Black Lives Matter


Webinar – recorded on 17 July 2020. Hosted by Natasha Howard and Hong-Anh Nguyen who describe and discuss the main issues and how LKS staff can take action.


Reading List

Anti-racism and anti-blackness

Short reads

Appiah KA (2020). ‘The case for capitalizing the B in Black’. The Atlantic, 18 June 2020.

Black and white are both historically created racial identities.  Whatever rule applies to one should apply to the other. [Introduction]

Harper, MC (2020). 10 steps to non-optical allyship. Twitter, 29 May 2020.

This Twitter thread is aimed at people who want to develop their allyship into action. 

Koram, K (2020). ‘Systemic racism and police brutality are British problems too’. The Guardian, 4 June 2020.

Those who argue that Black Lives Matter protesters are jumping on an American bandwagon wilfully miss the point. [Introduction]

Lewis JC (2020). Becoming anti-racist. Twitter, 10 June 2020.

Diagram outlining a model conceptualising three stages of becoming an anti-racist: the fear zone; learning zone and growth zone.

O’Dowd, MF (2020). ‘Explainer: what is systemic racism and institutional racism?’ The Conversation, 5 February 2020.

Not sure what the distinction between systemic and institutional racism is? The two concepts are related but distinct. This short article explains both terms.

Sandhu, R (2018). ‘Should BAME be ditched as a term for black, Asian and minority ethnic people?’ BBC News, 17 May 2018.

It’s a term often used by politicians, officials and the media – including the BBC – but does anyone in real life ever refer to themselves as BME (black and minority ethnic) or BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic)? [Introduction]


Long reads

Jones K and Okun T (2001). ‘The characteristics of white supremacy culture’. Dismantling racism: a workbook for social change groups. ChangeWork.

Article highlighting the characteristics of white supremacy culture and the way they show up within organisational culture. 

McIntosh P (1988). White privilege: unpacking the invisible knapsack.

Article with an exercise aimed at developing an understanding of the ways in which white privilege manifests itself in everyday life. 

Warner, T (2020) London: a black history guide. 

Tony Warner of Black History Walks lists some of London’s most important addresses, buildings and moments in the fight against racism



Racial Equity Tools (2019). Glossary.

A glossary on the language used to talk about racism, systemic inequity and oppression.



Akala (2018). Natives: race and class in the ruins of empire

Hip hop artist Akala talks about growing up mixed race and working class in ’80s Britain and shares uncomfortable truths about our history, politics and the myth of meritocracy.

Eddo-Lodge, R (2017). Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race. London: Penguin.

The book that sparked a national conversation. Explores everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race.  It is the essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain today.

Dabiri, E (2020). Don’t Touch My Hair. London: Penguin. 

From women’s solidarity and friendship to forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian’s braids, the scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic.

Don’t Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation. [Synopsis]

DiAngelo, R (2019). White fragility: why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism. London: Penguin. 

Robin DiAngelo coined the term ‘White Fragility’ in 2011 to describe how anger, guilt, fear, denial and silence serves to uphold the system of white supremacy.

It argues that it is not enough to simply hold abstract progressive views and condemn the obvious racists on social media.

Change starts with us all at a practical, granular level.  It is time for all white people to take responsibility for relinquishing their own racial supremacy.

Gentleman, A (2019). The Windrush betrayal: exposing the hostile environment. London: Guardian Faber.

Amelia Gentleman’s exposé of the Windrush scandal shocked the nation, and led to the resignation of Amber Rudd as Home Secretary.

This book shines a light on the people directly affected by the scandal.  It illustrates the devastating effect of politicians becoming so disconnected from the world outside Westminster that they become oblivious to the impact of their policy decisions.

This is a vitally important account that exposes deeply disturbing truths about modern Britain.

Hirsch, A (2018). Brit(ish): on race, identity and belonging. London: Penguin. 

You’re British. Your parents are British. Your partner, your children and most of your friends are British. So why do people keep asking where you’re from?

We are a nation in denial about our imperial past and the racism that plagues our present.

Brit(ish) is Afua Hirsch’s personal and provocative exploration of how this came to be – and an urgent call for change. [Synopsis]

Shukla N (2017). The good immigrant. London: Unbound.

Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today.

The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that doesn’t seem to want you, doesn’t truly accept you—however many generations you’ve been here—but still needs you for its diversity monitoring forms.


Further reading

Mac, T (2020). Save the tears: white woman’s guide.

If you’re a white woman who is watching the world burn because of police murder against Black people, and you don’t know what to do, I wrote you a guide. [Introduction]

Mac, T (2020). White guyde to the galaxy. 

