A Question of Literary Activism: Writing Black Wales

From Planet 232

by Charlotte Williams

Charlotte Williams gives an in-depth study of myriad forms of Black writing in Wales, arguing that recognising Black Welsh writing is an expression of cultural democracy that expands the boundaries of the national imagination, in ways which can benefit everyone.

The reprint of Leonora Brito’s Dat’s Love and other Stories in 2016 as part of the Library of Wales series should prompt some discussion about the stature and significance of Black writing in Wales and by reference, some consideration of how this body of work can be located within the wider Black British literary canon. There is little doubting the acclaim afforded to Brito’s work on its original release by Seren in 1995 and now within the Parthian series. Brito, a Cardiffian of Welsh/ Cape Verde background gave a rare insight into everyday multicultural life in her writings before her untimely death in 2007. She is the only Black author to be included in this series, reflecting the ambition of the series editor, Dai Smith to: ‘bring back into play the voices and actions of the human experience that has made us, in all our complexity, a Welsh people’1.

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