Slay In Your Lane
THIIIRD Magazine, Issue 4 ACCESS, [date]
Black, Female and Successful: A Black Girl's Guide to Staying Ahead
Interview by Natalie Alleyne
Slay in Your Lane is a self-help guide highlighting the everyday struggles of women of colour and inspiring them to think big as they work their way up to success, from school to the workplace.
Synergy is what moves between Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke, co-authors of the bestselling book, ‘Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible’. Both are radiant individuals, who by simply existing together defy the notion that black women are monolithic. Stirred by her experiences, excelling in her field as a black woman working in the white male-dominated City of London.
Elizabeth approached her long-term friend, Yomi, with the idea to write a book on the black British female experience. While Elizabeth initially proposed Yomi be the one to see the project to fruition, Yomi, a multi award-winning journalist, suggested they work on the book together.
Together they created what has been described by mainstream media as ‘seismic’ and a 'cultural landmark'. Slay In Your Lane gives this generation of black girls access to an array of flourishing black female voices. From entertainers like Jamelia to academics such as space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pockock, readers are able to pull from the experiences of 39 excellent women, as they express navigating life's various challenges specific to being in their skin.
For black girls and women, Slay In Your Lane is the ultimate inspiration guide, it is the representation they have been so long denied. For other demographics, it is the insight required to begin to dissolve the systematic oppressions that often roadblocks the participation of black women in society. How evolved can a society ever truly become if it mutes the existence of so many of its people?
NATALIE ALLEYNE: So you are old friends, described as being ‘like sisters’. The chemistry is very much tangible in your work - I listened to the audiobook, it’s amazing. Having met at 18 years old while attending Warwick University, what was it about your experiences at Warwick that inspired the need for this book?
YOMI ADEGOKI: It was Elizabeth’s idea, and our experiences at Warwick, I wouldn't say they directly affected why the book came about, but I would say that in hindsight, especially when we were working on the education chapter, we were like, "Oh, wow, a lot of stuff that happened at Warwick." The same power structures that existed in predominantly white institutions like Warwick were then replicated in the workplace. Elizabeth worked in a very corporate environment in Canary Wharf and I worked at Channel 4, in journalism, and despite them [the two workplaces] being pretty much diametrically opposed in terms of what they stand for and what they are like, we still came up against the same hurdles and barriers. I think it was more the workplace that essentially led to that fateful day where Elizabeth called me and was like, "Oh my God, this is something I want to do." Our friendship is very obvious and you can see it through the book, I think that foundation of friendship is what basically the book is about. Having that friendship for nearly ten years now, Jesus Christ [both laugh], meant that we were really able to haul our talents together and make something amazing.
NA: Education and career are two of the sections covered in the book. What other themes are covered and which ones laid you most bare as you were writing?
ELIZABETH UVIEBINENÉ: We started off with work because that’s where the idea came from, and then when we spoke about it, literally within a couple of minutes [we decided] it was going to be expanded to various different areas of a black girl's life. What was more...
Full interview available in, THIIIRD Magazine, Issue 4 ACCESS