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October 2020

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The Purpose of Power by Alicia Garza
24th October 2020

Compelling, timely and powerful -
The Purpose of Power by Alicia Garza

 

The Purpose of Power by Alicia Garza

 

"Movements are the story of how we come together when we've come apart."

The Purpose of Power by Alicia Garza is a powerful, personal memoir, masterfully woven with a necessary blueprint for the future. As we all need to become more invested in change, and tackling the systemic racism that is prevalent throughout our culture and institutions, this is an essential book that should be read far and wide, from one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter Global Network. Here you can read an exclusive extract.

 



 

I have traveled across the country talking with aspiring leaders who hope to make change in their communities. I’ll admit I die a little inside when people ask me, “How can I build my platform?”

          Or when they introduce themselves to me as an “influencer.” No joke: A brilliant young Black sister recently handed me a business card that identified her as a “student influencer.”

          My response, sometimes through gritted teeth, is this: “For what and for whom are you building a platform and profile?”

          I still do not believe that Twitter followers and Facebook friends represent the amount of influence you have. My friends who are digital organizers will kill me for saying this, and believe me, I mean no disrespect. If you have a million followers on Twitter, you are influencing something and someone. And yet the question remains: for whom, and for what?

          Black Lives Matter started as a hashtag and then grew into a series of social media pages that connected people online. But it was when masses of people began to move in service of Black Lives Matter that it became effective. Imagine if we merely continued to tweet about our dissatisfaction without taking that displeasure directly to decision makers? Imagine if we had continued to just write about what’s wrong online without showing up at campaign fundraisers and news conferences, without establishing encampments in front of city halls and police stations. What impact would we have had? Would this even be considered a movement?

          Black Lives Matter brought people together online to take action together offline. Solely organizing, educating, or pontificating online was never something that we considered to be effective organizing. But more than that, bringing people together offline requires building the relationships and infrastructure that can help grow the movement. Protests are never enough to build a movement. Protests need planning and preparation. Outreach and attendance. Follow-up. Security and safety plans. Messaging and targets. Demands. Cultural components. All of that requires vehicles that can give people things to be involved in between protests and off-camera.

          For me, the only use for a platform or a profile is in the service of the strategy of a movement. It doesn’t matter how many people follow me on social media if I am not moving them to do something amazing together offline— which is the only hope to achieve the changes we so desperately need and deserve. It doesn’t matter if someone wants to “be like me” but doesn’t want to do the work that I do that makes me me— and that work is situated inside the context of a movement. It is not work that I do in isolation or on my own. Can I move the people who follow me on Twitter into votes that oust problematic decision makers and instill people with vision and a plan? Can I transform my Facebook friends into leagues of democracy defenders in fifty states— people who ensure that every voice is counted? If not, frankly, fuck a platform and fuck a profile. Platforms and profiles are only as useful as what they are in service of.

          I worry that we are encouraging people to build profiles and platforms without a strategy to win the changes we want to see in the world— to think they can change the world according to how many people follow them on social media. I’ve learned we need bases, not brands.

 



Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza is an innovator, strategist and organizer. She is the Principal at the Black Futures Lab, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the US National Domestic Workers Association, co-founder of Supermajority and host of the podcast Lady Don't Take No.

 

 

Dorothy Koomson's Picks to Celebrate Black History Month
23rd October 2020

Dorothy Koomson's Picks to Celebrate Black History Month

 

Dorothy Koomsom
 

Dorothy Koomson began her career as a journalist and editor, before having the idea for her first novel just after the turn of the new millenium. Now a bestselling author, with fans around the world, Dorothy published her sixteenth novel All My LIes Are True earlier this year, the sequel to the hugely popular The Ice Cream Girls. Dorothy is a strong and necessary voice for equal representation within the publishing industry, and especially for Foyles, she has selected five books that she has particularly enjoyed and would highly recommend to readers to celebrate Black History Month. 

 



Dorothy Koomson's Picks to Celebrate Black History Month


I truly believe Black history should be taught all year round not simply confined to 31 days of the year, but until it is, I do think people should realise there are Black authors writing all sorts of books in sorts of genres for them to enjoy. Here are 5 that I would recommend if anyone wanted to expand their reading boundaries to include more Black people. 

