Tackle Racism With Literature

Chiatulah Ameke is a diversity and inclusion consultant who trains employees across the UK in the public sector. He has launched a book called Black Lives Rising (available on Amazon). He uses satire and humour in 33 short stories to discuss racism in society including one story about a second Black US president.

How long did it take you to write the book and what was your aim?

CA: “I wrote all the stories over a period of about six months in 2019, before George Floyd and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“My aim was to write stories I wished I could see, document my thoughts and experiences, and help catalyse a movement for racial justice.”

Why did you use humour and satire to get your message across?

CA: “I wasn’t intending to use humour or satire in some of my stories – it just came out that way. But I focused on writing stories as a way to better engage readers and my style and personality is not to pull any punches, and some find that funny.”

How did your work as a DEI consultant and trainer inform what you wrote?

CA: “My work as a consultant and trainer in the Criminal Justice System brought me into direct contact with police across the country who are part of Youth Offending Teams. Their defensiveness, hostility and duplicity towards race issues was nauseating, enraging, predictable and depressing, and still is. As a probation officer since 1991 I also engaged with colleagues across the country who were being very poorly served by white senior managers who saw race as simply a tick boxing exercise, and still do. I met Black professionals too who were much more concerned with their status and career than true racial justice.”

Are there any companies leading the way when it comes to racial equality?

CA: “Stafford Scott and his organisation The Monitoring Group have been at the coalface of fighting lethal police racism for decades while most say and do nothing of any real consequence. We should all be supporting and helping them far more.”

Are you positive about the future?

CA: “Yes, because it is impossible to stop Black lives rising, in terms of the book and the people! Plus I’m seeing more and more white people recognise the need to act now for very serious, fundamental and lasting racial justice.”

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