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Why We Need a British Conversation About Race

June 2 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

FREE but booking required - see entry for details
  • Date and time:Sunday 2 June 2024, 12.30pm to 1.30pm
  • Location:In-person only
    Tempest Anderson Hall, Museum Gardens (Map)
  • Admission:Free admission, booking required

Book tickets

Event details

Across the West, racial injustice has become one of the most divisive issues of our age. In the rush to address inequality and prejudice, and to understand concerns around identity, immigration and colonial history, Britain has followed the lead of the world’s dominant power: America. We judge ourselves by America’s standards, absorb its arguments and follow its agenda. But what if we’re looking in the wrong place?

Drawing on his book, This is Not America, Tomiwa Owolade will argue that black Britons are British first and foremost, and thus are likely to have more in common with other Britons than with black people in other parts of the world. He will explore the idea that too much of the conversation around race in Britain today is viewed through the prism of American ideas that don’t reflect the history, challenges and achievements of increasingly diverse black populations at home. To build a long-lasting and more effective anti-racist agenda we must acknowledge that crucial differences exist between Britain and America, and that we are talking about distinct communities and cultures, distinguished by language, history, class, religion and national origin. Humane, empirical and passionate.

Join Tomiwa as he presents a bold new framework for understanding race in Britain today.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.

Photo credit: Sarah Lee

About the speaker

Tomiwa Owolade writes about social, cultural and literary issues for the New Statesman, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Observer, UnHerd and the Evening Standard. He has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and Times Radio discussing some of the ideas in this book. He won top prize at the RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards 2021.

This event is part of York Festival of Ideas – for the full programme see https://yorkfestivalofideas.com/2024/calendar/


June 2
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
FREE but booking required - see entry for details


Tempest Anderson Hall
Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens
York, YO1 7FR
+ Google Map
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