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Safiya Sinclair

Changes with Annie Macmanus

06-11-2023 • 41 mins

Born in Jamaica to a father who belonged to the 'strictest and most radical sect of Rastafari', Safiya Sinclair was made to wear dreadlocks and subjugated from a young age. She was forbidden from climbing trees, riding a bike, wearing trousers, and told her virtue was in her silence and submission. Rastas were ostracised in Jamaica and Safiya’s dreadlocks came to define her. In her isolation, Safiya’s only refuge was when her mum introduced her to literature and poetry, which changed the trajectory of her life.


Now a writer and Associate Professor of creative writing at Arizona University, Safiya has written an astonishing memoir ‘How To Say Babylon’. Already tipped to be one of the books of the year, Safiya shines a light on the female experience of this particular sect of Rastafarianism, juxtaposing her harrowing experiences with the use of luscious and beautiful prose. The writer Marlon James said of How To Say Babylon; “ To read it is to believe that words can save.”


Here, in a truly captivating conversation, Safiya talks Annie through her changes.


You can find out more about Safiya and the 'How To Say Babylon' and buy a copy here: https://safiyasinclair.com/home-how-to-say-babylon


Changes is a deaf friendly podcast, transcripts can be accessed here: https://www.anniemacmanus.com/changes


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