Arguably one of the most important releases of 2016, The Good Immigrant, crowd funded by Unbound a publishing company (though they are so much more, please google!) is a collection of essays written by a range of Black and Asian writers/public figures on their experiences growing up in Britain, exploring and discussing race, culture, racism, micro aggressions, discrimination and more.
The book was born out of a frustration at the “backwards attitude to immigration and refugees” and systematic racism. Endorsed by the likes of J.K. Rowling, this seminal book is affirming and eye opening. Many in this Great Britain, smugly sip tea and boast that racism is no longer an issue here, whilst pointing over the pond at the US, well, this book has a backlog of receipts that demonstrate loud and clear how untrue this is.
Chapters in this book explore airport checks, the fetish-ization of Asian women, and a chapter I found particularly pertinent, diverse books. With contributions from actor Riz Ahmed, journalists Bim Adewunmi, and Reni Eddo-Lodge (whose book I cannot wait to get hold of), The Good Immigrant is both excellent and essential.
Please buy it for yourself, and your colleague who doesn’t understand why asking if Ghana is a country full of little huts is problematic and jarring, or your friend from primary school who’s a die-hard feminist of the Pepsi ad/Taylor Swift ilk. I said it before, and I’ll say it again, louder for the people at the back, this book is a staple for every bookshelf.
I am truly grateful to Unbound, Nikesh Shukla, and all the writers for this magnificent work, and hope it finally forces dialogue on issues Britain would prefer to (or wilfully) ignore.