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Summary

Is it possible to be Black and British and feel welcome and whole?

Maybe I Don't Belong Here is a deeply personal exploration of the duality of growing up both Black and British, recovery from crisis and a rallying cry to examine the systems and biases that continue to shape our society.

In this powerful and provocative account of a life lived after psychosis, critically acclaimed actor David Harewood uncovers devastating family history and investigates the very real impact of racism on Black mental health.

When David Harewood was 23, his acting career beginning to take flight, he had what he now understands to be a psychotic breakdown and was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He was physically restrained by six police officers, sedated, then hospitalized and transferred to a locked ward. Only now, 30 years later, has he been able to process what he went through.

What was it that caused this breakdown, and how did David recover to become a successful and critically acclaimed actor? How did his experiences growing up Black and British contribute to a rupture in his sense of his place in the world?

This audio edition is read by the author and includes an exclusive conversation between David Harewood and historian and writer David Olusoga.

©2021 David Harewood (P)2021 Macmillan Publishers International Limited

Critic reviews

"A heartfelt memoir about race, identity and mental illness. Read by the actor himself, it makes for moving listening." (Fiona Sturges, Guardian)

"Such a powerful and necessary read.... Don't wait until Black History Month to pick up this book, it's a must-read just now." (Candice Brathwaite, author of I Am Not Your Baby Mother)

"David Harewood writes with rare honesty and fearless self-analysis about his experiences of racism and what ultimately led to his descent into psychosis.... This book is, in itself, a physical manifestation of that hopeful journey." (David Olusoga, author of Black and British

What listeners say about Maybe I Don't Belong Here

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A Must Read

Just Brilliant. A must read for all. Especially those that deny racism exists. Five Stars.

6 people found this helpful

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where to begin

This is a fascinating chronicle of David Howard's life, he openly discusses issues which for generations of being denied to Certain sectors of the community, the black community. People from black and ethnic minority backgrounds as a black man myself, I Listening to this book as his story Paralleled with my life. The mistreatment and the abuse that David has received is nothing new, and I say this with respect but over time this weathering as it is called ultimately led to his mental health issues. This book will help anyone to make sense of what is going on around them in regard to race and ethnicity, knowledge is power, like a shield. No African or Caribbean, or Jamaican has ever invaded any European country?, so why the hatred ?. This book delves into the issues of Mental health treatment for people from an ethnic minority background it is not good. I have personal experience with this as I saw the way they sedated one of my friends and mentors, luckily his brother was a nurse. and he realised that he was being sedated to keep him still. If there was ever a reason why you should progress your career and ensure that you are financially secure. This book is reason for that, the consequences If you fall into the position where you cannot defend yourself and you have no one to defend you could be dia.

6 people found this helpful

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Young, Gift, Black, and British

It could happen to anyone, however, it happened to Mr Harewood and what follows in an insightful, and engaging, and truly touching account of a harrowing journey, through cognitive rupture, and on into self actualisation and genuine personal growth.

Beautiful crafted, brilliantly performed, this history—pun intended, is likely to become a valuable resource for teenagers and adults wanting to understand the Black British experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and came out the other end uplifted and genuinely optimistic.

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A story of perseverance and hope

David gives a good account of what it’s like growing up black in Great Britain in the 70s and 80s. The mental health stats says all. But this is also a story of hope of a light at the end.

2 people found this helpful

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Great guy, great story

Heartfelt and heart wrenching without being pure bleak. A great window into the black experience, mental health and Hollywood

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Beautiful, tragic, moving and optimistic

I would urge everyone to read this, I learned a lot but it was also hugely entertaining and moving and funny and desperately sad. It’s a wonderful book.

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Beautifully Pain filled

If there is one book that describes what it is like to be black & British in the most elegant and clear way it is this one. For a long time I thought it was my brain that was incorrect, my brain that told me I didn’t belong here as a mixed heritage British woman. That feeling deep in my soul this isn’t my home and the constant thought of maybe I don’t belong here is a shared feeling, the toll it takes on mental health has been misunderstood but David by being so honest has done more for me by writing this book than any self help race related books.

This book will stand the test of time of what it is like emotionally to be Black & British.

A must read, listen and feel.

Thank you David.

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very good read

I really enjoyed this book. David was frank and honest in his account of his life thus far and I appreciated that and as such, I struggled to put it down/stop listening!! I loved the narration too, as being read by the support really gave the contents a realness!
I have already recommended it to several of my friends and family.

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This story so needed to be told

Being a black woman living here, this story needs sharing with the black British.

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Humbling and Honest

I couldn't put this down an insight to real world of mental health beautifully honest written book! Thank you David Harewood

1 person found this helpful