Flash mob in Old Market Square will recognise black writers

Panya Banjoko of National Black Archives reading ahead

Nottingham will be honouring black writers tomorrow with a ‘literary flash mob’.

The Nottingham Black Archive is holding the event, called ‘Read a Black Author’, in public on Old Market Square on Saturday, October 29.

It is part of Black History Month, and participants are being encouraged to buy or bring a book written by a black author- preferably one from Nottingham.

The flash mob will begin at 3pm by the square’s famous lions, and will consist of 10 minutes of reading in the square.

The group will then move to Speakers’ Corner, where people will be encouraged to share a page from their chosen book or poem.

Panya Banjoko, the Learning, Engagement and Collections Manager for Nottingham Black Archive, will be reading either Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or Oscar the Curious Cat by Sharon R M Stevens.

She said: “This fits into the picture of black writers not getting the opportunity that other writers might.

“In the media there is often a lack of representation for black people in general, and we’re trying to bring light to them.

“It’s not just for black people, it’s open for anyone- any literary lovers.”

The director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, Sandeep Mahal, will also be there.

She said: “I just so happen to be reading Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge – a timely and essential look at race, class and US gun violence.

“I urge everyone to read books by authors of colour, discover brilliant writing and show publishers that you want more books written by people of different backgrounds- seeing yourself reflected on the page imparts an important understanding of your role in society.

“We owe it to ourselves to read diversely, not just so we learn about cultures and see the world through someone else’s eyes, but also so that we learn how much of our experiences are universal.”


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