We are thrilled to announce that In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System by Alexandra Wilson will be published by Endeavour (an imprint of the Octopus Publishing Group) in hardback, ebook and audio in September 2020.
Publishing Director Claudia Connal acquired UK and Commonwealth rights at auction, and the book has already been optioned for TV by Mam Tor Productions, the creative team behind the dramatization of the critically acclaimed Boy A.
Connal praised the memoir, saying ‘Alexandra beautifully re‐creates the tense court room scenes, heart‐breaking conferences with teenage clients, and moments of frustration and joy that make up a young barrister’s life. Most importantly, she shows us the many inequities that result when you have a legal profession and laws that represent a small portion of society. This is a hugely important subject and we are so proud to be working with Alexandra.’
In Black and White will follow Alexandra through a criminal justice system still divided by race and class. We hear about the lifechanging events that motivated her to practice law, beginning with the murder of a close family friend and her own experiences of knife crime. Alexandra’s 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.
Alexandra Wilson is 25, 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. 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.
Wilson commented, ‘My story details the experience of being a young, mixedrace female barrister. It wasn’t easy to break into the profession. Barristers represent people from all walks of life and it is so important that the Bar reflects the diversity of society. I am so grateful to be able to share my story.’
Alexandra Wilson is a junior barrister and the eldest of four children. Her mother is White British and her father is Black British. Her paternal grandparents were born in Jamaica and came to England as part of the Windrush generation.
She grew up in Essex and studied at the University of Oxford and was awarded two prestigious scholarships, enabling her to research the effect of police shootings in the US on young people’s attitudes to the police. She went on to study for a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and her Masters‐in‐Law at BPP University in London.
Alexandra was awarded the first Queen’s scholarship by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, a scholarship awarded to students showing exceptional promise in a career at the Bar. You can find her on Twitter @EssexBarrister.