Donation aims to help Buckingham Library celebrate Black History Month

The Friends of Buckingham Library have donated a set of books about black people, written by black people

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 5:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 5:30 pm

Did you know that the richest person who ever lived was a West African?

Or that the technology that made the lightbulb possible was developed by an African American inventor, and not Thomas Edison?

How about the fact that Ethiopia was the only African country to avoid colonisation, thanks to the leadership of a brave queen?

From left: library customer service officer Sue Duhig, Friends of Buckingham Library Mike Smith and Roger Edwards and library manager Pam Gowen

These and other facts are revealed among a set of books presented to Buckingham Library by the Friends of Buckingham Library to mark Black History Month in October.

The books, which range from biography to novels to history, are aimed at people of all ages, and include books by famous names such as David Olusoga, Floella Benjamin and Andrea Levy, as well Britain’s first black Chief Constable, Michael Fuller.

Biographies of black people include nurse Mary Seacole, politician Diane Abbott, mathematician Katherine Johnson, singer Shirley Bassey, diplomat Kofi Annan, architect Sir David Adjaye, comic book author Dwayne McDuffie and the musician Prince. There are also stories of less well-known people, such as those who came to Britain as part of the Windrush generation and later generations of ordinary people who have been born here.

Some of the books describe the experience of racism and extreme prejudice, but there are also expressions of hope for the future.

What all the books have in common is that they relate to the history of black people and are written by black people.

The aim is for the library to be part of the national celebrations of Black History Month and the events that honour the accomplishments of black people in every area of endeavour throughout Britain’s history.

The books were purchased from the University of Buckingham Bookshop, in the university’s Vinson Centre, and the Friends thanked bookshop manager Alison Cameron for her advice and help.

The Friends of Buckingham Library is an independent charity established in 2016 to support Buckingham Library. Membership is open to all residents and businesses in north Bucks.