Dorothy Koomson

 

High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson 

I was a voracious reader as a child and I never had anything close to this. Two girls who live in a tower block called The Tri are starting the summer holidays with something unusual to do: solve the murder that took place in The Tri. Nik and Norva are a real delight, so unique and cleverly drawn. I loved this book and can’t wait to get going on Mic Drop, the second in the series. 

 

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Edo Lodge. 

This was an important book when it was published back in 2017 and I remember telling Reni how proud of her I was when she won a British Book Award for it back then. She was so clever and brave to write it. It was a reminder to me that I don’t need to tie myself into knots to make anyone feel better about the wrong things they do nor justify how I feel when they hurt me. 

 

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo 

This is a fantastic novel. Touching, clever and beautifully written. Each story is perfect alone and then cleverly woven in to make the book a whole intricate tapestry. I loved the book any way, but I also got a mention in it. Yes, that’s right, one of the main characters has ‘The new Dorothy Koomson novel’! Chuffed doesn’t even come close to how seeing that felt. Being name-checked by an amazing writer who you’ve long-admired is like nothing else on Earth. 

 

If I Don’t Have You by Sareeta Domingo

I adore a good romance novel and that is just what this is: a fantastic love story that will keep your heart beating just that bit faster. Ren and Kayla meet in New York through work and find themselves immediately attracted to each other. But nothing is ever simple or easy for these two star-crossed lovers. What will they do, who will they hurt, to be together? 

 

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman 

This story of two young people who fall in love in a world where their skin colour keeps them apart actually managed to make me cry. It is a beautiful novel and is especially thought-provoking because those in power – the crosses – are Black people, while those with much lower statuses – the noughts – are White. A total flip on our current society, which opened a lot of white people’s eyes to the injustice all around them. I devoured every page of this and was left sobbing at the end – it’s rare for a book to do that to me. 

 


 

All My Lies Are True

Dorothy Koomson is the award-winning author of fifteen novels including the Sunday Times bestsellers My Best Friend's Girl, The Ice Cream Girls and Goodnight, Beautiful. Dorothy's novels have been translated into over 30 languages, and a TV adaptation based on The Ice Cream Girls was shown on ITV1 in 2013. After briefly living in Australia, Dorothy now lives in Brighton. 

 

 

The Age of Static by Phil Harrison
22nd October 2020 - Phil Harrison

You can tell a lot about British society by its television - The Age of Static by Phil Harrison

 

The Age of Static by Phil Harrison

 

More than any other country, Britain still gets a sense of itself from the output of its national broadcasters. So what can we learn from the TV of the last two decades? In The Age of Static, Phil Harrison explores the televisual contours of Britain over the last twenty years, as Britain has become more divided, more fractious and less certain of its place in the world. 


In a piece written especially for Foyles, Phil introduces his book, giving a real flavour his writing and this fascinating subject that so many people will understand and be able to identify with.

 


 

At its best - and sometimes, at its worst - TV can be a history lesson, a guide to the present and a map of the future. It offers art and drama; news and sport; music and politics; sex and violence. It reflects what we think is funny and what we think is sad. All human life ends up on telly.

 

I became a TV journalist in 2000 - as a new century began and a new TV concept arrived on our screens in the shape of the reality TV revolution heralded by Big Brother. For me, TV journalism had initially seemed simply a means to an end. But what started as a convenient point of entry into culture journalism soon started to feel like much more. I realised that television could be read as a psychological map of Britain - in many ways, the key to our collective heart and soul. Television, more than any other art form, has been where we’ve come together - to argue and to celebrate. Thanks to its sheer ubiquity - and the centrality of the BBC to our national cultural life - it’s the one place where we still can’t avoid each other. 

 

During the two subsequent decades, Britain has become ever more divided and factional - both politically, as a wave of populism has colonised our discourse and culturally as algorithms increasingly make our choices for us. Television though, particularly in its most traditional, broadcast form, can still lead to confrontations with the unfamiliar and unwelcome. This should be cherished. At its best, an institution like the BBC offers what Steve Coogan calls ‘a cultural balanced diet’. 

