Gentrifi-take-tion

Take a few moments to imagine….

You’re at home. In the neighbourhood you’ve lived in your whole life. Your Mum lives around the corner. Your old school friends are all within walking distance. The shopkeeper knows your name…..

A new family moves in next door to you. They’re thrilled to have bought a big house in such a cheap area. But they don’t approve of your local shops, take-outs, your skin colour and all the connotations that come with it….…

Ok. You can brush that off. No big deal.

But then, their best friends move in on the other side of your house. They look just like them, and nothing like you.

And then their business partner moves in across the street. Followed by their neighbours from their old (‘it was lovely, pleasant, quiet, safe, you know? But it was sooooo expensive.’) And on it goes…….

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Another Mother of a Book

A Review of The Mothers, by Brit Bennett.

On the back cover of The Mothers, by Brit Bennett, Roxane Gay is quoted as saying “The Mothers has stayed with me since I first read it….”. It stayed with me too. It was one of those books I had to sit with for a moment after I turned the last page. For a novel set around a church community, if felt almost prayer-like when I finished it. I had to sit and reflect on it, in silence, with respect.

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Save me! Save me! (Said no one, ever.)

“Me and White Supremacy” has been without doubt the most important book and I’ve read this year. It’s helped me make sense of how we’ve got to where we are in the world. Importantly for me, it’s put a name to experiences and conditions that people of colour find themselves in every day. The simple act of reading about a particular, uncomfortable feeling and confirming that it’s actually “a thing” is empowering. It’s opened up real conversations.

I’ve wanted to write a review of this book from the moment I finished it, but it’s a daunting task, because it’s so important, and so fundamental to my person growth. I would hate to do it a disservice.

So I’m breaking it down into sections to share my own views on certain elements. Starting with “White Saviourism”.

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She knew she was trouble….

A review of Darling, by Rachel Edwards

Ooooo this was a goodie! A proper page turning, couldn’t put it down, thriller!

The truth is, I wouldn’t have read anything by Rachel Edwards before I recently committed to a year of reading books written only by authors of colour. The reason is simply because I’d never heard of her. (Which is a tragedy, by the way, because she’s awesome.) It makes me think, even as an English graduate and dedicated bookworm…….how many Black, British authors do I know? How many can I name off the top of my head? How many did I study at school or university? I’m ashamed of myself for this, not least because I didn’t even notice the white centrism in my own reading.

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