When the book arrived at my house, I was smiling and skipping around in glee: 'The book is here!', I kept shoving it in my boyfriend's face as he was attempting to navigate the new Batman game. 'Ooh, new book smell', I fanned the pages in his face. He's excited too. He hears about all these authors in different conversations and knows of the importance behind this book, so he gets it. He's still playing his game and honestly, I'm offended.
I'm excited because this book is important. It's also written by a lot of my friends, edited by a contributor of Burnt Roti and discussed with many others. I attended the launch party, (which me and some friends renamed 'The Good Twitter Party') which was full of happiness, stories, cultural attire and dancing. I left, my head swimming with names, twitter handles and emails to remember and then I hear 'fucking p*ki' and what is quite possibly an egg, thrown in my direction as I hop onto my bus.
This book is IMPORTANT.
Surround yourself with the love of 1st/2nd generation immigrants, to talk about solidarity and common interests for one night and you almost forget the rest of the world.
Every essay is a specific story, told in a very specific voice, but each of these specificities combine into a larger universal voice that some of us are akin to. Between every essay, take a breath and re-align your senses, because your next adventure will not be like your last, but you're left feeling the same swell of acknowledgement.
Almost everything we read, watch, ingest is about the white experience, but (sometimes) it's not until someone points that out, or writes a book, that you really truly understand it. You truly understand how and why it affects your life so directly, and why you've reacted or felt the way you have or why products like Bollywood are always something you find yourself going back to.
A story should transform you, take you on a journey, it's supposed to give you passion and strength, but rarely a person of colour will find this happening alongside someone who looks like, speaks like and, for all intense purposes is, them.
The book opens doors for those who are blissfully unaware as well as those who already know. Together we can all relish in these stories, as well as appreciate the gift of storytelling from these 21 writers of colour.
This is an accumulated scream, that's gathered for centuries and every word sounds like poetry.
It is no surprise that the editor Nikesh Shukla, has been nominated for a Liberty Human Rights Arts Award.
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