Welcome to our diversity and inclusion resources page. With students in 180 countries worldwide, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the University of London’s mission to “transform lives through education.”
The Library team has put together a carefully curated set of resources that celebrate diversity and inclusion, which we hope will interest, inspire and inform.
If you have any suggestions for resources to be included on this page, we would welcome you sharing them with us.
Disability Awareness Month - November 2023
In honour of Disability Awareness month, the Online Library is sharing a few interesting reads from our collection that focus on various issues related to disabilities, ableism and how we can better include people with all disabilities into our global community. If there is a particular title, you feel might help promote Disability Awareness, please feel free to send us a suggestion.
The Online Library has written a short accessibility guide with tips on how to make the most of Online Library resources, such as activating text-to-speech features to help those who are visually impaired.
More Than Medals: A History of the Paralympics and Disability Sports in Postwar Japan by Dennis Frost (2022)
Follow the creation and success of the Paralympics. Hear the inspiring tale of how one town’s choice to embrace competitive wheelchair racing led to a massive tourism boom.
Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education by Jay T. Dolmage (2017)
The book that has started the movement for Academia to openly include and public acknowledge those with disabilities in the community. Dolmage’s well researched piece shows the evolution of Academia’s awkward history with it’s workers with disabilities.
Ableism in Academia by Nicole Brown & Jennifer Lee (2020)
Similar in it’s focus to Dolmage’s book but with a personal approach, this book is filled with personal stories and interviews of academics dealing with their disabilities in the modern day workplace.
Gellman, Irwin (01/01/2019). Secret Affairs: Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull, and Sumner Welle
Read the secret techniques President Roosevelt had to incorporate to hide his polio from the public and the media in order to avoid the ableism of the early and mid-twentieth century.
"Peter Dinklage". People magazine, 60 (15), p. 115.
Read this inspiring piece on how actor, Peter Dinklage has broken discrimination barriers and taken audiences from viewing him as ‘Special Needs’ to ‘Special and Spectacular’ in roles ranging from “Star Wars” to “Hunger Games” and “Game of Thrones”.
Teaching Myself To See by Tito Mukhopadhyay (2021)
Follow the author as he gives examples of what it’s like to live with autism in his visually selective world (always processing the overwhelming onslaught of details). Tito openly shares his story with readers to help them better understand first-hand how he manages to navigate our world in a “hyper-visual” way.
Black Disability Politics by Sami Schalk (2022)
Incorporating data from both the Black Panther Party Archives and National Black Women’s Health Project (USA), Schalk draws from her research to identify the key challenges to creating anti-racist/anti-sexist and anti-ableist health care provision in public health initiatives.
Apgar, A. 2023, The Disabled Child: Memoirs of a Normal Future, University of Michigan Press
Amanda Apgar takes on the tough role of breaking down the disparity in parental memoirs of life with a disabled child….and what we can learn to help all families struggling to incorporate their children into a productive and safe world.
Robertson, M., Ley, A. & Light, E. 2019, The First into the Dark: The Nazi Persecution of the Disabled, UTS ePress.
This book details a darker time when anyone with a disability was a potential medical experiment under Nazi doctors’ supposed ‘studies and treatments’.
Grover & Piggott 2015, Disabled People, Work and Welfare, 1st edn, Policy Press, Bristol.
The experiences of people with diverse disabilities working in three cultures (Australia, America and Scotland) are interwoven, compared and contrasted for an easy read allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions on what works and what doesn’t and what to do next.
Krull, H. & Oguz, M. 2014, Health and Economic Outcomes in the Alumni of the Wounded Warrior Project: 2010–2012, 1st edn, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica
This qualitative study provides an analysis of the Wounded Warrier Project. An exciting read about the new sciences incorporated into healing trauma and finding ways for former members of the active military to re-enter society.
Fries, K. 2021, In the Province of the Gods, The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.
Kenny Fries opens up about his own experience as a disabled foreigner in Japan. His real life journey including many meetings along his path, where it is slowly illuminated that the Japanese have already very subtly created a form of inclusion with disabled gods, one-eyed samurai, blind chanting priests and a few more modern surprises than he expects.
Series, L. 2022;2021;, Deprivation of Liberty in the Shadows of the Institution, 1st edn, Bristol University Press, Bristol.