 

Approaching British history via analysis of its television would have been possible at any point since the birth of the medium. However, the period between 2000 and 2020 has felt particularly alive with threads to pull and paths to follow. There’s been the arguably baleful influence of reality TV on our political process. The way the medium has illuminated and fed into our growing inequality. TV’s role as a tool of national identity formation. And, most recently, its centrality to our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

As the 90s ended, many people still gave house-room to Francis Fukuyama’s notion of ‘the end of history’. Simplified, Fukayama’s argument suggested that we’d reached the end of binary ideological battles. Neoliberal capitalism had won and would happily thrum away in the background; forming the unseen organisational bedrock of our lives. The theory was superbly and subtly illuminated by Peter Flannery’s magnificent 1996 series Our Friends in the North which mapped the journeys of four pals from Newcastle as they passed through 60s idealism, 70s radicalism and the bruising class conflicts of the 80s. They arrived, more or less intact, in the post-historical managerialism of the 90s. But the genius of the show partly lay in the futures it was still possible to imagine for its main protagonists. These people felt both recognisable as archetypes and singular as individuals - the sheer span of a TV series enables genuine and convincing character development. 

 

How might Nicky, Mary, Geordie and Tosker have voted in the 2016 EU Referendum? It’s easy to imagine a 50/50 split: Nicky and Mary were surely remainers to the bone but it’s easy to imagine Geordie and Tosker swinging in the opposite direction. Whilst Flannery never returned to Our Friends in the North, 2019 did offer a bookend of sorts in the shape of Russell T Davies’s Years and Years. The conceit wasn’t dissimilar - the political expressed via the personal: national and international events viewed through the prism of one family’s lives. The show arrived on our screens at a strikingly pertinent moment - as the potential chaos unleashed by Britain’s decision to leave the EU looked to be tearing both of Britain’s main political parties apart. 

 

There’s a clear line between these two shows. Our Friends… marked the end of the era in which class defined British political divides. Over the period dramatised by the show, the only real issue for the majority of working class people was what kind of Labour party they’d be voting for. And in the years following it, the only real electoral question seemed to be which party would manage neoliberal capitalism more effectively. Years and Years represented the working-through of that process and the final rejection of the stasis it implied. It suggested that something more volatile had replaced our traditional allegiances. 

 

So how did this happen? Much as it might suit an author in my position to pretend otherwise, it wasn’t just about television. Rather, television has functioned as a tabula rasa; a communication platform upon which our national thought-processes have played out. Reality TV has given rise to new ways of doing politics. The Thick of It has ripped those political operators to shreds. Top Gear has reflected a new radicalism among Britain’s put-upon traditionalists. Downton Abbey has reminded us how eagerly Britain takes refuge in tradition and continuity during times of crisis. Detectorists has conjured an altogether healthier and more charming vision of our relationship with the past.

 

The Age of Static considers all of these shows and many more. It’s not a definitive route from the comparative tranquility of 2000 through to the chaos of 2020. But it’s one version of that route and hopefully, an illuminating one.

 


 

Phil Harrison

Phil Harrison is a television writer and cultural critic whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Quietus, among others. He was formerly Deputy TV Editor for Time Out, and has interviewed and profiled many famous figures including Jon Hamm, William H. Macy, Jonathan Ross and Mark E. Smith. This is his first book.

 

 

Women Dreaming by Salma
21st October 2020 - Meena Kandasamy

A Q&A with Meena Kandasamy,
translator of Women Dreaming by Salma

 

Women Dreaming by Salma

 

Mehar, Asiya, Sajida, Subaida, Parveen. Mothers, daughters, wives, friends…and dreamers. In her second novel, Women Dreaming, celebrated Tamil author Salma paints the poignant portrait of the interior lives of ordinary women in a small Muslim village in Tamil Nadu–a bold and nuanced tale of hopes, desires and aspirations reigned in by a life of tradition and religion. 

We spoke to translator Meena Kandasamy–poet and author of Exquisite Cadavers and the Women’s Prize shortlisted When I Hit You–about her experience working on Women Dreaming, and the art of translation. Read our Q&A below.

 


 

How would you introduce Women Dreaming, as well as Salma and her work as a whole?

Salma is a celebrated Tamil poet, she has published several volumes of poetry, and Women Dreaming is her second foray into fiction. She has a previous novel, The Hour Past Midnight (translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom) as well. I personally find her poetry style very candid, easy to access, sometimes subtle, and at the best of times, brutal. Women Dreaming is a beautiful novel: it is constructed in this slow-moving world that is extremely resistant to change, and the deliberately hesitant style reflects the tiny, minute rebellions and transgressions women still manage to make in order to find their own independence and individuality. This novel inhabits a world of women—taking you through their lived experiences, their desires, their pain and their dreams.

