Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch – a review by David Goodhart
This is a fierce polemic about the racial biases of British society interwoven with a memoir of the confusions of a mixed-race young woman, of Ghanaian and Jewish heritage, growing up in the 1980s and 1990s.
There is plenty to agree with in her critique of the evasions and embarrassments over race in Britain, which are often expressed as well-meaning colour blindness. This is a relatively open society but is far from being a post-racial one, either at the top or bottom.
In places, there is an interesting book struggling to get out, in the contrasting experiences of Hirsch and her working-class black British partner or the gulf in attitudes across the Ghanaian generations. But it is not a subtle or rigorous work, and is written in a style that has been called “expressive but not persuasive”.