Nigrescence is the breakthrough debut collection of poems by northern poet Abdullah Adekola. The word ‘nigrescence’ means to develop a racial identity which Adekola unpicks through language that tugs and pulls through his own blackness, searching for ways to heal in a increasingly fractured world. In this bold debut, Abdullah balances forgiveness with boundaries, family life with individual identity and reminds us of the depth of learning from across generations and the gentleness to be found in falling and picking oneself up again.
‘Adekola’s voice refuses to settle in a simple picture of identity that is palatable or transferable. The multiplicity of selves that speak in his poems reflect but also create a myriad of ways to be Muslim, to be Black, to just be. There is a powerful undercurrent of hope throughout this that leaves you with the sense that despite it all, people have always and will continue, to persevere.’
– Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan
Abdullah Adekola is a writer and performer, based in Leeds, UK. He was selected for the New Creatives North talent development program by Arts council England and BBC Arts. A proud Black and British and working-class artist, he believes you should tell your story or risk being ignored or misrepresented. Adekola is interested in decolonisation, creative wellbeing, social justice, mental health recovery, and healthy masculinities. He tries to be playful, curious, and kind. Adekola is a board member of the David Oluwale Memorial Association.