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News & Views

Celebrating Black Lives: Andrea Levy

As part of Rosslyn Hill Chapel's 'Celebrating Black Lives' series, we celebrate British author, Andrea Levy.

Andrea Levy (1956-2019) was a British author born in London to Jamaican parents. Her writing is inspired by the experiences of her parents who came to Britain after World War II and faced issues about identity and belonging in the face of racial discrimination. Levy was very skillful at broaching complex social issues like racial inequality while captivating readers with her unique writing style. She has as a result won multiple awards for her writing and is best known for her novel "Small Island", published in 2004. Here she tells a story of Jamaican immigrants arriving in Britain in the 1940s facing not only discrimination but also violence and hostility.

Levy is also known for the novels: "Fruit of the Lemon" (1999), "Never Far from Nowhere" (1996), and "The Long Song" (2010). Her legacy of diversity in literature lives on and continues to inspire generations to come.

“There are some words that once spoken will split the world in two. There would be the life before you breathed them and then the altered life after they'd been said. They take a long time to find, words like that. They make you hesitate. Choose with care.”

“Why you wan' the whole world when ya have a likkle piece a hope here? Stay. Stay and fight, man. Fight till you look 'pon what you wan' see.”

“If truly tested, how would we react?”

Each month we mark the significant life of a person of colour as a positive statement and a contribution to redressing historical imbalances in our society. More profiles.

Photo: Interfoto/Alamy


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