If you are a white guy and you don’t know what to do beyond donate and being quiet, I made you a list. [Introduction]

Stamborski A, Zimmerman N and Gregory B (2020). Scaffolded anti-racist resources.

This working document is aimed at white allies who wish to develop their understanding and knowledge.

It brings together resources which are divided into sections that are based on a model that outlines the stages of becoming a white ally. 


Podcasts and videos

Black Britain on Film

The BFI’s collection of free to watch images of black culture and community. From the Hull Fair in 1902 to a Nigerian wedding in Cornwall in the ’60s and more.   

Podcast: Akala and David Olusoga, Striking the Empire 

MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, poet and activist, Akala, and the historian, writer and broadcaster, David Olusoga discuss everything from empire and race, to culture and class, as they explore the roots of modern British society. 


Healthcare and the NHS

Short reads

Bansal, H (2020) Using the electronic staff record to access workforce diversity data NHS Employers Blog, 6 July 2020.

NELFT’s head of equality, diversity and inclusion Harjit Bansal talks about how she is using ESR functionality to better understand the diverse makeup of her local workforce.

Chetty D and Sands-O’Connor K (2020). ‘Hoorah for health workers!’. Books for Keeps, no 242, May 2020, p16-17.

In the latest in their Beyond the Secret Garden series examining how BAME voices have been represented in children’s literature in Britain, Darren Chetty and Karen Sands-O’Connor raise a cheer for some fictional doctors and nurses. [Introduction]

Goodwin, M (2020) The Racist History of Abortion and Midwifery Bans, ACLU News & Commentary  1 July 2020

Discusses the current debate on abortion in the US and the long history of links to slavery and white supremacy.  

Jolliff T (2020). ‘Time to speak up: some necessary words about racism’. The King’s Fund blog, 9 July 2020.

It’s time to speak up and challenge the individuals and cultures that perpetuate racism and racial prejudice.

In this blog, Tracie Jolliff (Head of Inclusive Leadership and System Development, NHS England and Improvement) calls for collective action to support change. 

The King’s Fund (2020). ‘A long way to go’: ethnic minority NHS staff share their stories. London: The King’s Fund.

What is it like being a member of staff from an ethnic minority background in the NHS? This piece of digital content explores the lived experience of NHS staff.


Long reads

Anekwe, L (2020). Ethnic disparities in maternal care’. BMJ, 2020;368:m442.

Black and ethnic minority women are paying with their lives for the lack of action on racial bias, reports Lilian Anekwe. [Introduction]

Hui A, Latif A, Chen T and Hinsliff-Smith K (2020). ‘Exploring the impacts of organisational structure, policy and practice on the health inequalities of marginalised communities: illustrative cases from the UK healthcare system.’ Health Policy, 124(3):298-302. 

Paper exploring how organisational structure, policies and practices in healthcare can inadvertently disadvantage marginalised populations (e.g. individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds) and reinforce health inequalities.

It draws upon three diverse UK healthcare settings (long term care institutions, high security hospitals and community pharmacies) to illustrate how systemic injustices negatively impact access to care, treatment and health outcomes.

The first case study considers the care of older people in nursing homes; specifically the disempowering effects of the service structure and the impact of reduction in choice upon older people’s access to health.

The second case study explores the impact of security restrictions upon patients within high security hospitals. It focuses particularly on the maintenance of relationships and support networks outside of the hospital.

The third and final case study, draws upon a national community pharmacy medicine management service to illustrate ways in which policies and guidelines inadvertently obstruct patients’ engagement with the service within a community setting.

We draw upon these settings to highlight inequalities within different contexts and to illustrate the ways in which well intended services may inadvertently disadvantage marginalised communities. [Abstract]

Kline R (2014). The ‘snowy white peaks’ of the NHS: a survey of discrimination in governance and leadership and the potential impact on patient care in London and England. Project report. London: Middlesex University.

This survey of the leadership of NHS Trusts in London assesses progress ten years after the launch of the Race Equality Action Plan. It examines current board composition and looks at the literature on diversity in the NHS.

Ross S, Jabbal J, Chauhan K, Maguire D, Randhawa M and Dahir S (2020). Workforce race inequalities and inclusion in NHS providers. London: The King’s Fund.

This report outlines the findings of research into how three NHS case studies have sought to address workforce race inequalities and develop positive and inclusive working environments.

It also draws on the lived experience of ethnic minority staff in the NHS to show the ways in which race inequality and discrimination are part of their daily experience of the workplace.

