How a Brixton upbringing inspired author to help others through new book

By Melissa Kasule

A young man’s life purpose to inspire a new generation has been boosted with his debut book release at rap star Stormzy’s publishing house.

Brixton youth activist, public speaker and entrepreneur Jeremiah Emmanuel, pictured above, wrote Dreaming in a Nightmare: Finding a Way Forward in a World That’s Holding You Back.

It is being published by #MerkyBooks as a paperback in May 2021 – the hardback came out recently.

The book reads as Jeremiah’s memoir of the problems faced by a new generation, reflecting on his time growing up in Brixton as a first-generation immigrant.

Dreaming in a Nightmare touches on themes from crime to poverty, with accounts from Jeremiah’s mother, former gang members and activists.

The first-time-author has been working within his local community since he was four.

He was elected into the UK Youth Parliament and later became Young Mayor of Lambeth.

Aged 15, Jeremiah founded the BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s Youth Council in 2015.

In 2017, he was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his community service.

Jeremiah said: “Raised in South London, I lived in an area where crime and poverty were everywhere and opportunities to escape were rare. Violence was accepted, prison was expected.

“Your best friend might vanish overnight, never to be seen again. That was the world I knew; the only one I thought was possible for people like me.

“But somehow, as I got older, I found my way to a different world: a place where people listened to you, where opinions were heard, where doors were opened, where there were opportunities around every corner. Everything had stayed the same and everything had changed.

“This is the story of how I did it: the people who helped me get there, and the huge hurdles I – and my entire generation – have to learn to face and overcome. It’s the story of how to move forward in a world that’s holding you back.”

#Merky Books is an award-winning book publishing imprint home for underrepresented voices launched by Stormzy and Penguin Books UK in 2018.




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