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The Knowledge with David Elikwu

David Elikwu



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26: Identity and masculinity in the black community with JJ Bola

• 54 min

David speaks with JJ Bola, a published poet and author, on how he went from being a good writer to a published author, as well as his experiences grappling with a multinational identity, his views on social justice and masculinity within the black community and how all of these topics influence him to write. This is the first episode of a 2-part series! JJ Bola is a Congo-borne accomplished poet and author, having released 3 poetry collections (Elevate, Daughter of the Sun, and WORD) and 2 novels (No Place to Call Home, Mask Off) in the last 5 years. His latest novel, The Selfless Act of Breathing (2021), tackling themes such as mental health, police brutality, and the power of love, is out later this year! Connect with JJ Bola: Twitter/Instagram: @JJ_Bola Show notes: JJ Bola discusses his career progressions as a writer and poet The importance of consistency in writing Structuring hobbies outside a 9-to-5 The influence of environment and identity in writing The levels of identity in first and second-generation immigrant children, and its impacts on personal philosophy and allegiance Impacts of foreign political struggles on identity, and the importance of empathy amidst confusion The hierarchy of the black community in British society Social justice and how it affects communities The sexualisation of successful black men, and how it affects masculinity Reclamation of identity and humanity (reclaiming the N-word, buying back land) Archetype personalities and black masculine stereotypes Impacts of materialism and capitalism on black stereotypes About David: David Elikwu FRSA is a serial-entrepreneur, operator and strategist who traded corporate law for tech. He now helps startups to scale. David previously founded Baba’s Flight Club, and is currently building Democratic Republic, a sustainable coffee and wine company. David writes weekly about learning more and living better in The Knowledge newsletter, and speaks regularly on The Knowledge podcast, Travel n Turn up podcast, and The Knowledge: Office Hours. Twitter: @Delikwu / @DemRepWorld Website:, Newsletter: Podcast:, The Knowledge: Welcome to The Knowledge, hosted by David Elikwu. David is on a journey of learning more and living better and sharing everything he discovers along the way. As a writer, tinkerer, and serial entrepreneur, David unpacks wisdom from elite performers and everyday people, highlighting everything you need to know to navigate the world around you. Newsletter: Podcast: Support this podcast at —

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