sam_ellis26's review

Go to review page

emotional informative inspiring reflective medium-paced

4.0

paulap's review against another edition

Go to review page

informative inspiring reflective

3.25

This is a good account from the eighties on how black feminism started in the UK, why is it necessary, it’s concerns and lots of testimonies. Well written and structured, although quite serious and academic. Still very relevant.

harrsola's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional hopeful informative inspiring reflective medium-paced

4.5

graceelanorrr's review against another edition

Go to review page

informative reflective sad slow-paced

4.5

lesedi's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

I was hoping to read about both the African and Afro-Caribbean perspectives on living and working in the UK but the book focused mostly on the Afro-Caribbean POV. Nonetheless this was an interesting and informative book.

livsliterarynook's review

Go to review page

4.0

The Heart of Race was initially published in 1985 and Verso re-released it in 2018 with a new Foreward and Afterwords to bring context to the work of these women in the 21st Century. It highlights how systemic racism has been and continues to be a problem in the UK. The work focuses on the Black women that came across in the 1950s and 1960s from the Caribbean, when all of the West Indies (as they were known then) under British rule were deemed British citizens and could freely come to Britain.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
"The mainstay of British culture has been the assertion of its superiority over others, it's total negation of non-European cultures in general and Black people's cultures in particular."

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The book has an initially academic set-up with chapter one, but then quickly falls into a much easier narrative that combines women's voices and facts. The book splits into 5 chapters focusing on; Black Women and Work, Education, Health and Welfare Services, Black Women's Organisation and Black women's understanding of their culture and identity. This split offered a cohesive and thorough examination of core needs of women and people and how Black women suffered unnecessarily because of gender and race in Britain.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I think the book really benefited from the stories from various women that were included (who remained anonymous to protect their identity). There was lots of great poetry excerpts (and I'm not a poetry fan generally but I enjoyed these). One personal favourite was from Louise Bennett Jamaica 'Oman.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This book was an excellent introduction to British racism and the problems Black British women have faced and continue to face. I bought this e-book last month, but the e-book is currently free on Verso, they just ask you to donate the amount to a relevant cause.

antisocialsciences's review

Go to review page

emotional informative reflective sad

4.5

ujuonyishi's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging emotional informative slow-paced

5.0

ladybismuth's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional hopeful informative reflective medium-paced

5.0

arrianne's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

Originally written in the 80s, with an updated interview with the authors at the end, a lot of this feels like it could have been written yesterday. Offers a brilliant insight into the experience of Black women in Britain, backed up by personal experiences, with an educated description of the history. Also good analysis of the conflict between the Black women’s movement and other movements, like Black movements in general and white feminism.

I also think I learned more about the history of Africa and slavery reading the introduction to this than I ever learned in the 35 years before I read this book, and certainly more than I was ever taught in school.

One criticism that I had which was brushed over in the interview at the end was a lack of LGBTQ+ representation — I noticed its absence in the text and in the interview the authors mentioned that this had been a criticism previously levelled at them (that they excluded black lesbians and were not LGBTQ+ friendly) but basically dismissed it as being not true without backing it up. It was all a bit “didn’t happen”, or “we didn’t have time for that, they could have just organised stuff themselves”.