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What’s Inside...? ISSN No. 1751-1909 Blackbright News Magazine Registered Office Studio 57 LU2 0QG Tel: 01582 721 605 email: blackbrightnews@gmail.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

- What Makes a Black Man cry (A Poem) - Editorial - Does the Gun Entice us to Kill? - What Statement are you making? - Beautifully Black (A Poem) - Charlotte Ray - 1st Judge

Founder & Managing Editor Myrna Loy Logo Design: Flo Alowaja Photos taken from Google Images Graphic Design: M Loy For previous issues go to: www.issuu.com/blackbrightnews

- Do we have what it takes to be Social Justice Leaders?

- Do-s & Don’ts Motivating Your Child

Printed by Mixam (UK)

DO YOU LIKE BLACKBRIGHT NEWS? Would you like to suscribe, donate or sponsor the publication? email: blackbrightnews@gmail.com

- FAQ about Black History

-The Soul of a Race

www.facebook.com/blackbrightnews

- Letter to the Editor


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He tried to contain the evidence of his woe Because he didn’t want his loved ones to know It’s hard playing tough and living lie, And that’s what makes a black man cry. What makes a black man cry..? He cries for the men who feel they have to pretend; He hopes his tears will bring it all to an end; The disappointment and disempowerment is seen on his face When his mother and father Hold their heads down in disgrace. When the salt in your tears permeates your lips, Remember the new moon always precedes an eclipse; Trauma and regret will say it’s goodbye... So my vulnerable black man It’s ok to cry!

Seeing how easy it is for his son to die. When trying desperately to preserve what’s left of his life; His relationships breakdown and so does his wife. Constantly robbed of his self-esteem... Lack of an achievable vision destroys his dream.

by Myrna Loy ©

What makes a black man cry? Getting caught up in a situation he found hard to resist Regretting his choices and the opportunities he’s missed. Displaying a front that says I’m the the big ‘I am’ So that his ‘brothers’ will think that he is ‘The Man’... But he’s been found out, and is feeling ostracised, Because as a result of his stupidity, Someone has died. 4


EDITORIAL The gun was [apparently] invented to promote peace by discouraging violence (i.e. as in war), but isn’t that contradictory? Or does it mean that black men who are in possession of a gun believe it will discourage violence? Is the gun then used merely to discourage, deter, threaten an opponent, with no real intent to fire it? If so, the holder of the gun is tempting fate, because rather than discouraging violence – it ironically, sends the message: ‘I am violent and I will stop at nothing’. The opponent will feel challenged, and depending on his/her mindset, the outcome is uncertain. Therefore, if you have two individuals who have a gun with the sole intent of discouraging each other and protecting themselves, one of them is bound to accept the challenge, test the threat and react (i.e. pull the trigger).

When the Europeans murdered and lynched our black ancestors, they probably felt justified, because at the time, they believed black people were less than animals. According to Wikipedia, “the concept of justifiable homicide in criminal law stands on the dividing line between an excuse, justification and an exculpation.” Historically, black men were humiliated in front of their wives, made to feel useless and then taken away so they were unable to fulfil their manly duties. Disappointed wives were forced to fend for themselves and the family. Centuries later, are we stillin the same position?

Whether the purpose of having a gun is for self defense or offence, guns have a long history. Firearms were developed in the 1300s, evolving from the gunpowder used in firecrackers invented by the Chinese in the 7th Century. It was a European (allegedly a German Monk} who had the idea of propelling projectile with gunpowder, and so between the 13th century and the present day, there have been several modifications

The aspiring and successful black men who were born and still live in the UK, are few. Many black men in the UK who are high earners and have something to offer their family tend to cross over, the remainder feel deprived because of their economic circumstances, so find it difficult to provide for the family - so many disillusioned black women are left to fend for themselves and their family yet again. The lack of encouraging factors in today’s society fuels fear and uncertainty; victimisation, unfair policies, poor employment prospects fuels desperation, anger and frustration, which then fuels violent crime. When I try to understand why people maim or kill, I ask myself, what was the mindset of the person who invented the gun that our youths are using so much today? If the gun was invented to kill, then the person who created the concept of the gun was a premediated murderer, knowing that fear and the basic instinct to self-preserve would prompt people with access to guns, to use them. I believe that black people use guns for one of three reasons 1) to defend themselves, their family and their ‘honour’ 2) fear of the unknown and, 3) reaction/instinct.

