7 Books By Black British & Irish Women You Should Be Reading This Black History Month & Beyond

It’s Black history month, which means a time to celebrate, commemorate and learn more about black histories and cultures in the UK and beyond. And what better way to kick things off than with wonderful books by black British women published in 2019. These dynamic books will sit in the cannon of black British and Irish literature — adding to a legacy that should be celebrated far beyond Black History Month.

Sadly, the publishing industry still has a long way to go when it comes to diversity, who gets their foot in the door, and who gets their work published. According to the Guardian, a recent survey of 6,432 people working for 42 organisations showed that only 11.6% were BAME, which is lower than the national average population. This means it's even more important to shout about the work by black women. And with debut books like Queenie by Londoner Candice Carty-Williams and sequels from literary royalty like Malorie Blackman receiving widespread praise this year, it’s refreshing to see the work of black women getting more recognition.

From magical realism and life-hack journals to nail-biting thrillers and humorous murder mysteries – here is a list of new work by amazing black women, permeating the publishing world that you should be reading right now:

'Daughters Of Nri' - Reni K Amayo

This fantasy fiction follows twins separated at birth unknowing that they have the last remnants of the old gods in them. Naala grows up in a small village whilst her sister lives in the political palace of Nri. The two go on a journey of self-discovery when their paths eventually cross.

'Tell Me Your Secret' - Dorothy Koomson

The 15th book by Sunday Times best-selling author Dorothy Koomson brings a new thriller about a woman named Pieta who was kidnapped by villain the Blindfolder 10 years ago, and never spoke a word of it — but now the Blindfolder is on the loose and looking for his previous victims.

'Slay In Your Lane: The Journal' - Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené

The new companion book to the popular black girl bible from the minds of journalists Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené now allows the reader to get stuck in with dynamic exercises, worksheets, and questionnaires to help you slay in your lane.

'My Sister, The Serial Killer' - Oyinkan Braithwaite

This hilarious novel by Oyinkan Braithwaite follows a Nigerian woman who finds out her little sister keeps killing her boyfriends, but she soon must come to terms with the lengths she will go to to protect her serial killer sister.

'Don't Touch My Hair' - Emma Dabiri

Don’t Touch My Hair by Irish television presenter and researcher Emma Dabiri takes a deep dive into the all things afro hair. From why it matters, the politics behind it, hairstyles, textures, and more.

'Oh My Gods' - Alexandra Sheppard

Helen might sound like your typical teen, but she happens to be the daughter of and sibling of ancient Greek gods living incognito in London. This book has all the makings of a teen angst story but with a funny mythological twist.

Palette - Fumni Fetto

Executive Editor and Beauty Director of Glamour Magazine, Funmi Fetto brings us the beauty bible we've all been dreaming of. Although this book is for all women of colour, the product case studies are written from Funmi's perspective as a black woman navigating the industry.