In poems exploring family, survival, generational trauma and the complexities of belonging, Manorism is an examination of the lives of Black British men and boys. At the heart of the book is the ongoing pressure of code-switching – changing one’s behaviour and language to suit radically different cultural contexts and environments. The violence of artists such as Caravaggio in seventeenth-century Rome and modern-day commentary by the likes of David Starkey and Piers Morgan provide a lens for considering differences of impunity afforded to white and Black people. Snippets of Yoruba interweave with English, and a moving final sequence – adapted for the Almeida stage in June 2021 to glowing reviews from the Guardian, Time Out and others – charts the dramatic reconciliations surrounding a death in the family. The result is a thrillingly original book that charts the vulnerabilities and rich nuances of Black masculinity in Britain.
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