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Afropean

Notes from Black Europe
Narrated by: Johny Pitts
Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (23 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allegiances and forging new identities: too indelibly woven into Europe to identify with Africa and yet struggling with outdated ideas of what it means to be European.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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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 Easy to listen to and full of historical content that further increased the curiosity of my heritage.

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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".

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Real stories of a hidden history

This book is for anyone and everyone who wants to know black history and how black history is integrated with the world you see today.

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racing ahead to the explanation of race dynamics

This book provides a historical exploration and contemporary analysis of racial dynamics in modern day 'Europe'. Such raw honesty is a gift in these unsettling times.

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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.

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Stunning

Congratulations Johny, this is a fascinating surface scratching look at black Europe. Well researched and written. Highly recommended. I know the Sheffield you speak of as a kid growing up in the 80s and 90s in various pubs. As a child I saw these as a gathering of people from all walks of life and as such have fond memories of meeting and speaking with people with amazing stories to tell. Thank you

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Insightful

An eye opening journey telling the stories of those whose voices are rarely heard.

Engagingly written and Johny is great in the reading

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Best book on being black in contemporary Europe

loved it! I definitely related to the stories while also learning so much about the not so well known ties between Africa and Europe. The author read the book brilliantly too :)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful