And the winner of the inaugural Jhalak Prize is…

Today, we announce the winner of the first ever Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour. Jacob Ross, novelist, short story writer and tutor, wins the £1000 prize with his first foray into crime fiction, The Bone Readers. The book, described by judge Musa Okwonga as ‘by turns thrilling, visceral… Read More

Dropping the mic in his own time: as-salamu alaykum Yasiin Bey

by Jamal Mehmood Earlier this year, the artist formerly known as Mos Def gave his farewell performances in London. Hiphop’s own whirling dervish, who dared to whirl and pray on a simply decorated stage, dropping rose petals on a floor already filled with balloons. This was the Yasiin show. There was no formal set list… Read More

How should we teach children about contested histories?

by Farah Elahi  In recent years, there have been numerous campaigns for the inclusion of marginalised histories in the national curriculum. These campaigns have been successful in retaining key black British figures such as Mary Seacole and Olaudah Equiano in history lessons. However, inclusion is not enough. We must go further, ensuring that these stories… Read More

Reject the rat race: higher education wasn’t made for poorer students, but we can change it

by Kennedy Walker  Last week The Independent reported that university debts are so high that students are suffering from increased mental health problems and struggling to afford food. A study by the mental health charity Mind found that 43,000 students at the Russel Group institutions access counselling services in the 2014-2015 academic year, compared to… Read More

Diversity initiatives don’t work, they just make things worse: the ideological function of diversity in the cultural industries

by Anamik Saha  edited by Yasmin Gunaratnam Dev Patel might have won the award for Best Supporting Actor (that’s Dev Patel and not Riz Ahmed, Burberry), but when the nominees for the 2017 BAFTA Awards were announced, the lack of racial (and class) diversity amongst the nominees felt wearingly inevitable. What is more troubling is how… Read More

Theo and the distinctly sexual flavour of French racism

by Guilaine Kinouani  Content warning: contains detailed descriptions of sexual abuse On 2 February, a 22-year-old black French man named Theo was allegedly violently raped with a police truncheon, gang assaulted and racially abused by four French police officers in the Parisian suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. So severe were the anal injuries sustained by Theo that… Read More

Meet Caleb Femi, the Young Poet Laureate telling stories of love at the chickenshop

Heartbreak and Grime will make you shake your head in shame and/or disgust at the things women had to put up with, the bizarre façades which define teen relationships in general and the blatant misogyny that so many of us once drank unquestioningly. Read More

In conversation with writer and activist Sharon Dodua Otoo

by Jendella Benson “Parenting is the single most important thing I do.” This statement is the third sentence in the biography of Berlin-based activist and award-winning writer Sharon Dodua Otoo and it leapt out at me. Somewhere deep down I feel similarly, but it would never occur to me to say this out loud, let… Read More

Coolie: A History

by Karen Williams  Coolie connotes somebody who performs thankless, backbreaking physical labour. The word is often explained as being part of the indentured labour system that followed the abolition of slavery in the 1800s, particularly gaining popularity in the mid- to late-1800s. It is often almost exclusively used in relation to Asian labourers, especially Indian… Read More