Join us for our August installment of WestTalks, as we speak to Mawunyo Gbogbo on the release of her debut novel, Hip Hop & Hymns. A memoir of loving hard, falling apart and fighting back, set to an unrivalled playlist.
When: 12 August, 6pm
Where: WestWords Centre for Writing, 41 Hunter St, Parramatta
This is a free event.
Mixtape starts from 6pm! Author talk from 6.30pm.
Mawunyo will be joined in conversation with Kaiya Aboagye, a fellow writer whose work explores the intersectional experiences of Bla(c)k, Indigenous and Oceanic people. She lectures Indigenous Social Science at University Western Sydney and is a PhD candidate in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney.
‘Hip hop and hymns: the two would always go hand in hand for me. My life would always straddle both. The sacred and the profane, all living on the same block, all divine in the end.’
Mawunyo Gbogbo is a church-going African Australian girl growing up in the sleepy mining town of Muswellbrook, NSW. At home, her parents argue all the time, and sibling rivalry runs deep. At primary school, Black Is Beautiful until a racist bully dares to tell her otherwise. But at high school, she falls in love with two things that will alter the course of her adult life: the seductive thrill of hip hop music and charismatic bad boy Tyce Carrington. Tyce also feels like an alien in Australia, despite his Aboriginality – or because of it.
When Mawunyo’s offered a chance to further her budding media career in New York City at the Bible of hip hop, The Source magazine, she throws herself headlong into the city’s heady buzz and hustle – but even as it lures her in, it threatens to derail her dreams.
Hip Hop & Hymns is a tussle between the search for belonging and ultimately accepting who you are, and a clear-eyed, heartfelt story about daring greatly and what it can mean to be Black in Australia.
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