The creativity of author, designer, broadcaster Ben Arogundade

Ben Arogundade’s New Black Lives Matter Book - Writing History As It Happens

IN RESPONSE TO THE MURDER of George Floyd, and the reaction of the Black Lives Matter movement, I am planning a new book which tells the story of the black experience in the 21st century. By Ben Arogundade. June. 25, 2020.

GRAPHICS OF RESISTANCE: A Black Lives Matter protester sits below a mural to George Floyd, the African American murdered by a white police officer on a Minneapolis street on May 25, 2020. His death sparked worldwide protests and marches, which have become the catalyst for a new civil rights revolution.

WE HAVE BEEN SHOCKED and appalled by the murder of George Floyd and many other unarmed black citizens, and heartened by the resistance of Black Lives Matter. For me, like many black people, such events have brought back memories of my own experiences of racism. I have been called the ‘N’ word, both in the street and in the workplace, which went unchallenged by my white bosses. I have been falsely arrested by the police, and subjected to the humiliations of being handcuffed and strip-searched. I have routinely been discriminated against everywhere from the jobs market to online dating sites. My parents also suffered racist abuse after they arrived in the UK from Nigeria as part of the Windrush generation in 1961.


What matters most is not this painful past, but what we are going to do now. I am determined to transform my feelings of anger, pain and sadness into something positive and inclusive, which gathers and unifies citizens of all ethnicities who believe in fairness, equality and love. Hopefully that is you. I am looking to raise £60,000 to write and produce an educational history book that narrates the story of Black Lives Matter and society’s prejudices against BAME people in the 21st century. Each person who donates the book price will receive a copy.


This is the most important time in the history of the struggle for racial equality since the death of Martin Luther King in 1968 — and the Black Lives Matter movement is its global, multi-racial spearhead. I have written before about the history of the black experience, in a book called Black Beauty published in 2000. It went on to become a bestseller, was honoured by the New York Public Library and become the subject of a three-part BBC documentary. 


My proposed new book is a “sequel” which continues this literary journey into this new century. Beginning where ‘Black Beauty’ left off, this commemorative coffee table book will narrate the story of society’s prejudices against BAME people in this new century. Written, designed and published by me, the remit is to produce a large format coffee table book consisting of approximately 15,000 words. It will be illustrated with the most comprehensive and qualitative selection of images ever assembled on the subject. Approximately 200 colour and black-and-white archival illustrations will feature, including all the key figures in the struggle. The pages will combine the best magazine covers with contemporary photographs by some of the foremost names in fashion and portrait photography. The book will observe premium production values in printing, paper and packaging.


The title will become an important educational and historical document that will both inform the growing audience of people seeking to understand how we got here, and also help ensure that the aims and values of the Black Lives Matter movement continue to resonate. 

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