Recent posts

Lewes & Diversity – We All Had Our Say

November 26, 2010

On Tuesday, November 23rd I was one of three speakers at Lewes & Diversity: Have Your Say, a standing room only event at Pelham House in Lewes. Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote and Dr Yaa Asare a Brighton academic were the other two speakers. I was also pleased to have been one of the team who had organised the event, though others worked far harder than me to make it happen.

Here is the text of my talk: read more

Good News Blog

October 27, 2010

It is good news week on this blog. An open forum discussion, ‘Lewes & Diversity – Have Your Say’, is to be held at the Pelham House Hotel in Lewes on November 23, 18.30-20.30. The leader of the local council, Ann De Vecchi will chair the event and there will be three speakers: Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote, Yaa Asare a Brighton lecturer who has studied race in education, and me. Everyone who wants to will be able to have their say. The organisers hope the event will foster understanding, awareness and community cohesion. The forum is a direct result of an article I wrote… read more

Lewes & Diversity: An MP Speaks His Mind…

October 19, 2010

I was going to write about something else this week for a change, other than provincial racism. But yesterday I had a letter on House Of Commons headed paper from my local MP, a Liberal Democrat and newly appointed junior Transport Minister to the coalition, Norman Baker. As it happened, I was expecting a letter from Baker, just not this one. I was expecting some awareness and understanding, and instead… read more

Everyday Stories Of Small Town Racism

October 11, 2010

Two months ago I wrote an article which appeared as the cover story in The Sunday Times Magazine about my family’s experiences of racism since moving to Lewes. The article created some controversy and continues to have reverberations. On Saturday afternoon, for instance, the town Library hosted the first ever Black History Month event in Lewes. It was really quite a thrilling occasion, vibrant with music, storytelling and performance poetry from local representatives of the African diaspora. read more

Abusing The Truth

October 4, 2010

As a non-fiction writer I have a strong attachment to the truth. The truth is that if you are thinking of becoming a writer you will need skin like armoured rhino hide. For as soon as you start putting words on a screen people will be queuing up to take issue with whatever you write. read more


Latest News

  • The Sleep Of Reason – The James Bulger Case by David James Smith:
    Faber Finds edition with new preface, available September 15th, 2011.

  • Young Mandela the movie – in development.

    From The Guardian
    Read the article

    In the Diary column of The Independent, April 13th, 2011

    More on my previously unsubstantiated claim that the writer-director Peter Kosminsky, creator of The Promise, is working on a drama about Nelson Mandela. I’ve now learnt that the project is a feature film, in development with Film 4, about the young Mandela. Kosminsky is currently at work on the script and, given the complaints about the anti-Jewish bias of The Promise, it is unlikely to be a standard bland portrait of the former South African president.

Latest Review

    New York Times – J. M. Ledgard
  • Nelson Mandela was circumcised as a 16-year-old boy alongside a flowing river in the Eastern Cape. The ceremony was similar to those of other Bantu peoples. An elder moved through the line making ring-like cuts, and foreskins fell away. The boys could not so much as blink; it was a rite of passage that took you beyond pain. read full review

See David James Smith…

Jon Venables: What Went Wrong
BBC 1, 10.35
Thursday, April 21st, 2011