Keisha Da Sket author delivers powerful annual lecture.

Jade LB discussed language, black womanhood, black British culture and disrupting the canon as a teenager at the University's Centre for Equity and Inclusion's annual lecture.

Date: 14 February 2023

Jade LB took the stage in London Met's Henry Thomas Lecture Theatre on Thursday to share the inside story of how she created early noughties viral sensation 'Keisha Da Sket'. The event, hosted by the Centre for Equity and Inclusion, drew a captivated audience of students, staff, and community members, as well as local leaders and stakeholders.

Jade was only 13 when she began anonymously releasing episodic chapters of the now immortalised coming of age story 'Keisha Da Sket'. Since then, the story has become a modern staple of Black British culture, legendary for pioneering both online serialisation and viral content. In 2021, the story was published as a book for the first time by South London rapper Stormzy's publishing house, Merky Books in 2021.

Now ready to share her identity, and the inspiration behind her story, Jade's lecture explored topics such as language, black womanhood, black British culture and disrupting the canon as a teenager. Jade also discussed how literary works created by black British people, for black British people, can play a huge part in the transfer of power and influence in literature.

Speaking after the lecture, Jade LB said: “I was so happy to speak at this year’s annual lecture about Keisha The Sket, my personal story, and decolonising literature. London Met has shown through their education for social justice framework, and the race equity strategy that they truly endeavour to have a staff and student body who are better acquainted with decolonisation. They also endeavour to provide education that liberates individual potential. I find these values to be very poignant, I can see how important these values are, and I think that I have something to add this ongoing conversation.”

Committed to equity and inclusion

London Met has long led the HE sector in its approach to social justice and accessibility. As one of the most inclusive and progressive universities in England, London Met plays an important role in helping to drive social mobility. As a leading higher education institute with regards to social inclusion, 97% of London Met’s student population comes from at least one underrepresented group, and many are the first in their family to attend university.

In 2020, London Met took this commitment further, founding the Centre for Equity and Inclusion to ensure access and inclusion remained at the heart of the University’s activities. Also in 2020, the University launched the Decolonising Met Working Group, responsible for driving positive change and dismantling colonial practices within London Met’s curricula and institution. Since then the University has provided a platform for similar workstreams, utilising research into race bias, and hosting lectures on racism and discrimination in mental health services.

Inclusive Communities Manager of London Met’s Centre for Equity and Inclusion, Adwoa Darko said: “It was great to host Jade here at London Met. Her work holds a unique and significant place in the modern British canon, serving to powerfully portray Black Britishness in a medium where stories from these backgrounds are notoriously underrepresented.

“At London Met, we’re wholly committed to working with our students, staff and wider communities to maintain momentum in the decoloniality and democratisation of industries, art forms and areas of culture where minoritised people have historically been excluded.”

Tammika Chambers, Vice President for Education at the Student Union said: “The Annual Lecture at London Met’s Centre for Diversity and Inclusion offers the student community a welcome opportunity to celebrate another 12 months of hard work on securing fair outcomes for us students. Jade’s lecture was inspirational. It was fascinating to see how Keisha The Sket was written, and how it can be re-interpreted in today’s culture. Lectures like these should be used as inspirational and educational tools to help reach marginalised communities, and inspire generations of writers from all backgrounds and communities"

Jade LB, London Met academic mentor and author

The Centre for Equity and Inclusion's annual lecture provides an opportunity for the University to celebrate its focus on inclusive practices which create conditions that give students and staff the opportunity to unlock their full potential whilst building a cohesive and harmonious community united by the pursuit of excellence in social justice.