Some Kind of Black by Diran Adebayo
Streetsmart Dele, born in London to African parents, wins a place at Oxford University. On graduation he returns to the streets of Tottenham where he grew up. On a cusp between a world of white privilege and the reality of immigrant life in London he navigates the city, encountering race politics, riots and police violence.
Dele hovers between cultures – most at home on the streets and estates of the city he is still bound by the rules and strict African mores of his parents – who adhere to the culture of their homeland. He dallies with girls, both black and white, but it is his close relationship with his sister Dappo, who suffers from sickle cell anaemia, which underpins the story.
A coming of age story set amongst the African diaspora this is a brilliant debut from Diran Adebayo and breaks new literary ground as one of the first novels to articulate a British-born African perspective. It remains as relevant today as when it was originally published.
Diran Adebayo was born in London in 1968, to Nigerian parents. After the success of his first novel, Some Kind of Black , he became one of the leading commentators on Race in Britain, as well as writing on arts and sports for newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent and New Statesman magazine. In 2002 The Times Literary Supplement named him as one of the Best Young British Novelists and in 2017, he was one of 20 people to have their portraits taken by Oxford University for permanent display, as part of its “Diversifying Portraiture” initiative, in recognition of his ‘achievements and contributions to the University and to the literary world. In 2006 he was elected a member of the Royal Society of Literature. He published his second novel, My Once Upon a Time in 2006, to great acclaim. He lives in London and now teaches creative writing at Kingston University.