The story of an Aboriginal woman who worked as a police officer and fought for justice both within and beyond the Australian police force.
Black and Blue is a memoir of remarkable fortitude and resilience, told with wit, wisdom, and great heart.
A proud Gunai/Kurnai woman, Veronica Gorrie grew up dauntless, full of pride and a fierce sense of justice. After watching her friends and family suffer under a deeply compromised law-enforcement system, Gorrie signed up for training to become one of a rare few Aboriginal police officers in Australia.
In her ten years in the force, she witnessed appalling institutional racism and sexism, and fought past those things to provide courageous and compassionate service to civilians in need, many Aboriginal themselves.
With a great gift for storytelling and a wicked sense of humor, Gorrie frankly and movingly explores the impact of racism on her family and her life, the impact of intergenerational trauma resulting from cultural dispossession, and the inevitable difficulties of making her way as an Aboriginal woman in the white-and-male-dominated workplace of the police force.
“Loved it. I read it in one sitting—couldn’t put it down. I thought of A.B. Facey as I read her astounding journey. What an incredible woman.”
—Melissa Lucashenko, author of Too Much Lip
“This is the read for Australia now… it crackles with urgency. Honestly. I was left with a startling clarity after reading Black and Blue. This should be taught in schools, alongside the rest of our history.”
—Rick Morton, author of My Year of Living Vulnerably
“Every now and then, a story comes along that astonishes with its degree of truth, trauma and resilience. Veronica Gorrie’s memoir, Black and Blue, is one such, chronicling a life of inconceivable pain, abuse and discrimination… Her book should be mandatory reading material for all emerging and current cops… Women who have historically been silenced: now more than ever, we need to be reading their stories.”
—Jessie Tu, Sydney Morning Herald
“The power of storytelling is to share the lives of people who change the world. Ronnie Gorrie’s journey as an Aboriginal woman shows the different levels of power in our country and is as radical as it is moving. A loving, affecting, and honest account of her life. Reading Ronnie’s words is like hearing the yarn of a friend.”
“Black and Blue is a work of epic storytelling, a memoir authored by Gunai/Kurnai woman Veronica Gorrie. This is a book that must contend on every page with structural racism and the violent legacies of colonialism, from the account of Gorrie’s childhood to her experiences working in the Queensland police and raising a family as a single mum. It’s the memoir of a survivor, a resilient woman. If Black and Blue is a grim indictment of institutional racism, Gorrie’s highly distinctive voice ensures that it is also surprisingly funny and candid.”
—Judges' comments from the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards' Douglas Stuart Prize for Non-Fiction
- Victorian Premier's Prize for Indigenous Writing
- State Library New South Wales National Biography Award
- New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards for the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction
- Victorian Prize for Literature
- Victorian Premier's Prize for Non-Fiction
- ABIA Awards for Small Publishers' Book of the Year