Johny Pitts’s ‘Afropean’

Musa Okwonga at The New Statesman:

At a time where politicians across the world are calling for ever more secure borders, there are books whose mere existence feels radical. Afropean: Notes from Black Europe, by Johny Pitts, feels like one such publication. It is the story of the Sheffield-born author’s travel from his home town across the Continent, visiting several of its major cities and connecting – or not – with people of African heritage as he goes. Crucially, it is also the story of Pitts’s internal journey, to find where he, a working-class, mixed-race man from the north of England, might fit most comfortably within Europe’s complex past and its possibly chaotic future.

It is this constant self-interrogation that elevates the book. “Did ‘Afropean’ include only beautiful, economically successful (and often light-skinned) black people?” he asks himself at the outset.

more here.