Debut exploring black masculinity to OWN IT!

Debut exploring black masculinity to OWN IT!

A debut novel from Robyn Travis, Mama Can’t Raise No Man, will be published by entertainment venture OWN IT! on 3rd October, to coincide with Black History Month.

Travis is a regular speaker at youth centres and schools, using his own experiences of gang violence, as well as literature to try to inspire young people from similar backgrounds. His first work of fiction, Mama Can’t Raise No Man, explores black masculinity through a series of letters between its characters.

Along with regular paperback and e-book editions, OWN IT! has signed a license deal with Cologne-based platform oolipo, enabling a multimedia edition to be be available exclusively on its platform, incorporating photos, videos, audio and interactive elements to the story.

Travis has already received acclaim for a non-fiction account of his experiences during the ‘postcode’ gang wars in East London, Prisoner to the Streets. Originally published by The X-Press in 2013, OWN IT! will also publish a newly edited and re-jacketed version on 6th June.

Travis said: “I’m really happy to be working with OWN IT! and so excited to be able to share my debut novel with the world. Growing up, I didn’t read a lot, as I didn’t feel there was much I could relate to and I definitely never thought I could become a published author. With my books, I really hope to inspire others who may feel the way I did before. I want everyone to enjoy reading and also to believe that they can be authors too if they want to be”

OWN IT! founder, Crystal Mahey-Morgan, added: “Mama Can’t Raise No Man is an original, dynamic and accomplished novel from a fresh new voice. Perhaps most exciting of all, is that it will appeal to a wide audience, from avid book lovers and readers to those who publishing traditionally ignores.

“Travis’ core audience is young, BAME (black, Asian, minority ethnic), working class, non-graduates who in the past might not have seen books as entertainment, but with Mama Can’t Raise No Man, Travis offers something that his audience will be able to both relate to and enjoy. This is an enlightening and honest read and I’m sure it will find an audience far beyond Travis’ core (traditionally underserved) audience.”