NEED SOMEONE TO PLAY AT A WAKE OR A FUNERAL? Lady Loy (THE DJ FOR ALL OCCASIONS) 44+ (0) 7957 540 899 (Painting by Ellis Wilson, Mogul)

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and upgrades to the gun, such that now, with the aid of technology and masterminds, guns have become very sleek and sophisticated. What started off as a harmless firecracker for festivities in China, has been evolved into a bullet weapon for firing; a small cannon, transformed into the gun. I believe our minds are built to create, not destroy, but subliminal messages in media and film is said to be the reason why so many young people have found themselves in violent situations or defending violent crime.

What Statement are you making?

John Puckle invented the first defence gun in 1718, and could anticipate that in the wrong hands it would have disastrous consequences, because the reptilian brain is designed so that if humans feel threatened, the mind will send out an alert to protect itself from attack - perceived or real, in an orchestrated environment the reptilian brain will provoke a reaction to ‘self-defend’, so that those carrying a gun will feel inclined to shoot and will feel justified in doing so.

Bedfordshire Police continues to call for the public to support the fight against gun crime with the message: ‘Bedfordshire Police is making a statement about gun crime – are you? If you want action, make your words count’. The message is supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner and Luton Borough Council as part of a much wider range of enforcement, reassurance and community cohesion activity going on in the town. It is designed to provoke people with information about incidents, where firearms or violence have been used, to put pen to paper and make a statement.

A Judge may argue that by virtue of having a loaded gun, the individual intended to kill, but how does he determine whether to pass a judgement of murder, self-defence or manslaughter when the nature of the mindset at the time is not known? Whatever the verdict, there is no rationalisation for violent crime! Guns increase the risk of premature death So don’t carry them!

“Since the murder of Paul Foster in April 2013 Luton has witnessed an unusual and worrying increase in gun related and violent crime,” said Chief Superintendent Mark Turner. “That is now being addressed and brought under control but with further help from the public we can ensure an even safer Luton for everyone. “We continue to ask Luton residents to be brave and make statements that will help us bring people to justice. We understand that putting yourself forward in this way could cause concern but we want to reassure people, it might be as simple as a confidential conversation but if it is concerns for yourself or family then talk to us about it, we have measures we can put in place to address these fears and anxieties,” he added. Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins said: “The conviction of Kyle Beckford earlier this year showed the value of the public passing on information. Without key pieces of evidence, that result may not have been possible.”

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A £2000 reward is still on offer from Bedfordshire Police and Crimestoppers, to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction for gun crime. Anyone with information relating firearms offences can contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on 101, or text information to 07786 200011. Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

BEAUTIFULLY BLACK by Syandene It is not The incomparable blessedness of the race deposed inside the feminine principle The pouring into melanated skin was sourced out of one and not two imbalanced worlds colliding to craft Nyabinghi spirits’ mutation into a higher astral altitude of consciousness So it is not overall a nose fashioned by the Bantu carver’s skilled hand a proud nose etched into impudent expression

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The pelvic swing that deliciously flips the ample, toned, buttocks into Calypsonic motion or the ripple of taut muscle


underneath bold frame with sexual prowess supposedly written into its genetical assembly that makes us It is this perversive inaccuracy of the Beautifully Black this attempted liquidation of the supernatural Black shack through Africa’s internal narrative that allows us to prepare for these attacks

But a journey through Oludamare’s fundamental testament to the legitimate being of the original seed to the original tongue the original Eve all rolled into one Testament to the starseed smiles creating our shine sub-Saharan frames dressed, kissed and shaped by Sun-Ra

Because they say we are peculiar when we send the negativity back though The Nile valley roads built upon intellectual algorithmic incision crafted iridescent souls ingeniously bold filtered into structured moulds producing warriors fashioned by Kemetic precision

To the numerological, philosophical, and metaphysical skills we breathe into the foundations quantisation and solidification of the embodiment of man gifted from the source And in this discourse Ashanti, Zulu, Masai, Dogon, Nubia, Owambo we are Crystals, diamonds, pearls, Black gold we are Hidden cosmic codes that help us to reload we are but most of all we are BEAUTIFULLY BLACK

Not the video hoe’s they call ‘creative pro’s who beg you to stop look and listen not the artfully pre-packed burdens strapped to our backs filled with woes we must embrace to placate suspended freedom

BEAUTIFULLY BLACK BEAUTIFULLY BLACK Syandene.

