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Meet the Author: Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

January 16th 2022

What type of person do you hope reads your book?

My book was written for two main audiences - First, so fellow Black women across the globe can see themselves and the various issues we face reflected with nuance and complexity. Secondly, I want non-Black audiences both in Sweden and abroad to get an unfiltered and raw insight into what it feels like to navigate white-dominated spaces as a Black woman.

What's the most unexpected thing you learnt while writing the book?

Just how quickly the writing process went. Once I spent about 5 months outlining my characters, scenes, and inspiration, the actual writing of the first draft took 4 months. That was when I knew this was the book I was meant to write at this stage of my life.

What's your favourite first line in literature?

Tough one. I actually don’t have a favorite opening line.

Is there one book you wished you'd written? Why?

Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie. Many Africans in the diaspora who have moved from Nigeria abroad for college can relate to a lot of the issues that this timely book covered.

What are you working on next?
I am working on a sequel of sorts to answer a lot of questions left open.

Letter from the author - In Every Mirror She’s Black

Dear reader,

I am beyond thrilled that you get to dive into the worlds of these three unique women, who I carry with me everyday.

Many years ago, I came across a Swedish Proverb that says “The deepest well can also be drained" and it completely arrested me. That even the strongest, most resilient among us can eventually break too if not properly taken care of and supported, because we are human. I wanted to honor that proverb by crafting real, relevant, social narratives around its meaning.

In Every Mirror She’s Black was a story that organically developed after years of living in Sweden and observing how the voices of us Black women resonate within society, which spaces we are invited to occupy or not, and if those spaces allow us to thrive or simply survive. Having lived in both Nigeria and the US for extended periods of time before moving to Sweden, I wanted to pull out the nuances of navigating the world in my skin against the backdrop of very different cultures.

I wanted each of the women – Kemi, Brittany, Muna – to be free of having to carry the weight of society or their individual cultures simply because they are Black. Even though they are strong, I wanted to give them space to make mistakes and to humanize them deeply. The world asks so much of us Black women. We deserve to be treated as individuals, not monoliths.

This is the book I was meant to write at this stage in my life and I am so excited for you to read it too! I would absolutely love to know what you think, so please share your thoughts. You can find my musings on social media at @LolaAkinmade. You can even tag IEMSB’s dedicated accounts too @ineverymirror and use the #InEveryMirrorShesBlack.

Wishing you the very best,

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