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Chidera Eggerue accuses another author of copying her book

By December 14, 2020Culture, News

Chidera Eggerue, founder of the ‘Saggy Boobs Matter’ hashtag, has accused a fellow writer, Florence Given, of copying her book.

Eggerue, also known as The Slumflower, had compared pages from her own book, How to get over a boy, with some from Given’s debut, Women don’t owe you pretty, on Instagram.

Eggerue said: “When can black women just have things without white people copying?”

The author had initially provided a quote for the cover of Given’s book, referring to the illustrator as “an absolute powerhouse” but insisted she had never given permission to copy the content of style of her own book.

Both influencers have gained large followings on social media, particularly Instagram, for their views on body positivity, self love, challenging norms, and feminism. They also cover issues such as toxicity in relationships, all kinds of privilege, and the male gaze.

According to Eggerue, the similarities are not coincidental, and she points to the release dates of each book: Eggerue’s debut book What a time to be alone was released in 2018, while Given’s How to get over a boy came out in February 2020 following a deal made in 2019.

Chidera Eggerue and Florence Given

Eggerue pressed the fact she was not encouraging her followers to pile negativity on Given, but that she wanted to express how this was just another time when a black woman’s work has been adopted and used by white people for their own gain.

“Black women continue to pave the way, set the trends and set the pace,” she said. “If you feel a sense of passion from this story, I want you to use this opportunity to think about and observe the ways that, especially in the publishing industry, black women rarely receive our flowers and when white people repeat what we say, or gentrify our sentiments, they receive the praise, they’re referred to as ground-breaking and extraordinary. This is exactly how white supremacy works.

“It’s unfortunate that there are many black great people out there whose work we will never come to know because, by the time they’re ideas even reach the surface, a white person gentrified it, hogged the mic and made the narrative all about them.”

As if it wasn’t already a bit of a kick in the teeth for the author, if you search for ‘Chidera Eggerue book’ in Google Shopping, it offers Given’s book first. We at Reading Addicts also checked this and it did the same for us (see picture below).

Given’s book is placed before Eggerue’s despite searching ‘Chidera Eggerue book’.

Eggerue also shared the “Acknowledgements” page in Given’s book, where the Eggerue and other black women, Munroe Bergdorf and Renni Eddo-Lodge, are mentioned and thanked.

Given wrote: “I want to acknowledge that the sections in this book on my understanding of prettiness, desirability, privilege, unconscious bias and systems of oppression didn’t just fall into my head. I had to listen and I had to learn, predominantly from black women. My understanding of these topics would not have been possible without the work of the following women, who I am dedicating this book to.”

Eggerue’s videos finish with her saying she believes it would be best if Florence given gives a “significant amount” of proceeds from her book to black charities, and has emphasised that she does not think Florence Given is a “bad person”.

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