Journalist as Author: Uju Asika, Bringing Up Race: How to Raise a Kind Child in a Prejudiced World
By Phoebe-Jane Boyd
9 Dec 2020
‘Once I started exploring my own background growing up Black in Britain, experiences I’d had with my kids and talking to other parents, the book really took on a life of its own’ – Uju Asika is a multiple award-nominated blogger at Babes About Town, digital consultant at Mothers and Shakers and, now, author of the book Bringing Up Race: How to Raise a Kind Child in a Prejudiced World.
Sharing stories and talking points for raising antiracist and empathetic children, Uju’s book is informed by lessons learned from her own family life and that of her contributors. Picked for the Evening Standard’s Best Books September 2020, Bringing Up Race continues Uju’s work to tackle the difficult parts of modern life – read on for more on the book and the challenges of getting it to print.
Can you introduce your book in a couple of
Bringing Up Race: How to Raise a Kind
Child in a Prejudiced World is aimed at people of all ethnicities who want to raise
children who are empathetic, inclusive and antiracist. It’s filled with
personal stories, expert insights and talking points to educate and empower you
to have conversations around race and take action against racism, however it
shows up in your life.
Could you tell us about how you came to the
The idea to write on this topic came from a
relative of mine and at first I was quite resistant about the project, for a
number of reasons (including imposter syndrome). However, once I started
exploring my own background growing up Black in Britain, experiences I’d had
with my kids and talking to other parents (I interviewed around 20
contributors), the book really took on a life of its own.
Are you working on another book, or do you
have other projects under way?
I do have a second book idea that my agent
is shopping and another fun project that’s in the negotiation stages. I’m also
a screenwriter, so have a couple of script concepts that I’m playing with.
Aside from that, I run my blog Babes
About Town and digital consultancy Mothers
and Shakers, so that keeps me pretty busy!
Can you offer any advice to other
journalists or bloggers thinking about writing a book likeBringing
Go for it! It’s a tonne of work for sure but there’s nothing like that feeling of holding a finished book in your hand with your name on it. My boys filmed my unboxing moment which was really special. In terms of practical advice, it’s really helpful to ‘chunk it down’ from the massive, mind-boggling task of writing A WHOLE BOOK to the basic steps of X amount of words per day. If you are a journalist or a blogger, you’ve probably written the equivalent of multiple books (in terms of word count) over the course of your career. I’m a blogger and I looked at my book as writing 17-20 extra-long blog posts. Easy peasy. Well, not that easy, there was lots of screaming at the walls… but breaking it down definitely helped me get past the finish line.
What books are you reading right now, or
about to pick up?
I’m usually reading multiple books on the go
e.g. one on my Kindle app and one in my hands. Right now, I’m reading Homegoing
by Yaa Gyasi and Girl by Kenya Hunt. Next up: Love Orange by
Natasha Randall, A Girl Made of Air by Nydia Hetherington and The
Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin. On my Christmas wish
list is The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.
Are there any other examples of your
everyday writing that you’re especially proud of or would just like to
Are you available for freelance commissions,
speaker opportunities or other roles?
I’m always open to ideas and opportunities
for collaboration. I especially enjoy writing/speaking or creating content on
how to raise kinder antiracist children, motherhood, creativity, and doing cool
things with your family in London and beyond.
If I’m a PR professional with a story or
another opportunity for you, how should I get in touch?
You can contact me via email or reach out on social media.
Bringing Up Race: How to Raise a Kind Child in a Prejudiced World (September 2020, Yellow Kite, Hachette UK) is available in hardback, ebook and audiobook formats on Amazon and Waterstones. Follow Uju @babesabouttown on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.