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 and 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.

Half of a Yellow SunMessages from the Divine MotherPurple Hibiscus

Adult fiction 

  • Someone Had to Do It by Amber and Danielle Brown
  • Black Candle Women by Diane Marie Brown
  • Dazzling by Chikodili Emelumadu
  • You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
  • Maame by Jessica George
  • Rosewater by Liv Little
  • Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson
  • River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer
  • Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead
  • Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

These titles are available in digital format only:

  • Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Rootless by Krystle Zara Appiah
  • Promise Boys by Nick Brooks
  • The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa by Stephen Buoro
  • Homebodies by Tembe Denton-Hurst
  • Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn
  • Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby
  • All Your Children, Scattered by Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse
  • Queen of Exiles by Vanessa Riley

Adult non-fiction

  • What Are You Doing Here?: My Autobiography by Floella Benjamin
  • Reclaiming by Yewande Biala
  • Angela Y. Davis: An Autobiography by Angela Y. Davis
  • Finding Me by Viola Davis
  • A Visible Man by Edward Enninful
  • America Made Me a Black Man by Boyah J. Farah
  • Sleeping with the Ancestors: How I Followed the Footprints of Slavery by Herb Frazier
  • Finding Home: A Windrush Story by Alford Dal Gardner
  • American Sirens: The Incredible Story of the Black Men who Became America’s First Paramedics by Kevin Hazzard
  • Rising to the Surface by Lenny Henry
  • Black Girl, No Magic by Kimberly McIntosh
  • Black Ghost of Empire: The Long Death of Slavery and the Failure of Emancipation by Kris Manjapra
  • All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles
  • Black Sheep: A Story of Rural Racism, Identity and Hope by Sabrina Pace-Humphreys
  • Windrush: 75 Years of Modern Britain by Mike Phillips
  • His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Robert Samuels
  • How (Not) to be Strong by Alex Scott
  • Empire Windrush: Reflections on 75 Years of the Black British Experience by Onyekachi Wambu
  • This Thread of Gold: A Celebration of Black Womanhood by Catherine West
  • CLR James: A Life Beyond the Boundaries by John Williams

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.

We Are HereGranny Came Here on the Empire WindrushElla Fitzgerald

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 
  • Space Detectives: Extra Weird Creatures by Mark Powers and Dapo Adeola
  • 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 and Chellie Carroll
  • Black and British by David Olusoga
  • Black in Time by Alison Hammond 
  • Happy Here: 10 Stories from Black British Authors and Illustrators by Sharna Jackson (and others)
  • Harriet Tubman by Maria Isabel Sanchez-Vegara
  • 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 
  • Kemosha of the Caribbean by Alex Wheatle
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
  • Merciless Ones by Namina Forna 
  • Needle by Patrice Lawrence
  • Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salamm
  • Soul of the Deep by Natasha Bowen
  • When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando

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 4, 2023