It’s my turn on the blogger tour for Afro Saxon by Dillibe Onyeama. Here’s a summary of the book:
Afro-Saxon is the follow-up to the highly controversial book ‘A Black Boy at Eton’, published early 2022 by Penguin. Dillibe Onyeama was the first black boy to complete his education at Eton in 1968. Written at just twenty-one, it was a deeply personal, revelatory account of the racism he endured during his time as a student at the prestigious institution. He tells in vivid detail of his own background as the son of a Nigerian judge at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, of his arrival at the school, of the curriculum, of his reception by other boys (and masters), and of his punishments. He tells, too, of the cruel racial prejudice he suffered and his reactions to it, and of the alienation and stereotyping he faced at such a young age. ‘A Black Boy at Eton’ was a searing, ground-breaking book displaying the deep psychological effects of colonialism and racism, and the follow-up ‘Afro-Saxon’ tells more about his story and experiences in a white dominated society.
As soon as Dillibe Onyeama was born, in January 1951, his father put his name down for Eton, the UK’s most prestigious and expensive private school. No black child had gone there, but his father, a senior judge in Nigeria who had studied at Oxford, wanted him to have the best education he could possibly afford. Onyeama did go on to receive a fantastic education – and made history as the first black person to complete his study at Eton College. But the personal cost was staggering.