Esi Edugyan: Black Women I’m Reading

Esi Edugyan, the best-selling author of Washington Black and Half-Blood Blues, curates a collection of articles by Black women writers, about everything from the nature of empathy to exploring the Black experience within history and in the present moment – showing some of the many different ways we could be in the world.

The Racism that Killed George Floyd Was Built in Britain

Afua Hirsch • The Guardian

This is not just ‘horrible stuff that happens in America’. Black people know we need to dismantle the same system in the UK.

Black Communities Need Support, Not a Coronavirus Police State

Robyn Maynard and Andrea J. Ritchie • Vice

Black lives are being sacrificed in the name of (white) public health, whether through disproportionate exposure to COVID-19 or policing of the people least able to stay home.

Black Canadians Are Suffocating Under a Racist Policing System, Too

El Jones • The Washington Post

If Americans think of Canada as the not-so-racist neighbor to the north, that might be because that is the myth white people in Canada like to tell themselves.

The Banality of Empathy

Namwali Serpell • The New York Review of Books

If witnessing suffering firsthand doesn’t necessarily spark good deeds, why do we think art about suffering will?

Tired of Talking About Diversity

Roxane Gay • Publishers Weekly

Roxane Gay calls on booksellers to stop simply talking about diversity and to step up their role in providing sanctuary, delivered as the keynote to the Publishers Weekly Winter Institute in 2017.

America Wasn’t a Democracy Until Black Americans Made it One

Nikole Hannah-Jones • The New York Times

Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true.

About the curator

Esi Edugyan is the author of multiple novels, including Half-Blood Blues, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, and the best-selling Washington Black, named as one of 2018’s best books of the year by The New York Times. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

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