Hip Hop & Hymns, a memoir of loving hard, falling apart and fighting back

Double J and ABC News music and pop culture reporter Mawunyo Gbogbo is the author of Hip Hop & Hymns.

Mawunyo was born in Ghana, raised in Muswellbrook in the NSW Hunter Valley, and now calls Sydney home.

She has worked as a journalist for ABC NewsRadio, a features reporter and producer for ABC Radio Sydney, a segment producer for the Today show on the Nine Network and an associate producer for Insight on SBS TV, where she won a UN Media Peace Award.

Hip Hop & Hymns is the story of a church-going African Australian girl growing up in the sleepy mining town of Muswellbrook, NSW.

At home, her parents fight all the time, and sibling rivalry runs deep. At primary school, Black Is Beautiful until a racist bully dares to tell her otherwise, but at high school, she falls in love with two things that will alter the course of her adult life, the seductive thrill of hip hop music and charismatic bad boy Tyce Carrington.

When Mawunyo’s offered a chance to further her budding media career in New York City at the Bible of hip hop, The Source magazine, she throws herself headlong into the city’s heady buzz and hustle – but even as it lures her in, it threatens to derail her dreams.

Hip Hop & Hymns is a tussle between the search for belonging and ultimately accepting who you are, and a clear-eyed, heartfelt story about daring greatly and what it can mean to be Black in Australia.

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