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Uncovering Race

Facts are often hard-hitting, make swallowing truth bruise your throat because of how harsh it is. We still welcome it, even though pain exists, knowing, feels like a cool and soothing breeze on the wound.

At The NGC Bocas Lit Festival, you will know truth, you will experience a rude awakening in every sense of the word, through knowgasms and the birth of ideas. There is absolutlely no doubt that learning will not escape you. It’s amazing how the festival appeals to every niche you can think about. It is not just a festival of books, it is a festival of life- what keeps us going and inspired.

The name Afua Hirsch will go down in history for being unapologetically frank and honest in her writing and commentary. The Old Fire Station became a history museum where knowledge buried was exhumed for inspection by UK Journalist and author of Brit(ish), Afua Hirsch and the Festival Founder and Director Marina Salandy-Brown.

Brit(ish) is a novel that speaks on race, identity and belonging. The conversation explored nationalism and the ethnic tensions in contemporary Britain. Being stuck between Ghanaian heritage and a mixture of white and Jewish, Hirsch has always been asked “the question”…

Where are you from?

Imagine being born in a place that does not recognize you, a place that defines you as not “british enough” or “other”…

As a black woman, as she’d call herself Hirsch has been racially profiled, being forced to show her ID upon entering the university she attended whilst the white folk walked in freely without having to prove they belonged there. The main theme of her conversations target marginalization, how race and class plays a huge part in Britain, that even in a land that encourages the mantra of not seeing race, race is still a big part of the viewing.

Of course being that loud on a topic, partaking in panel discussions, writing columns will sit on “conservatives toes” but Hirsch encourages “you’ve got to be relentless with your facts. You’ve got to be the grownup in the conversation in the face of hysteria.

The conversation on race is always a touchy subject. People shy away from it because it brings out the closet, the monsters they hide under the progressive wear. The only way to move forward is to talk about it, acknowledge that it does exist. This is why the work of Afua Hirsch is so important. It hosts the conversation whether or not you like it. It forces people out of the closet of denial, to show their true colors to share what they have always wanted to say.

Race is a system, it’s a structure that has been invented to distribute advantage to certain groups. Saying you don’t see race means you don’t see history. You become a part of the problem instead of the solution.“- Afua Hirsch.

The world, this country needs people who aren’t afraid of the work nor the conversation, people who are bold in their truth, whose knees aren’t weak to stand up for their belief. Afua Hirsch has proven that to achieve such you must refuse to bend to fit in, even when everything or everyone is against you.

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