Saturday, January 27, 2018

Bookmarked! January Edition

The Jack Jones Literary Arts Team - Image courtesy of Google
One thing I do to keep me up to date with current stories is to set up Google Alerts. I also watch a lot of news and love to browse the Flipboard app, which is amazing for delivering stories you are interested in direct to you.

What I will be doing monthly is collating the best of these features and news items based on what trended and what I took a particular liking to. I will try and make them as relevant to the world of books and communications as I possibly can, but we all know there is more to life than that, right?

So without further ado, here is my first post on Stories We Loved, January edition.

Oprah Winfrey's speech was every speech maker's dream
Aside from the glitz and glam of the Golden Globes, the powerful statement made by the black cladded attendees and the winners of the awards themselves, what stood out was Oprah Winfrey's acceptance speech which earned her a standing ovation, worldwide approval, and calls for her to run for president. I was one of those who was swept by what she said, but you know I had to dissect the speech into bite-sized analysed pieces right? (Remember my post last year about Meryl Streep's?) Well, apparently I was not the only one to put on the linguist's hat. This article and this one explain why Oprah's speech was everything speech maker's dreams are made of.

Essence Magazine is fully black owned!
If you are thinking, 'so what's the big deal?' then let me explain. Essence Magazine is a publication aimed at African American women and since its first issue in 1970, it had been the number one voice for black women in America, sharing their stories and printing articles to educate, entertain and inspire them. In fact, Essence has been so popular that it also has a large readership here in the UK. But in 2005, after the owners sold its shares it became white-owned. It has always been strange to me that the storytellers do not reflect the people they are telling stories about and telling stories to. However, this was remedied early this month when the publication was acquired by Richelieu Denis, the former owner of afro hair care company, Shea Moisture. This is the full story.

Is it fair to be judged for the way you speak?
This was a story I picked up and paid attention to as a communications blogger. I identified with many of the points the writer made. I myself have always felt in limbo between those who might think I speak "too proper", and those who like to lightly poke fun at my South East London diction. I will be writing a two-part blog post of my own on this topic in the next few weeks or so, so watch this space! But in the meantime read the experiences of the writer of this article here.

Black, bookish and beautiful!
This was another story that piqued my excitement and interest. Stories about normal people like you and I doing amazing things often get overshadowed by stories of the rich and famous. Well, not here! This is an interview of three women addressing the issue of a lack diversity in publishing by way of Jack Jones Literary Arts - a publishing company dedicated to promoting female authors of colour. (I decree and declare that they will one day publish my work!) The article is a real light and heartwarming read.  Click here to read the inspiration, favorite books and personal style of the all-female team at the Jack Jones Literary Arts. 

Bookshop literally claps back at President Trump
This month, news of a certain president of a certain country who made horrible comments about Haiti and many Africans fell on many newsdesks and hit the internet. We were all outraged but unsurprised by the comments, and many responded in different ways, including the governments of many of these so-called 'sh##hole' countries who summoned their American ambassadors to explain the president's remarks. However, in my humble opinion, the best reaction was from a New York bookstore - literally! (Pun intended!). Just have a look at what they did. 

Lupita Nyong'o to write children's book
Here is another case of good news being overshadowed by all the drama we see and hear. But this stood out for me. I have been following Lupita Nyong'o since her days of Shuga, a drama series set in Kenya to raise HIV awareness. Since then she has made huge strides in the Hollywood industry, but her next big step (after Black Panther of course!) is to enter the world of publishing. Her book will send a powerful message to children about self-love and beauty standards. High five Lupita! Read the story in full here.

Lord, please let my clapbacks be as smart as Auntie Chimamanda's 
This is a last minute addition but it's about my fave author (aka best friend in my head) aka Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. So ladies you would think that in 2018 ignorant and lazy views about African countries wouldn't be so prolific in mainstream conciousness right? Actually who am I kidding? Of course not! Can you just believe that my hero of a writer was seated at an event in Paris which was supposed to honour her work, only to be asked by a journalist whether there are  bookshops in Nigeria? Are you serious? Of course Ms Adichie gave the best response, stirring up an applause from an onlooking audience and I'm sure very red cheeks on the face of a very embarrassed journalist. Read the full story here 

Did you enjoy this feature? Which story is your favourite?

Comment below.


  1. such a informative and cool post I really enjoy it!
    Please visit my Blog!
    Alessa Bernal

  2. Loved Oprah's speech and I will say I was totally shocked and blown away at the ignorance that some people have when it comes to anything Africa or something that they don't know.

    1. Thanks Miss J, I hope you are well! The ignorance is real. Even in today's day and age. How sad!

  3. This is such a great idea for a monthly series here on your blog! Oprah Winfrey's truly was very powerful and I'm really looking forward to your post discussing whether it's fair to be judge for the way we speak. x

    1. Thanks Gabrielle. I am glad you are on board with the idea. It is coming sooner than you think!

  4. Ahahaha. I love the last one on Chimamanda! She's such a smart and witty woman. You didn't talk about Viola Davis speech that went viral. Full of wisdom. Nice read!

    1. Chimamanda is the best! She's my auntie in my head. Viola Davis's speech is also a powerful one! Yes, I did miss it out didn't I? Please forgive me. I can do a post that analyses her speech, similar to the Meryl Streep one.

  5. Chimamanda is ever so poised and so armed with words! No patience for nonsense at all! Lol. Excited to see Lupita's book too.

    1. Yes she is simply the best. I would love to be as ready as she is!


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