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  • Published: 13 June 2019
  • ISBN: 9781529119039
  • Imprint: Merky Books Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

Taking Up Space

The Black Girl's Manifesto for Change




A groundbreaking exploration of the problems of diversity in education.

THE FLAGSHIP 2019 RELEASE OF #MERKY BOOKS____________________________'Brilliant' CANDICE CARTY-WILLIAMS'Essential' BERNARDINE EVARISTO'Hugely important' PAULA AKPAN____________________________As a minority in a predominantly white institution, taking up space is an act of resistance. Recent Cambridge grads Chelsea and Ore experienced this first-hand, and wrote Taking Up Space as a guide and a manifesto for change.FOR BLACK GIRLS:Understand that your journey is unique. Use this book as a guide. Our wish for you is that you read this and feel empowered, comforted and validated in every emotion you experience, or decision that you make.

FOR EVERYONE ELSE:We can only hope that reading this helps you to be a better friend, parent, sibling or teacher to black girls living through what we did. It's time we stepped away from seeing this as a problem that black people are charged with solving on their own.

It's a collective effort.And everyone has a role to play.

Featuring honest conversations with students past and present, Taking Up Space goes beyond the buzzwords of diversity and inclusion and explores what those words truly mean for young black girls today.____________________________#Merky Books was set up by publishers Penguin Random House and Stormzy in June 2018 to find and publish the best writers of a new generation and to publish the stories that are not being heard. #Merky Books aims to open up the world of publishing, and this year has launched a New Writer's Prize and will soon be launching a #Merky Books traineeship.

'I know too many talented writers that don't always have an outlet or a means to get their work seen, and hopefully #Merky Books can now be a reference point for them to say "I can be an author", and for that to be a realistic and achievable goal... Reading and writing as a kid were integral to where I am today and I, from the bottom of my heart, cannot wait to hear your stories and get them out into the big wide world.'STORMZY

  • Published: 13 June 2019
  • ISBN: 9781529119039
  • Imprint: Merky Books Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

About the authors

Chelsea Kwakye

Chelsea Kwakye is a first-class honours History graduate from Homerton College, Cambridge. Whilst at Cambridge she was the only black girl in her year group of around 200 to read History. In her final year, she was Vice-President of the African-Caribbean Society and competed in a Cambridge vs. Oxford Varsity Athletics match. She is currently studying at the University of Law in preparation for a training contract with a city law firm in London.

Ore Ogunbiyi

Ore Ogunbiyi is an HSPS (Politics and International Relations) graduate from Jesus College, Cambridge. She has been behind the Benin Bronze repatriation campaign, the #BlackMenofCambridgeUniversity campaign and was also President of the university’s African-Caribbean Society. She was born in England, moved to Nigeria at the age of 7 and returned to England aged 13. She is currently studying a Master’s in Journalism at Columbia University, New York.

Praise for Taking Up Space

Intimate... like reading the diary of a well-informed friend. The result is a bold venture... full of what will be revelations to some and reminders to others. The authors dignify the argument with nuance, and puncture the tendency to see black students as a monolith... For countless black women in Britain, a century after women's suffrage and in spite of the Race Relations Act, it can feel like the glass ceiling is reinforced by concrete, with those above unable to see below. And self-help, it seems, remains essential.

TLS

Brilliant… Full of the knowledge, understanding, tools and kindness that every black girl needs.

Candice Carty-Williams

Taking Up Space is a shocking account of how racism operates in the academy from a student viewpoint. An essential contribution.

Bernardine Evaristo

A hugely important tool that I wish I’d had to guide me through university.

Paula Akpan

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