Our next set of book recommendations as part of Black History Month come from Domanic, a Sutton resident and graduate of Bishop Vesey whose mother arrived in Birmingham as part of the Windrush generation, aged 6, from Antigua, and whose Dad was born in Birmingham to Jamaican parents.
Domanic’s first recommendation is Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by the rapper Akala. Domanic says, “This has been on my reading list for ages, I’m finally reading it now. It’s good to read this in the context of a British youth’s first hand experience. It add the social dimension to a lot of what you often hear Akala asked to speak about. I think a book like this is particularly right now.”
Then come three children’s books as top tips:
Of Bimwili and the Zimwi written by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Susan Meddaugh Domanic says “I still remember this from school. It’s a cool kind of fairytale. I didn’t notice it when I was younger, but it was the only story book at school that was about a black girl.”
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harrison is Domanic’s next tip: “This is a book that’s a bit of a spin off from a short cartoon. My partner was worrying from before our child was born, “What are we going to do with their hair!?” Here’s the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNw8V_Fkw28″
The final choice from Domanic is Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison.
“I bought this a couple years ago for my brother’s children. It’s just nice to have something to look at with them and hear about black people in modern history beyond just US civil rights.”
There are lots of copies of Natives in the Birmingham Libraries catalogue, but no copies are available in any Sutton Coldfield Library. Bimwili and the Zimwi, and Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History are available from the mobile library (which stops in Banners Gate and Falcon Lodge). Hair Love is available from Mere Green Library.