Black History Month Reading List: And Still We Rise: Moss Side and Beyond

Collage of covers of the books mentioned in the blog post

Inspired by the 40th anniversary of the uprisings by Black communities in Moss Side, Manchester, the theme for our Black History Month programme at the AIU RACE Centre this year is ‘And Still We Rise’. These titles from our Library explore the 1981 uprisings in Moss Side and elsewhere in the UK, and celebrate Black British resistance movements.

Look out for another Reading List next week inspired by our Black History is World History educational workshops and featuring books for adults and children.

Written by Annie Dickinson, RACE Centre Library Assistant.

Cover of Back to Black

Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century by Kehinde Andrews. Kehinde Andrews provides a critical history of Black radical politics, from Marcus Garvey, through Angela Davis and the Black Panthers, to Black Lives Matter, exploring Black radicalism as a powerful force for change.

Cover of A Different Hunger

Different Hunger: Writings on Black Resistance by A. Sivanandan. This collection of essays by novelist, activist and intellectual A. Sivanandan tell the story of black protest in the UK and beyond. The opening chapter, From Resistance to Rebellion, documents the culture of oppression that produced the UK uprisings of 1981.

Hytner Myths: A preliminary critique of the Hytner Report by the Moss Side Defence Committee.* The Moss Side Defence Committee was formed in the aftermath of the Moss Side Uprisings and aimed to defend young Black people and convey an alternative and more accurate version of events to that put forward by the police and the press. This report criticises the government-commissioned Hytner Report into the uprisings, arguing that it is biased and evasive.

Moss Side 1981: more than just a riot by Gus John.* In 1981 Professor Gus John was a youth worker, anti-racism activist and key figure in the Moss Side Defence Committee. In this book, written to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Moss Side Uprisings, he gives his perspective on the uprisings and their aftermath.

Race and Riots ’81, a new society social studies reader. This magazine brings together articles published in New Society magazine in 1981 in response to the uprisings in cities across England, including articles about race relations, policing, and historical contexts for the disturbances.

Cover of The Roots of Urban Unrest

The Roots of Urban Unrest, edited by John Benyon and John Solomos. Essays by community leaders, journalists, politicians and academics which examine the social and racial tensions that led to uprisings and riots across England during the 1980s, and consider ways to move forward.

Cover of The Struggle For Black Arts in Britain

The Struggle for Black Arts in Britain by Kwesi Owusu. Kwesi Owusu tells the story of the struggle to establish an authentic Black arts tradition in the UK, with a focus on the links between popular art, activism and Black rebellion. This book raises important questions about the limitations that Western elite culture has placed on Black cultural expression.

Cover of Uprising

Uprising! The Police, the People and the Riots in Britain’s Cities by Martin Kettle & Lucy Hodges. Published in 1982, this books looks at what happened in the summer of 1981 in Brixton, Moss Side, Southall, Toxteth and elsewhere and analyses the events in the wider social context of the 1980s.

All of these books are available in our Library located on the lower ground floor of Central Library, St Peter’s Square and most can be accessed during Central Library opening hours. To access items from our Local History section (marked with an asterisk) come and speak to us during our enquiry desk staff hours.