CHALLENGING POWER & OPPRESSION IN BRITAIN TODAY
1. Alan Sharp please introduce yourself?
I have been a community development worker in Tooting for 14 years. Much of my recent work has been getting funding for Black and Asian community groups to do projects to meet community needs. I facilitate the working together of a number of churches of all ethnic backgrounds to meet people's material and spiritual needs. I represented 90 community groups of all faiths and one for three years on the Faiths Sub-committee of Wandsworth Local Strategic Partnership. I was on the steering group of Balham and Tooting Forum for 18 months. I have facilitated youth leaders to run two performing arts schools for youth during school holidays.
2. So why did your write the book CHANGING GENERATIONS?
I wrote the book because I felt that my skills could best be used to challenge white people to work with Black and Asian people to achieve their liberation. Writing a book can influence a wider range of people than other actions.
3.So what is your experience in these matters?
The mass experience of the presence of Black and Asian people in UK has only been 70 years, as opposed to several hundred years in US. Enslavement was confined to the Western hemisphere, so British people have not had to face the results of terror face to face in UK. UK experience has been corrupted through a common belief in cultural racism, seeing racism as non-existent apart from one-off racist incidents.
4. Who is the book for?
The book is for anyone aged 18 and above.
5. Where did you gain this information, would you call yourself an expert in the subject?
I am not an expert! I try to report what Black, Asian and Latin American women and men say in critiquing white people. People need someone of a different gender, ethnicity, class and culture/age to critique them, in order to learn what needs to be changed. Postmodern whites may be able to critique modern whites but struggle to critique postmodernism.
6. It's quite brave of you to criticize the powers that be, as a white English man do you think you'll receive a negative backlash from other white men [and even some black people] because of what you say in the book?
Any support may primarily be silent. I do expect a negative reaction, although I hope we can engage through blogging. I would not expect to get as bad a response as, say, a white woman or a Black or Asian person might for saying these things.
7.How long did CHANGING GENERATIONS take to write?
The book took a year in 2007. I have tried to update it for subsequent research and development in my thinking. I originally wrote two books in one and might publish the other book at some point in the future.
8.What do you think this book will achieve?
I hope this book might provoke some conversation. I hope it will help some people to get on journeys of engaging in action to help people achieve their liberation. The aim is above all to see action to get rid of institutional racism and sexism as well as to reduce grass-roots racism and sexism.
9.How and who published your book?
Actually the book was Self-published, I attended the BIS Publishing courses, then continued with their 1 to 1 coach, whilst they assisted me in the self-publishing process. Big up to BIS Publications!
10.Where can the book be bought?
www.bispublications.com and http://www.diversityunity.com
Friday, 25th July 2014
Time: 6.45-9.00 pm
Location: The Brockway Room, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL
Early Bird tickets just £5.
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