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Black, Listed Reviews

Black, Listed by Jeffrey Boakye

Black, Listed

Jeffrey Boakye

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Dialogue Books
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 18 Apr 2019
ISBN: 9780349700557

A groundbreaking book celebrating the words and phrases that by choice or by circumstance define the Black British experience.

  • The GuardianBook of the Day
5 stars out of 5
David Lammy
15 Apr 2019

"Boakye teaches all of us valuable lessons in history, sociology, politics, literature and pop culture"

It’s brilliantly simple: the book lists and explores the various terms by which black communities are described, represented, classified and oppressed. From “Jeffrey” to “wog”, this book is first and foremost an inventory of categorisations, names, insults and phrases. But it’s so much more than that. It’s also a comprehensive yet concise exploration of black identity... This book gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others. Boakye shows how language does not always have to be insulting, offensive or loaded, it can also be incredibly emancipatory, particularly when the black community takes ownership of the terms of prose. Boakye’s “balled fist of black solidarity” represents a very clear demand: we must be at the table when blackness is defined. 

Reviews

  • The BooksellerBook of the Month
5 stars out of 5
Caroline Sanderson
11 Jan 2019

"(a) truly radical book, which manages to be both unflinching and consistently entertaining"

"I've been black since about 1988 when I was colouring in pictures of priests at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Primary School in Brixton Hill." In this truly radical book, which manages to be both unflinching and consistently entertaining, Boakye—a teacher and the author of Hold Tight, one of first books on grime—explores 21st-century black British identity by skewering through a "list of things that melanin-heavy human beings might find themselves being referred to as"—from terms of endearment to outright racial slurs, and including that very word: "black"