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Bringing Up Race

What do you say when your child asks about somebody’s race? Do you hush them and change the topic? In this personal and practical book, author, blogger and mother of two Uju Asika explores how to handle those awkward questions and why it’s so important to have open, thoughtful conversations with our kids. Bringing Up Race is a personal and passionate exploration of growing up different, how racism impacts all our children and what we can do to raise a kinder, more empathetic and anti-racist generation. Drawing on her own experiences, stories from other mums and expert insights, Bringing Up Race invites people of all ethnicities to listen, learn and take action as part of a global movement against racism and prejudice of all forms.

“Uju Asika has written a necessary book for our times. She throws up huge questions (and responds to them intelligently and with heart). This isn’t just a book for talking to children – whatever race or colour they are — about racism and all the other intersecting isms that divide us, it is a book for everyone dedicated to creating a better, kinder world. This crucial book should be required reading.
– Chika Unigwe, award winning author of ‘On Black Sisters’ Street’

“This book could not be more timely. With so many scrabbling around for resources to help navigate our racialized times, Asika draws upon her own experience as a Black Nigerian mother of two boys to offer parents, teachers, carers, and educators these stories for survival. As Asika notes, race can no longer be ignored—­her own journey is instructive for all—­from running the popular Babes about Town (blogging on the immersive cultural education available for her kids in London and beyond) to now deliberately and necessarily making the explicit connections to raising happy Black boys in a prejudiced world. Written with engaging wit, candor, and verve, and containing heartbreaking and heartwarming anecdotes, Bringing Up Race is a needed call to action for all concerned with a future free from racial prejudice.
– Sai Murray, writer/poet/graphic artist, creative director at Liquorice Fish and trustee of the Racial Justice Network

“What struck me most of all was the tone of this book: it is informal but informative, warm and wise, driven by a desire to help others implement change, not to berate them. This is also a very kind book: Uju’s mantra of “Be cool, be kind, be you” runs through her prose – her personality and sense of humour lift the mood of the book, while her empathy and generosity shine out of every page. Yes, the anger at injustice is there, how could it not be, but what the author shows us is how to channel that anger into something positive. I would recommend this book to every parent, without a moment’s hesitation.”
Elspells Book Blog

Funny, truthful, and full of profound insights, Uju Asika’s writing is a gift for a parent like myself, attempting to navigate the precarious journey of raising a just child in an unjust world. I found myself nodding in agreement, laughing, horrified, sometimes in the confined space of a page. In mining the unspoken realities of our times, Asika strikes gold.”
– Courttia Newland, author (‘A River Called Time’, ‘Cosmogramma’) and screenwriter for BAFTA winning TV series Small Axe

“Uju has great perception, and this is a subject very close to my heart. It’s a conversation that so many of us need to have. I’m grateful she decided to write this book.”
– Andi Oliver, chef and TV broadcaster (Great British Menu)

“It’s as much a book to read, as well as a book to action, a book that kicks you into shape in the best of ways, a book that you might, as Brené Brown would put, ‘throw at the wall’ because it brings to the surface the things you need to address. Which is exactly what we need to be reading right now.”
– It Had To Be You newsletter September Book of the Month

“Timely and important, Uju Asika’s Bringing Up Race is imperative reading for all expectant, new and old-timer parents. Filled with personal stories, expert advice and advice from fellow parents, Bringing Up Race is a call to arms for all parents to start the conversation and raise the most inclusive generation yet.”
– Evening Standard Best New Books September 2020