 

How does Salma's writing - both her themes and her style - compare in context with a wider Tamil literature?

I am afraid this question is going to require a really long answer---but to be concise---I think Salma is singular in many respects even in the realm of Tamil literature. One, in terms of the way in which her Tamil fiction captures the local dialect of not only Southern Tamil Nadu, but also the many idiomatic usages of Tamil among the Muslim community. So, reading her is to learn overnight usages that you wouldn’t have encountered as someone in a metropolis, like say the word for curry. Two, her fiction is remarkable in the manner in which it probes how religious ideas of what is right and what is wrong, begin to infringe on people’s lives—in this she reminds me of the Tamil novelist Perumal Murugan. Three, I’d also add that her work, especially the insistence on, and centering of, the female experience takes her close to her contemporaries, the Tamil novelists Bama and Sivakami—who write incredible stories that both reflect social concerns and women’s lives.

 

Could you tell us about the experience of translating Women Dreaming? What was it that drew you to it, and what where the challenges and rewards you encountered along the way?

I wish there was a long anecdote that I could reel out as an answer. Unfortunately, no. In my mind, I always know that I will translate my favourite writers and favourite activists—I just need to be asked because I am too shy and too laidback to take the initiative myself. So, I remember Manasi Subramaniam from Penguin Random House in India wrote to me a couple of years ago and asked me if I’d be interested and I shot back, Fuck yes! Perhaps it was a little while after my first kid and I couldn’t take up the project immediately, and then, Tilted Axis was doing it in the UK and that became all the more a reason to do this project.

I find translations rewarding because it takes away from some of the angst I face when I’m doing my own writing. Also, discussions of process apart, it was very fulfilling and lovely to inhabit their stories, their drama, to listen to their language. I also enjoyed my phone calls with Salma, me blushing because I didn’t get some reference to sex or something, and she would be there, cool as ever, trying to tell me what the word usage meant. I think part of the fun of translating are these questions that you get to ask your writer—you’d never ask that in real life otherwise.

 

Your work spans many forms–translation, poetry, fiction…Do you find that translation work nurtures a particular kind of creativity?

Yes, I think it allows me to keep going back to Tamil, my mother tongue, to discover its richness, the many shades of meaning—and I write in another language so these visits become imbued with so much more beauty and fondness. One of those things that a writer needs is exactness, and that is something that is fundamental to being a translator.

 

If someone loved Women Dreaming, is there anything you'd recommend them reading next?

Tishani Doshi’s Small Days and Nights (Fiction) 

Zeba Talkani’s My Past is A Foreign Country (Memoir) 

Anita Nair’s Ladies Coupe, and Alphabet Soup For Lovers (Fiction) 

Namita Gokhale’s Paro and Things To Leave Behind (Fiction) 

 


 

Meena Kandasamy is a poet, fiction writer, translator and activist who lives in Chennai and London. She has published two collections of poetry, Touch and Ms. Militancy, and the critically acclaimed novels The Gypsy Goddess and When I Hit You, Or, The Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018. She is the editor of the poetry collection Desires Become Demons (Tilted Axis Press 2019), in which her translations of four Tamil women poets are included alongside some by the late Lakshmi Holmström. Exquisite Cadavers is her latest novel. 

Alex Wheatle's Picks to Celebrate Black History Month
20th October 2020 - Alex Wheatle

Alex Wheatle's Picks to Celebrate Black History Month

Alex Wheatle's Picks to Celebrate Black History Month

Alex Wheatle's Picks to Celebrate Black History Month
 

Alex Wheatle published his debut novel Brixton Rock in 1999, and in the following two decades has published a wide range of other novels. His own experiences of living in Brixton through the troubled eighties provide a strength and authenticity to his voice, with several novels telling the necessary stories of young black people, so often overlooked or ignored. This month he published Cane Warriors, which tells the gripping the true story of Tacky's War in Jamaica in 1760, told through the eyes of Moa, who at only fourteen joins with his fellow slaves in the uprising against the despicable plantation owners. Atmospheric, brutal, yet with real moments of tenderness, Cane Warriors is a book which should be read, shared, passed on and recommended as widely as possible. Especially for Foyles, Alex has selected five books that he would highly recommend to readers when celebrating Black History Month. 
 



