Through its decades of colonial deceit and denial, Belgium remains a fundamentally racist country: this is the core premise of this critical, committed, outspoken and persuasive book by Nicholas Lewis (founder and editor-in-chief of The Word). The primary focus of his argument is the public space in Brussels, and the remarkably visible traces in it of racist colonial characters and myths. He points to demeaning colonial monuments and street names that glorify exploitative colonials in Etterbeek, Ixelles and Schaerbeek, in Place Royale and Cinquantenaire, and writes about the AfricaMuseum.
In between these chapters the book also holds passionate, wise and sometimes activist essays, written by important voices from the Congolese and Black communities, being Laura Nsengiyumva, Véronique Clette-Gakuba, Anne M. Georgine Dibua, François Makanga and Anne Wetsi Mpoma. The texts are combined with gripping photos from the past and the present, and the strong graphic design showcases Lewis’s bold and moving message: that racist stereotypes remain intrinsic to the contemporary Belgian society, as hampered as it is haunted by the spectre of its imperialistic ancestors.