Black Lives Matter - black voices, white privilege, our responsibility

Black Lives Matter
Beaten Track Publishing is fully committed to treating all people equally and with respect, so yes, of course we believe all lives matter, but it’s not ‘all lives’ when black people are murdered and subjected to violence daily, repeatedly, systematically. It’s only ‘some lives’. This is why, right now and for as long as it takes to eradicate racism, black lives matter.

#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.

White Privilege
Beaten Track isn’t like other publishing houses. It is more of a collective of authors, editors, proofreaders and illustrators, many of us from marginalised communities. We have come together because our voices are not welcomed elsewhere, and as such our existence is a form of resistance. But we can do more. We must do more, do better. As a collective, we possess a lot of white privilege; recognising that, we have a choice what we do with it.

We will not be bystanders.
We will speak up against racism.
We will share black voices.

Black Writers’ Guild Open Letter
The Black Writers’ Guild (BWG) is a newly formed organisation representing the black publishing community in the UK. On 15th June 2020, the BWG released an Open Letter requesting that all UK publishers provide a full audit of their books published by black authors, their acquisition process and management/editorial structure. The letter begins with the following statement:

We are the Black Writers’ Guild, representing the black publishing community in the UK. Our membership group includes over 200 published black writers, including some of Britain’s bestselling authors and leading literary figures.

The protest movement sweeping the world since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has forced an international soul-searching to understand the pervasive racial inequalities that haunt most sectors of our society – including our own major institutions and industries.

Publishers have taken advantage of this moment to amplify the marketing of titles by their black authors and release statements of support for the black communities who have been campaigning for equality for decades.

Although we welcome your support at this time, we are deeply concerned that British publishers are raising awareness of racial inequality without significantly addressing their own.

We are calling on you to help us tackle the deep-rooted racial inequalities in the major corporate publishing companies and support grassroots black literary communities such as booksellers, book clubs and the Black Writers’ Guild.

Equality is our destination, and we have a hard journey ahead of us.

Black Voices at Beaten Track
Authors who publish with Beaten Track:
Dee is an author of M/M romance, an accomplished proofreader and brilliant cover designer (find out more at

By Dee Aditya:
A Boy Named Khwahish – a young adult gay romance;
part of Take a Chance anthology.

Dr. Imani Tafari-Ama is the author of: Blood, Bullets and Bodies: Sexual Politics Below Jamaica's Poverty Line, Up For Air: This Half Has Never Been Told (an award-winning novel) and Lead in the Veins (poetry) as well as several book chapters and articles. She is also a multimedia journalist who has produced several audio-visual documentaries including 'Setting the Skin Tone', which explores the catastrophic social practice of skin bleaching. This eight-and-a half minute video documentary (produced in 2006) is an excerpt from her Doctoral research.

Bronx-born wordsmith, Larry Benjamin considers himself less a writer than an artist whose chosen medium is the written word rather than clay or paint or bronze.

By Larry Benjamin:
Novels: Unbroken (Lambda Literary finalist); In His Eyes; The Sun, The Earth and The Moon
Short Stories/Novelettes: Black&Ugly; The Christmas Present; Vampire Rising; Damaged Angels

L.D. Valentine is a self-confessed nerd who loves fantasy but could never see himself in the characters, so he did something about it and decided to make his own.

By L.D. Valentine:
Novel: Rising (Coven of Zora #1)
Blog post: Black, Queer, and Nerd?

Unoma Azuah teaches writing at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Valdosta, GA. Her research and activism focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights in Nigeria, and her recent book project is Blessed Body: Secret Lives of the Nigerian LGBT. Some of her writing awards include the Aidoo-Synder book award, Spectrum book award and the Hellman/Hammet award.

By Unoma Azuah:
Embracing My Shadow: growing up lesbian in Nigeria

Self-publishing authors who work with Beaten Track:
Jade Calder is a mum and author of children's books featuring black families.

By Jade Calder:
The Magic Hair Stick

coming soon…
I Am NOT Too Small!
Mummy, What Is Black Lives Matter?

Keysha is a qualified nursery nurse and psychology graduate whose writing is inspired by years of encouraging children to brush their teeth at nursery through engaging stories.

By Keysha Naomi Binns:
The Gum Chums – Decay in the Fruit Garden

Kukuwa Abba is a Health and Social Development professional with over thirty years experience, specialising in Public Health Education and Policy, Health Literacy, Mental Health Promotion and Culture and Health.

By Kukuwa Abba:
JA Herbs – 40 Jamaican Medicinal Herbs