The brilliant Bernadine Evaristo—a longtime advocate for writers and artists of color whose most recent novel Girl, Woman, Other took home last year’s Booker Prize—appeared on the BBC’s topical debate show Question Time last week to talk about the welcome wave of racist statue removal that’s has been sweeping Britain in recent weeks.
During a debate about the whitewashing of Britain’s history, Evaristo spoke about the importance of challenging historical narratives written by the imperialist white elite, and praised the Bristol Black Lives Matter protesters who pulled down and rolled into the sea a statue of notorious slave trader Edward Colston, explaining:
I think it’s really important that we interrogate history and when you have to take the law into your own hands and remove a statue, I mean, God, nobody died, it’s just this little tin statue that was thrown into the river and then led to this conversation we’re having now about the rest of the relics of Britain’s murky past, I think it’s really important.
“Removing those statues is giving power to people who really do object to a symbol of their historical slavery”
Author @BernardineEvari says Britain’s history written by “elite white men” needs to be challenged and interrogated #bbcqt pic.twitter.com/jJmzwY14f8
— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) June 11, 2020