Faber acquires Boakye's musical history of black Britain

Faber acquires Boakye's musical history of black Britain

Faber is to publish a non-fiction children's book from Jeffrey Boakye, Musical Truth: A Musical History of Modern Black Britain in 23 Songs. 

The UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired in a four-way auction by publisher Leah Thaxton, from Sarah Such at the Sarah Such Literary Agency. Thaxton said: "This extraordinary retelling of Black British history will dazzle readers of all ages. It has the intelligence and power to change the way British history is taught in schools and should become a school set text. Jeffrey is a phenomenal talent we feel very lucky to publish."

News of the deal comes hard on the heels of another Boakye title signed with Picador.

The Faber book draws on Boakye's educational knowledge and experience as a teacher, and interrogates a playlist of songs including Musical Youth's "Pass the Dutchie", and "Vossi Bop" by Stormzy, to reveal "crucial aspects of British history, the empire and postcolonialism". 

Boakye said: "Black British history is woefully under-represented in the mainstream curriculum. The stories and histories of black communities are an essential part of British history overall. Musical Truth aims to bring these narratives to the forefront through music and words, something I feel incredibly passionate about."

"I cannot express how privileged and excited I am to be working with Faber on bringing Musical Truth to the world. Their passion and enthusiasm is both energising and inspiring, not to mention their commitment to bringing important narratives to children's bookshelves. There is nothing like Musical Truth out there. It's the book on black British history that I wished I had when I was growing up and one that will bring the history of black British communities alive.

"Music has the power of resistance in the face of oppression but can also be a celebration at the exact same time. This is the spirit in which Musical Truth lives, ready to ignite classrooms, bookshelves and conversations. With Faber at the helm, I am beyond confident that Musical Truth will achieve everything it sets out to do. I'm totally here for this and can't wait to reveal what Faber and I are working on."

The book will be published in hardback on 3rd June 2021.