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About the book
  • Published: 2 April 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742751931
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

Am I Black Enough For You?




The story of an urban-based high achieving Aboriginal woman working to break down stereotypes and build bridges between black and white Australia.

The story of an urban-based high achieving Aboriginal woman working to break down stereotypes and build bridges between black and white Australia.

I'm Aboriginal. I'm just not the Aboriginal person a lot of people want or expect me to be.

What does it mean to be Aboriginal? Why is Australia so obsessed with notions of identity? Anita Heiss, successful author and passionate campaigner for Aboriginal literacy, was born a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, but was raised in the suburbs of Sydney and educated at the local Catholic school. She is Aboriginal - however, this does not mean she likes to go barefoot and, please, don't ask her to camp in the desert.

After years of stereotyping Aboriginal Australians as either settlement dwellers or rioters in Redfern, the Australian media have discovered a new crime to charge them with: being too 'fair-skinned' to be an Australian Aboriginal. Such accusations led to Anita's involvement in one of the most important and sensational Australian legal decisions of the 21st-century when she joined others in charging a newspaper columnist with breaching the Racial Discrimination Act. He was found guilty, and the repercussions continue.

In this deeply personal memoir, told in her distinctive, wry style, Anita Heiss gives a first-hand account of her experiences as a woman with an Aboriginal mother and Austrian father, and explains the development of her activist consciousness.

Read her story and ask: what does it take for someone to be black enough for you?

  • Pub date: 2 April 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742751931
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the Author

Anita Heiss

Dr Anita Heiss is the author of non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial women's fiction, poetry, social commentary and travel articles. She is a Lifetime Ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW. Anita was a finalist in the 2012 Human Rights Awards and the 2013 Australian of the Year Awards. She lives in Brisbane.

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Praise for Am I Black Enough For You?

“With wisdom, wit and fierce intelligence, Anita Heiss has written a brilliant memoir about what it means to be a black Australian woman in the 21st century. Part family history, part manifesto, this is feisty stuff: brassy, razor sharp and utterly readable.”

Benjamin Law

“Anita Heiss is a star - she has that degree of brightness, being transparently honest in both thought and emotion. Anyone struggling with the issue of identity can learn from her; so can our nation.”

Martin Flanagan

“Anita Heiss is undeniably Australia's most prolific Aboriginal writer.In a heart rendering story she describes her journey through the trials and tribulations that only life can bring. Her sense of belonging and love for family and community provide the centrepiece to her successful career in the arts and politics. Heiss' writing and life brand of passion, integrity and humour provide the focus which transcends the often serious educational component of her work. Her books are indeed gifts to all who read them. Anita Heiss you sure are Black Enough For Me.”

Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA

“Anita has artfully woven her personal and family history with recent events questioning the validity of that history with an honesty and bravery worth honouring. Resilience and wit have become the inherent trademarks of Anita's unique style and this book, in many ways, serves as a 'how-to' survival guide for a new generation of Aboriginal thinkers and actors. Black enough? Bloody oath!”

Jason Glanville, The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence

“Passionate, personal, informative and funny...Her memoir gives a fresh perspective on historical events and culture.”

Lizzie Stafford, Sunday Mail, Brisbane

“...Well written and researched, meticulously referenced, critical without resorting to insult, humourous without being snide, positive and honest. Memoir can be tricky, but Heiss nails it...”

Rudi Maxwell, Koori Mail, Lismore


Awards & Recognition

  • Victorian Premier's Literary Awards

    Winner • 2012 • Victorian Premier's Literary Awards (Indigenous Category)


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