October is Black History Month in the United Kingdom when we focus on celebrating the contributions of black communities to this country and the wider world, as well as remembering the experiences and injustices of black people in the past and still today.

Although the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic are still being felt, there are many ways to get involved in the celebration and opportunities of learning that this month brings, both in person and online. Islington Council has loads of events lined up for the month, which range from talks and reading groups to walks and cooking classes that you can sign up for or just turn up. Otherwise, explore the events online and in other parts of London and the UK, compiled on Black History Month’s website.

If you are a member of BAME community and wish to network and share experiences with others at City, have a look at the different student societies which include BAME Women Society and African Caribbean Society among others. Or, if you are a member of staff, you can get involved in The Network for Racial Justice (who have recently started a podcast, available for everybody to listen to on SoundCloud).

In terms of resources you can find in the Library about the history, contributions and experiences of black people in Britain and beyond, as always, the way to get the fullest picture will be heading to CityLibrary Search, entering your keywords of interest and specifying the type of resource you are looking for (e.g., use the “Full text online” filter to find materials you can read digitally, or select content type – “Journal Article” to find the newest research). Our recent acquisition of Ebook Central Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Collection has added a lot of new e-books to the collection, so give it a try.

Also, have you heard about our Liberating CityLibrary initiative? It is a scheme where you can recommend titles for us to buy to improve the diversity of our collections, increasing the range of books written by people from a BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) background, as well as books by and about LGBTQI+ people, and titles which recognise overlapping identities and experiences (such as gender, class, sexuality and disability). You can see the titles we have purchased so far on our Liberating CityLibrary reading list.

If you are going to visit the Northampton Square Library during October, make sure to pass by our Black History Month book and information display on Level 5 to browse and borrow some of the print books. Or, if you are a distance learner, or simply prefer to read books online, have a look at the selection of e-books below:

Film is another great way to learn about people’s personal experiences and feelings, so did you know that CityLibrary has a DVD collection, too? You can find DVDs on CityLibrary Search (narrowing content type to “DVD” will help you find them easier); have a look at a selection of Black History Month-related films below. Otherwise, if you are based in the UK, have a look at our Black History Month playlist on Box of Broadcasts where we have selected films and TV programmes for you to watch, learn from, and enjoy.

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