Wrapping up October…..almost halfway through November!
October was Black History Month in the UK. I love reading Black authors throughout the year and wanted to share a few fiction and non fiction titles from my reading list (some TBR!). Here’s my post on 5 insightful books on Black British History if you missed it. There are a few more on my Instagram reel too! It includes a few more recent titles too.
Books I read In October:
Girl Woman Other by Bernadine Evaristo It was a good month for book picks! I’m so late on this one but I found it incredible. The breadth, the generations, the relationships. We are seeing so many different Black British women from so many angles here- the talent! One of my favourite things about it was the cultural references…but more on that later! Will link in review when I write one!
That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu – This really did feel like a soul was being bared, although hesitant at times. Owusu wrote beautifully in this semi autobiography and revealed a perspective we arent always privy to in the lit space. A personal look at growing up a Black British Man and how mental illness affects self perception. Some thoughts here
The Louder I Will Sing by Lee Lawrence – This was a story in Black British history we should all hear about. Lawrence fights for justice following the unlawful shooting of his mother by Met police in a raid that sparked the Brixton Riots of ’85. It is just as much a story about a man loving his mother unconditionally and telling of how it was to grow up Black in 80s/90s Britain
Heart Of The Race: Lives Of Black Women In Britain – A book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time and immediately started seeing narratives I recognised from speaking to women in the generation before me. Some of the issues are still prevalent. Havent quite finished this yet and am constantly learning from it. It was a book I paired up with Girl Woman Other from a point of interest in Black British women from both fiction and non fic angles.
Rocks Film 2019
First of all, the performances from all the young actors were so moving! The chemistry between them was amazing, they really captured the innocence and fragility of teenage friendships. A stage when you are still learning what it means to always be there for someone else. To be dependable. Love and dependability are strong themes in the story. Shola (aka Rocks) and Emmanuel’s mother fails to return to their home in Hackney one day. Heart breakingly, 15 year old Rocks taps into her admirable resilience and takes it on herself to act as a guardian for her younger brother. All this while needing to be cared for herself. That age.
We see how Rocks (Bukky Bakray) responds to the pressures of trying to avoid falling into the national care system and how it affects her relationships with everyone around her. I think it was very important to show her vulnerability in this situation, it is very often missed in portrayals of Black girls. Beautiful to see a classroom of mixed ethnicities portrayed so authentically and the banter between them took me back to school days. I thought Sumaya’s role was also very important, it’s rare to see young muslim girls played so playfully while remaining realistic. I found Kosar Ali’s acting so endearing as was D’angelou Osei Kissiedu. All the childish jokes rally made me laugh. I dont know what that says about me
Honestly can’t wait to see each and everyone of them on my screen again. We need more films like this one! Being able to recognise these characters so well was powerful, I felt like I knew them! All Genuinely talented as well
I was really looking forward to seeing this in the cinema before Lockdowns hit so I was happy to see it turn up on Netflix in October! It’s still there so check it out!