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In Black and White: A Young Barrister's Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System

Tekijä: Alexandra Wilson

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
442581,483 (3.63)-
'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 'A riveting book in the best tradition of courtroom dramas but from the fresh perspective of a young female mixed-race barrister. That Alexandra is "often" mistaken for the defendant shows how important her presence at the bar really is.' MATT RUDD, THE SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE '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 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. 'An inspirational, clear-eyed account of life as a junior barrister is made all the more exceptional by the determination, passion, humanity and drive of the author. Anyone interested in seeing how the law really works should read it.' SARAH LANGFORD 'The personal narrative of a young female lawyer of mixed heritage who is defying the soft bigotry of low expectations by sharing her journey inspires us all to do the same in our own way, and this is a powerful message which needs to be shared.' DR TUNDE OKEWALE MBE, FOUNDER OF URBAN LAWYERS 'A refreshingly honest account of the challenges faced by a young female barrister of mixed heritage' JUDY KHAN QC, JOINT HEAD OF GARDEN COURT CHAMBERS… (lisätietoja)
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näyttää 2/2
This is an interesting account of the experiences of a young, black, female barrister in the British legal system. There are some interesting stories within, and Alexandra Wilson does a good job of tying them back to points about representation and institutional bias within the system.
Intellectually, it’s an interesting rather than transformational read. I think part of that is down to the fact that I found the book lacked an emotional connection. Somehow the writing got between me and the people Wilson was writing about.
It’s still worth reading, but lacks the immediate punch of her recent viral tweets about discrimination. ( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
I must confess I don't read a lot of non-fiction but occasionally a book comes along that captures my imagination. In Black and White certainly did that.

Alexandra Wilson is a young, mixed-race barrister from Essex. In a profession that is predominantly made up of middle-aged white males this is unusual and I knew I wanted to read this book about a woman pushing the boundaries of what people believe a barrister should look and sound like.

It's a fascinating read. The death of her friend, Ayo, who was stabbed for no other reason than that he was a black teenage boy in the wrong place, inspired her to look to the law for a career to try and make a difference from the other side of things. From there we follow Wilson through her pupillage into qualification as a junior barrister, with plenty of ups and downs along the way, including some rather inappropriate exchanges with people who ought to have known better.

If you're thinking this might be a dry look at the criminal justice system though, then think again. This book is a mixture of eye-opening facts about the law and the author relating details about cases she has worked on. I was most interested in the latter, not only the particulars of the cases and the people appearing in court, but also the way that Wilson approached them and the calm attitude she displayed. I had to smile at some of the defendants who clearly knew who to work the system, and how Wilson dealt with them in the most diplomatic ways possible.

It's clear that Alexandra Wilson has a fabulous career ahead of her if this book is anything to go by. Her achievements already, at such a young age, prove that. In Black and White is an excellent and thought-provoking read. ( )
  nicx27 | Sep 26, 2020 |
näyttää 2/2
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'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 'A riveting book in the best tradition of courtroom dramas but from the fresh perspective of a young female mixed-race barrister. That Alexandra is "often" mistaken for the defendant shows how important her presence at the bar really is.' MATT RUDD, THE SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE '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 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. 'An inspirational, clear-eyed account of life as a junior barrister is made all the more exceptional by the determination, passion, humanity and drive of the author. Anyone interested in seeing how the law really works should read it.' SARAH LANGFORD 'The personal narrative of a young female lawyer of mixed heritage who is defying the soft bigotry of low expectations by sharing her journey inspires us all to do the same in our own way, and this is a powerful message which needs to be shared.' DR TUNDE OKEWALE MBE, FOUNDER OF URBAN LAWYERS 'A refreshingly honest account of the challenges faced by a young female barrister of mixed heritage' JUDY KHAN QC, JOINT HEAD OF GARDEN COURT CHAMBERS

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