Back to Black: In Conversation with Kehinde Andrews and Kwame Kwei-Armah
Kehinde Andrews discusses his new book, Back to Black, with Kwame Kwei-Armah
Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century is a journey through the history of radical Black politics. Born out of resistance to slavery and colonialism, its rich past encompasses figures such as Marcus Garvey, Angela Davis, the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter activists of today. It argues that racism is embedded in the fabric of society, and that it can never be overcome unless by enacting change outside of this suffocating system. Yet this Black radical tradition has been diluted and moderated over time; wilfully misrepresented and caricatured by others; divested of its force for global change. Andrews explores the true roots of this tradition, and connects the dots to today’s struggles by showing what a renewed politics of Black radicalism might look like in the 21st century.
About Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE
Kwame Kwei-Armah, born in 1967, is Artistic Director of the Young Vic. Previously, Kwame was the Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage where he directed: Jazz, Marley, One Night in Miami, Amadeus, Dance of the Holy Ghosts, The Mountaintop, An Enemy of the People, The Whipping Man and Things of Dry Hours.
Kwame was Artistic Director for the Festival of Black Arts and Culture, Senegal, in 2010. He conceived and directed the opening ceremony at Senghor National Stadium. He is an Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse and has served on the boards of the National Theatre, Tricycle Theatre, and Theatre Communications Group. Kwame was the Chancellor of the University of the Arts London from 2010 to 2015, and in 2012 was awarded an OBE for Services to Drama.
In 2012, 2013 and 2014 Kwame was named Best Director in City Paper’s Best of Baltimore Awards and in 2015 was nominated for the prestigious Stage Directors and Choreographers Zelda Fichandler Award for Best Regional Artistic Director. In 2016 he was awarded the Urban Visionary Award alongside House Representative Elijah Cummings by the Center for Urban Families for his work in the Baltimore community.
About Kehinde Andrews
Kehinde Andrews is one of the leading Black political voices in Britain. He is associate professor in sociology at Birmingham City University, a regular writer of opinion pieces for the Guardian, Independent and Ebony magazine, and editor of the series ‘Blackness in Britain’. He was part of the team that launched the first Black Studies degree in Europe, and is Co-chair of the Black Studies Association and of the Harambee Organisation of Black Unity. He regularly appears on television and radio.