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The 1st Black Judge By Victor Trammell The moral and legal responsibility of an attorney at law is beyond average. The practitioners of law must have exceptional reading skills, writing prowess, exceptional comprehension ability, and great oratory skills. Today’s article in our month-long Your Black History tribute tells the story of a black woman who rose to prominence shortly after the abolition of slavery in America. The following story chronicles Charlotte E. Ray, the first black woman ever in America to become an attorney. Charlotte E. Ray (pictured) was born in New York City on January 13, 1850. She had two sisters and four brothers. Her father, Charles Bennett Ray was a pastor and well-known abolitionist. He was also an editor of an anti-slavery newspaper called The Coloured American. Charlotte’s father played an important role in her life and always stressed the importance of education to his children. The educational options for young black children in the late 19th century were few and far between. Charlotte began her academic career at the Institution for the Education of Coloured Youth in Washington D.C. After her graduation, she took a job at a Howard University prep school. While working as a teacher, Charlotte also registered with the law department of Howard University. After her years of study in Howard’s pre-law program, she was admitted into Howard University’s School of Law. Charlotte Ray was also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society. In 1872, Ray graduated from Howard University Law School and was admitted to Washington D.C. Bar Association. In the same year, she started her own practice specializing in commercial law. The

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most prominent case she took part in was Galdey vs. Galdey. In this court case (which was argued before the Washington D.C. Supreme Court) Ray successfully defended an uneducated woman who was trying to divorce her abusive husband.

Paul Bogle and his brother Moses led the historic march in passive resistance to injustice and oppression. on 11 October 1865, from Stoney Gut (St Thomas) to Spanish Town (Jamaica) and back, resulting in the 1865 Revolt, and then another march to the Morant Bay Court House.

Charlotte E. Ray eventually discontinued her practice and moved to Brooklyn, New York. Back in her home state, Ray went back to what she started her career doing; teaching. Despite the discrimination leveled at her gender and ethnic group, Ray served as a great example of what a strong black woman really is.

Senator John Hanson (d. c. 1856) was the 19th century Liberian Senator from Grand Bassa County who championed the relocation of slaves et al to Liberia. It has been argued for and against that President Hanson was the 3rd President of the United States in Congress (see Final Call article in this edition).

The strength of a black woman lies not only in what she has survived. Her strength also lies in what she achieves in the face of adversity. The story of Charlotte E. Ray is an ultimate example of true strength and triumph. It is fair to say that she laid the foundation for women like our nation’s First Lady. May the legacy of Charlotte E. Ray live vicariously through the current and next generation of black women in America

Samuel Sharpe, was a slave who fought for freedom by organising a general strike in Jamaica. He was born in Jamaica in 1801. When he was 31 years old Sharpe organised a Rebellion in the mistaken belief that emancipation had already been granted by the British Parliament. The rebellion which started on December 1831 was timed to have maximum impact. Just one week after his death, Parliament appointed a committee to consider ways of ending slavery

Source: blackbluedog

Some Leaders in Black History

Marcus Mosiah Garvey born in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica on 17 August 1887. is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest freedom fighters ever, as he amassed a legion of loyal followers world-wide with just a newspaper. “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots!” Garvey once warned.

Jupiter Hammon (1711-1806) was a black poet who in 1761 became the first African-American writer to be published in the present-day United States. Additional poems and sermons were also published. Born into slavery, Hammon was never emancipated. He is considered one of the founders of African American literature. Thomas L Jennings (1791-1856): was an African-American tradesman and abolitionist. He was a free black who operated a dry-cleaning business in New York City, New York, and was the first African American to be granted a patent.

Nanny of the Maroons (Ashanti Origin) was the spiritual and military leader of her people. She did not participate in the fightings herself but was the military strategist. It was said that she was so clever at guerrilla warfare that her strategies surprised and confused the English soldiers who went into the mountains after the Maroons.

Judge Macon Bolling Allen (1816 –1894): was the first African American licensed to practice law in the United States. Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1831-1895): became the first black female doctor in the United States.

