Proud To Be: Black History Month 2021

At HQ we are proud to be celebrating and amplifying the voices of our Black and Brown authors all year round, so we are thrilled to see that the official theme of Black History Month 2021 is ‘Proud To Be’, a festival of celebration!

This year’s campaign aims to make Black History Month 2021 personal and unique to individuals, focusing on how we’re all making history all the time in our own ways. Here, some of our wonderful authors share what they are ‘Proud To Be’…

Proud to be a published author. It’s almost 3 years to the day I first decided to write a book on skincare for Black women.

Dija Ayodele, author of Black Skin

Dija Ayodele has lots to be proud of! A fully qualified and insured Aesthetician, the founder of West Room Aesthetics, the founder of the award-winning Black Skin Directory, and now author of the definitive skincare guide for women of colour Black Skin, coming November 2021. Dija is also Trustee for the Beauty Backed Trust and advises several boards including the British Beauty Council, British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC) and Aesthetic Medicine Journal!

“Proud to be a Black woman who never allowed herself to be confined by stereotypes or prejudices and walked her own path.”

Nadine Matheson, author of The Jigsaw Man

Nadine Matheson is well and truly walking her own path. Born and raised in Deptford, Nadine is a criminal solicitor as well as a fantastic writer of gripping, gruesome crime fiction. She is also a winner of the City University Crime Writing competition! We could not be more inspired by her.

Proud to be filling bookshelves with the Black characters I always wanted to read about.

Louise Hare, author of This Lovely City

Louise Hare is certainly filling bookshelves with incredible Black characters with both her fantastic debut novel This Lovely City and her upcoming new read Miss Aldridge Regrets! A London-based writer with an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London, Louise is a major new talent, with her work being shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish prize and featured on the inaugural BBC TWO TV book club show, Between the Covers.

Proud to be a writer of amazing black, female characters!

Andi Osho, author of Asking for a Friend

Andi Osho is an extremely accomplished woman – writer, actress, film maker and stand-up comedian, Andi has done it all! As well as appearing on a number of popular TV shows, Andi has written, performed and toured two sell-out solo shows, appeared at the O2 Arena in London and Just for Laughs in Montreal. She has also written her own E4 sketch pilot, and of course her wonderful debut novel Asking for a Friend.

Proud to be my mother’s daughter.”

Naima Simone, author of the Rose Bend series

Naima Simone tells us that she is proud to be her mother’s daughter because “for me this means I learned at the knee of a strong, beautiful, intelligent and compassionate Black woman to strive to not only be all of those attributes, but to love myself, to be proud of who I am and to never, ever give up on my dreams of bringing stories, where everyone is worthy of love and happily ever after, to bookshelves.” Such a gorgeous sentiment!

For more information on Black History Month 2021 and an abundance of useful resources, click here.

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