Outlanders - Hidden Narratives From Social Workers Of Colour

Outlanders - Hidden Narratives From Social Workers Of Colour


£13.00 with free post and packaging

In this landmark publication, social workers from Black and other Global Majority Communities showcase a rich and diverse collection of their essays, poems, stories and reflections, providing unique and spellbinding insights.

OUTLANDERS: Hidden narratives from social workers of colour (from Black & other Global Majority Communities) captures the silenced and suppressed voices of social work students, practitioners, managers and academics. It combines a unique blend of personal and professional experiences with a sprinkle of cathartic and therapeutic creativity into a boiling cauldron of many moods. The result? Pure edutainment.

This bold and unapologetic anthology explores a range of perennial issues, including anti-racist activism; oppressive workplace environments; racial trauma and COVID-19. The authentic and cultured spirits that permeate these pages convey an ancestral force that will reverberate inside and outside of social work.

“An eclectic and eye-opening view on social work and the many issues experienced – and dealt with – by social workers from global majority backgrounds.” (Sam Walby, Now Then Magazine)

“It’s so vitally important that the voices of Black social workers are heard. While navigating the very real violence of racism, they manage to do an incredibly challenging job. This anthology has given me a newfound respect for those in this industry - and it should be read and studied widely.” (Izin Akhabau, The Voice)

ISBN - 978-1912130566 Perfect Bind

ISBN - 978-1912130559 The E Book Version

Edited by Wayne Reid and Siobhan Maclean

353 pages


Dez Holmes - Director of Research in Practice

Each submission, though unique in its focus and narrative, offers a powerful common depiction of how racism, injustice and inequality manifests within social work. By combining evidence from research, data, personal stories, this anthology presents a compelling narrative and forces us to confront the inadequacy of our response to racism. It is, for me, the expansive / wide-ranging lens of the anthology that amplifies its messages so effectively. From academia to practice, from the interpersonal to the structural, from poetry to policy analysis… racism is shown to be as endemic as it is destructive. The heartache of losing a son, the anger of being unsupported by those with professional power, the sheer exhaustion and isolation of being subjected to repeated micro-aggressions – all of these emotions and more come through with painful clarity in these submissions. The use of personal story serves to ‘make real’ the abstract notion of structural oppression. Each submission acting as amplification to the last – reinforcing the common experiences of colleagues of colour, demanding that we hear these voices however painful it might be. The submissions also offer hope – descriptions of valued mentors, allyship and ‘lessons learned’ are no less important than the tales of discrimination.

Christian Kerr - Social worker - Chair of BASW North East branch

In ‘Black male suicide, a ticking ‘time bomb’: personal reflections and considerations for suicide awareness and prevention ‘Dr Jean Dillon speaks from her experience of losing her son, Brett, highlighting how racial inequality, discrimination and race- , culture- and gender-based stigma intersect to create social conditions in which black men are at particular risk from suicide. She concludes with five recommendations aimed at reducing that risk. Ahmina Akhtar’s ‘Microaggressions’ is a depiction in verse of the racism woven through the everyday discourse, from seemingly innocuous comments about regional accents to more overtly discriminatory statements such as “the problem with your folk”. ‘Microagressions’ poetically highlights that, whether overt or covert, everyday racism has both immediate and cumulative impact, and serves to maintain the inherently racist status quo. ‘The Comment’ by Cosmas Maruta is a masterful, poetical exegesis on the power of language as both a destructive and a healing force. No review could do this piece justice, so self-aware, reflective and exquisitely rendered is it. I commend it for its message and the manner of its expression, which are artfully interwoven. In Ambition Navigation, Wayne Reid’s description of his post-school journey from aimless but enjoyable pop-cultural immersion and admin jobs to his burgeoning ambitions in social care and social work resonated greatly with me. Wayne did not have the benefit of white privilege as I did and so his piece speaks to challenges white people do not face. He ends positively and emphatically with some lesson from which we could all learn. ‘Are You Sure You Are In The Right Place?’ by Zoe Thomasis an excoriating depiction of the experience of racism as emanating from professionals and institutions, and in particular focuses on academia, in which “being white is considered as normal”. Against this Silenced rails, in justifiably angry, undeniable terms, from her experience as “working-class black woman with multiple ethnic identities”. Classism is one thing, but classism times racism times sexism is quite another and ‘Are You Sure You Are In The Right Place?’ is an urgent, necessary read. This well –curated, varied collection is vital, powerful, urgent, funny, sad, in-your-face, ironic and, I have to say, enjoyably readable, if often necessarily challenging to people of privilege such as this reviewer. As it should be

Dr Jermaine M Ravalier - Reader in Work & Wellbeing at Bath Spa University

As people with Black heritage in the UK, we are often asked to express examples of our pain, our personal experience – almost re-living it for the experience of others. While this is something that I refuse to do, if/when I am asked in future, I am simply going to refer the questioner to this anthology. Each piece is written from the experience of an individual. Individuals who have differing backgrounds, differing educations, differing upbringings. But each emphasizes the difficulties (and blessings) associated with being Black in the social work community, in the UK community more widely. Reading through each abstract has taught me something while reaffirming my own experiences. The pain of familial suicide and some of the reasons why it may happen; that I’m not the only academic of Caribbean/British heritage to experience microaggressions and outright prejudice while working in Higher Education; the importance of resilience and strength of character; the impact that seemingly innocuous words can have on the entire outlook of others; and the “diversity within cultures” which demonstrates the ridiculousness of ‘BAME’. These extracts clearly show that being the ‘B’ in ‘BAME’ can have so many difficulties, but also illustrates the importance of support from others. Support from friends and family outside of work, of Allies and adoptive families at work. These extracts are not only about sharing the stories of the writers. The extracts expose the need for allies in every situation faced. While I am yet to read the rest of the extracts in this anthology, this book should be essential reading in any race and allyship training and discussion in this country

Mithran Samuel - Editor Community Care

This powerful collection holds a mirror up to social work and lays bare the gap between its antioppressive, anti-discriminatory and anti-racist values and the realities experienced by social workers of colour and people from Black and ethnic minority communities who social workers serve. Anyone involved with the profession will benefit from reading it

Neil Thompson - Independent Social Work writer, educator & adviser

I have been supporting and promoting anti-racism for decades as part of broader commitment to tackling discrimination and oppression and promoting social justice. However, as a white man, what I cannot offer is a black perspective. I therefore very much welcome this anthology that can play such an important role in making sure that black voices are heard and black perspectives represented. It is my view that, whether from an ethnic minority or majority, we all have a part to play in promoting a fairer, safer and more humane society. However, established racialised power relations mean that it is generally harder for black voices to be heard and black needs to be given the attention they deserve. I hope that this anthology initiative will not only be widely read, but will also serve as a stimulus to other initiatives that can move us forward in rectifying the imbalance. Black lives matter and so do black voices.