Bernardine Evaristo: ‘Beauty isn’t what you think it is’

When I was a young feminist working in theatre, I used to heckle shows I considered offensive. One time, a friend and I poured beer over a director’s head because we objected to the way black women had been portrayed in his play. Unsurprisingly, we developed a reputation for being troublemakers and were scorned. It was the Eighties, and today I think we’d be hailed as principled activist queens, beautifully belligerent with our radical chic: shaved heads or funky dreadlocks, goth eyes, map-of-Africa earrings, oversize men’s coats and Doc Martens. We might even be fronting advertising campaigns.

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