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  • Afropean

  • Notes from Black Europe
  • By: Johny Pitts
  • Narrated by: Johny Pitts
  • Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (149 ratings)

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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Afropean written and read by Johny Pitts.

In the face of growing racial discrimination, anti-immigrant sentiment and the spectre of terrorism looming large over an economically stricken continent, Afropean is an on-the-ground documentary of areas where Europeans of African descent are juggling their multiple allegiances and forging new identities: too indelibly woven into Europe to identify with Africa and yet struggling with outdated ideas of what it means to be European.

Afropean will plot an alternative map of the continent, taking the listener to places like Cova Da Moura, the Cape Verdean shantytown on the outskirts of Lisbon with its own underground economy, and Rinkeby, the area of Stockholm that is 80 per cent Muslim. The author visits the former Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, where West African students are still making the most of Cold War ties with the USSR, and Clichy Sous Bois in Paris, which gave birth to the 2005 riots.

©2019 Johny Pitts (P)2019 Penguin Audio

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Beautiful and Brilliant

Johny Pitts leads a thoroughly researched and meticulously constructed journey through a Europe that is utterly familiar to many, yet rarely given representational standing room in the European culture industries. That narrative of Europeaness- of great achievements, classical civilizations, misty recollections of Empires that don’t exist and a contemporary story of business minded liberalism - are in a sense utterly defunct, hurtling towards an imagined future that doesn’t exist. It is the Europe of Pitt’s journey which is the ‘real’ one, for want of a less certain word. In this Europe, the complex intersections and extractions of various kinds of colonial expansions and their aftermaths, and the impossibility of separating that story from that of the contemporary western world today, are located precisely where they belong. At the centre of the story of a continent whose cultures and societies have been utterly shaped by the events of the last 550 years. That Pitts ends his journey in the south, in an Iberia whose people and culture is also inextricably intertwined with the African continent, both through the colonialism that followed the reconquista, where a triumphant Christianity, allied with Northern European royalty, erased the memory of a place and people who perhaps embodied the original afropean society, and set in motion the wheels of the idea of Europe that would artificially separate it from its embedness in networks of complicity and exploitation around the world. This is also a story told from a working class perspective, another rarely articulated lens, and it is the warmth and generative possibilities of Johnny Pitts narration, unapologetically complex, whilst always in recognition and respect of the cooperations between people on the margins of power that makes not only survival, but also beauty and love, which may not look like mainstream idealizations of those twin aspirations for the good life, thrive. This is writing at its best. Down to earth, unpretentious, unafraid of the messiness and cracks in narratives of authenticity, deeply human and desperately needed.

6 people found this helpful

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backpacking through Black Europe

So interesting and eye opening! Pitt's writing is just so captivating, and his voice so smooth, it feels like you're traveling with him.
He balances nicely his own experience and stories of the people he met with historical facts that give a broader perspective on the current situation.
I recommend it, especially that the topic of Black Culture in Europe is basically ignored and unrepresented! Go and educate yourself :)

2 people found this helpful

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Absolutely loved this!

Hearing Johny Pitts read this adventures is so enjoyable! I loved this book for all the insight it gave me into the black experience around Europe. Highly recommended for you to add to your list.

2 people found this helpful

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what an amazing journey

superb performance by Johny Pitts, who takes you on a amazing journey throughout Europe

2 people found this helpful

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one for sharing with my children

Very insightful and thought provoking. every child of African decent needs to have this information and be able to use it effectively

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For me, a must read

Thoroughly informative and very relatable. Easy to listen to and full of historical content that further increased the curiosity of my heritage.

2 people found this helpful

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The most inspirational book I've ever read

The most inspirational book I've ever read, I've learnt so much and have been reflecting on my own self identity as a Black European or an Afropean. Beyond that I think this book is important, and as may people as possible should read it, regardless of "race".

2 people found this helpful

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Truly exceptional

An incredible journey and historical account of the lives of so many forgotten people of Europe. A must read without a shadow of doubt. Inspirational work, thank you for bringing this altogether so beautifully.

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Wicked!

An education. I've been opened up to a European blackness, a refreshinng and relevant book.

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I can Relate

I liked this book. it gave me a sense of connection and belonging. having recently completed a dissertation on BAME Personnel and there real chances for success in society. This offers some ( a little) historical context as to why the challenges still exist.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-02-21

Wonderful

Johny Pitts is a wonderful writer and speaker. I loved this book and learned a lot about both the past and present. He draws upon a rich legacy of black thought leaders and activists to enrich and support his writing. I loved it so much I will be buying a hard copy for me and probably a few other friends.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-10-20

GOOD STUFF.👍

I've always been fascinated by the Black Presence ⚫ around the Globe. 🌎 Felt like I was Globe Trotting Myself.

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  • bilel harrat
  • 10-08-20

African Europeans

This book is definitely well written and authentic. Having gone to many of the cities described in the book I can tell that the author's observations e real.
I would strongly recommend this book.