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Literary spotlight.

Author Daniella Maison making waves with ‘The N Word’.

“Dive into the thought-provoking world of author Daniella Maison and her groundbreaking book, "The N Word.”


Young writer Natalie Godwin meets with author Daniella Maison at her book launch for The N Word to meet the person behind the social cause writing.

Daniella Maison, is an academic, disrupter and new-age whistle blower, south-east London homegirl and self-proclaimed Womanist. She first came to prominence in 2009 when she penned a viral series titled simply ‘Black women and hip hop’.

It was an edifying series and in it she exposed R. Kelly the height of his noughties fame.

‘R. Kelly brazenly announced some time ago that he would now prefer to be known as the ‘Pied Piper’ of RnB.

His prosaic statement only served to highlight just how bamboozled we have been by the commercial entertainment industry.

The ‘Pied Piper of Hamelin’ is a German legend in which an adult male menacingly lures 130 children into a cave using a musical flute where they were never to be seen again.

This is an ironic sobriquet for a man who has a particularly disturbing history of paedophilic encounters.’

With that stunning exposure came death threats, legal letters and uproar from his fan base but Daniella refused to be silenced: “it is a complete defence to a claim in libel or slander if the defendant can show that the allegations they have published are substantially true. I could, and they were.” She states coolly.

She had a brand new Masters degree under her belt from Royal Holloway university, she was announced as Editor of Research for Lee Jaspers African Academy, she was offered columns and several publishing contracts.

Then, in 2014, came a devastating blow when her partner of six years committed suicide.

The impact on her mental health was huge, and her writing came to a halt while she healed behind closed doors and under the watchful eyes of her family.

She never stopped writing and her quest to be a change maker never stopped.

A decade later her prevenient revelations came back into the spotlight when R. Kelly was finally convicted and the world paid attention to the depths of Daniella’s research and analysis.

The next few years have seen her become Editor of Social Cause Issues and columnist for Black Wall St Media, A founding member of The Baton Awards, several successful ghostwritten memoirs (‘because I love to give a voice to women who have a story but don’t know how to tell it) several more explosive social justice exposé’s (Sarah Reed, Siyanda Mngaza) and her highly anticipated book The N Word published by Austin Macaulay was released on January 5th.

The book launch was a true reflection of who Daniella is; it was stylish and silky but down to earth and community focused. One thing was clear from attending the event, Daniella is loved dearly both as an individual, and as a writer who consistently as Judith Jacob said on the night, ‘puts her money where her mouth is.’

Young people are a focal point of her book launch which is different to the ego of most launches (she sits at the back of the room) and her niece and nephew give readings.

It has been a bumpy road for Maison who lost her 5 year old sister suddenly to meningitis as a teen.

She plunged her energy into ‘self medication and creativity’, earning her first published poem.

Today, she is sought out by women from all over the world who are keen for her to expose injustices in her uniquely formidable way.

It’s not hard to see why. Daniella Maison writes a mean sentence – scrupulous, brilliant, and forensic. As a social cause writer she is fearless; tackling topics head on that most writers avoid.

Her writing is fierce and unapologetic but in person she is beautiful, calm and softly well-spoken. Benjamin Zephaniah was an advocate of her writing and described her as ‘one of the greatest minds of our time’ before his passing.

I speak to Daniella about her book, which is already a success. ‘I wrote this book to take my readers on a rollercoaster journey in to the modern ubiquity of a blood soaked word that is damaging our souls and psyches.

The N word was one of the sharpened barbs that Stephen Lawrence was targeted with by five white youths who ran towards him, and tattled ‘what, what, N****r’ before stabbing him to death.

The N word is not a word that can be used lightly or without gravitas. It is an assault weapon; it has to be loaded, lined up, aligned with the target, and shot to make a mark.

It doesn’t ‘come from nowhere’. She says with intimidatingly direct eye contact. Daniella is sure: she intends to make a difference; she intends to continue shining her light on the darkness of injustice.

As she stands up to applause, holding the mic and says ‘James Baldwin said the world is before you and you need not take it, or leave it, as it was when you came in’, I don’t doubt that she will achieve it.





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