In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s  Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System

Alexandra Wilson

‘I glanced around the courtroom, quickly at first and then repeated it. Slower this time, taking in the details of everyone’s faces. I began to play the game I’d played my whole life: spot the black person. Of course, I wish it didn’t matter what I looked like or where I came from, but it was obvious that no one there looked like me.’

Alexandra is 24, mixed-race and from Essex. As a trainee criminal and family law barrister she finds herself navigating a world and a set of rules designed by old white men. This is her story.

We follow Alexandra through a criminal justice system still divided by race and class. We hear about the life-changing events that motivated her to practice criminal and family law, beginning with the murder of a close family friend and her own experiences of knife and gun crime.

She shows us how it feels to defend someone who hates the colour of your skin or someone you suspect is guilty, and the heart-breaking cases of youth justice she has worked on. Her story is unique in a profession still dominated by a privileged section of society with little first-hand experience of the devastating impact of violent crime.








UK Publication

Octopus, September 2020

US Publication

On Offer

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UK & Commonwealth: Octopus