The First of October marks the beginning of Black History Month, where we celebrate and acknowledge black culture, art and history throughout the world. The theme of this year’s Black History Month focuses on tackling conscious and unconscious bias, showing the damaging effects bias can have on communities. Below are a collection of titles exploring black history, including the presentation of black people and communities in popular culture and film and the history of the Bamana Empire.

Blackness Blaxploitation Bamana

Blackness Is Burning
Civil Rights, Popular Culture, and the Problem of Recognition
TreaAndrea M. Russworm
Oct 2016 320pp, 32 illustrations
9780814340516 Paperback
Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series

“Russworm’s prose is accessible and rigorous: her ability to convey and critique theoretical concepts within her analyses of Black media representations in a tangible, almost commonsense way, is immensely laudable—and no small feat.”
– Bambi Haggins, author of Laughing Mad: The Black Comic Persona in Post Soul America

Critiques the politics of recognition and representation in popular culture as attempts to "humanise" black identity through stories of suffering and triumph or tales of destruction and survival.
Wayne State University Press

Beyond Blaxploitation
Edited by Novotny Lawrence & Gerald R. Butters
Dec 2016 288pp, 32 illustrations
9780814340769 Paperback
Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series
A ground-breaking scholarly anthology devoted to examining canonical and lesser-known films of the blaxploitation movement to demonstrate the richness, depth, and complexity of this intriguing period in motion picture history.
Wayne State University Press

The Bamana Empire by the Niger
Kingdom, Jihad and Colonization 1712-1920
Sundiata A. K. Djata
Jul 2016 277pp
9781558766075 Paperback
9781558766068 Hardback
The powerful Bamana State emerged in 1712 and centred around the Middle Niger, where most inhabitants were Bamanas with their own language and religion. It was a sophisticated society with nobles, casted groups, and slaves. This title provides a colourful picture of this state, which for centuries was a solid commercial, military, and agricultural society formed by ideologies other than imported religions.
Markus Wiener Publishers