Sugar and Slate

Sugar and Slate


'In its exploration of geographical, racial and cultural dislocation, Sugar and Slate is in the finest tradition of work to have emerged from the black diaspora in recent times' Gary Younge, Guardian

A powerful, radiant memoir from writer Charlotte Williams exploring the intertwined history of Wales, Africa and the Caribbean

The daughter of a white Welsh-speaking mother and a Black father from Guyana, Charlotte Williams' childhood world was one of mixed messages, dominated by the feeling that 'somehow to be half Welsh and half Afro-Caribbean was always to be half of something but never quite anything whole at all'.

Sugar and Slate tells the fascinating story of her journey of self-discovery, toing and froing between the small north Wales town where she grew up, Africa and the Caribbean. Blending memoir with historical research, Sugar and Slate delves deep into Black Welsh history, revealing the nation as home to one of the first interracial marriages in Britain in 1768, and a site of Britain's first major race riots in 1919.

Powerful, lyrical and intimate, Williams' experience casts light on Wales and Welshness, illuminating what it is to be racially marginalized within a community, which is itself marginalized within Britain, and offering a unique insight into the complex Black history of Wales.

A title in the Black Britain: Writing Back series - selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.


  • An engaging and perceptive voice describing an engrossing and particular personal story
    Gary Younge, Guardian

About the author

Charlotte Williams

Charlotte Williams OBE is a Welsh-Guyanese award-winning author, academic and cultural critic. Her writings span academic publications, memoir, short fiction, reviews, essays and commentaries. She is Emerita Professor at Bangor University and a member of the Learned Society of Wales. Her writings have taken her on travels worldwide but her heart and her home are always in Wales.
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