Cover of this title
The Finkelstein 5
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

This short story with its dystopian notion deals with blatant racism and the resulting splitting of society.

The society described from the view of Emmanuel, a young black man, is a highly racist one leading to constant monitoring of behaviour. Emmanuel talks about how he changes according to how black he wants to seem depicting people’s attitudes toward him in the process. At the centre of the story are the ‘Finkelstein Five’, a group of five black children that were beheaded with a chainsaw by a white man who claims to have protected his own children. When the court, despite this perverse and unproportionate deed, decides in his favour, a cruel uprising of the black community evolves, beating and killing white people in the name of the Finkelstein Five.

The story represents an important lesson that violence is always to be condemned no matter who performs it. It is an appeal to everyone that all people are equal and society should stick together instead of judging by colour. The Finkelstein 5 may be used for a differentiated discourse on crime and the different faces of racism. Further, it is based on the tragic shooting of Trayvor Martin; also justified by self-defense and the subsequent acquittal of the killer. The incident initialised the Black Lifes Matter Movement. See useful links for BBC Podcast.

· · 2018

Critical edition

Adjei-Brenyah, Nana Kwame. "The Finkelstein 5." Friday Black, pp. 1-26, Riverrun, 2019. ISBN 9781787476004

Jump to further sections

In favour of this entry

  • Addresses current affairs
  • Award-winning
  • Democratic and political education
  • Interdisciplinary or cross-curricular teaching
  • Silenced voices

Online resources