In a piece entitled Writers Blocked – Karen Yosman reported a warning that white authors should keep away “from stories about people of colour.” (The Spectator May 17th)
It was once my turn, as headmaster, to check the tickets of late arrivals for a school concert. A young man who had no ticket demanded admission and, when I shook my head he called me a racist and used his mobile phone to summon back up. I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the head boy, a head taller than me and, like my protagonist black. “I’ll see to him, Sir,” was what he said and what he did, gently, but persuasively.
Moments later, after the departure of my rescuer, a grandmother who was also black and had witnessed the incident offered to apologise on behalf of black people for the behaviour of the first boy.
Moved by this concern for me and by their kindness how could I keep out of this story?