Alex Wheatle's Picks to Celebrate Black History Month

 

The Black Jacobins by CLR James. 

This is the classic study of the only successful slave revolt in Caribbean history and inspired my own Cane Warriors.  In 1791 the Caribbean island of San Domingo, France’s most profitable colony and the greatest single market for the European slave trade, found itself in the grip of revolution. The leader of this unprecedented achievement was himself a slave until the age of forty-five – Toussaint L’Ouverture. This book vexed me, politicised me, taught me about the financial intricacies of the slave trade and drew me into Caribbean history like no other text could.  A classic.

 

Native Son by Richard Wright.

This is a stark and vehement novel about a young black man, Bigger Thomas, who is hardened and embittered by life in the Chicago slums in the 1930s and 1940s.  His every effort to free himself proves hopeless.  He sometimes makes choices that the reader wouldn’t but you understand the decisions he makes because of the racial context and his life experience. This is one of the most revealing character studies of a troubled black man ever committed to print.

 

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley.

By the time of his tragic murder in 1965, Malcolm X was world-famous as ‘the angriest black man in America’. From hustling, cocaine addiction and armed violence in the ghettoes of Harlem he had turned, in a dramatic prison conversion, to the puritanical fervour of the Black Muslims.  Speaking out to millions of oppressed blacks, he brought new hope and self-respect. This book offered me hope when I tackled doubt if I could ever turn my life around.  It taught me that no matter what had passed, I still possessed within me the potential to change my journey.

 

The Orchard of Lost Souls by Nadifa Mohamed.

I had read narratives and texts set in western and southern Africa and I had yet to travel on my reading journey to eastern Africa until I was introduced to Nadifa Mohamed’s Black Mamba Boy. The follow-up is the magnificent The Orchard of Lost Souls.  Set in 1988, I was mesmerised by the stories of three women. Nine-year-old Deqo has left the vast refugee camp she was born in, lured to the city by a promise of her first pair of shoes. Kawsar, a solitary widow, is trapped in her little house with its garden clawed from the desert, confined to her bed after a savage beating in the local police station. Filsan, a young female soldier, has moved from Mogadishu to suppress the rebellion growing in the north. The country soon unravels with civil war…a stunning achievement which informs me we must relate our own stories.

 

Shaka Zulu by E.A. Ritter.

A biography of Shaka Zulu, founder of the Zulu nation, born leader and brilliant general. This remarkable Zulu king was a contemporary of Napoleon, and his military victories rivalled the Emperor’s.  For, in the space of twelve years, he organised an immense army of skilled and disciplined warriors, conquering and pacifying a territory larger than Europe. I grew up ignorant to the possibility of black military heroes so to learn about the life of Shaka Zulu was a revelation to me.

 


 

Cane Warriors by Paul Wheatle

 

Alex Wheatle is the author of several acclaimed novels, many of them inspired by experiences from his childhood. He was born in Brixton to Jamaican parents, and spent most of his childhood in a Surrey children's home. Following a short stint in prison following the Brixton uprising of 1981, he wrote poems and lyrics and became known as the Brixtonbard. Alex has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award, and was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2008.

 

I Am Not Your Baby Mother - Candice Brathwaite
19th October 2020

Black History Month

It's about time we made motherhood more diverse - 
I Am Not Your Baby Mother by Candice Brathwaite

 

I Am Not Your Baby Mother by Candice Brathwaite

 

Author Candice Braithwaite first started blogging about motherhood in 2016 after making the simple but powerful observation that the way motherhood is portrayed in the British media is wholly unrepresentative of our society. Her debut book I Am Not Your Baby Mother is a thought-provoking, urgent and inspirational guide to life as a black mother, exposing what it's like to deal with the usual range of pregnancy and younger childcare issues, while facing hurdles such as white privilege, racial micro-aggression and unconscious bias at every point.

Here you can read an exclusive extract.