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(Information extracted from Wikipedia, WEB Dubois Institute, The Eagle, uspresidents.com and the Internet)


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BLACK HISTORY MONTH 1. Why was Black History Month established and what is its aim? Black History Month’s purpose is nicely encapsulated in these words spoken by the former London Mayor Ken Livingstone; “In order to enrich the cultural diversity of the Greater London area, it is imperative that Londoners know more about African influences on medieval and renaissance European music so that accepted ideas about European music is changed. Despite the significant role that Africa and its Diaspora have played in the world civilization since the beginning of time, Africa’s contribution has been omitted or distorted in most history books.” 2. When was Black History Month set up in the UK and by whom? Akyaaba Addai Sebbo is widely regarded as the person who set up Black History Month in the UK. Addai worked with Ken Livingstone at the Greater London Council (GLC) as co-ordinator of Special Projects. The first event was held on 1st October 1987, when the GLC hosted Dr Maulana Karenga from the US, to mark the contributions of Black people throughout history. Addai then drew up a plan to recognise the contributions of African, Asian and Caribbean people to the economic, cultural and political life in London and the UK. Since 1987 as part of African Jubilee Year, other boroughs began to formally institute this as Black History Month in the UK. 3. What form do events take and where are they held? Initiatives take place across the UK with voluntary groups, local authorities, primary care trusts, museums and libraries often taking a lead in planning events. All projects use the skills and experiences of the local workforce and community in the planning and delivery. Smaller groups do equally good work on limited budgets, e.g. running supplementary schools, which incorporate history, or incorporating the Black History Month theme into existing events. There is always a rich programme of events: storytelling, historical walks, theatrical productions, comedy and panel debates are a few examples, but all have history as an integral part of their purpose. Some employers, especially local authorities, can earmark specific budgets that groups can apply for at the beginning of each financial year. Other councils pick up and absorb publicity or venue hire costs in some cases. 11


4. If Black History Month derives from the US, why and when was it set up there?

August - November and are often referred to as Black Heritage Season

Carter G Woodson initiated the Negro History Week in 1926, which then became Black History Month. He chose February because the birthdays of the two influential figures - Abraham Lincoln, US President and Frederick Douglas - who he believed to have impacted on the conditions of the “Negro” fell in February.

6 Who celebrates Black History Month? Black History Month is open to participation by everyone and is ideally developed, delivered and managed as an educational and historical awareness experience by Black people – African, Asian and Caribbean heritage – and should be shared by everyone as world history.

The late African-American writer, John Hernik Clarke wrote: ‘If we are to change tomorrow, we are going to have to look back with some courage, and warm our hands on the revolutionary fires of those who came before us.’ This quote was a catalyst for Addai’s plans at the GLC in 1987.

7 Who runs Black History Month – is one official body behind it? There is no one official body behind Black History Month. However, leading political figures like Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, still put on some of the biggest events and have set a standard while also providing support for other bodies to do the same.

5 What are the dates for Black History Month and why October? Black History Month runs throughout the month of October.

8 Why do Black people need a history month?

There has long been concern about the experience of black children in the UK, and this was a key factor in setting October as the Black History Month. It is at the beginning of a new academic year and can instil pride and identity into young black learners.

In an ideal world, the month would not be necessary, because educational establishments and the national curriculum would fully recognise and appreciate the contribution of black people throughout history. Sadly that is not the case.

October is also a period of tolerance and reconciliation in African culture. Black history is therefore a reconnection with the African source, hence the Black History Month symbol of Sankofa – learning from the past – with the benefit of hindsight.

The Black community uses this history month as an opportunity to share with the world its vast contributions: a time to demonstrate pride in its creativity, respect for its intellectual prowess and a celebration of its cultural identity which is far too often misrepresented, when it is not being ignored, in the mainstream.

There are more events run outside of this period from

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9 Why is there a Black History Month magazine, where can I get it? There are four magazines (including Black-Bright News) in existence these are available free from libraries across the UK. See also http://www.black-history-month.co.uk . We also have our own version (Black History 365)which is linked to the website and published with Smart Publications the award winning newspaper Black History 365 comes out twice a year. 10 Black History Month recognised by the government? Black History Month is recognised by the government and many MPs get involved in hosting and chairing events and speaking at launches, but the new Tory Liberal coalitions position is yet to be fully confirmed. Nevertheless, there’s always value in asking your local politicians to support your initiatives. 11 How has BHM grown? BHM events at time of writing August 2011 has grown to nearly 4,700 events across the UK .

