Growing up African in Australia (ed by Maxine Beneba Clarke, Black Inc.)
Growing up African in Australia is a new anthology edited by Maxine Beneba Clarke with Ahmed Yussef and Magan Magan. The anthology is a mixture of experienced and emerging writers’ perspectives on what it means to ‘grow up in Australia’, with a collection of voices from across the African diaspora, including Brazilian, Guyanese, Ghanaian, Somalian, Sudanese and Zimbabwean. Together, they present a rich storytelling tradition that spans decades of immigration and migration. The collection boldly explores migratory experiences, rarely shying away from the realities of racism both overt and covert, the ongoing effects of colonisation in and outside of Australia, the conditional acceptance by wider Australia, and the difficulties of existing in and navigating the intersection of different cultures and identities. How these writers overcome such hardships with courage, strength and grace is repeatedly expressed throughout the book, with many stories ultimately about finding pride and peace in oneself. Growing up African in Australia is an excellent addition to the series that includes Growing up Aboriginal in Australia and Growing up Asian in Australia, and will find a similar audience. This compilation of stunning stories comes together to produce a deeply moving and unforgettable read—there is something to learn from each page.
Tracy-Kate Watts is a freelance writer, editor and mentee at Djed Press