The Good Immigrant

I’ve been trying to make an effort to read more diverse voices and educate myself more on perspectives different from my own.

This book was a collection of essays by 21 different writers, writing on what it means to be Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic in Britain today.

The essays brought perspectives that I’d never thought of before, they were insightful and brilliant, but also sad and heart-breaking. To read first-hand about how it feels to be treated like a foreigner in a country you were born in (and your parents and their parents), just because people judge you on your appearance. It definitely made me consider how much privilege I have solely based on a factor of my genes.

“We’re not seen as human, because we never get to be complex individuals. Our defining characteristic is generally our foreignness.”

Each of the 21 essays has a different style, some are funny, some are definitely not, but all of them made me question how a 21st century society can still be like this. Where we hold up people of colour if they win medals or tv competitions, but treat the people around us with contempt, suspicion or downright unqualified hatred.

I really appreciated this book’s UK centric collection of authors – I’ve read a few other books in this genre over the last couple of years, but they tend to have an american focus so feel less relatable or easier to brush off as ‘happening over there’, but this was so close to home.

The book was also published by a crowd-funded publisher, which is pretty cool! I’ve never seen that before!

I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to read more diversely and learn more about inequality on today’s Britian – not an ‘easy’ read in terms of subject matter, but the essay format meant it was easy to read a section then spend time thinking about it before moving onto the next.

My rating: 4.5Average rating: 4.38
272 pages. Published in: 2016
Read in Paperbackon 23rd January -7th March 2021

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