Book Review of Amanda Arbouin (2018) Black British Graduates: Untold Stories

  • Virendra Mistry LJMU
Keywords: social histry, Black Minority Ethnic, equality, diversity, life histories, culture


Black British Graduates focuses on the experiences of ten graduates of African-Caribbean parentage and, as Arbouin declares, is “The first to document the life chances of black graduates in the UK” (p. 1).  In this qualitative account, the research participants, who were in their thirties and forties and established professionals, review their compulsory and post-compulsory education, and their careers.  The book chronicles the personal testimonies in relation to the barriers negotiated in the pursuit of academic qualifications.  

The ‘life trajectory research approach’ covers the participants’ schooling (spanning the 1970s and 1980s) and university (1980s, 1990s and 2000s).  I was enraptured by this sense of social history and, as my own schooling and university experiences (as a young Asian) spanned the 1970s and 1980s, I could empathise with many of the comments.  Overall, it is a book of extraordinary texture, intimacy and purpose.

[Review continues]