Merky Books Launch
Stormzy needs no introduction and frankly, if he did I wouldn’t be that qualified. I’m not the biggest fan of The Grime scene and I haven’t followed his career but some of his songs have certainly touched with me. A young man willing to share his energy through music, touching on topics including faith, family and depression and achieving incredible success whilst still seeming like the kind of guy you want to have a cup of tea with must at the very least be respected and at the best, celebrated.
Outside of his music the Stormzy I sort of know is the one who spoke out against injustice - that Brits performance was dope - got young people engaged in politics and has been known to support his community and people around him
Stormzy’s partnership with Penguin under the #Merky brand is nothing short of incredible. This collaboration was clearly not about him getting a book deal and adding to his growing stash. Nope. It was about creating a platform for other authors, novelist, poets and curators to come through, get represented and inspire a whole nation of young black minds to to dream and explore.
The evening, held at the Barbican began with spoken word artists. They were followed by a panel featuring people that shaped my youth and those who I’m sure will drive the narrative going forward.
Malorie Blackman told budding writers to stay true to their stories no matter what.
Benjamin Zephaniah told tales of his truth on stage as he does through his poetry.
Jude Blay Yawson came with the intriguing book recommendations. Black Skin, White Mask and The Stranger are now on the list.
It ended with a one -n-one between the man himself and Akala. They spoke about his career so far, the relationship with Penguin books and the plans for the #Merky empire.
#Merky Books is not the first to celebrate and publish young black authors. I even worked for one way back in the day. However, it’s probably the first to be born and bred from the heart of the people it wants to celebrate and serve - and that is nothing short of exciting!
Disclaimer: I didn’t actually pay for these tickets my friend did. I paid for the cocktails and the uber home and that makes us even, therefore my money did go towards supporting a Black Owned Business. Kinda