International publisher’s Lit In Colour boost for students and staff at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre

Students and staff at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre are celebrating after being awarded more than 130 books from an international publisher as part of a campaign to increase the number of authors from minority groups on the curriculum.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 12th November 2021, 8:26 am
Burnley College Sixth Form Centre students with the Lit In Colour books received from Penguin

The books received include popular titles Empireland by Sathnam Sanghera, A Promised Land by Barack Obama, and We Are All The Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan, among many others.

All are penned by a diverse range of authors, including people of colour and LGBTQ+ writers and form part of the “Lit In Colour” campaign spearheaded by publisher Penguin.

Representatives from more than 1,600 schools and colleges across the UK wrote essays on how their students would benefit from the books.

Jennifer Brown, A-Level English lecturer and College Equality, Diversity and Inclusion board member, entered on behalf on of Burnley College and said: “We want to ensure we all speak about diversity, experience and under-represented voices as openly and honestly as possible, no matter how uncomfortable these issues may be to approach.

"Receiving these books means a lot for our students. It’s about making sure that Burnley College is at the forefront of conversations about inclusion and diversity.”

A-Level English language/literature, history and sociology student Amina Shan (18), from Burnley, a former pupil at Sir John Thursby Community College, is excited at the prospect of

reading the new books.

“I read ‘1000 Splendid Suns’ and it really resonated with me as a Muslim woman but then I had to search pretty hard for another book from another author of colour. I feel there is not enough representation of people of colour when it comes to books so Lit In Colour is a great initiative.”

Publishers Penguin carried out an in-depth survey into young people’s reading habits. They found 82% of students didn’t recall ever reading a book by a Black, Asian or minority ethnic author and felt it was time to address the lack of diversity on bookshelves across the UK.