Model Minority: A minority demographic whose members are perceived to achieve a higher degree of socioeconomic success than the population average.
The model minority myth is one many of us are familiar with – an Olympic gold medallist or a winner of a national baking competition is decidedly a ‘good immigrant’, accepted into society for being successful and providing entertainment and holding public interest at the same time.
But if you are part of the majority, how does it feel to be judged on your adherence to a society set and determined by whiteness?
The Good Immigrant is, in short, a book that documents this experience. Bringing together21 different writers, the book is a penned collection of essays based on personal experiences as immigrants or children of immigrants, and the continuous incidents of racial inequality, discrimination and micro-aggressional in dignities that arise as a result.
Every essay covers one broad subject matter – the Black, Asian and minority ethnic experience in Britain, but are ultimately rendered different by their individual experience, as well as their writing style and tone.
Some are humorous in their relatability and some are simply heart-breaking, but every essay will make you question the society that we live in today and how far we still have yet to goto achieve true equality, tolerance and understanding.
The creation of this book in particular has also come about from a worthwhile publishing effort – the website Unbound, where readers directly crowdfund the publication and promotion of writers’ work. It helps authors write about necessary topics and the stories they really want to tell, and also helps them get a fair profit for the money that the books themselves generate.
When you occupy a position of privilege, the first point of action should be acknowledgement of it. Then, listen to stories and read resources that educate and inform – and The Good Immigrant is a perfect example of this form of essential reading.
This book is an incredibly important collection, and a great starting point for those wishing to learn more about the complexities of racial stratification and institutionalised systems that are, first and foremost, pro-whiteness.
If you’re looking to diversify your reading and learn more about racial inequality in Britain today ,you need to read The Good Immigrant. One essay in particular to look out for is Musa Okwonga’s The Ungrateful Country, which is a heart-breaking yet veracious indictment of Britain today.