Fourth Estate has landed Lavinya Stennett's debut book on Black history, due to be published in spring 2023.
Senior publishing executive Nicola Webb acquired world rights for Omitted: The Untold Black History Lessons We Need to Change the Future from Maddy Belton at the Graham Maw Christie Agency.
The book is inspired by Lavinya Stennett’s work with The Black Curriculum, an educational social enterprise that seeks to empower students across the UK through Black history. The publisher said Omitted aims to address why the teaching of Black history here in the UK remains not only fundamentally flawed, but scarce. It added: "From diving into popular misconceptions about Black history, to debunking persistent, archaic (yet still ever present and damaging) myths, to understanding why education still hasn’t changed, Lavinya intends to provide readers with a series of accessible social lessons that will go beyond the page and equip us with the tools to implement this into our everyday lives.
"Threading in her own experiences and activism with The Black Curriculum, and shining a light on crucial people, events and periods, this book endeavours to repair and resolve the gaps in our historical knowledge, providing vital context and illuminating case studies – and ultimately teaching us lessons long overdue."
Webb said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be publishing this book and working with Lavinya – she is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. I have always felt like my UK education failed to give me (and my peers) a thorough, nuanced, and accurate teaching of Black history – and, in turn, failed to illuminate the gravity of its importance in every single factor of our society. Looking back, I feel like it was completely pushed to one side – forgotten and ignored. I hope this book, alongside Lavinya’s fantastic work with The Black Curriculum, will start to fill in some of these much-needed gaps."
Stennett added: "I am so excited to be on this journey of writing my first book. Through campaigning and leading a social enterprise in this area over the past five years, I have seen in full breadth, the parts of our history that are missing from public knowledge. More importantly, it has also shown me the gaps and patterns in how Black histories are engaged with. This is a crucial point in our lifetime where our conversations have the potential to shift into meaningful actions, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity to delve more into a subject area so rich and to ultimately share my learning and expertise. When I had the idea for The Black Curriculum in 2018, I had no idea then that it would lead me to this point. I think there is a strong need for education that can truly inspire and create lasting change in our communities."