Reni Eddo-Lodge, whose 2017 book Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race has seen a resurgence in sales as a result of the global #BlackLivesMatter protests, has become the first Black British author ever to top the U.K. book charts.
The book topped Nielsen BookScan’s UK top 50 in the week to 13 June, the first time the spot has been held by a Black British author since Nielson began recording book sales in 2001.
The only other Black author to have taken the number one slot is the former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, whose 2018 memoir Becoming was a best-seller.
On Twitter, Eddo-Lodge commented on the news, saying “Feels absolutely wild to have broken this record,” and acknowledging the Black authors who have inspired her. “My work stands on the shoulders of so many Black British literary giants,” she wrote. “Bernadine Evaristo, Benjamin Zephaniah, Zadie Smith, Andrea Levy, Stella Dadzie, Stuart Hall, Linton K Johnson, Jackie Kay, Gary Younge – to name a few.”
Feels absolutely wild to have broken this record ? My work stands on the shoulders of so many Black British literary giants – Bernadine Evaristo, Benjamin Zephaniah, Zadie Smith, Andrea Levy, Stella Dadzie, Stuart Hall, Linton K Johnson, Jackie Kay, Gary Younge – to name a few. https://t.co/uf2yOhSfwm
— Reni Eddo-Lodge (@renireni) June 16, 2020
The book charts in the U.K. and U.S. have been much more significantly represented by Black authors over the last few weeks: Ijeoma Oluo’s 2018 book, So You Want to Talk About Race, currently tops the New York Times best-sellers list for paperback nonfiction.
As protests and movements continue around the world, various artists have launched initiatives to support social justice.