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Black History Month

Explore Library resources, stories and perspectives on Black History Month from Lancaster University Library and beyond.

Black History Month

Logo for Black History Month 2020 at Lancaster University Library

Black History Month takes place in the UK and Europe in October every year.

It represents an opportunity to celebrate black people, black history and culture, and reflect on what it is and has been to be black.

What's happening in 2020

Lancaster University Library recognises the importance of Black History Month as a moment in the calendar to mark and celebrate black history and identity.

We will be celebrating Black History Month with a range of activities by:

  • Curating this Black History Month guide
  • Displaying relevant books from our collection on A Floor in the Library
  • Creating a reading list of Library materials relevant to black history, black scholarship and related topics in all academic disciplines
  • Giving away 100 copies of Akala's Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire
  • Facilitating Black History Month reading groups, reading Akala's Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire
  • Highlighting interesting resources relating to Black History or the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Helping you to locate material in the Library and other sources relating to Black History
  • Highlighting local stories and events in Lancaster  
  • Facilitating students involved in the Why Is My Curriculum White? campaign to use our collections to investigate Lancaster's past and present. 

the black history month display in the library, showing a books from the reading list and a poster reading 'Poets to writerssaying it beautifully'

Lancaster University Students' Union and others in the local area are organising fantastic  events during Black History Month.

Book Giveaway & Reading Group 2020: Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala

Front cover of Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by AkalaOur chosen book for Black History Month 2020 is The Sunday Times bestseller, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by the BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur, Akala.

We have 100 copies of this book to distribute to staff and students who would like to read this title and take part in reading groups later in Michaelmas term. 

Why Natives by Akala?

This year we wanted our student community to recommend a title to promote as part of Black History Month. We are grateful to Max Kafula, the newly appointed LUSU BAME Student Officer (20/21), who brought a fitting crowdfunding and book giveaway initiative to our attention. Douglas Booker, a part-time  PhD research student in the Lancaster Environment Centre who - inspired by similar initiatives as part of the Black Lives Matter movement - had set up a fundraising campaign to get anti-racist literature into the hands of those who want to educate themselves. 


Photograph of Douglas Booker, PhD Lancaster Environment CentreDouglas explained: 

"I wanted to help spread the word of a book that really helped to open my eyes and shape my thinking about race and class in the UK. The crowdfunding initiative, which so far raised £315, together with match funding from the library, will provide 100 copies of Natives to Lancaster University staff and students".

Douglas clarified that "the idea is that all money raised will be used to buy copies of the book and to distribute them to people who want to educate themselves. The only condition is you don't only read the books, but you share them, discuss them, and then join the fight to make the world a fairer place".  


Find out more about Akala and Natives

In lieu of an author event this year, similar to the one we held in 2019 for Yvonne Battle-Felton's 'Remembered', we would encourage you to watch Akala's live readings on YouTube to find out more about his inspiration and writing process. Also of note are his address and Q&A session at Oxford Union in 2015 (recorded prior to the release of Natives) and interview at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019.


How do I request a copy of Natives?

If you would like to receive a free copy of Natives, please complete our Request Form. Please see the eligibility criteria and required information below before completing the form.


Eligibility and required information:

  • Requests are welcome from current University students and members of staff.
  • You will need to provide your University email and an address to which a copy of the book can be posted. (Postage costs, worldwide, will be covered as part of the giveaway). 
  • You must consent to your name, email and postage address being shared with Blackwell Ltd. in order for them to supply your personal copy of the book. Your information will only be used by Blackwell Ltd. for this specific purpose and disposed of accordingly. 
  • Requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

For any questions about this initiative please contact Caroline Gibson (


Reading Groups

In addition to the book giveaway, we intend holding a number of reading groups to discuss the book once everyone has had a chance to read it. These will be informal online events, facilitated by librarians and/or student volunteers, in which we provide a friendly and safe space to discuss content from within the book, share observations or personal learning that took place.