Afropean: Notes from Black Europe (Paperback)
  • Afropean: Notes from Black Europe (Paperback)

Afropean: Notes from Black Europe (Paperback)

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Paperback 416 Pages / Published: 05/03/2020
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Waterstones Says

An eye-opening travelogue across European communities that fly under the radar of the mainstream media, Pitts’ evocative book inhabits Afro-European ghettoes, universities and communes, presenting a rounded view of blackness on a continent that increasingly struggles with racial and cultural identity.

Winner of the The Jhalak Prize 2020

Afropean. Here was a space where blackness was taking part in shaping European identity ... A continent of Algerian flea markets, Surinamese shamanism, German Reggae and Moorish castles. Yes, all this was part of Europe too ... With my brown skin and my British passport - still a ticket into mainland Europe at the time of writing - I set out in search of the Afropeans, on a cold October morning.

Afropean is an on-the-ground documentary of areas where Europeans of African descent are juggling their multiple allegiances and forging new identities.

Here is an alternative map of the continent, taking the reader 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 eighty per cent Muslim. Johny Pitts 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, all the while presenting Afropeans as lead actors in their own story.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780141987286
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 303 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 23 mm


'A revelation.' - Owen Jones

'Afropean seizes the blur of contradictions that have obscured Europe's relationship with blackness and paints it into something new, confident and lyrical.' - Afua Hirsch

'Afropean announces the arrival of an impassioned author able to deftly navigate and illuminate a black world that for many would otherwise have remained unseen.' - The Guardian

'[Pitts'] talent for sharp summary is apparent early on...a natural talent for describing cities and their atmosphere.' - The Evening Standard

'A beautiful study of black identity in Europe.' - The Telegraph

'It is remarkable how quickly he gets to the soul of a place [...] What is consistently impressive throughout Pitts's work is his ability to blend fact with anecdote; the effect is often cinematic. At times, you may feel that instead of reading a non-fiction book you are watching a well-paced historical thriller.' - New Statesman

'Forced me to stop and pause [...] the book invites us to witness journeys of creativity of communities often unrecorded in studies of European history, highlighting the commonality of African-European experiences across the continent.' - Olivette Otele, BBC History Magazine, Books of the Year

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This is an elegantly written book about a difficult and disturbing but very important subject – the treatment of people of African descent in modern Europe. The stories are taken from a three-month journey made by... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 40

“Moving, important and unforgettable”

This is wonderful. Pitts beautifully switches between personal stories, historical facts and his observations as he travels through Europe. I cannot recommend this incredibly moving book enough. Everyone should read... More

Paperback edition
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