Black People Live Like Kings and Queens

Noughts and Crosses book 1

Noughts and Crosses is a book written by Malorie Blackman. The story is about a world where black people live like Kings and Queens, and white people not. This has a similar narrative to ‘Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in many ways. Cullum is a nought (white), while Sephy/Persephone is a cross (black). They are forbidden to see each other; not only by their parents but also due to the ways in which this society is constructed makes it seem wrong. I think the correlation of the core premise of this story to the every day is the #BlackLivesMatter struggle or the #EqualPay for women.

Despite all the resistance and the political implications, the two fall in love and the story shares the issues, actions, and emotions of this. What seems particularly interesting is Cullum’s older brother and father are fighting with a group called Liberation Militia who are fighting for crosses to be in charge and not really for equality. I think this maybe what many may interpret #BlackLivesMatter as striving for with the rhetoric response of #AllLivesMatter. At my age whilst I believe everything is possible, I see that there are particular groups who are in positions of power in the UK, in my everyday life and through the media, which suggests equality is in question. This book helps to highlight this and consider where the reader sits on these subjects. I think this is important for readers of all shades to engage with.

Additionally, this book has an amazing vocabulary and there are many different characters for diverse readers with differing perspectives to relate to. I personally related to Cullum, as he is the minority in his school just like I am. I considered some things through reading this book, such as what does being different mean? What role does equality play in my life? Both Cullum and Sephy are different to the other characters, they think everyone should have equal rights and I agree. I think it does not matter what colour your skin is, technically we all have rights and we should all strive for everyone to have equality of treatment and opportunity.

I think this story suggests that we all need to think through our own perceived stereotypes, bias and presumption to minimize discriminative behavior.

I think Malorie Blackman is an author that I would really like to meet and I will continue to read more of her books, I’ve heard she has over 50.

If you have read the book comment below which character do you relate to?