William Heinemann imprint #Merky Books has netted an exploration of what it means to be a black footballer from Calum Jacobs.
Commissioning editor Lemara Lindsay-Prince acquired world all language rights from Chris Wellbelove at Aitken Alexander. A New Formation: How Black Footballers Made the Modern Game will be published on 3rd June 2021.
Calum Jacobs is founding editor of CARICOM magazine, a publication known for its focus on the intersection of blackness and football. A New Formation will investigate what it means to be a leading black British figure in football, and how a collective black British identity has shaped the modern game.
The synopsis explains: “Through a series of essays by a collection of culture writers, including Musa Okwonga, Aniefiok Ekpoudom and Jeanette Kwakye, A New Formation will examine and celebrate the variance found in blackness. From Ian Wright’s impact on contemporary black culture to Anita Asante’s compelling journey, by way of Andy Cole’s experience as a child of 'Windrush' generation parents. A New Formation, places footballers into contexts larger than themselves, and each moving essay found in A New Formation reveals the rich cultural tapestry of black life in Britain, and the essential role that black footballers – past and present – have played in constructing it.”
Lindsay-Prince said: “At the heart of A New Formation is the unexplored connection between black life in Britain and the beautiful game. It disrupts the synchronisation between blackness and racism, trains its lens on the many layers of the individual as opposed to the cult of celebrity. Calum Jacobs is a gifted and analytical writer who has curated an anthology dedicated to celebrating and contextualising the vibrancy and nuance of black life in Britain as it relates to football.”
Jacob added: “A New Formation is an exploration of the unique role that black British footballers play in shaping and amplifying black British identity, while building clearer, more sensitive portraits of the selected players as individuals. The book will encourage a diverse selection of voices to drill down into the broader, and more specific, aspects of the black experience, while summarily rejecting the notion that trauma is the only lens it can be examined through. A New Formation represents the culmination of my ambition to enlist writers I admire to consider topics and individuals that have been largely absent from mainstream coverage. I’m grateful to #Merky Books for the opportunity to produce this anthology and the belief and confidence they have shown in me.”
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