Coronet has pre-empted rights to influencer and writer’s Rene Germain’s debut billed as “the first guide to specifically address the unique challenges many Black people face in the workplace”.
Joelle Owusu-Sekyere, commissioning editor at Coronet, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton, acquired rights from Natalie Jerome of Aevitas Creative and Coronet will publish Black and Great: The Careers Manifesto in hardback, e-book and audio editions on 19th August 2021.
Black and Great is the first guide to specifically address the unique challenges many Black people face in the workplace. The book will share the career journeys of more than 20 successful Black British professionals and entrepreneurs from TV and film, sport, media, law, medicine and finance through open letters and interviews. Providing advice to Black students and professionals, it will address topics such as overcoming imposter syndrome, mentorships, wider community outreach, personal branding and salary negotiation.
The book features contributors such as Sir Steven McQueen CBE, Beverley Knight MBE, Trevor Nelson MBE, Alexandra Burke, Kayode Ewumi, Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE and Dr Patricia Daley, the first Black female to be appointed as a lecturer at the University of Oxford.
Rene Germain is a 28-year-old digital product manager, writer, speaker and champion of the Black community. She has worked at leading investment banks, professional services firms and media companies. In 2017, she created the Instagram platform, Blk and Great, celebrating Black achievements and highlighting issues within the community. She co-created the #Blackintheoffice hashtag which led to media coverage across several publications, and has also written for Fortune.com and Stylist.co.uk on improving the Black employee experience and Black female activism online respectively.
Owusu-Sekyere said: “This is the book I wish I had read when I entered the working world as a Black woman, and I am honoured to be publishing Black and Great this summer. There has never been a book specifically written for and by Black people about the realities of being a working professional – the highs and lows, the failures and the recoveries – and Rene is the best person to bring all of these inciteful and powerful stories together."
Germain said: “For a long time I felt that careers literature was devoid of Black voices and experiences and I’m so passionate about creating a book that addresses that. I’ve been blogging careers advice for years and at one point had a blog which solely highlighted Black British talent, so the Black and Great book in many ways is a culmination of both." She said that as well as highlighting contributors’ career journeys it will also offer guidance for those starting out and advancing in their careers, “taking into account the much needed and often missing context of Black workplace and societal experiences”.
Germain added: “I’m thrilled to be working with a dream team of super talented Black women. Natalie believed in my book from the very beginning and I’m so happy to be working with Joelle and the Hodder & Stoughton team, who I can’t thank enough for commissioning this book and believing in my vision.”
Natalie Jerome commented: “It’s a book that inspires, motivates and showcases Black British talent at its very best without shying away from the challenges and difficulties of our experiences in the workplace. A Black female agent, editor and author coming together: we make quite a pioneering team.”