Square Peg has scooped the debut book by Natalie and Naomi Evans, founders of the anti-racist activist platform Everyday Racism.
Editor Mireille Harper acquired UK, Commonwealth and Europe (non-exclusive rest of the world) rights, excluding Canada and US, including audio, from Silé Edwards at Mushens Entertainment.
In The Mixed Race Experience, Natalie and Naomi Evans share their experiences of growing up mixed race in Britain, how they continue to process, understand and learn about their identity and use their privilege to advocate for change, as well as addressing the privileges and complexities of being mixed race in Britain today.
The synopsis explains: “Weaving in real life stories from people in the UK who identify as being mixed race, are in a mixed race relationship or are raising mixed race children, practical advice and research to dispel common myths and stereotypes, this book is for anyone who needs help navigating a world that still struggles to understand mixed race people. From what it's like to grow up in a majority white area and handling racism in your own family, to understanding colourism, navigating mixed-race microaggressions and internalised racism, this book is a thought-provoking, sensitive, challenging and deeply moving look at identity and belonging.”
Square Peg is going to work with Yellowzine, an online and print platform centralising visual art by the Afro-Caribbean and Asian diaspora in the UK, to commission an aspiring book designer from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background to design the cover for The Mixed Race Experience. selected designer will also receive mentorship from Vintage’s creative director Suzanne Dean and senior designer Kishan Rajani to produce the final cover and feature on Yellowzine’s platform.
Square Peg is also working with Afrori Books on a consumer pre-order campaign for the launch of the book and in the lead up to the publication in February 2022.
Sisters Naomi and Natalie Evans are both of Black Jamaican and white British heritage. In May 2020, a video of Natalie went viral on Twitter when she confronted two men racially abusing a ticket conductor. They decided to set up an anti-racism platform on Instagram which has more than 140,000 followers. The page shares stories and educational posts focusing on how to be anti-racist. Most recently, they have provided anti-racism sessions for Bupa and Lloyds, written articles for Red, Grazia and Indie Roller and appeared on the Channel 5 news documentary "Everyday Racism".
They said: “We are so thrilled that our first book is to be published by the team at Square Peg and it’s an honour to have an editor as knowledgeable and insightful as Mireille Harper. The Mixed Race Experience is the book we wish we could give to our younger selves to show how we can live in the fullness of ourselves. Exploring how we understand race, mixed race relationships, raising multi-racial children and racism within families to understand more about what shapes us as individuals has been humbling and we are hugely excited to share our work."
Harper added: “As a mixed-race woman, I cannot describe how much this book would have helped me when I was younger. I’ve been lucky to have an elder sister who taught me a lot about the experiences I would later have, a mum who spoke up for me whenever I faced discrimination, and a father who grew up with a mixed-race sister and, as a result, was sensitive and understanding of my experiences. Not everyone has the privileges I had. I really feel The Mixed Race Experience will be an affirmation for those who are struggling, or navigating the world feeling like they do not fit in. In a way, this book feels like it is saying we do not have to. We can be multifaceted – both privileged and disadvantaged, confused and certain. This book is a reassurance to mixed-race people that we’re not on our own and teaches others that our experiences are valid and should be understood more.”
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