Book Review: From the Windrush to Wapping by Jeff Jones
Jeff Jones has certainly lived enough to fill six ordinary lives. Since growing up in Wapping, East London, he’s been in trouble with the police, been sent to prison, been homeless and been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. But he has also been to university, been a manager in mental health and youth work, met Prince Charles and even passed The Knowledge, the exam for London black cab drivers.
This book charts his life in a clear and very readable style, sometimes also at break-neck speed, but always it is engaging. Jones does not shy away from the racism that marked so much of his life, growing up as a black man in twentieth-century London, but neither does he preach at the reader or hit the reader over the head. He simply presents racism for what it is and in this clear manner makes it far more chilling and uncomfortable.
This is a book about contemporary life in Britain but from a voice that is not often heard, a black working-class man, which can be enjoyed by all. At his heart, Jones is a storyteller and he uses that to great advantage in this book.
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