‘Afropean: Notes from Black Europe’ by Johny Pitts Winner of the Bread & Roses Award 2020

23 Sep

Guest judge Helena Earnshaw announcing the winner

Johny Pitts receiving the award virtually


‘Afropean: Notes from Black Europe’ by Johny Pitts
wins the Bread & Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2020

The Bread & Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2020 has been awarded to ‘Afropean: Notes from Black Europe’ by Johny Pitts, published by Allen Lane.

The award is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) and was announced by guest judges, Helena Earnshaw, Angharad Penrhyn Jones, and Hsiao-Hung Pai, themselves previous winners of the award, at an online ceremony.

The Bread and Roses Award is a book prize with a difference: presented by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers, and without the backing of corporate sponsors, the award seeks to recognise and celebrate excellence in the field of radical political non-fiction. An award of £500 is made to the winning author.

Now in its eighth year, the first book to win the award was ‘Debt: The First 5,000 Years’, written by the anthropologist and activists David Graeber, who sadly died earlier this month, and whose memory and work was honoured at the award ceremony.

Quote from Johny Pitts:

“That Afropean has been embraced by booksellers and writers with histories of resistance to injustice and intolerance is immensely encouraging. My book stands proudly on the shoulders of an intellectual legacy they have long supported and enriched.  To share the spotlight with such a vigorous and urgent shortlist has been equally rewarding. My gratitude to all involved for continuing to champion our work in such uncertain times”.

Quotes from Guest Judges regarding ‘Afropean’.

“An extremely readable and richly-textured blend of travel, history and politics. Johny Pitts views the world with a sharp, unflinching, yet human gaze – there is positivity and warmth in abundance. This is not a book to be rushed, but to be savoured.” – Helena Earnshaw

“Afropean is a unique political documentary about Black experience in Europe. Political writing about the continent’s racialised peoples is much needed and Afropean does it brilliantly by getting up close and personal.”  – Hsiao Hung-Pai

“This is a multi-layered, lyrical book, combining travel writing with politics, history, memoir, and on-the-ground documentary journalism. Johny Pitts challenges us to view Europe through a different lens. Original, moving and deeply engaging, Afropean is a hugely impressive achievement and deserves the widest possible readership.”  – Angharad Penrhyn Jones

The Alliance of Radical Booksellers

The Bread and Roses prize is awarded by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) which helps to support and promote the work of Britain’s radical and progressive booksellers.

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