What may start out as a dark read on the history of Victorian social care turns into a thoughtful and compassionate suggestion for the present. Author, Lucy Series takes readers on an insightful journey through the history of mental illness and mental health care challenges.
Razza, N.J. & Tomasulo, D.J. 2005, Healing trauma: The power of group treatment for people with intellectual disabilities, American Psychological Association, Washington;US;DC;
Nancy Razza is an expert author of many inspiring books covering everything in psychotherapy related to the challenges of individual dealings with intellectual disabilities. Many of Nancy Razza’s other works are also available for Psychology students via the Online Library’s APA Psych Books database.
Black History Month – October 2023
Peter Fryer. Staying Power: This History of Black People in Britain. 2010
This book provides a historically accurate and fascinatingly detailed history of Black peoples in Britain. Brimming with vibrant details from the times of the Romans leading up to stories of present day. Peter Fryer’s comprehensive research illuminates readers with how Africans, Asians, and their descendants, previously hidden from history, have influenced and been an active (if unrecognised) part of all of Britain’s history.
Desmond Tutu. God has a dream: a vision of hope for our time. 2005
The beauty of this book is that it is not political and it was written for audiences of all religions. Tutu uses his words to inspire everyone to have hope and dreams, reminding us that the way to a peaceful and harmonious future comes from hope, dreams, and faith.
David Leeming. James Baldwin: A Biography. 2015
Arguably one of the most eloquent speakers of 20th century America, this book chronicles the fascinating life and heritage of author, television icon and media persona James Baldwin, who used his artistic medium to challenge racism, not only against Black people but often on more than one occasion challenge antisemitism and promote gay rights.
Barak Obama. A Promised Land. 2020
President Obama shares his rare upbringing in Indonesia and then Hawaii. Raised by a single American mother and with a distant but loving African father in Kenya, President Obama shares his transition to university and law school, meeting and courting his wife, the road to the White House and life on the world stage. The former president is very open about his relationship with wife, Michelle, and their worries as parents of two girls, growing up in the public eye. This book brings readers an insightful view of the racial, class and economic divides that exists in today’s America but also the opportunities for growth, success and change as this new country grows to value and embrace its richly diverse culture.
Michelle Obama. Becoming. 2018
If you want a fun and inspiring read, this is the book for you. Chock-full of anecdotes from the President of the United States leaving his socks all over the house to refusing to help her husband run for president unless her reluctant mother agreed to move into the White House. Michelle Obama openly shares funny but also very tough stories about her upbringing, her studies and the challenges she faced as one of a handful of black women in a top law firm, balancing being a working mom and her transition to becoming a first lady.
Simone Biles. Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance. 2016
It takes courage to win the Olympics four times, but it takes more courage to talk openly about the challenges that Simone Biles suffered and overcame to become a world class gymnast. In this book, she opens about her experiences being raised in foster care, her adoption by her grandparents and the subsequent loss of her grandmother. When asked about her secret to success, Biles repeatedly credits faith and her family. This book is an easy and inspiring read and a great study break.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Americanah. 2014
Shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s prize for fiction, this book is a thought-provoking novel about race and immigration. This book may be more inspired by author Adichie’s personal experiences than any other. Having attended both university in Nigeria and then managing to transfer to the United States (where she lived near family) with master’s degrees from both Yale and Johns Hopkins, Adichie openly takes from her experiences of being black in Africa vs. being African in Black America. Much like her previous works, Americanah addresses how globalization has affected many West Africans’ opportunities and the challenges to their religious, cultural, and ethnic identity.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Purple hibiscus: a novel. 2012
Author Adichie’s debut novel takes readers into the closed walls of life under revolution through the eyes of a young girl navigating family, religion and cultural identity while wrestling with adolescence in a traditional male dominated home before war in her native Nigeria. Fate brings profound change to Kambili, when she is sent away to live with her aunt, discovering more about herself, her culture and her own family than she expected.
Margot Lee Shetterly. Hidden figures: the untold story of the African American women who helped win the space race. 2016
This book led to the Oscar nominated film Hidden Figures. It tells the true untold real-life stories of amazing African American women, as they struggled as the first generation of Black and female workers (and working mothers) in office jobs and how their perseverance and intelligence led them to became important contributors to the onset of NASA and the space race.
