As you may know it is Black History Month, and here at FOLIO we’ve been having really interesting conversations with some of our supporters who are Black or who have African and/or Caribbean heritage about great books they’d like to recommend.
First up are some recommendations from Myke. As well as those titles in the picture below, he’d like to suggest Things Fall Apart by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. This novel, depicting 1890’s pre-colonial Igbo life (there are about 45 million Igbo people currently living in Nigeria, and also in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon), was recently adapted for Radio 4.
Myke says, “I recommend Things Fall Apart because it’s a book from my childhood aged 5 to 8, growing up in an African village. Life in Ghana, west Africa was a culture shock: being called Kofi; learning French at school; and meeting so many relatives. And of course, the title is from a WB Yeats poem: Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold. So apt for these Covid-19 times.”
Things Fall Apart is available as an E-book if you have a Birmingham libraries card. There is also a copy in Boldmere library which you can reserve to collect from Boldmere.
The books pictured are additional books Myke would recommend:
Up from here by Iyanla Vanzant
Moving Voices – Black Performance Poetry, edited by Asher Hoyles
The Original African Heritage Study Bible
Copies of Moving Voices can be found in Kings Heath, Spring Hill and Tower Hill Libraries, though at the moment they cannot be ordered through to any library in Sutton.
Whilst we’re all in favour of libraries, you might be interested to know about a specialist bookshop in Birmingham, https://mybookbasket.com/: “We have books from across the African diaspora; Britain, America, the Caribbean, Africa, and beyond and we believe that everyone, regardless of cultural background, will find something to fall in love with.” You’ll find My Book Basket at Legacy Centre (formerly The Drum) 144 Potters Lane, Birmingham B6 4UU.