Why diversity matters at Christmas 03/12/20
This is the story of Leonard, who at 10 years old makes the journey with his mother from Jamaica to join his father in England. Leonard is part of the Windrush generation, one of thousands of people and families who were persuaded by the government to help rebuild England after the Second World War and make a better life for themselves.
In addition to his meticulous research of the period, Benjamin Zephaniah draws on his own experience of growing up in Britain in the 1960s to describe the difficulties Leonard and his family face: the freezing English weather, the awful food, the extremely unwelcoming people. The story begins by focusing on Leonard’s childhood, but follows him all the way to 2018 when he is denied citizenship in the country he has lived in all his life - a tragic example of the Windrush scandal.
This is a brilliant and important book from one of the UK's greatest poets and writers. He gets under Leonard's skin as he illustrates his life from a young boy to a devastated man in his 70s, and shows us that history is a continuum - it's about real people who in this case are still feeling the impact of the scandal. We’re all part of the story.
A book to make children and adults alike think hard about our history, about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement, about fairness, about politics - and also about bravery and unsung heroes.