By Jade aka Ada
A few weeks ago, Tumblr was set ablaze by the discovery of Victoria Foyt’s novel Save the Pearls, a dystopian speculative novel in which black people dominate the world and white people are forced into hiding and can only go out wearing blackface. I haven’t read the book and I’m not going to. Instead, I’d like to tell you about a book that also depicts a world in which the racial dynamics are reversed, but this one was written by a black woman. And that changes everything. Blonde Roots is one of my favourite books ever. It starts in the United Kingdom of Great Ambossa (UK or GA for short), one of the wealthiest nations of most resourceful continent, Aphrika. From the first page:
Frogs and crickets provide a drunken nighttime chorus while camel-drawn carriages deliver stoosh party guests to our neighbouring compounds. The men wear flamboyant kaftans and their glamourously fat women try to outdo one another with peacock-print headscarves tied up into the most extravagant girlie bows.
All the houses are freshly whitewashed, with stained-glass windows depicting the gods: Oshan, Shangira, Yemonja. Stone sphinxes guard porches, and stationed by doorways are torch lamps on tall marble plinths — their flames are slippery blue fingers grasping out at the sticky nighttime air.