The ballet: A demanding profession requiring talent and determination. But for Julie Felix, Britain's first black ballerina, it required more; it required the strength to climb above prejudice and win. In Brickbats and Tutus John Plimmer charts the progress of this shy girl from Ealing as she grows from a shy talent in 1960s cold Britain into a swan dancing in the 1984 Olympics. If ever there was an example of overcoming adversity and yet retaining dignity then Julie Felix is it. In some ways she is lucky in that she has a gift and can shelter herself from the stark truth of a world where black kids can be gunned down in the streets. In other ways she carries the frustrations and scars of prejudice throughout her professional life. If you have a dream and yet you doubt, you can have no finer mentor for success than Julie Felix.
John F Plimmer was born and raised in the back streets of Nechells, Birmingham, before joining the old Birmingham City Police Force in 1966. He retired from the West Midlands force as Head of CID following a 31 year illustrious career in which he was responsible for the investigation of more than 30 murder inquiries, all of which were detected successfully. During a four year period working for the Regional Crime Squad and Security Forces, Plimmer was responsible for introducing professional training and support for covert agents in the West Midlands and other parts of the country. His experience in dealing with undercover operations linked him with overseas agents in Holland, Belgium, Spain, Morocco and Germany. Following his retirement he lectured in Law at Birmingham University and became a columnist and feature writer for The Sunday Mercury and Birmingham Evening Mail. Today he frequently participates in discussions and interviews on police and legal subjects on both television and radio. His television work has included working as a legal consultant on popular programmes such as Dalziel and Pascoe and Cracker. His published works include a number of Home Office Blue Papers on Serious Crime Management and Covert Police Handling and today he is the author of a number of published books which include In the Footsteps of the Whitechapel Murders; Inside Track; Running with the Devil; Cutting Edge; Red Mist (House of Stratus) and many other western novels including Tatanka Jake; Apache Justice and The Butte Conspiracy. On frequent occasions, he is called upon to offer advice and consultation to police and security forces, including legal departments throughout the UK.
Breathtaking and beautifully written. A story of a strong determined passionate young dancer, fighting against all odds to prove to others her need to dance.
A truly Mesmerising read where you can actually feel her pain, frustration and determination.
I could not put it down.
I have just ordered a second copy of Brickbats&Tutus to give to a friend as a present as I am overwhelmed from reading the book and I'm not giving her mine! It is the most fascinating, emotionally-loaded biography I have ever read and anyone who reads it will feel for Julie Felix and the ordeals she faced.
I cried at certain points and I believe anyone who reads her story will do the same-why you may ask? Because anyone who has felt grief, failure, frustration, bullying or rejection in their life will relate to her story. I know I did and the tears I shed, some were for myself and some were for Julie Felix; that is a very powerful skill of an author to be able to craft words in such a way; John Plimmer constantly does this. This little girl battles on, despite everything and later, as a young teenager, without the support of her mother close by. This is not a book just about racism-its a book about LIFE and the ordeals and challenges that come with it. The author has written it with many twists and turns and lots of laughter and humour; but for me, overpoweringly, if you have ever felt real grief or rejection in your life, I would recommend you read 'Brickbats & Tutus'; you will feel its your own story (and I am white British); but it will INSPIRE you to challenge the 'norm;' not accept failure and keep reaching for a better life.
Well done Austin Macauleys for the publication of such an unusual and captivating story and well done to the author Mr Plimmer for giving me such an emotional rollercoaster read!.