04 Oct, 12.30pm - 2pm
As part of Black History Month 2023, join WoW in discovering the incredible journey of author, poet, and academic Malik Al Nasir as he unveils his powerful memoir, Letters to Gil.
Malik Al Nasir’s academic research into his family history and the transatlantic slave trade recently made headline news in the media when former Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach threatened legal action after he revealed the links of the Sandbach Tinnes family involvement in the slave trade.
Letters to Gil unveils the deeply personal narrative of Malik Al Nasir's tumultuous childhood, where he navigated the harsh landscape of the care system in 1970s Liverpool. At a mere nine years old, Malik found himself thrust into a world marred by violence, neglect, exploitation, and racial prejudice. The system inflicted upon him lasting trauma, left him partially literate, homeless, and destitute by the time he reached eighteen.
Yet, fate had a different design for Malik. An unexpected encounter with the iconic poet, musician, and civil rights advocate, Gil Scott-Heron, altered the trajectory of Malik’s life, when Gil took him under his wing, becoming his mentor. Within the pages of this captivating memoir, Malik sheds light on how this serendipitous meeting lighted a spark within him, setting him on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery, unwavering resilience, and remarkable success.
Malik Al Nasir, who won a prestigious ESRC scholarship, is a third-year PhD history student at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. Malik's extraordinary accomplishments include receiving the esteemed 'Sydney Smith Memorial Prize' for 'outstanding achievement' at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, as well as The Vice Chancellor's Award for 'Global Impact.'