Source: www.black-history-month.co.uk

Positive Roots Consultancy is a

Family Welfare/Support organisation that seeks to empower individuals & communities to lead a healthy and violence free lifestyle both in the UK and abroad. The staff team at Positive Roots Consultancy Ltd comprises of criminologists, social workers, probation officers, parenting practitioners, youth workers, psychotherapists and life coaches. We are specialists in addressing issues relating to all forms of abuse including parent to teen violence, domestic violence, sexual exploitation/ sexualised behaviour & child protection concerns. Our services also extend to working with offenders & those at risk of offending. Positive Roots provide these services to parents/carers, children/young people & all health, social & criminal justice professionals working with children & families. www.positiverootsconsultancy.co.uk 07591 165870

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W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) writer, scholar, founder of NAACP Medgar Evers (1925–1963) NAACP official Louis Farrakhan (1933–) Minister, National Representative of the Nation of Islam Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948) activist, writer, philosopher, inspiration Jesse Jackson (1941–) clergyman, activist, politician Coretta Scott King (1927–2006) SCLC leader, activist Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968) SCLC co-founder/president, activist, author, speaker, inspiration James Madison (1751–1836) introduced and lobbied for the U.S. Bill of Rights Nelson Mandela (1918–) South African statesman, leading figure in anti-apartheid movement Charles Morgan, Jr. (1930–2009) attorney, established principle of “one man, one vote” Rosa Parks (1913–2005) NAACP official, activist, Montgomery Bus Boycott inspiration Fred Shuttlesworth (1922–2011) clergyman, activist, SCLC co-founder, initiated Birmingham Movement Desmond Tutu (1931–) South African anti-apartheid organizer, advocate, inspiration Ida B. Wells (1862–1931) journalist, women’s suffrage/voting rights activist Malcolm X (1925–1965) author, activist

DO WE HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE LEADERS? “Leadership is the professed desire and commitment to serve others by subordinating personal interests to the needs of those being led through effectively demonstrating the character, experience, humility, wisdom and discernment necessary to create the trust & influence to cause the right things, to happen for the right reasons, at the right times.”

Should our children to be led by injustice, or should we be preparing them to advocate for social justice?

So much has been accomplished by civil rights activists throughout history because of individuals who cared enough to change what was wrong with the world and the way their people were being treated - from World War II to the Non-Violent Million Man March in 1963 March.

Should we have a day set aside (similar to the Inauguration Day in the United States) to listen to moral leaders, motivational speakers, poets, activists, and selected members of the clergy?

The non-violent protest movement helped revolutionise federal reforms, including the Civil Rights Act (1964) which outlawed segregation and required equal employment opportunity for people of all races, and the Voting Rights Act (1965) which prohibited all forms of discrimination at the polls.

If we are to create a generation of leaders – what qualities would they need, and how can we encourage young people develop the qualities necessary? Civil Rights has to do with the rights of individuals, in particular, the rights that protect individuals from undemocratic or unfair government actions, for example, ‘Stop and Search’, which is currently similar to the ‘Stop & Frisk’ in America which according to CNN news is now deemed to be a breach of constitutional rights.

As potential Civil Rights Leaders, what injustices would you like to change today through a unified peace movement? Killing of innocent blacks? Stop and Search? Low ceiling in the police force? Create a higher ceiling in Government Positions? Barriers to academia?

Civil rights includes individual rights to equal protection and service, privacy, thought, expression, speech, assembly, travel and movement, worship, the right to vote, and the right to freely share ideas and opinions through all forms of communication and media - rights that many of us in the UK now enjoy. So what injustices do we feel strongly about today, that could propel us to take action like the leaders who protected our rights, a few of which, are listed below? James Baldwin (1924–1987) essayist, novelist, public speaker, SNCC activist Stokely Carmichael (1941–1998) SNCC and Black Panther activist Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) abolitionist, women’s rights, writer, organizer

You decide...

There is no Perfect Leader; Only the Right Leader for a Given Situation

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Job Description SOCIAL JUSTICE LEADER

DOS AND DON’TS When attempting to motivate your child:

SKILLS NEEDED:

Open lines of communication with your child’s teacher by fostering an honest relationship.

Ability to organise A Team Leader Ability to acknowledge others efforts Ability to break down barriers Confidence to challenge bureaucracy Ability to bridge positional and philosophical gaps Ability to motivate and inspire Ability to focus on short-term objectives without losing sight of long-term value Ability to empower large groups Ability to accept diverse ideas and concepts

Keep ongoing contact with your child’s teacher, getting updates about strengths/weaknesses, through email, phone conversations or face to face interactions. Help your child see how gaining an education will help them in the “big picture” Create a home environment conducive to learning including developing a routine, having a quiet time for homework and being involved as a parent.

