Summer House: Voices of Afrori
Exhibition Preview: Friday 16 December 2022, 6.00 – 8.00pm
Voices of Afrori is a project by Afrori Books (Carolynn Bain) that aims to support the stories of everyday black women in Brighton and ensure that their stories enter the history archives. For many years the stories of black people have been lost in history and this is magnified when it comes to black women. This exhibition, featuring portraits by photographer Theo Mettle, is an opportunity to gather the stories of some of the black women of Brighton and give them a platform to tell their story. These are the stories that give us a tiny window into what it is like to be a black woman living in Brighton. Some are stories of joy, some of triumph, some of pain, some of trauma. Many will show how our lives are intertwined and how we have stood on the shoulders of each other. But they are stories that we all need to hear. These stories will give us an idea of the work that has been done and inspire us all to keep doing more and keep building.
Carolynn Bain is an award-winning businesswoman, entrepreneur, and event manager. Her heart to see diversity in a city she loves dearly, and to change the narrative for so many black and brown children led her to create the award-winning bookshop Afrori Books in 2020, a store that specialises in books by black authors. Hoping to curate a short list of books by black authors in the summer of 2020, Carolynn created the Afrori Books website. Fast forward to present day, Afrori Books is the UK’s largest supplier of books by black authors, Brighton’s first black-owned bookshop, and (most importantly) a hub and safe haven for black and brown people in East Sussex. Carolynn has featured as a pioneer on news channels like Sky, ITV, and the BBC, as well as creating Brighton’s first Anti-Racist Kids Club (ARK), which she will be delivering to multiple schools across Sussex this academic year and several book clubs (including a men’s book club).
She is currently preparing to speak to a parliamentary committee about diversity in books, and regularly speaks to corporations and organisations about the importance of diversity and equality in books and education.