race-23_0049 FESTIVAL america_1920x83028


This is Not America: why black lives in Britain matter | LSE Festival

Hosted by LSE Festival: People and Change

In-person and online public event (Great Hall, Marshall Building)


Tomiwa Owolade

Tomiwa Owolade


Professor Mike Savage

Professor Mike Savage

Across the West, racial injustice has become one of the most divisive issues of our age. Debate abounds around racism, identity, diversity, immigration and colonial history, and, in the rush to address injustice, Britain has followed the lead of the world's dominant power: America. We judge ourselves by America's standards, absorb its arguments and follow its agenda. But what if we're looking in the wrong place?

In This is Not America, Tomiwa Owolade argues that too much of the conversation around race in Britain is viewed through the prism of American ideas that don't reflect the history, challenges and achievements of increasingly diverse black populations at home. If we want to build a long-lasting and more effective anti-racist agenda - one that truly values black British communities - we must acknowledge that crucial differences exist between Britain and America; that we are talking about distinct communities and cultures, distinguished by language, history, class, religion and national origin.  

Meet our speaker and chair

Tomiwa Owolade (@tomowolade) writes about social, cultural and literary issues for The New Statesman, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Observer, UnHerd and the Evening Standard. He has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and Times Radio discussing some of the ideas in this book. He won top prize at the RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards 2021.

Mike Savage (@MikeSav47032563) is Martin White Professor of Sociology at LSE, having previously been Head of the Department of Sociology between 2013 and 2016 and Director of LSE’s International Inequalities Institute between 2015 and 2020.

More about this event

This event is part of the LSE Festival: People and Change running from Monday 12 to Saturday 17 June 2023, with a series of events exploring how change affects people and how people effect change. Booking for all Festival events will open on Monday 15 May. 

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival  

Podcast and video

A video of this event is available to watch at This is Not America: why black lives in Britain matter.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.