Aminata Touré prefaces her book with. Touré spent the first years of her life in a shelter for refugees. Today she became the youngest and first Black vice president of a state parliament in Germany.
“Wir können mehr sein“ takes the reader with her on this journey. Touré’s parents fled Mali in 1992, shortly before she was born. That same year houses like that were set on fire by nazis. Her book is about growing up as a Black woman in a society that still struggles to recognize its own racism. But also about her journey into politics, successes and failures. She is pointing out what needs to be changed in this country. Politics can be more than maintaining power and managing conditions. Her book is a call to young and BIPoC people to go into our institutions, to change politics and our life together.
Michelle Obama: Becoming
Michelle Obama is one of the most impressive women of our time. As the first African American First Lady of the United States, she was instrumental in creating the most welcoming and open White House ever. She became an energetic advocate for the rights of women and girls around the world. In “Becoming” she is taking you into her world and speaks about all the experiences that have made her the strong woman she is today. Warm-hearted and outspoken she is telling the story about her childhood on Chicago’s South Side, her years as a lawyer and executive, her not always easy time as a working mom and her family’s life in the White House.