Before Jeffrey Boakye became a Black teacher, he was a Black student and, as such, has spent his whole life navigating countless places of learning that are white by default.

This event sees the celebrated author, broadcaster, educator and journalist share some of the eye-opening, uncomfortable and outrageous encounters from his new book, I Heard What You Said, with Queen’s University Belfast Professor of Black Theology, Robert Beckford, and Nicola Rollock, Professor of Social Policy and Race at King’s College London.

This is a razor-sharp riposte to systemic racism in the UK’s classrooms – so don’t miss this event in which Jeffrey outlines his vision for how we can start doing better by every student, now and into the future.

Chaired by Professor Nicola Rollock.

About The Author

Headshot of Author and guest at Bradford Literature Festival Jefferey Boakye in a black jumper in front of a dark brown background.

Jeffrey Boakye

Jeffrey Boakye is an author, broadcaster, educator and journalist with a particular interest in issues surrounding race, masculinity, education and popular culture. Originally from Brixton in London, Jeffrey has taught secondary English for fifteen years. He is the author of several books: Hold Tight: Black Masculinity, Millennials, and the Meaning of Grime; Black, Listed: Black British Culture Explored; What is Masculinity? Why Does it Matter? And Other Big Questions; Musical Truth: A Musical Journey through Modern Black Britain; and I Heard What You Said. He is also the co-presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Add to Playlist. He now lives in Yorkshire with his wife and two sons.

About The Speaker

Headshot of author, Robert Beckford

Robert Beckford

Professor Robert Beckford joined the University of Winchester in 2021 as Director of the new Institute of Climate and Social Justice. 

Robert is an activist scholar, working interdisciplinarily to address, confront and overturn injustice in African mainland and diaspora communities. Robert’s scholarship takes place across a range of media. He has written eight monographs exploring the interface of religion, ethnicity, and social justice. His most recent work is an action-research project on decoloniality, music and theology (Decolonising Gospel Music: A Revolutionary Theopraxis, Bloomsbury 2022).

Robert is a BAFTA Award-winning documentary filmmaker. His films have contributed to increasing public awareness of issues of corporate malfeasance in Africa, the reparations movement and anti-racism in Britain. Robert’s most recent media projects are an independent film project funded by the Movement for Justice and Reconciliation (50k), exploring the meaning of reconciliation in response to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (‘After Noah: Christianity, Slavery and Reconciliation 2022’). Also a BBC World Service documentary on the environmental impact of colonialism on Barbados (2022).

Robert is currently involved in a range of research projects. He is heading up a £30k collaborative action-research project with Hampshire County Council, Winchester Prison and the Hampshire and Isle of White Wildlife Trust to deliver sustainability (rewilding) education to offenders at Winchester Prison.

Robert is also developing two Knowledge Exchange projects: a hip-hop/rap music-inspired sustainability resource for Key Stage 1 Geography and a series of religious icons titled ‘Our Lady of Climate Justice.’ Finally, in autumn 2022 Robert will be hosting the first national symposium for global majority peoples in Britain advocating climate and social justice.

In 2021, Robert completed a three-year collaborative £600,000 ESRC research project on ‘Austerity Britain’ with the University of Coventry (‘Life on the Breadline’).