Trapeze is publishing an anthology of writing by and for black British men, about their voices, experiences and representation, edited by Mostly Lit podcast host Derek Owusu.
The anthology, entitled Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space, aims to provide a platform to explore the black British male experience in a series of powerful reflections, as well as to "shine a light forward".
Emma Smith, commissioning editor at Trapeze, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Juliet Pickering at Blake Friedmann to publish the collection on 7th March 2019 in hardback, e-book and audio, priced £18.99.
Essay contributions will come from poets, writers, musicians, actors and journalists, including poet Suli Breaks, author Alex Wheatle, Channel 4 news reporter Symeon Brown and Guardian journalist Joseph Harker, and will question the position of black men in Britain today and "what it really means to reclaim and hold space in the landscape of our society". Topics span issues such as mental health, violence, racism and homophobia as well as themes such as learning, compassion and community.
A competition is now open to source the final contributor to Safe, with details for how to submit available on Mostly Lit's website.
Smith said she found it "impossible not to publish" the book. "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," she said.
She added: "I am so proud to be working with Derek on this agenda-setting book that will resonate for generations to come."
Owusu (pictured) 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."