We believe that education is so important in helping us to understanding people’s lives and the issues that they deal with every day, in understanding racism, institutional racism, systemic racism, for example… In the wake of the protests around the world about the death or George Floyd, many have asked for book recommendations suitable for young people and we’ve had some brilliant suggestions from our Facebook group, Raising Teens in Lockdown. Here’s are a few of them. Thanks to everyone on for contributing.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y Davis

There’s a great piece by Gary Younge about his year of reading books by African women. He writes: “Faced with an array of choices and limited time, when it comes to literature, there’s a part of me that I’m not particularly proud of that chooses not to make the effort, even when there is little to no translation necessary. Somewhere deep in my subconscious I must have decided that books by African women would be harder than those by some other demographics. They weren’t. On some level I must have had reading African women down as self-improving but not necessarily enjoyable, when in fact it was mostly the latter and often both.”

There’s also a really good list here on the embracerace website.

Please leave a comment if you have any others to add ❤️

Kaia, 17, is one of the organisers of the Black Lives Matter protest that takes place in Brighton on 13 June 2020, in solidarity with the protesters in America and around the world over the death of George Floyd. Here she writes about why we’re marching and what is being done to safeguard participants.

This peaceful (but not silent) protest will commemorate the changes already marked in history, but also be the start of ticking the boxes left untouched.

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We hope to see you there!!!!

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This march has been assessed thoroughly by all the coordinators of the team, delving into legal matters and collaborating with others in order to gain a better idea of how to conduct this safely. From the compassion of many participants, we are stacking up on PPE and raising awareness of the imperative safety procedures on our Instagram account. We are in contact with the council, and developing our routes to ensure the safety of the protesters and we are also highlighting the importance of keeping social distance. This will be reiterated at the protest, as well as information about PPE, protesting rights and other matters that will ease any fears around the event.   

This movement will allow thousands to stand in solidarity with the victims in America to a corrupt, explicit and oppressive system. We walk alongside many others participating across the UK and across the globe who are instigating movements akin to ours, but we also can walk with our ancestors that fought for the foundations we have today. We all can then provide the foundations for those in the future, who may have to continue this legacy. United, we can shatter the ideology of this fight for equality being black and white; Black Lives Matter is a movement that is pro-black, not anti-white. On the 13th of June, a day symbolic of the 13th amendment, we can highlight the barriers maintaining this racial hierarchy and start to find solutions on a large scale and a small scale. Participants of all ages, all genders, all sexualities, all ethnicities, all religions can start to learn about the world and its very constructors, which were hidden from the education system and those in authority. By being black, you are the products of the history our ancestors did not choose, and it’s not just down to black people to fix it.   

If you have any other questions/queries, please feel free to contact us on our Instagram account (@brighton.blm)!  

Justice. Continue the legacy!  

Kaia, 17

In our third episode of this special lockdown series of Raising Teens, we look at how families with separated parents are coping. With the lockdown starting to be relaxed in coming weeks, topics include co-parenting, differing attitudes to lockdown rules and guidelines, keeping safe in the pandemic and missing a parent, children or siblings you don’t live with. Guests and teens explore creative ways to keep in touch and what’s behind conflict and flare-ups at home.

It’s a really positive episode full of great advice. Host Guy Lloyd talks to guests, Alex Psaila from Relate, Stephen Woodward, Relationship and Parental Counsellor from Brighton & Hove Council, and parent of five, Michelle.

You can hear Raising Teens on BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey at 7.30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and online on BBC Sounds.

🔊 Listen to Raising Teens: Separated Parenting in Lockdown on BBC Sounds

Listen to previous episodes of Raising Teens in this special lockdown series:

🔊 Listen to Lockdown Home Schooling on BBC Sounds

🔊 Listen to Anxiety in a Pandemic on BBC Sounds

Help & Advice

Relate, offers relationship support and counselling

Brighton & Hove council’s advice for separated or separating parents who want to find ways to improve their relationship and get on better.

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.

NSPCC, advice and information on separation and divorce, including your rights around child contact.

Young Minds, advice on supporting a child during separation and divorce.

Make (Good) Trouble’s Beren, 19, has decided to ditch social media for a month, “to make this experience of lockdown more positive”. With the enforced pause in many young people’s lives due to lockdown, many have taken the time to reflect on their priorities and what they want from life.

Here Beren discusses why he’s switching off, and what the first few days have been like. 

Day 1

Today I have felt a massive shift in my motivation to do things that I usually wouldn’t do. For example, reading books, making a vlog and thinking of how we can create a world of happiness and love. 

In our day-to-day lives we never stop for a minute to think about what we really desire. Most of our actions are conditional and unambitious. This first day has given me a moment of stillness and a pause, from the fast-moving world around us, to think. I have thought about what I would like to happen in my life and what I want to do, as well as how this affects other people. I want to inspire people to do something different that makes a positive change in their life. Social media is so amazing but only if it is used in a positive way to network and bring people together. The images we get from social media are normally fake and inspire people to look a certain way. Social media should inspire people but not to change their appearance. It should be a place where we encourage a healthy and exciting lifestyle. We shouldn’t rely on this privilege or we cannot be our true selves. 

Day 2

I have realised that we humans can have such a good time being productive and be in a really good headspace. But when one thing goes badly or stresses you out, our mental health goes downhill very quickly. Feeling stressed made me feel sick and like I was getting ill and I suddenly felt really tired. So I think social media is good sometimes to get our minds off things but can suck a lot of time out of us. Now I have to sit with my thoughts and I’m going to read a book to destress. I hope it works. 

Day 3 

Today has been such a good day. recorded my vlog for yesterday. From this day I have had more time to think. Our daily lives are what we make them to be and will be as productive and exciting or as boring and lazy as we set out then to be. If we are unmotivated, we will be so lazy and fall into bad habits. But that little bit of effort to make a good routine will fulfil all the desires we have daily. 

What I’m trying to say is that thing that is a little harder than doing nothing may just fill you with joy and happiness that will last days, instead of that minor joy from social media which only lasts the duration. 

Also, today I realised I have been more connected with love for things around me. Such as nature, animals and my family.

You can follow Beren’s adventure on his vlog.