Comment

When we were approached about producing a special issue of Scottish Left Review commissioned by non-white Scots and written entirely by non-white Scots we were immediately delighted. We of course try to ensure that the SLR reflects as many voices from as many parts of Scotland as possible – from race and gender to age and geography. But often we fail – for good reasons and bad.

Our Editorial Board is of mixed race and gender but we know that does not necessarily mean we can successfully reflect a community as diverse as Scotland’s. We produce one magazine every two months and other than our regular features there is room only for 10 articles. It means we can never cover a full range of issues from a full range of perspectives.

We are also conscious that people – whatever their background – want to read about the most important issues written in the most stimulating ways. Sometimes that simply means male, middle-class, middle-aged and white writers. Then again, white male commissioning editors often believe that white male writers are the best available. And of course, this is also affected by who gets into positions of power and influence.

But if these are the good reasons, forgetting is often the bad reason. We sit down and plan an issue of articles and then put names of writers against them. We may simply forget to look at what the totality of writers represents – in terms of race, in terms of gender, in terms of social class, in terms of geography. And inevitably, if we make this mistake often enough we present one picture of left politics in Scotland, possibly at the risk of excluding another.

So we offer our sincere thanks to Graham Campbell for the idea of a black-only issue and for curating it. Perhaps in the future we might try this again. Perhaps there is a group of under-25s who want to take over. Or an editorial team from the Highlands and Islands. And perhaps it really is past time for an all-women issue,

We hope you enjoy.

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