I discovered an extraordinary book a few weeks back called; The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla. Like the concept of Kickstarter, publishing was crowdfunded through Unbound from the interest of people making a pledge, and with 1323 backers, it was published in 2016.
Today is World Refugee Day and with immigration at such a critical point globally, in the ongoing debate and discussion, this book offers something poignant and different to contribute towards the conversation. Compiled of 15 essays written by Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) writers, poets, journalists and artists living in Britain today; each piece captures the realities, observations, and nuances of living in Britain as someone who isn’t white. Challenging stereotypes, attitudes, cultural norms and assumed points of view, the book is fresh, funny, honest, and moving.
This book really struck a nerve as I’ve been interested in the immigration and refugee narrative for some time. Compiled of short essays from people who have lived here for most if not all of their lives, interestingly the feelings and experiences of; you are an outsider, you aren’t from this place, you are defined by you difference, you fit in “this” catergory, your skin colour is not white, you must be… – can all still exist as daily realities. Even if you were born here and in some instances, are third-generation.
Mixed through these tensions, there are the subtle undertones of the resilience, hope, and humour. There has to be this gear as no one can sustain long term racisim. Not blantet statements in generalisations either, as the richness that exists through living in a multicultural community from all nationalities is immense. There are always the opportunities to learn and grow and change and adapt and laugh and question and confront and accept.
It’s a great contributor to the discussion so go and find out more for yourself about the project here. Or, pop into a bookshop and pick a copy of the book up.