International Women’s Day (IWD) is a great day to celebrate books by women of colour. It is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is celebrated annually on March 8th, providing an opportunity to acknowledge and raise awareness about the challenges that women still face around the world. Not to mention, this includes gender inequality, violence against women, and discrimination.
Nonfiction books by women of colour on International Women’s Day
In terms of nonfiction books from women of colour, there are many outstanding works that offer unique perspectives on a range of issues. Here are just a few examples:
- 📚 “Sister Outsider” by Audre Lorde. This collection of essays and speeches by the feminist poet and activist explores the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality.
- 📚 “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay. In this collection of essays, Gay explores what it means to be a feminist in the modern world, while also grappling with issues of race, body image, and popular culture.
- 📚 “When They Call You a Terrorist” by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele. Co-written by one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, this memoir explores the author’s experiences with racism and police brutality. Whilst there has been some controversy surrounding Cullors, it was an important book surrounding BLM.
- 📚 “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America” by Melissa V. Harris-Perry. This is a sociological examination of the ways in which black women are often subjected to stereotypes and negative societal messages.
- 📚 “Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur. The autobiography of a former member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, who was convicted of murder and later escaped to Cuba.
- 📚 “This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color” edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa. A groundbreaking anthology of essays, poetry, and fiction by women of colour exploring issues of race, gender, and sexuality.
- 📚 “Azadi” by Arundhati Roy. The word Azadi means freedom. As a result the book tackles Roy’s country’s rising Hindu nationalism. It also looks at the Kashmiri independence movement, fascism, and free speech. As a matter of fact, the book is building on a 1,000-page edition of Roy’s collected nonfiction, My Seditious Heart, which was published in 2019. Roy examines politics and literature, challenging readers to reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world of growing authoritarianism.
- 📚 “It’s Not About the Burqa”, edited by Mariam Khan. In this collection of essays, British Muslim women push back against traditional narratives. These are customarily constructed for them, not by them. The essays speak to the diverse experiences of these women. They share opinions on topics from marriage and divorce to fashion and advertising.
- 📚 “X+Y: A Mathematician’s Manifesto for Rethinking Gender”, by Eugenia Cheng. Not only imaginary numbers, but also the fourth dimension and beyond, mathematics has always been about imagining things that seem impossible at first glance. In x+y, Cheng draws on the insights of higher-dimensional mathematics to reveal a transformative new way of talking about the patriarchy, mansplaining and sexism: a way that empowers all of us to make the world a better place.
In summary, these are just some examples of outstanding nonfiction works by women of colour that are available. On the whole, each of these books are providing a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing women today. For this reason it can help to broaden our understanding of the world around us. To this end, check out the interview with journalist Poorna Bell who talks about women’s physical strength.
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