Toni Morrison. Beloved. 2014
This book won not only the Pulitzer Prize but was the catalyst for Toni Morrison receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature. Following the life and inner memories of Sethe, a female slave, and her harrowing story as once free and again a slave, Beloved depicts not only an accurate portrayal of African American history and its identity struggles; it also shares glimpses into the story of a woman living in slavery and the desecration of human relationships, and the beautiful and inherent ability of the slave community to create human bonds and form families regardless of blood.
Jason Miller. Langston Hughes. 2020
Jason Miller’s biography of poet Langston Hughes provides readers with not only an insight into one of the main artists driving the Harlem Renaissance but the life of all the artists living and working in Harlem. Readers can view the little detailed burgeoning of middle-class Black America in the prosperous Sugar Hill neighbourhood and its many artistic contributions to American culture.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Half of a yellow sun. 2009
Set in Nigeria in the mid-1960s, Adichie’s second long awaited page turner follows the lives of three completely unrelated people as they struggle to survive the brutality and trauma of civil war and wind up intertwining into each other’s worlds. The author manages to provide a voyeuristic understanding of the three quite different characters confronted with struggle, loss, the onset of post-colonial ethic and racial structure and the class system that threads through the entire society.
Toni Morrison. The Bluest Eye. 2014
Taking on the topics of race, abuse, the beauty myth, identity and trauma, Morrison uses her poetic and compassionate voice to share this story of a young black girl in the 1940s. All little about the author: through hard work and perseverance, Toni Morrison became the first black female editor in fiction for Random House, a top publisher in 1960s New York City. At that time, she was a single divorced mom.
Langston Hughes. The Weary Blues. 2022
First published in 1925, Langston Hughes’s melancholic poetry incorporates the lyrical vernacular language of Harlem to depict the African American experience. Mr. Hughes was a poet, a playwright, an activist, a novelist, and a journalist. He also collaborated with fellow Harlem Renaissance composers such as Margaret Bonds, Florence Price and many famous performers including Duke Ellington and Paul Robeson.
A.H. Lawrence. Duke Ellington and his World. 2001
Although many politicians and activists may take credit for bridging the gap between White and Black America, Duke Ellington may be one of the first African Americans to bring African American musical culture to the world. Biographer Lawrence shares with the world the exciting life. Raised by two pianists, Ellington’s mother in particular appreciated the importance of manners and dignity, insisting that Ellington always be well groomed and learn manners from her elegant lady friends while she played opera arias on the piano as accompaniment to their artistic and intellectual conversation. This book will provide any reader with a charming and inspiring, love filled journey through Ellington’s life, the exciting birth of the Harlem Renaissance and the birth of the only truly American musical form: jazz.
Clarence Bernard Henry. Quincy Jones: His Life in Music. 2013
Hear the story behind the man who produced Michael Jackson’s Thriller, award winning film The Color Purple and the television series Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Quincy Jones is the man for whom the term EGOT was created – winning the Emmy, the Grammy (actually nominated for 74 Grammys), the Oscar and the Tony Award. This is his story of genius, charm, and determination.
Other great reads
- Tina Turner. My Love Story
- Randy Taraborrelli. Diana Ross: An Unauthorized Biography
- Femi Fadugba. The Upper World
- Ta-Nehisi Coates. The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir
- Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes were watching God
- Zadie Smith. White Teeth
- James Baldwin “Go tell it on the Mountain”.
- Sam Selvon “The Lonely Londoners”
- Chinua Achebe “Things Fall Apart”
- Lemn Sissay “My Name is why”
- Miranda Kaufmann “Black Tudors: the untold story”
- Benjamin Zephaniah “The life and rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah: the autobiography”
- Desmond Tutu “Made for goodness and why this makes all the difference”.
- Desmond Tutu “No Future without Forgiveness”
- Tiffany Jewell and Aurelia Durand “This Book is Anti-Racist”
- Octavia Butler, John Jennings and Damian Duffy “Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation”
Black History Video Resources
- SHL Holden Lecture 2022: The Paul & Adelaide Joseph archive (June, 2022)
- Researching Black London with SHL Collections & Resources (youtube, April 30,2021)
- University of London Graduation 2017: Honorary Degree for UOL Alum, actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
- Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City
- W.E.B. DuBois Centre in Accra
- A People’s Journey, A Nation’s Story
- Wereldmuseum Berg en Dal