West M, Randhawa M and Dawson J (2015). Making the difference: diversity and inclusion in the NHS. London: The King’s Fund. 

Research analysing data from the NHS Staff Survey .  It draws on wider work on climates of inclusion to suggest strategies for lasting and pervasive change.



Criado-Perez, C (2019). Invisible women: exposing data bias in a world designed for men. London: Vintage.

Shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population.

It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.

From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, Invisible Women reveals the biased data that excludes women.

Roberts, D (2012). Fatal invention: how science, politics, and big business re-create race in the twenty-first century. New York: The New Press.

This groundbreaking book by the acclaimed Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of the biological concept of race—revived by purportedly cutting–edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases—continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era. [Synopsis]

Skloot, R (2010). The immortal life of Henriette Lacks. London: Picador.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. Born a poor black tobacco farmer, her cancer cells – taken without her knowledge – became a multimillion-dollar industry and one of the most important tools in medicine.

Yet Henrietta’s family did not learn of her ‘immortality’ until more than twenty years after her death, with devastating consequences.

Rebecca Skloot’s fascinating account is the story of the life, and afterlife, of one woman who changed the medical world forever.


Podcasts and videos

99% Invisible (2020). Freedom House Ambulance Service. 

This episode of 99% Invisible discusses the origin of the first paramedic and EMT service, Freedom House Ambulance Service,  a black-run ambulance service serving a predominantly black district of Pittsburg in the 1960s.

The King’s Fund (2019). The King’s Fund podcast: Professor David Williams on racism, discrimination and the impact they have on health.

How do our life experiences shape our health? What can we do to tackle social inequalities?

This podcast features Professor David Williams from Harvard University and he talks about his research into the social influences on health and the interventions that could make a difference.

The King’s Fund (2019). The King’s Fund podcast: race equality in the NHS workforce.

What can be done about race inequality in the NHS workforce? How can we ensure representative leadership happens?

The King’s Fund podcast talks with Yvonne Coghill, Director at NHS England Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES); Dionne Daniel, Project Lead, Nursing Workforce Remodelling Research Project; and Ben Morrin, Director of Workforce at University College London Hospitals.

Roberts, D (2016). The problem with race-based medicine. TED talk.

Social justice advocate and law scholar Dorothy Roberts has a precise and powerful message: Race-based medicine is bad medicine. Even today, many doctors still use race as a medical shortcut; they make important decisions about things like pain tolerance based on a patient’s skin color instead of medical observation and measurement.

In this searing talk, Roberts lays out the lingering traces of race-based medicine — and invites us to be a part of ending it. “It is more urgent than ever to finally abandon this backward legacy,” she says, “and to affirm our common humanity by ending the social inequalities that truly divide us.”


Librarianship, the profession and the workplace

Short reads

Dixon, Z (2020). ‘How to be an anti-racist librarian’, Books for Keeps, no 243, July 2020, p3.

Zoey Dixon suggests ways to make your library anti-racist. Her advice will be useful for everyone, whatever your role. [Introduction]


Long reads

Andrews, N (2020). ‘It’s not imposter syndrome: resisting self-doubt as normal for library workers’. In the Library with the Lead Pipe, 10 June 2020. 

Library workers, as with other professions, are quick to diagnose ourselves and others with imposter syndrome when we doubt or devalue our everyday work. 

However, methods of coping with imposter syndrome have changed little in the forty years since the term was first theorised, and often centre on feel-good fixes which do not address power imbalances between the sufferer and their workplace environment. 

Here, I examine the origins of imposter syndrome, and identify factors often misinterpreted as imposter syndrome but which are instead the product of oppressions such as precarious labour, racism, and sexism. 

By unpacking how oppression and gaslighting shapes a workplace environment, we can then alleviate individuals with imposter syndrome of sole responsibility for their own healing, and hold institutions and managers accountable for the conditions they help to perpetuate. [Abstract]

Barr-Walker J (2019). ‘Critical librarianship in health sciences libraries: an introduction’. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 107(2):258-264.

The Medical Library Association recently announced its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

While this is a positive start, critical librarianship takes the crucial concepts of diversity and inclusion one step further by advocating for social justice action and the dismantling of oppressive institutional structures, including white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism.

Critical librarianship takes many forms, but, at its root, is focused on interrogating and disrupting inequitable systems, including changing racist cataloging rules, creating student-driven information literacy instruction, supporting inclusive and ethical publishing models, and rejecting the notion of libraries as neutral spaces.

This article presents examples of the application of critical practice in libraries as well as ideas for applying critical librarianship to the health sciences. [Abstract]

Charles E (2019). ‘Decolonizing the curriculum’. Insights 32(1):24.

