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Summary

Now with new afterword and reading group questions.

Alexandra Wilson was a teenager when her dear family friend Ayo was stabbed on his way home from football. Ayo's death changed Alexandra. She felt compelled to enter the legal profession in search of answers.

As a junior criminal and family law barrister, Alexandra finds herself navigating a world and a set of rules designed by a privileged few. A world in which fellow barristers sigh with relief when a racist judge retires: 'I've got a Black kid today and he would have had no hope'. 

In her debut book, In Black and White, Alexandra re-creates the tense courtroom scenes, the heart-breaking meetings with teenage clients, and the moments of frustration and triumph that make up a young barrister's life. 

Alexandra shows us how it feels to defend someone who hates the colour of your skin, or someone you suspect is guilty. We see what it is like for children coerced into county line drug deals and the damage that can be caused when we criminalise teenagers. 

Alexandra's account of what she has witnessed as a young mixed-race barrister is in equal parts shocking, compelling, confounding and powerful.  

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Alexandra Wilson (P)2020 Octopus Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"An absolute triumph; a compelling and courageous memoir forcing the legal profession to confront uncomfortable truths about race and class. Alexandra Wilson is a bold and vital voice. This is a book that urgently needs to be read by everyone inside, and outside, the justice system." (The Secret Barrister)

"This is the story of a young woman who overcame all the obstacles a very old profession could throw at her, and she survived, with her integrity intact." (Benjamin Zephaniah)

What listeners say about In Black and White

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Inspiring story of an unlikely hero

Alex’s personal and professional story should inspire those that are told are unlikely to make it to the bar: a woman, a black person, and someone with an Essex accent. The stories of her interactions with her clients help us appreciate the value of genuine diversity in the legal profession. She is a young voice speaking to inspire a new generation of unlikely heroes!

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Excellent !

This book took me on a journey of the trials and processes involved in becoming a Barrister, additionally a very young and black one. Alexandra inspires, educates and shares her very personal experience. A Great read!

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Everyone should read this

Gives a really good insight into the training and experiences of a new barrister. The author seems very sincere and tells very interesting stories with humility and humour. The issues regarding race both in the legal profession and those being dealt with by the criminal justice system are shocking and the author should be proud of her achievements in both her career and in raising awareness of those issues in this book.

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Excellent read

Alexandra is such an inspiration, such a well written and insightful book from such young and well accomplished author. A book all should read if considering a career in law.

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Couldn't stop listening

Loved this book. Not only because many of the struggles the author faced are relatable to myself as a black woman but it was also fascinating to hear about the ins and outs of court, the Barrister profession as well as the shocking experiences of youths and other vulnerable people who face the problems of this system.

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Funnier than I expected!

Glad this wasn't just some gritty black-kid-who-made-it story. Genuinely interesting to hear about legal system and stories of cases are often hilarious. Nice one!

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loved the way this book was written..kept me listening. the narrator could have been the writer.

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Informative

I learnt a lot about the court system. Alexandra explains it in a way that is easily understood.

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brilliant. amazing and important knowledge was s

Amazing and impact full , important knowledge was shared. very thoughtful thanks Alex for telling your story.

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Alexander the Great


Wow what a positive story,from the sad start of why she wanted to be a barrister and her fight to be taken seriously as a mixed race, Essex woman.

Alexandra’s honesty and integrity is to be applauded. She has been up against the establishment but still remains calm and composed, this is the woman you would want to represent you if you ever where in a situation to require legal representation.

Thank you for this amazing insight to the world of the bar, courtrooms and your never ending work schedule.

Listen to this book, you will not be disappointed.