I’ve heard and read people say that their resistance to reading Reni Eddo-Lodge’s novel is the title. Frankly, this attitude is exactly why this book needs to exist and why it has done so well. It’s 2019 – resisting the ever-growing tendrils of racism in Britain is no longer an option. What is an option is how you come to terms with the facts, figures and personal accounts, and I suggest this book as one of those options.
As a South African reader, coming from an education system in which the history of racism in society is one of the most frequently included items on the syllabus, I was particularly intrigued/shocked by how Lodge describes only learning about the history of British racism once she hit university and how this is common. How she knew more about the American civil rights movement than the history of her own country. As she describes it (as well as why I’d recommend it, particularly to a British audience): “I recall these histories not to obsessively comb over the past, but simply to know it.”
It’s easy-reading in terms of simplicity of the sentences, but the complexity of thought will keep you reeling. And don’t expect those thoughts to stop once you turn the last page.
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