The term ‘decolonizing the curriculum’ is of high currency in higher education in the UK and in local students’ unions at these institutions.

This article seeks to give a very brief history and context for why this is fundamental for academic institutions and what role libraries and the scholarly communication sector can play in this movement.

I look at why this is so important for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and othered (otherly minoritized, e.g. disabled, LGBTQ, etc.) students and what steps some libraries have already taken.

One of the themes of the UKSG 2019 Conference was ‘diversity and change’; decolonizing the curriculum is exactly that, if done correctly. Two presentations from the plenary session provided a good starting point and the article touches on how decolonizing the curriculum may impact research/researchers.

It concludes that there is a need for academia to now move past just identifying that there are issues about retention and progression of BAME and othered students and staff, and for both the library and information and scholarly communication sectors to act to address this now. [Abstract]

Ishaq, Dr M and Hussain, Dr AM (2019). BAME staff experiences of academic and research libraries. London: SCONUL.

This report puts the voices of BAME library staff at the centre of the conversation around the lack of ethnic diversity in the library profession, and specifically within the HE section.

The report sets out further work that SCONUL is planning to undertake to address leadership, voice, zero-tolerance policies, cultural and behavioural change, active support for BAME staff and effective partnerships for change.

Martin, ER (2019). ‘Social justice and the medical librarian’. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 107(3): 291-3030.

This article is the transcript of Elaine Russo Martin’s 2018 Janet Doe Lecture which focused on the role that health librarians can play in social justice. It argues that social justice needs to be core to the role of health librarians and the profession as as whole.

Tarango GS (2016). ‘The legacy of Lady Bountiful: white women in the library’. Library Trends, 64(4): 667-686.

White supremacy and patriarchy have acted upon and through the white female body, which has implications for library and information science (LIS), a white- and female-dominated field.

Insisting that we investigate librarianship through a lens that does not consider gender alone, this paper draws upon whiteness, critical race, and feminist theories to explore the formation and persistence of a particular mode of whiteness in LIS.

Calling on the Lady Bountiful archetype, this paper interrogates the ways in which patriarchy, white supremacy, and notions of ideal femininity have worked together to craft a subject fit to perform the work of colonialism in its variegated and feminized forms.

By exploring how the white woman was deemed an appropriate agent for the racial, missionary, and “civilizing” projects of early libraries, one can better locate her legacy in contemporary pedagogies, practices, and representations.

This paper concludes with suggestions for addressing this undertheorized yet prevalent archetype in both LIS scholarship and teaching. [Abstract]


Further reading

Strand, K.J. (2019) Disrupting Whiteness in Libraries and Librarianship: A Reading List [Online]. Available at:

This bibliography, produced by Karla J. Strand (Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian, University of Wisconsin), brings together resources focused on anti-racism and disrupting whiteness and white supremacy in libraries.

Howard, N. and Nguyen, HA (2019) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: A reading list for LKS Live [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 11 June 2020)


People and organisations

Ballet Black / @BalletBlack / @originalballetblack

Neo-classical ballet company that celebrates dancers of Black and Asian descent.

Black Ballad / @BlackBalladUK

UK based platform that seeks to tell the human experience through eyes of black British women. 

Brap / @braphumanrights

This charity supports organisations and communities to transform the way that they think and do equality.

They provide training, online learning and organisational development services. Brap has also established a learning network for people who are involved in EDI work, the Equality Republic.

Colonial Countryside / @colonialcountr1 

This project assembles authors, writers, historians and primary pupils to explore country houses’ Caribbean and East India Company connections. There are opportunities for children, schools, parents, and volunteers to get involved. 

Fearless Futures / @fearlessfutures

This organisation provides tailored training to help build individual and organisational understanding of inequality and power relations.

Gal-Dem / @galdemzine

Award-winning online and print publication committed to sharing perspectives from women and non-binary people of colour


Skill exchange and timebank for improving the quality of health and care services across the UK. Sign up and join the campaign to create a Community of Opportunity to support BAME colleagues in the workplace by offering mentoring, support and interview coaching.

Melanin Medics / @melaninmedics

This non-profit is focused on supporting African and Caribbean aspiring medics, medical students and doctors in the UK. It aims to implement positive solutions to help overcome under-representation and economic barriers in medicine. 

The Other Box / @theotherbox

Award-winning diversity and inclusion company educating businesses on bias and educating and empowering people to work and live more inclusively.

The Runnymede Trust / @RunnymedeTrust 

The UK’s leading independent race equality thinktank.



[Page Updated: 31 July 2020]