Key aspects of the topic including racism and history, race and representation, race and rights, skin colour and stereotyping are explored in this straightforward and accessible book and interspersed with nine accounts of first-hand experience from a range of individuals including an actor, a poet, a broadcaster and an activist starting with the authors’ own experiences. Quotes from significant individuals of colour such as writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are incorporated throughout.
A historical perspective is provided, refuting the myth that people of colour only arrived on British shores at the time of the Empire Windrush and pointing out the impact and legacy of Imperialism and key events in the development of legislation and attitudes to racism such as the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Language and terminology are explored, differentiating race from ethnicity and introducing concepts such as erasure and self-representation. The implications of the apparently innocuous ‘Where do you come from?’ is unpicked and the subtle impact of the ostensibly supportive ‘Oh I don’t see you as black’ is highlighted.
Readers are invited to engage actively in the issues raised through the inclusion of questions to think about for example the way race might shape experience. The book ends with guidance on how to unlearn racism, challenge it or how to deal with racism if experiencing it.
The layout is simple, clearly organised into chapters and with illustrated double page spreads on the key topics and personal vignettes. The back of the book includes a glossary, index and sources of further information. This is an important addition to Wayland’s And other big questions series which seeks to explore significant issues, encourage reflection and prompt debate.