Author: Shade Lapite

Mansa Musa

Mansa Musa: Glitter and Gold, streaming now…

I spent my Christmas on a train travelling from Canada’s east coast to the west. When I wasn’t gazing out of the huge plate glass windows at mountains, frozen lakes and endless prairie land, I was reading Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali by P. James Oliver. What an eye opener! Here’s your 60 second guide to the medieval ruler: Kankan Musa was the 10th Mansa of the Mali empire Mansa is a Sudanese word for ‘emperor’ His control of Africa’s salt and gold mines at a time when the commodities were hugely valuable made him the richest person in history Ruled from 1312-1337 Turned the University of Sankore in Timbuktu into a fully staffed learning institution with the largest collection of books in Africa since the Library of Alexandria (246 BC). Built the Djinguereber Mosque in Timbuktu (from pounded earth, straw and wood. It has stood for over 700 years) Undertook an incredible 4,000km pilgrimage from West Africa to Mecca and back Amazingly, while I was reading and travelling, Twitter began talking about …

20 Black Books out in 2020

It’s 2020 people! Time to get rid of all the books that have been clogging up your ‘must read’ pile and replace them with shiny new ones. Yes, that is exactly how reading should work. Here are 20 books by Black authors coming out this year. Go forth, read and spread the good news. (Click the book jackets to buy or pre-order) 1. Riot Baby – Tochi Onyebuchi Ella sees things. Things that have not happened yet. After her brother is locked up on racially motivated charges, she has to decide whether to use her special abilities knowing she could start a revolution that could burn her city down. January 21 2. Not So Pure and Simple – Lamar Giles Del joins a purity ring club to get closer to his childhood crush. He doesn’t expect to learn more about himself and have to reflect on questions about what girls want from boys and what it means to respect them. This important story of masculinity is something everyone can learn from. Jan 21 3. The …

Black Book Christmas Gifts

Black Christmas Gift List

When Christmas is so close you can smell the turkey but you still have a stack of gifts to buy, you know what makes a great present? (Brace yourself, this may come as a shock but I’m going to say it anyway). A Book! A book and some colourful socks, a book and a box of chocolates, a book and a gift card, a book and – you get the idea, right? The right book tells your loved one you care. They’ll never know that you scanned this list, bought 5 books for 5 people in 15 minutes, wrapped them all in record time – since nothing wraps easier than a book- and Tra la la! Christmas joy. It’s the gift the blesses the giver and the receiver. You’re welcome. Now go forth and share the Christmas spirit. Mystery               Fantasy                                 Romance                       …

Literary agent, Nelle Andrews sits in her office

Nelle Andrew is crafting a new narrative in publishing

“I love the deal. I LOVE the deal. I mean to be an agent you have to love the deal. I love sending out a book and getting those emails 24 hours later saying ‘I loved it! Don’t let someone else buy it.” It’s a sunny Tuesday morning and I’m chatting with literary agent Nelle Andrew in a coffee shop in Bloomsbury. We are opposite the offices of Peters, Fraser and Dunlop where she works as a primary agent, a ‘hunter-gatherer’ as she puts it, searching out and representing the UK’s brightest writing talent.

10 Questions for literary agent, Emma Paterson

Emma Paterson’s author list reads like a who’s who of influential people currently shaking up cultural discussions in the UK. Emma Dabiri (Don’t Touch My Hair), Otegha Uwagba (Little Black Book), Charlie Brinkhurt-Cuff (Mother Country), Bridget Minamore (Titanic), Panashe Chigumadzi (These Bones Will Rise Again), Funmi Fetto (Palette – a beauty bible for women of colour, out October 2019) are just a selection of her clients. Paterson studied English at Cambridge then completed an MA in Gender Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Her first publishing job was as editorial assistant for an academic publisher. She moved on to an agents’ assistant role at the prestigious Wylie Agency, joined Rogers, Coleridge & White in 2013 and is now a literary agent with Aitken Alexander Associates. She was named the Bookseller Rising Star of 2018. 1. You completed an MA at SOAS then went into academic publishing before deciding you preferred fiction publishing. How hard was it to get an assistant position at The Wylie Agency? The first time I interviewed for that position, …