On 21st March, South Africans commemorate the annual human rights day in remembrance of the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for freedom. In the 1960s, the community of Sharpeville and fellow compatriots embarked on a protest against pass laws. Leading to the apartheid police gruesomely killing 69 protesters, while many fled for their lives. The tragedy came to be known as the Sharpeville massacre and revealed the ill manner and deliberate violation of human rights by the apartheid government.
Here at Urbanippie, to celebrate human rights day, we have compiled a list of books for human rights. We invite you to read our list of fiction and non-fiction books alike on the issues in today’s world
I am Malala: The Story of the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.
I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.
Between the world and me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The story of race and America has remained a brutally simple one, written on flesh: it is the story of the black body, exploited to create the country’s foundational wealth, violently segregated to unite a nation after a civil war, and, today, still disproportionately threatened, locked up and killed in the streets. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can America reckon with its fraught racial history? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ attempt to answer those questions, presented in the form of a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son the story of his own awakening to the truth about history and race through a series of revelatory experiences: immersion in nationalist mythology as a child; engagement with history, poetry and love at Howard University; travels to Civil War battlefields and the South Side of Chicago; a journey to France that reorients his sense of the world; and pilgrimages to the homes of mothers whose children’s lives have been taken as American plunder. Taken together, these stories map a winding path towards a kind of liberation—a journey from fear and confusion to a full and honest understanding of the world as it is.
Escape from camp 14: One man’s remarkable odyssey from North Korea to freedom in the west by Blaine Harden
Shin Dong-hyuk was born in the early 1980s inside Camp 14, one of five sprawling political prisons in the mountains of North Korea. Located about 55 miles north of Pyongyang, the labour camp is a ‘complete control district,’ a no-exit prison where the only sentence is life. No one born in Camp 14 or in any North Korean political prison camp has escaped. No one except Shin. This is his story. A gripping, terrifying memoir with a searing sense of place, ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14 will unlock, through Shin, a dark and secret nation, taking readers to a place they have never before been allowed to go.
The help by Kathryn Stockett
Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who’s always taken orders quietly, but lately, she’s unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She’s full of ambition, but without a husband, she’s considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town…
To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee
A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel – a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much. To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, an anti-racist novel, a historical drama of the Great Depression and a sublime example of the Southern writing tradition
We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In this personal, eloquently argued essay – adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now – an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
The kite runner by Khaled Hosseini
Afghanistan, 1975: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.
Long walk to freedom by Nelson Mandela
The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader of our time, Long Walk to Freedom brilliantly re-creates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela’s destiny. Emotive, compelling and uplifting, Nelson Mandela became the democratically elected, first black president of the republic of South Africa on 27 April 1994. Long Walk to Freedom is the exhilarating story of an epic life; a story of hardship, resilience, and ultimate triumph told with the clarity and eloquence of a born leader.
Hidden figures: The American Dream and the untold story of black women mathematicians who helped win the space race by Margot Lee Shetterly
Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as ‘Human Computers’, calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these ‘colored computers’ used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women’s rights movement,
Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women’s rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of mankind’s greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.
The underground railroad by Colson Whitehead
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves, but Cora is an outcast even among her fellow Africans, and she is coming into womanhood; even greater pain awaits. Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, and they plot their escape. Matters do not go as planned – Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her – but they manage to find a station and head north. Cora embarks on a harrowing journey, state-by-state, seeking true freedom.
*summaries from Amazon.com*