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Black, Listed

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349700564

Price: £12.99

ON SALE: 3rd October 2019

Genre: Society & Social Sciences / Society & Culture: General

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These are just some of the terms being wrestled with in Black, Listed, an exploration of twenty-first century Black identity told through a list of insults, insights and everything in between.

Taking a panoramic look at global Black history and contemporary culture, this book investigates the ways in which Black communities (and individuals) have been represented, oppressed, mimicked, celebrated and othered. Part autobiographical musing, part pop culture vivisection, it’s a comprehensive attempt to make sense of blackness from the vantage point of the hilarious and insightful psyche of Jeffrey Boakye.


This book gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others’ David Lammy, Guardian

‘A panoramic exploration of black identity’ Elle

‘Urgent, timely reading’ AnOther Magazine

‘Inventive, refreshing and humorous‘ Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other

‘A truly radical book, which manages to be unflinching and constantly entertaining’ Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller

What's Inside

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Intense and compelling from the very beginning, Jeffrey Boakye bravely explores the ways in which people with darker skin are located in language . . . This book gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others. Boakye shows how language does not always have to be insulting, offensive or loaded, it can also be incredibly emancipatory, particularly when the black community takes ownership of the terms of prose . . . If blackness is a maze, then we must be the ones who design it. With architects like Jeffrey Boakye, I'm optimistic we can build ourselves an authentic future
David Lammy, Guardian
A truly radical book, which manages to be unflinching and constantly entertaining
Inventive, refreshing and humorous . . . Boakye's quirky dictionary of black-related terms never fails to surprise and entertain
Bernardine Evaristo
A radical exploration of black British culture that is as entertaining as it is politically weighty
Urgent, timely reading
AnOther Magazine
A panoramic exploration of black identity
Boakye is a witty, passionate guide in this thoughtful examination of what black culture and identity mean in Britain
Boakye aims to challenge, complicate and undo assumptions about what blackness means, often taking surprising routes . . . Black, Listed covers some terrain similar to that of recent books such as Akala's blistering Natives and Reni Eddo Logdge's Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race, and while Boakye may share those authors' political intent, his humour sets him apart. He is a winningly funny "tour guide". . . The unpredictable range of his references is exciting . . . As he argues against the endlessly problematic ways in which blackness has been categorized and codified, taking on the "biggest and the blackest of the big black stereotypes", the text bobs, weaves and wanders - always one thrilling step ahead
Michael Donkor, Times Literary Supplement
Wit abounds in Jeffrey Boakye's insightful Black, Listed, a kind of periodic table of 60 words and phrases used down the ages to describe black people
Colin Grant, New Statesman (Books of the Year)
Light-footed cultural analysis riffs elegantly on subjects including Meghan Markle and Marvel's Black Panther . . . a sharp critic
Metro (Best books for Christmas)
Boakye's exploration of language, race and the ways in which we use both to demean and repress people is thought-provoking, occasionally irreverent and always interesting
The i (Books of the year)
Insightful and funny, combining history with personal musings and pop-culture references, it's a comprehensive guide to Black identity in Britain today