I'm Black So You Don't Have to Be

Written with the intrigue, nuance, beauty and wit of short stories, and with the veracity and painful revelation of memoir, I’M BLACK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE is an unforgettable exploration of family and generational change. 

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A Word From The Author

Book Author

Grant is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Director of WritersMosaic, an innovative online platform for new writing. He also writes for a number of newspapers and journals including the Guardian, Observer, New Statesman, TLS, London Review of Books, Granta and New York Review of Books.

Colin Grant
Author, Historian, Speaker


Colin Grant is the author of six highly praised books: Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey (2008), I and I: The Natural Mystics Marley, Tosh and Wailer (2011), Bageye at the Wheel (2012), A Smell of Burning (2016), and Homecoming (2019). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Director of WritersMosaic, a division of the Royal Literary Fund. He teaches creative non-fiction writing at Arvon and Oxford University.

What Readers Are Saying

‘Grant is the writer to do justice to [the Windrush Generation’s] lives… he has conducted dozens of interviews, dug into the Mass Observation archives, and combed through semi-forgotten oral histories from the 1960s to produce this anthology of submerged lives that prickles with beautiful, comic and brutal details.’

The Observer

‘Colin Grant has interviewed and collected nearly 200 voices from [the Windrush] era, from all walks of life, including policemen and fascists. It’s quite a feat to pull together such an array of voices without producing a cacophony.’

Bernardine Evaristo

Winner of the Booker Prize 2019

‘[Grant] lets people speak for themselves… there is much to enjoy. Some of the memories are painful, some are joyous, others are much more ambivalent.’

Clive Davis, The Times

‘The Windrush generation’s voices are rarely heard, but Grant’s anthology is informative and funny, a well-researched window into a vanished world.’

Sarah Hughes

Latest Articles

Guardian Book of the Day

I’m Black So You Don’t Have to Be The first review “The writer and former BBC producer offers absorbing portraits of his Windrush generation family, and reflects on the legacy...

Guardian interview with Colin Grant

Talk ‘My father ruled through pain’: Colin Grant on the stories behind I’m Black So You Don’t Have to Be As a child he knew both love and violence; as...

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