Book Launch | RACELESS: Georgina Lawton in conversation with Jess Cole
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Museum of the African Diaspora and Litquake present
RACELESS by Georgina Lawton will be released on February 23, 2021 and can be pre-ordered through the online MoAD Store.
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From The Guardian’s Georgina Lawton, a moving examination of how racial identity is constructed—through the author’s own journey grappling with secrets and stereotypes, having been raised by white parents with no explanation as to why she looked black.
Raised in sleepy English suburbia, Georgina Lawton was no stranger to homogeneity. Her parents were white; her friends were white; there was no reason for her to think she was any different. But over time her brown skin and dark, kinky hair frequently made her a target of prejudice. In Georgina’s insistently color-blind household, with no acknowledgement of her difference or access to black culture, she lacked the coordinates to make sense of who she was.
It was only after her father’s death that Georgina began to unravel the truth about her parentage—and the racial identity that she had been denied. She fled from England and the turmoil of her home-life to live in black communities around the globe—the US, the UK, Nicaragua, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, and Morocco—and to explore her identity and what it meant to live in and navigate the world as a black woman. She spoke with psychologists, sociologists, experts in genetic testing, and other individuals whose experiences of racial identity have been fraught or questioned in the hopes of understanding how, exactly, we identify ourselves.
Raceless is an exploration of a fundamental question: what constitutes our sense of self? Drawing on her personal experiences and the stories of others, Lawton grapples with difficult questions about love, shame, grief, and prejudice, and reveals the nuanced and emotional journey of forming one’s identity.
Georgina Lawton is a journalist, speaker, and writer. Previously a columnist for The Guardian, her writing has appeared in a number of outlets including VICE, Marie Claire, Refinery29, Bustle, The Times, Stylist, and Time Out. She lives in London. Image credit: Jamie Simonds Loftus Media.
Originally from Devon in the South West of England, Jess Cole is a model and writer residing in South-East London. Jess was one of the original contributors for the UK’s Gal-dem magazine and has since gone onto write for publications such as The Guardian, The New York Times, I-d and Vogue. One of the primary focuses of her journalism has been to broaden the narratives of diversity by exploring the varieties of blackness and class politics within the public sphere. In addition to this she has recently collaborated on the staging of two plays and is currently experimenting with script writing and poetry. Image credit: Danny Kasirye for Porter Magazine X Wales Bonner.
Check out Jess Cole‘s interview on MoAD’s Conversations Across the Diaspora
This program is presented in partnership with Litquake