Black book store: New Beacon Books

pic: instagram
pic: Instagram. New Beacon Books, 76 Stroud Green Road N4 3EN, London, UK

New Beacon Books:

“Established in 1966 by John La Rose and Sarah White, New Beacon Books is the UKs longest running independent bookshop specialising in African-Caribbean literature, cards and artwork. Still at the same address on Stroud Green Road in the heart of Finsbury Park.

Some of you may have heard that after 50 years, New Beacon Books would be closing down at the end of January 2017.

This is incorrect.

Whilst we are well aware that the world of physical books and publishing has changed enormously since 1966, we are also aware that our presence in the black community as a learning resource is vital for future generations.

This year we will be restructuring how we operate and hopefully with your support we can continue for another 50 years!

Please note our new, reduced opening hours:
Wednesdays to Saturdays
1.30pm – 6pm

Please encourage your friends and family to like and follow us on Facebook and instagram @newbeaconbooks

New Beacon Books – Continuing 50 years of history……..”


My Sister’s Pain, by Emeka Egbuonu

After interviewing hundreds of women, rising author Emeka Egbuonu shows that he can get inside the head of a woman.

pic: press
pic: author, Emeka Egbuonu. Press.


Emeka, who was born in Nigeria and came to Hackney aged seven, smiles as he fondly remembers walking past the Hackney Empire everyday after school, dreaming that one day the stage will be set for him, if becoming a footballer didn’t work out. Little did he know that the stage was waiting for him to fulfil his dream. That dream has now become a reality, after he launched his third novel at the iconic venue, on Friday February 10, 2017.

Published by Knowledge Bidders Ltd, ‘My Sister’s Pain’ tells the story of two Nigerian sisters, Adaora and Nkechi, and the emotional journey that follows the experiences they encounter. Emeka was inspired to write an emotionally led novel driven by female characters as a result of his own experiences as a motivational speaker. In 2012, Emeka spoke at the Holloway Women’s Prison in north London. He said “At the prison the women shared painful stories about domestic abuse. I was moved by their stories and I wrote an article for the Huffington Post called, ‘Hope at Holloway Women’s Prison’, which explores what it means to be a women and vulnerable.”

It was spending time with his daughter and younger sisters which made Emeka wonder about the meaning of sisterhood – an idea known to Afro-Caribbean community that is about women embracing, supporting and loving each other. It is meant to instil a sense of community. Emeka said: “ I believe sisterhood brings strength to the community because women give birth to the children. If they are in union witch each other, the children – especially the daughters will grow up as strong women. Spending time  with my daughter and sisters reminded me about those women I met at the prison. They committed a crime and came to the prison as strangers to each other, yet they too formed their own sense of sisterhood based on their similar experiences of domestic abuse.”

Following his experience, Emeka was determined to capture the emotion he witnessed at the prison. Interviewing over 100 women over a period of eight months, Emeka was determined to uncover the female mind. Emeka said: “I couldn’t just base what my female characters say on what I thought they would say. I needed to go deeper, to make my characters sound more authentic, more relatable”.

I asked questions like, how do you feel when a man you’re attracted to approaches you? And when you tie your hair, is there a certain way you do it? I have to say, I learnt a lot. Some women said they felt a thrill or nerves when a man they’re attracted to approaches them. Some women tie their hair up in a bun and cover it with a satin – specifically a satin scarf, as it helps to keep moisture. It was all very interesting.”

Described by Meg Hiller, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, as ‘inspirational’, Emeka has written two previous books. The first  ‘Ambitions of the Deprived’ follows the  lives of four teenagers struggling to find their identity in a society which stereotypes them. Emeka’s second, novel, called ‘Consequences – breaking the cycle’, which received huge attention from the Guardian, explored reasons why young people turn to crime, following the 2011 London riots.

Emeka’s third instalment is notably different:“People say my book is very female orientated, and they ask me if I’m a feminist. No, I don’t see myself as feminist. I just love my sisters [women]! I wanted to write something to bring women together. For me it’s about creating positive images, and reminding men that they need to respect women.

I’ve had so many positive women around me. My book is about sharing something that relates to them. I decided to write a book like this because I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to write something that could relate to women.”

pic: My Sister's Pain
pic: My Sister’s Pain


My Sister’s Pain is available to buy from Amazon and from Emeka’s website



African Books Collective

Melanin Library

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