Tell Me Why for Young Adults
About the book
'There are many Australian stories, and mine is just one about what happened to me and other First Peoples of this country. It's important for me to tell my story – because it's not just part of my healing but of this country's as well. We all have a story and as you read this book I would like you to think of your own story, what that means and who is also a part of your story.'
In his inspirational, highly acclaimed memoir – and including reflections from First Nations Elders and young people – Archie Roach tells the story of his life and his music. Only two when he was forcibly removed from his family, and brought up by a series of foster parents until his early teens, Archie's world imploded when he received a letter that spoke of a life he had no memory of. It took him almost a lifetime to find out who he really was.
'Tell Me Why' is an unforgettable story of resilience, strength of spirit and hope.
About the author
Archie Roach's song 'Took the Children Away' won an International Human Rights Achievement Award and his first album Charcoal Lane featured in US Rolling Stone magazine's Top 50 in 1992, going gold in Australia and winning two ARIA awards. Archie's recording history – including 12 albums, soundtracks, film and theatrical scores – has been hugely successful, hitting ARIA charts and winning awards, year in, year out. (Since publication of 'Tell Me Why' the author has passed away).
'Tell Me Why for Young Adults' is the heart-wrenching abridged version of Archie Roach's highly acclaimed memoir. Archie Roach relates the experience of what happened to him and other First Nations People in our contemporary times. He implores us to think of our own story as he tells of his, both tragic and uplifting, through his life and music.
The book is framed by his musical lyrics and, opening with 'Took the Children Away', each chapter is a tribute to his resilience in overcoming trauma that is still being felt by his children and grandchildren – shared with his great love, musician Ruby Hunter. In this edition he asks both elders and young people to tell their own stories of stolen generations.
It takes almost a lifetime for Archie Roach to discover who he is. Throughout his journey, he questions why he and other children were forcibly taken (stolen) from their families and put into mission and foster homes. 'Tell Me Why' is a story of intergenerational trauma, resilience, strength of purpose, consequence and connection, that ultimately speaks of hope, belonging, and healing.
In this edition, Archie Roach has gifted us a deeper yet accessible understanding of the impact of colonial policy on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples, and on the lives of young people in particular. Told with grace and dignity, his story shares how these challenges can be addressed by connection to country, people and family through music, storytelling, conviction and love.