Growing Up African in Australia Edited by Maxine Beneba-Clarke – Book Review

Following the previous collections “Growing Up Asian in Australia”, Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia”, “Growing Up Muslim in Australia” and “Growing Up Queer in Australia”, we now have a collection of essays, poetry and stories from people from African-diaspora Australians. It is such a wide range of stories, from childhood through to adulthood, stories set in Australia and across the globe, stories that are painful and funny and beautiful and heartbreaking.

Edited by Maxine Beneba Clarke with Ahmed Yussuf and Magan Magan, these are important stories that need to be told, especially in this awful time we live in. Let us stop the hate and raise these voices for everyone to hear.

The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke – Book Review

Maxine Beneba Clarke was born in Australia to parents from a distant background of Africa, whose ancestors were taken as slaves, ended up in the Caribbean, then more recently in, the UK and finally, back to her parents here in Australia. Judging from the stories that she tells of growing up in suburban Sydney, she’s a bit younger than me, and that makes these stories even worse for me. The way she was treated, for being a girl of colour, in a very white society. I hated these stories, and I can only hope that I was never part of the nasty racism, the casual comments or the lack of understanding that anyone not caucasian has been through. And it’s not over. This is not a thing of the 80s or 90s, it still happens. This is an important memoir, an important book that we should read, and I can only hope it will make society more compassionate.