 



‘Children from Black and minority ethnic groups
are more likely to be in poverty: 45 per cent
are now in poverty, compared with 26 per cent
of children in White British families.’
(Child Poverty Action Group, 2019)

 

The idea of a nursery made me happy even if the thought of buying the necessary things like, you know, a cot and nappies, filled me with dread. But the plan was that I would breastfeed exclusively, which would save money. When people smiled and said, ‘Yes, that’s wonderful. So much better for the baby,’ I just grinned and nodded. Truth be told, I could think of few things worse than having a mini-me permanently attached to my tit, but formula was a tenner a tin and I was worried that if the baby’s appetite was anything like its father’s, we would quickly be in the red. Food is a necessity, of course, but if there was a way to keep the overheads of a human being low, we were going to try and utilise it.
 

Despite the need to budget carefully and wisely, there was one item that I absolutely didn’t want to be seen without. It was the mark du jour that supposedly represents the kind of mother you are before you’ve even introduced yourself; the item that acts as a megaphone, announcing what tribe of motherhood you belonged to.
 

The pushchair.
 

Now I’m not talking about any pushchair; this particular  brand was like the Lamborghini of baby vehicles. Its reputation was renowned, and its finish was spectacular.
 

The pushchair in question?
 

A Bugaboo, of course.
 

Before I had fallen pregnant, the only Bugaboo I knew was the hit song by Destiny’s Child. Of course, I knew that babies required some kind of construction to be carted around in. I’d helped a few struggling mothers when they were stranded at one of the many train stations not equipped with lifts. But I’d never had any good reason to research pushchairs in depth.
 

Once again, the Internet wasted no time in reminding me that I was ill-equipped for the task of motherhood. Pages and pages of online forums remarked that the Bugaboo was not only the most stylish pushchair, but also the safest.
 

‘I know they’re expensive,’ one online commentator began, ‘but I couldn’t imagine going for one of these knockoffs. Imagine if something were to happen to the baby? I would never forgive myself.’
 

 Upon reflection, I now see how crazy this all was, but I’m also aware of how deeply rooted my anxiety to get it right was. When black people arrived in the Britain they were told was Great, all they had was the willingness to work and the clothes on their backs, clothes which were always well pressed and well cared for. And looking presentable had been drummed into me from an early age. ‘If you don’t have a pound in your pocket, your attire shouldn’t show it!’  my grandad would recite each morning whilst fussing with the particulars of my school uniform. And of course my nan was slicker than butter on heat. Even though I had long outgrown wanting to wear matching dresses with her, she took her sartorial choices very seriously.
 

We were taught to be proud about how we looked, because the way we presented ourselves impacted on how we were treated by society. We didn’t – and in many ways, still don’t – have the luxury of not thinking about our outfits, because we instinctively know that we have to go the extra mile. So, when young black people are chastised for seeking designer garments before saving their money, I often want to stand up for them, as those who judge these choices don’t seek to understand that there is more to it than wanting to be seen as ‘cool’ or ‘on trend’. Being well dressed and in possession of the latest items was quite literally how black people were able to gain access to spaces that were usually closed off to them, not only for being black but also poor. And appearing to be financially solvent was quicker and cheaper than actually being so.
 

So, I admit that that is exactly what I was doing when trying to get my hands on a Bugaboo. I was trying to present myself to the world as having it all together. I was trying to say that no matter what people thought of me, I wasn’t that. Look, look at my cute baby and thousand-pound pram. I don’t care what you think about any other young black woman with a baby. If you took one look at me, your stereotypes would be shot to shit. 
 

It wouldn’t matter that we were renting our home.


Or that we often skipped lunch or dinner to keep foodcosts down.


Or that we piled on jumpers in the winter because the gas meter took every extra penny.


Or that date nights were spending fifteen pounds in Ikea.


Or that we purchased our mattress from a man with a van for seventy pounds.


None of that would matter as that’s not what the world would see.


I knew that the ‘mother’ version of me would be judged before I even had the chance to introduce myself, so if being able to give myself and my baby a head-start meant getting my hands on a pushchair that made people believe that not only did I know what I was doing, but I also had the wherewithal to get it done.

 



Candice Braithwaite credit Zoe Timmers
 

Candice Brathwaite is the hugely popular influencer and founder of Make Motherhood Diverse - an online initiative that aims to encourage a more accurately representative and diverse depiction of motherhood in the media. She has worked with brands such as Pampers, Ella's Kitchen and Specsavers, and has appeared on countless panels to discuss modern motherhood. Her writing has appeared in Stylist, the Metro and the Huffington Post. I Am Not Your Baby Mother is her first book.

 

 

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