Nigerian-British fashion stylist, writer, and cultural commentator Ayishat Akanbi has a forthcoming book that examines the consequences of “wokeness.”
The Bookseller reports that world rights for Akanbi’s book, titled The Awokening: Clarity, Culture and Identity in the Web of Chaos, were acquired by Jenny Lord, publisher at W&N, from Borra Garson at Deborah McKenna Limited. Lord describes Akanbi “as one of the most exciting thinkers and writers of her generation” and said that her book “offers a path towards understanding and self-awareness.”
In a statement for The Bookseller, Akanbi likens “the 21st century’s religious-like rallying call to social vigilance” to The Great Awakening, a religious revival that spread throughout the English colonies of America during the 17th century. Yet to Akanbi, this contemporary “awakening,” what she calls “The Great Awokening,” bears the risk of “deepen[ing] the very divisions it endeavors to bridge.” By “reimagining the phenomena of ‘wokeness,'” Akanbi hopes that her book will “provide an alternative to our culture of public shaming and moral purity.”
Here is a description of the book provided by the publisher:
The digital age has birthed The Great Awokening. Grievances previously overlooked – mental illness, racism, gender identity, homophobia, the need for safe spaces – now occupy centre stage. The current cultural climate demands us to declare our standing quickly and emphatically – often without pause for understanding. Looking at how the concept of a spiritual awakening has evolved into present day ‘wokeness’ – and how it has in turn lead to further polarisation rather than unification – in THE AWOKENING, Ayishat Akanbi encourages an appeal to humanism. It is a timely and inspiring reminder of the power of curiosity and the benefits of intellectual humility, and an urge to partake in the gruelling task of developing self-awareness, such that we can become more socially aware – and aware of each other.
The book will be released on August 5, 2021. Pre-order the book here.