SAFE, a comprehensive anthology of writing by and for Black British men edited by Derek Owusu, co-host of the successful literature podcast Mostly Lit, has been bought by Trapeze. Commissioning Editor Emma Smith acquired UK & Commonwealth rights from Juliet Pickering for SAFE: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space. The anthology will be published in hardback, ebook and audio in March 2019.
What is the experience of black men in Britain? With continued conversation around British identity, racism and diversity, there is no better time to explore this question and give black British men a platform to answer it. SAFE: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space, is that platform. Including essays from top poets, writers, musicians, actors and journalists, this timely and accessible book brings together a selection of powerful reflections exploring the black British male experience and what it really means to reclaim and hold space in the landscape of our society. Where do black men belong in school, in the media, in their own families, in the conversation about mental health, in the LGBT community, in grime music – and how can these voices inspire, educate and add to the dialogue of diversity already taking place? Following on from discussions raised by THE GOOD IMMIGRANT and WHY I’M NO LONGER TALKING TO WHITE PEOPLE ABOUT RACE, this collection takes readers on a rich and varied path to confront and question the position of black men in Britain today, and shines a light on the way forward.
Emma Smith said: “This book was impossible not to publish. It’s necessary, authentic and high-calibre writing by an impressive roster of contributors who collectively hold the power to shape attitudes and shift discourse. SAFE will amplify black British male voices, open minds and forge a conversation about cultural identity. I am so proud to be working with Derek on this agenda-setting book that will resonate for generations to come.”
Derek Owusu said: “This is a book about mental health, about violence, about racism, about homophobia, about colourism, but it’s also a book about love, about learning, about compassion and about community. I’m so grateful to have been given the chance to work on this book with so many amazing writers, people as passionate as I am about adding to the current discourse.”
Derek Owusu is a writer, host of hit podcast Mostly Lit, and mentor to young people at Urban Synergy. He discovered his passion for literature aged 23 – before then, he had never read a book cover-to-cover. It was a revelation that came too late for his university path, so instead of switching course, he snuck into English literature lectures at The University of Manchester.
Amongst contributors such as poet Suli Breaks, award-winning author Alex Wheatle, Channel 4 news reporter Symeon Brown, writer and Musician Musa Okwonga and Guardian editor Joseph Harker, a competition is now open for essay submissions – the winner of which will feature as the final contributor to SAFE. For more information and terms, please see https://www.mostly-lit.com/safe-competition