How Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah’s The Sex Lives of African Women will set you free

I started this brilliant book voraciously, stealing a few pages while waiting on the bus and a couple more when in line at the grocery store. I finished it hesitantly, unwilling to let go of the dear companionship it provided for a few days and return to solo living. The Sex Lives of African Women is a safe space: it is pure, unadulterated freedom, somehow magically distilled and transformed into a 304-page book.

The story of Bernardine Evaristo’s astronomical success

After 40 years of writing, Bernardine Evaristo’s 8th novel -- Girl, Woman, Other -- proved to be her golden ticket to renown and success. A writer's writer has become a mainstream writer. But Evaristo’s career trajectory also evidences how white preferences still steer the publishing industry. Evaristo’s long-term publisher Hamish Hamilton admits that Girl, Woman, Other came at just “the right time”, which begs the question: the right time for who?

The publishing industry cannot continue to hide its anti-Blackness behind #BlackBestSeller

Instead of wondering when and what Colson Whitehead’s latest will be, readers should be asking how these Black-authored titles would be different if they were also Black-edited, Black-designed, and Black-publicised. Fighting publishing’s anti-Blackness is not scouring Amazon for a stray copy of bell hooks: it is demanding to know exactly how pushing Black-authored titles through a largely -- if not entirely -- white middle-class industry underserves its products and, ultimately, its own readers.

All I want for Christmas is the death of lazy, “diversity” language

All too often we scroll across well-meaning publishing people using POC when they mean Black, racism when they mean anti-Blackness. As the vengeful child of that late twentieth century’s identifier “political blackness” and the climate of strategic essentialism its legacy left behind, the publishing industry's current approach to diversity is—by its very nature—rooted in generality and therefore cultural ignorance.