Liberation reading

16th October 2019

News, Student news

A ‘Liberation’ book display has been installed in Wadham Library for the start of the Michaelmas term.

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    Kemi Agunbiade (Law, 2018) dips into one of her favourite books, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

  • liberation books
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Wadham Student Union People of Colour representatives Zehra Munir (History, 2018) and Henna Khanom (History, 2018) are ensuring that those who want to learn more about issues of race and class should have a range of texts readily available to help them do so.

“We are very proud of Wadham's long history of championing diverse and critical thought, and wanted to pay homage to this by creating a 'Liberation' book display in the library,” said Zehra and Henna. 

For October, the display is focused on Black History Month.  Later themes will be women's history month, LGBTQ+ history month.

College Librarian Tim Kirtley is delighted to embrace this initiative and hopes the books will provide a valuable resource for Wadham students.

The books selected for the opening display include the titles below; Zehra and Henna would be happy to hear about further books that could be added to this display in the future.

Black History Month

"The Great Man theory of history seems to never look beyond Europe and North America – I have learned about both World Wars, the Cold War and Jack the Ripper but we don’t often hear about black history outside being the backdrop to speeches by Abraham Lincoln and JFK," writes Kemi Agunbiade (Law, 2018).

"Black History Month exists to acknowledge and celebrate our past and our present – great spiritual, academic and political leaders were and are black but we do not hear about them until it is convenient. 

"This month is amazing to preach about the need for unapologetic blackness but at the same time it should be a reminder that we should always be trying to learn black history – our history cannot be contained in months, years, decades – it is constantly ebbing and flowing and is way more than just the civil rights movement or how we were ‘saved’. If people understand our history, it means we can work together to break away from the legacy of oppression that follows the black community even now. 

"I might be biased in my Nigerian heritage but I always recommend Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe – it explores masculinity, pride, cultural expectations and the choices made with the shifts brought on by colonization. There is no one who is perfect in Achebe’s novel but he beautifully captures what it is like to have everything you have ever known uprooted and to experience otherness for the first time."

Liberation reading list

Akala. (2018). Natives: Race and class in the ruins of empire. London: Two Roads

hooks, b. (2015 ed) Feminist theory: From Margin to Centre 

Said, E. (1993). Culture and Imperialism 

Haley, A. and Malcolm X. (1965) The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Adichie, C. (2014). Americanah. London: Fourth Estate

Crenshaw, K. (1995). Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement

Crenshaw, K. (2020). Intersectionality: Key Writings

Davis, A. (2016). If They Come in the Morning (VERSO) 

Smith, Z. (2001). White Teeth. London: Penguin

Haider, A. (2018). Mistaken Identity (VERSO) 

Ramdin, R. (2017). The Making of the Black Working Class in Britain (VERSO) 

Wallace, M. (2016). Invisibility Blues (VERSO) 

Martinez, E. (2017). De Colores Means All of Us (VERSO) 

Allen, T. W. (2012). The Invention of the White Race, Volume 1 and 2 (VERSO) 

Wolfe, P. (2016). Traces of History (VERSO) 

Achebe, C. (1958). Things Fall Apart 

Fanon, F. (1963). The Wretched of the Earth

Hinchy, J. (2019). Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India

Eze, E.C. (1997). Race and the Enlightenment: A Reader  

Mokhtefi, E. (2018), Algiers, Third World Capital (VERSO) 

Olufemi, L. (2019). A FLY girl’s guide to university: being a woman of colour at Cambridge and other institutions of power and elitism 

Rodney, W. (2018). How Europe under-developed Africa. (VERSO)

Rodney, W. (2019). Groundings with My Brothers (VERSO) 

Balibar, E. and Wallerstein, I. (2010) Race, Nation, Class (VERSO) 

Therborn, G. (2013). The Killing Fields of Inequality. Cambridge: Polity

 Ed by Camp, J.T. and Heatherton, C. (2016). Policing the Planet (VERSO)

The Radical Therapist (1974). The Radical Therapist. Harmondsworth: Penguin