Winner of the Vic Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing
I'm Aboriginal. I'm just not the Aboriginal person a lot of people want or expect me to be.
What does it mean to be Aboriginal? Why is Australia so obsessed with notions of identity? Anita Heiss, successful author and passionate campaigner for Aboriginal literacy, was born a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, but was raised in the suburbs of Sydney and educated at the local Catholic school. She is Aboriginal; however, this does not mean she likes to go barefoot and, please, don't ask her to camp in the desert. After years of stereotyping Aboriginal Australians as either settlement dwellers or rioters in Redfern, the Australian media have discovered a new crime to charge them with: being too "fair-skinned" to be Australian Aboriginal. Such accusations led to Anita's involvement in one of the most important and sensational Australian legal decisions of the 21st-century when she joined others in charging a newspaper columnist with breaching the Racial Discrimination Act. He was found guilty, and the repercussions continue.
Am I Black Enough for You? is a deeply personal memoir, told in her distinctive, wry style, Anita Heiss gives a first-hand account of her experiences as a woman with an Aboriginal mother and Austrian father, and explains the development of her activist consciousness.
Read her story and ask: what does it take for someone to be black enough for you?
Not for sale in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Western Samoa.
Published in association with Anita Heiss and Curringa Communications
“Anita Heiss writes of her experiences as a mixed-blood Wiradjuri woman with energy and verve, and her memoir of growing up as a ‘concrete Koori’ will resonate with those familiar with urban Indian life in North America. If you are looking to expand your knowledge of contemporary First Nations issues through a more global indigenous perspective, Heiss’ narrative is a good place to start.” —Tara Browner, UCLA
“Am I Black Enough For You?
is a vibrant, upbeat, restless and often driven account.” —Sydney Morning Herald
"Part of Heiss’s goal in writing this memoir, as in all of her books, was to inform new audiences of Aboriginal Australian lives, and in that, she has succeeded. . . . Am I Black Enough For You?
successfully argues that Aboriginal people should not be archetyped into historical lifestyles. Their history, however, should be adopted and taught with equal weight to non-Aboriginal Australian history. They should be given equal opportunities for education and success. And they, like all of us, should be respected as individuals." —Antipodes
, December 2014
Author: Heiss, Anita;
Anita Heiss is the author of non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial women's fiction, poetry, social commentary and travel articles. She is an adjunct professor with Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, University of Technology Sydney.