We’re told that we live in a multicultural melting pot – that we’re post-racial. Yet, studies show that throughout the UK, people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups are much more likely to live in poverty than white British people (Institute of Race Relations). It’s a hard time to be an immigrant, or the child of one, or even the grandchild of one.
The Good Immigrant brings together twenty emerging British BAME writers, poets, journalists and artists to confront this issue. In these essays about race and immigration, they paint a picture of what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that wants you, doesn’t want you, doesn’t accept you, needs you for its equality monitoring forms and would prefer you if you won a major reality show competition.
Compiled by award-winning writer Nikesh Shukla – who has long championed the issue of diversity in publishing and literary life in the UK – this book will explore why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay, what it means for their identity if they’re mixed race, where their place is in the world if they’re unwelcome in the UK, and what effects this has on the education system.
Contributors to this extraordinary state of the nation collection will include: Musa Okwonga (poet/broadcaster), Chimene Suleyman (poet/columnist), Vinay Patel (playwright), Bim Adewumni (Buzzfeed), Salena Godden (poet/writer), Sabrina Mahfouz (playwright), Kieran Yates (journalist), Coco Khan (journalist), Sarah Sahim (journalist), Reni Eddo Lodge (journalist), Varaidzo (student), Darren Chetty (teacher), Himesh Patel (Tamwar from Eastenders), Nish Kumar (comedian), Miss L from Casting Call Woe (actor), Daniel York Loh (playwright and actor), Vera Chok (actor/writer), Riz Ahmed (actor/rapper), Inua Ellams (poet/playwright) and Wei Ming Kam (writer).
The essays are poignant, challenging, funny, sad, heartbreaking, polemic, angry, weary, and, most importantly, they give a platform to some of the most interesting BAME voices emerging in the UK today.