Sugar and Slate by Hazel V. Carby


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In association with Planet Books, a new edition of this seminal book of Welsh literature with an introduction by Professor Hazel V. Carby. 'It is Williams's Welshness that makes the examination of her mixed-race identity distinctive, but it is the humour, candour and facility of her style that make it exceptional . . . an engaging and perceptive voice describing an engrossing and particular personal story.' Gary YoungeA mixed-race young woman, the daughter of a white Welsh-speaking mother and black father from Guyana, grows up in a small town on the coast of north Wales. From there she travels to Africa, the Caribbean and finally back to Wales. Sugar and Slate is a story of movement and dislocation in which there is a constant pull of to-ing and fro-ing, going away and coming back with always a sense of being 'half home'. This is both a personal memoir and a story that speaks to the wider experience of mixed-race Britons. It is a story of Welshness and a story of Wales and above all a story for those of us who look over our shoulder across the sea to some other place. It would have been so much easier if I had been able to say, 'I come from Africa,' then maybe added under my breath, 'the long way round.' Instead, the Africa thing hung about me like a Welsh Not, a heavy encumbrance on my soul; a Not-identity; an awkward reminder of what I was or what I wasn't. Once at a seminar, one of those occasions when the word Diaspora crops up too many times and where there aren't too many of us present, the only other Diaspora-person sought me out. His eyes caught mine in recognition of something I can't say I could name, yet I must have responded because later as we chatted over fizzy water and conference packs, he offered quite uninvited and with all the authority of an African: 'People like you? You gotta get digging and if you dig deep enough you're gonna find Africa.'
Binding: Paperback / softback

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