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.
“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
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“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.”
“A memoir full of heart, humor and fire, from an author who’s always had a keen sense of justice.”
“Gorrie’s account of her time in the police force includes details of police misconduct that are rarely written about by former insiders…Rather than providing a systemic analysis, Gorrie tells her story as raw, unfiltered recollection.”
Fernanda Dahlstrom, Kill Your Darlings
‘[Veronica Gorrie] details the enduring impacts of racism and intergenerational trauma on her family and life with wisdom, warmth and wit.’
‘[Black and Blue is] a beautiful, painful memoir about Gorrie’s life growing up and working in a racist police force – before coming to believe in prison abolition. Gorrie is forthright and funny, and always tries to care for her reader, even when writing about brutal subjects like police brutality, settler-colonial violence and family trauma. It’s a huge-hearted, no-bullshit book.’
Millie Baylis, Readings
‘[Veronica Gorrie] speaks about the institutionalised racism and sexism … from the perspective of an Aboriginal woman … [i]t's like you're having a yard with her.’
Alice Skye, singer-songwriter, The Sun-Herald