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Welcome to Ebony Reads

Ebony Reads has been set up to make readers aware of the breadth and depth of fiction by Black writers and to encourage readers to purchase this fiction. It will promote the work of Black writers and lead, hopefully, to more sales and a higher profile for some of the writers.

Overall, it is an educational exercise with the aim of raising awareness of fiction by black authors. The list features Black writers from the UK, the US, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. As well as classics such as Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, books that might appeal to younger readers have also been included.

Actor and Playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah helped launch Ebony Reads. Read more:
CLICK HERE >>

Actress and author Rani Singh also helped launch Ebony Reads. Read more:
CLICK HERE >>

Vote now for your TOP 5 Ebony Reads Books. YOU MUST CHOOSE FROM THE SELECTED OFFICIAL TOP 25: CLICK HERE >>

ER In The Press

Ebony Reads has been featured in the National UK press: CLICK HERE >>
(Guardian Online newspaper)

The TOP 100 has now been trimmed to the TOP 25 as featured on Open Book Radio 4.

Guardian Online: Website of the Week, Top 10 Websites: CLICK HERE >>

Ebony Reads had a national launch in Birmingham (29.10.2004).
To read more: CLICK HERE >> (924KB PDF File)

Aims of Ebony Reads

  • To showcase Black and Asian writers
  • Act as a guide for readers who want to read fiction by black writers
  • Provide children and families with a reading list
  • Tap into reader development initiatives
  • Address disaffection among black young people. It is said that when it comes to education, some young people do not have access to material that reflects their lives/experiences.
  • Objectives

  • Encourage more people to read fiction by black authors
  • Encourage people to vote for their favourite authors providing reader participation
  • Promote fiction by black authors. According to Nielsen Bookscan of the top 100 best selling books of 2003, none were by black or Asian Authors. Brick Lane by Monica Ali entered at 179.
  • Provide a list of fiction titles by black authors
  • Encourage people to discuss literature
  • Encourage teenagers to read some of the books on the list
  • Show that reading is an important part of Black community life
  • Address under representation
  • Promote inclusion
  • How it will work

  • Nominations for the list of 100 books have been sought from libraries, literary organisations, reading groups and bookshops.
  • The list will be reduced to 50 in December. The closing date is January.
  • The top 25 will be announced in February.
  • Voting will take place via the Ebony Reads website, libraries and a few bookshops.
  • At the time of writing, members of the public have started nominating books via email. This was totally unexpected and is the result of relays by email. Some people started to email friends about it and the rest is history.
Vote now for your TOP 5 Ebony Reads Books. YOU MUST CHOOSE FROM THE SELECTED OFFICIAL 100: CLICK HERE >>

Some Facts

-72% of black people read for pleasure
-Minority ethnic groups are well represented in their involvement in creative writing
-Around 7% of Black and 10% of mixed ethnic minority people had written a story in the past year compared to the national figure of 4%

More ethnic minority users beat the national figure for public library use. According to the survey 47% of all people visited a public library in the past year but among Asian, Black, Chinese and other ethnic groups the number of library users was higher than the national average by as much as 10%.

(In Full Colour (Bookseller), 12 March 2004, p5

*Black includes people of African, Caribbean, South Asian and South East Asian origin.