HarperCollins has signed Still Breathing, a collection of essays by 100 Black British people about racism, edited by “Eastenders” star Suzette Llewellyn and “Holby City” actress Suzanne Packer.
World rights were acquired by affiliate publisher Rose Sandy direct from the authors. Still Breathing: 100 Black Voices on Racism - 100 Ways to Change the Narrative will be published on 29th June 2021.
The publisher explained: “After the world witnessed the murder of George Floyd last May, both authors felt compelled to speak out. With Black Lives Matter movements taking place across the world, Suzette and Suzanne wanted to highlight what it means to be a Black person today, but more to their experiences of what it means to be Black and British in the society that we live in.”
The book features a foreword from Sir Geoff Palmer, who, in 1989, became the first Black professor in Scotland. Contributors to Still Breathing include Bishop Rose, Trevor Phillips, journalist Pat Younge, singer Beverly Knight, actors Kwame Kwei-Armah and Sharon D Clarke, MPs David Lammy and Dawn Butler, immunologist Dr Faith Uwadiae, Lord Paul Boateng, member of the Welsh Assembly Vaughan Gething, and more.
Packer (pictured, right) said: “This book was conceived as a response to George Floyd’s murder and the murder of other Black people, and it formed a way of expressing our rage, our deep sadness, our disgust, our trauma. But in the writing of it and in collaborating with other people of colour, we have realised that it is an extension of the individual experience to the communal experience.”
Llewellyn (pictured, top) added: “This is a collection of stories from so many walks of life, sharing their experiences with racism. There are stories of resilience, stories of great pain, stories of courage and stories of hope.”
All the sales proceeds for the book will be donated to the Ashdon Jazz Academy mentoring charity.
Sandy said: “Britain still has its own stories of racism to tell. With the 100 voices that Suzette and Suzanne have gathered, we are able to tell stories which we can all learn from. This book is a real legacy to the Black British experience.”