Listen, Watch and Read

Explore a selection of books and films on black history and culture and by black authors and directors. 

Listen: Music Playlist

To celebrate Black History Haringey 365, the Haringey library team have compiled an audio journey, a playlist on Spotify, providing a walk through the history of modern Black music from Gospel, Jazz, Blues & Soul, Calypso, Soca, Ska, Reggae, R'n'B, Hip-Hop, House, Garage and Grime.

Enjoy music by artists such as Lord Kitchener, The Might Sparrow, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Fela Kuti, Jimmy Cliff, The Jacksons, The Wailers, Aswad, Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, Missy Elliott, Omar, Jay-Z, Tupac, Kanye, Kano, Kendrick, Akala, Steel Pulse, Craig David, Sade, Stormzy and more!

4 album covers

Parental discretion is advised when listening. 

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Watch: Film List  

Enjoy a selection of black history and culture themed films and documentaries, or ones made by black filmmakers, available to hire from Haringey Libraries.

  • A Raisin in the Sun (1961) Dir: Daniel Petrie 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Dir: Robert Mulligan 
  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) Dir: Stanley Kramer 
  • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974) Dir: John Korty 
  • Burning an Illusion (1981) Dir: Menelik Shabazz 
  • Do The Right Thing (1989) Dir: Spike Lee 
  • Boyz n the Hood (1991) Dir: John Singleton 
  • Amistad (1997) Dir: Steven Spielberg 
  • Babymother (1998) Dir: Julian Henriques 
  • Ali (2001) Dir: Michael Mann 
  • Bullet Boy (2004) Dir: Saul Dibb 
  • Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005) Dir: Darren Grant 
  • 12 Years a Slave (2013) Dir: Steve McQueen 
  • 42 (2013) Dir: Brian Helgeland 
  • Belle (2013) Dir: Amma Asante 
  • The Butler (2013) Dir: Lee Daniels 
  • The Stuart Hall Project (2013) Dir: John Akomfrah 
  • Girlhood (2014) Dir: Céline Sciamma 
  • Selma (2014) Dir: Ava DuVernay 
  • Timbuktu (2014) Dir: Abderrahmane Sissako 

Download a PDF copy of the film list including previously selected films.  

For further documentaries and films, check out these filmmakers and archives:

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Read: Books for Adults 

Our library staff have created a selection of books tackling themes relevant to Black History and those written by black authors. 

All titles below are available for loan, check the online catalogue to see what is available in your local library. If you're not yet a member, you can also join the library online.  

We also have a selection of black history and culture themed eBooks available to download for free.  

Adult fiction 

  • Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour 
  • His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie  
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones  
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison 
  • Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
  • Wahala by Nikki May 

Adult non-fiction

  • Breaking The Maafa Chain by Anni Domingo  
  • Messages From the Divine Mother by Dee Buchanan 
  • A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson 
  • Br'er Cotton by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm 
  • Carefree Black Girls: a Celebration of Black Women in Pop Culture by Zeba Blay 
  • Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems by Wanda Coleman 
  • Caribbean Passion by Opal Palmer Adisa 
  • What Happened, Miss Simone: a Biography by Alan Light 
  • The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment by Amelia Gentleman 
  • Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community by Elizabeth Lapovsky 
  • The Sex Lives of African Women by Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah 

For a more extensive list of books, download a PDF copy of the book list, which includes titles selected in previous years.

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African and Caribbean book collections in Haringey Libraries

Haringey Libraries hold permanent African-Caribbean book collections in each branch library. Titles included in the collections are marked "A/C" on the spine and range from classic to contemporary fiction, biographies, history and much more.

To find out more visit the Haringey Libraries pages.

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Read: Books for Children and Young Adults 

Enjoy a selection of black history and culture themed children's books, especially selected by Haringey Libraries.

All titles below are available for loan, check the online catalogue to see what is available in your local library.

Children’s fiction

  • Amari and the Great Game by B.B. Alston 
  • The Boy with Wings by Lenny Henry 
  • The Breakfast Club Adventures: The Beast Beyond the Fence by Marcus Rashford 
  • Elemental Detectives by Patrice Lawrence  
  • The Good Turn by Sharna Jackson 
  • Granny Came Here on the Empire Windrush by Patrice Lawrence 
  • Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall 
  • Journey Back to Freedom: The Olaudah Equiano Story by Catherine Johnson  
  • Joyful, Joyful: Stories Celebrating Black Voices by Dapo Adeola 
  • Mia and the Lightcasters by Janelle McCurdy  
  • Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tola Okogwu 
  • Our Story starts in Africa by Patrice Lawrence 
  • Too Small Tola Gets Tough by Atinuke 
  • We Sang Across the Sea: The Empire Windrush and Me by Benjamin Zephaniah  
  • Wondrous Prune by Ellie Clements 

Children’s non-fiction 

  • Amazing Artists: Black Artistic Icons Who Changed the World by J.P. Miller & Chellie Carroll  
  • Black in Time by Alison Hammond  
  • Legacies: Black British Pioneers by L Nargee 
  • My Skin, Your Skin by Laura Henry-Allain 
  • Story of Britain’s Black Airmen by K.N. Chimbiri 
  • Timelines from Black History: Leaders, Legends, Legacies by DK Publishing
  • Women who Led the Way: Great Explorers and Adventurers by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom 

Young adult

  • Beka Lamb by Zee Edgell 
  • Endgame by Malorie Blackman 
  • Soul of the Deep by Natasha Bowen  
  • Merciless Ones by Namina Forna 
  • When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando 
  • Needle by Patrice Lawrence  
  • Kemosha of the Caribbean by Alex Wheatle 

For a more extensive list of books, download a PDF copy of the book list, which includes titles selected in previous years.

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New Beacon Books  

New Beacon Books was founded in 1966 by John La Rose and his partner Sarah White. The shop based in Stroud Green Road was the UK's first black publisher, specialist bookshop and international book distributor.  

Find out more about New Beacon Books (external link) and discover more books to explore.  

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Page last updated:

September 13, 2022

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