Diversify & Brit(ish)
Back in February, my good friend, Rashida invited me to an event sponsored by The Media Society featuring Afua Hirsh--British writer, broadcaster, barrister; and June Sarpong --British television broadcaster for a discussion on race and identity. Both women are Ghanaian descent.
I anticipated the release of Afua Hirsh's memoir Brit (ish) because I've followed her career over the last couple of years and she is one of my favorite voices on Twitter. I was not as familiar with June Sarpong, but as I would come to learn during the discussion, she was one of the earlier Black TV personalities in Britain. Sarpong's book Diversify, argues the case for the social, moral and economic benefits of diversity taking account her own life story.
The topics during the event centered around both authors' experiences in Britain and in media as Black women. One point was made about Black British actors who have long-standing careers in the U.K but never receive home recognition until they are first acclaimed in the U.S market. I have to admit, I never considered the Black experience in countries where Blacks are the minority outside the U.S until I moved to Europe. Since moving to London five years ago, I've observed covert institutional racism that I will address in more detail in a different post.
Nonetheless, the event created good conversations about race and the media. I purchased both books. Unfortunately, because of time constraints, June sold pre-signed copies, but I had an opportunity to meet and get a personalized signed copy of Afua's book.
Both books are out now! I hope I can get to read them this year but they are likely to be apart of my 2019 book list.