9th May 2018

535 signs timely memoir from Britain’s first ever black Chief Constable

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535, an imprint of Kings Road Publishing, has acquired Kill the Black One First!, a memoir by Britain’s first black Chief Constable, Michael Fuller. Joel Simons, Publisher, 535, acquired UK & Commonwealth rights from Mark Lucas at LAW.

Kill the Black One First! is the story of how one man’s battle with the injustice of personal and institutional racism led to an enduring passion for social justice.

Born to Windrush-generation Jamaican immigrants in 1959, Michael Fuller was taken into care when he was 18 months old. His is a story which all too often has only one ending — but thanks to the vision and championship of the benevolent and beloved “Auntie” Margaret, who ran his forward-looking Surrey children’s home, his was an idyllic childhood. And, from an early age, his passion for policing was clear. Racism and inequality did nothing to crush his ambition and police college beckoned on leaving school at 16. But when he found himself at the heart of the anger and hatred of Brixton riots, he was forced to ask himself for the first time: Which tribe do I belong to?

His meteoric career took him through police work of every complexion, from the beat to the Brixton inferno, through cutting edge detective work to the frontline of drug-related crime and violence on London’s most volatile estates. He took a pivotal role in the formation of Operation Trident, which tackled gun crime and gang warfare in the Afro-Caribbean community, and later appointed as Chief Constable of Kent. Michael’s story is one of perseverance against the odds, and of how the human spirit can triumph over the most fundamental challenges.

Kill the Black One First! navigates the minefield of personal and institutional racism over a 40-year period, and presents us with a vision of Britain that is as relevant and thought-provoking today as it was during the tumultuous years at the turn of the millennium.

 

I’d like to challenge and enlighten readers who don’t yet understand how it feels to be on the receiving end of mindless prejudice…

-Michael Fuller

Michael Fuller said: “As the UK draws ever closer to Brexit in 2019, my narrative questions what it means to belong, and if you can ever truly identify with a group which doesn’t see you as one of its own. I’d like to challenge and enlighten readers who don’t yet understand how it feels to be on the receiving end of mindless prejudice — be it overt and abusive, or of the more insidious, hidden variety. And to take those who already do on what I hope will be an equally compelling and thought-provoking personal journey.”

 

A story of displacement, identity and social justice, it is a timely reminder of how far we’ve come when dealing with these issues and how far we still need to go.

-Joel Simons, Publisher, 535

Publisher Joel Simons said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be working with Michael on his unflinching take on race relations in the UK. A story of displacement, identity and social justice, it is a timely reminder of how far we’ve come when dealing with these issues and how far we still need to go. Michael’s book will be forensic in its examination of race both on a very exciting crime-filled micro/street level, but also on a universal level, examining how we view ourselves culturally, sociologically and politically in a post-Brexit, alt-right infected world.”

Kill The Black One First! by Michael Fuller publishes February 2019 in hardback.