Penguin Books is releasing Black Joy for young adult readers, a collection of writing on race and belonging curated by gal-dem editor-in-chief Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff.
World rights were acquired by editors Sara Jafari and Amelia Lean at Penguin Random House Children's from Emma Paterson at Aitken Alexander. Black Joy will be published under the Penguin imprint in hardback on 2nd September 2021.
Established and recognisable names will sit alongside newer voices and Penguin is doing an open call-out for a co-editor and mentee to join Brinkhurst-Cuff in commissioning essays from younger writers, “underlining the message that the younger generation’s voice matters”.
The publisher said: “Curated and edited by award-winning journalist Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Black Joy brings together inspirational Black British voices from across a variety of sectors and asks its writers, and readers, to ruminate and reflect on the happiest moments of their lives, exploring race and identity within this and celebrating everything that is brilliant about being Black British.”
Contributors so far include journalist Jason Okundaye; founder and c.e.o. of The Black Curriculum Lavinya Stennett; actress Bukky Bakray; broadcaster and host of Channel 4’s “How Not To Be Racist” Chanté Joseph; journalist and founder of gal-dem Liv Little; BBC Radio 1xtra presenter Richie Brave; and comedian and screenwriter Munya Chawawa.
Brinkhurst-Cuff said: “After an incredibly tough year, Black Joy will be an all-too-rare opportunity for Black British writers to be able to focus on the parts of their race and identity that aren't caught up in strife; a celebratory text which doesn't dismiss the difficulties we experience but, taking learnings from the Black Joy Project in the US, treats joy as an act of resistance and resilience. I feel exceptionally thankful to be able to work with so many Black British people, who bring me a tonne of joy on this project. Their essays have left me grinning and gleeful even at this early stage. I'm also incredibly excited that Penguin got behind the idea of bringing on a younger co-editor to be mentored. It has long been a tradition of Black British elders to support the people coming up, and in my own small way I want to help the next generation find their feet within publishing too."
Jafari said: “I’ve long admired Charlie’s work as an editor and journalist, and I am so thrilled to be publishing this absolutely joyful anthology targeting young adult readers. Charlie has curated such an exceptional list of contributors in Black Joy, each one doing big things in their field, with further incredible contributors yet to be announced.”
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