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  • Writer's pictureZainab

'There’s nothing like this out there': A Quick Ting On launches young black authors | The Guardian

Authors often say “write the book you want to read” and Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy has done just that. She “would have loved to have” a history of the black-girl afro when she was younger, she says: the 25-year-old’s book will explore the personal and political histories of the hairstyle, as part of a groundbreaking new series by young people about the history of black Britain.

“Myself and almost everyone I know has had their own personal journey relating to afro hair. It’s not just hair – it can be political, it can be a statement, so many things,” says Kwaw-Swanzy, a founding member of award-winning magazine gal-dem. “There was a time when lots of products weren’t available and there wasn’t a lot of education out there about how to manage this hair best, because it’s not the norm in our country. So to have a book that explains why it is important would have probably helped me learn to love my own hair a lot quicker than I did.”

Kwaw-Swanzy’s is one book in A Quick Ting On, a groundbreaking new non-fiction series focused on the black British community, all written by young black British writers. Created by 24-year-old publisher Magdalene Abraha, the series is the first of its kind and will cover topics from grime music to bamboo earrings, plantain to the black British power movement, Afrobeats to black British business.

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