COMPETENCIES: Courage, character, humility, vision, wisdom, integrity, empathy, persistence, compassion, assertiveness, discernment, commitment, confidence, a bias to action, the ability to resolve conflict, a willingness to serve, determination, creativity, self-discipline, love of humankind, loyalty, outstanding decision making ability, engaging and also have the ability to engage, authentic, transparent, a strategic thinker, passionate, a positive attitude, intelligence, great communication skills, common sense, generosity, the ability to identify and develop great talent, someone who creates a certainty of execution, attention to detail, faith, an active listener, a prolific learner, respect for others, innovative, excellent tactical capability, charisma, creativity, innovativeness, extreme focus and a high risk tolerance.

Encourage your child to get involved in extra-curricular activities. Involve your child in service-learning opportunities from an early age. Make your child feel as though they have control in their success. Positively reinforce for academics, more so than athletic efforts. Take genuine interest in the activities that your child enjoys and help teachers get on the same page so interventions can be developed.

Note: No single leader can possess every needed attribute stated above – therefore, it is not the traits you possess, but how you demonstrate what you can do with them that matters!

Have realistic expectations for your child but encourage them to challenge themselves academically.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Help them build high self-esteem and confidence in their identities.

Knowledge of civil rights Knowledge of human rights Knowledge of welfare rights Knowledge of legal rights Knowledge of Employment rights

What to avoid if you have a child who doesn’t seem motivated:

REQUIREMENTS:

Don’t dismiss the possibility that your child’s lack of motivation could be due to a learning disorder.

The successful candidate will be able to: Demonstrate knowledge of key facts of the Civil Rights Movement; Create career development plans for their own future lives as leaders for social justice; Inspire greatness in others; Contribute to a culture of leadership (the above article and Job Description was inspired by a combination of information from Wikipedia and an adapted article written by Mike Myatt, Contributor for Forbes Magazine).

Don’t assume that it’s just a phase or believing that they can correct this problem on their own. Don’t too much pressure on your child which will increase stress.

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Don’t blame your child’s school or teacher for your child’s underachievement, it is important to work as a team in the best interest of your child.


The

of the Race out African history fought to solidify so it would be impossible for me to do this article justice without seizing the opportunity to elucidate upon why Carter.G.Woodson makes our history extremely relevant, especially in our present day world.

If you can control a man’s thinking, you don’t have to worry about his actions.If you can determine what a man thinks you do not have to worry about what he will do. If you can make a man believe he is inferior, you don’t have to compel him to seek an inferior status, he will do so without being told and if you can make a man believe that he is justly an outcast, you don’t have to order him to the backdoor, he will go to the back door on his own and if there is no back door, the very nature of the man will demand that you build one. Carter. G. Woodson Dec 19. 1857- April 3rd 1950 The outstanding Black Historian Carter. G. Woodson was under no illusion regarding the state of the Black race when he penned his famous quote, for history shows that it is a nation’s interpretation of their collective worth that enables inclusion into society as a whole. Black history is more relevant today than it has ever been. To justify this belief we can produce many pertinent examples that will leave us swelling with pride, though there must also be justification for how we encapsulate the creation of our history before its constructive utilisation. We must adopt a way of being that affords us constitutional leverage as a race of peoples which in turn will allow us to reform our mindsets in relation to our history and progression as a people. This is what Carter.G.Woodson and many other brilliant African revolutionaries through16

When Carter. G. Woodson fashioned the fundamental cultural tenets of Negro History Week, which was later to become Black History Month he could not have envisaged the energy with which this vehicle of racial self-love would move. Born to former enslaved Africans his ecumenical passion educationally far outweighed his family’s limited economical access to schooling for him. Driven to explore the fascinating educational arena that through unfortunate circumstance seemed provisionally unreachable, the eager Carter. G.Woodson; self taught, mastered common elementary subjects by the age of 17. The stage now set, Carter would go on to secure work as a miner to establish his academic portfolio. Carter began to carve out a remarkable academic CV. Principal; of Douglas High School which he attended in Fayette County in 1900. Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College in Kentucky in 1903. Awarded a M.A (Master of Arts) and a B.A (Bachelor of Arts) from the University of Chicago in 1908, completing his PhD in History at Harvard university in 1912, where only second to W.E.B Dubois, he earned his Doctorate, later to become a professor at Howard University where he would serve as Dean of the College of Art and Sciences. It is this triumphal scholastic hadj; encouraged by the ne-


damentally at a grass roots level their achievements should remind us that we were once kings, queens, high priests and priestesses. To embrace these achievements is to reclaim our true abilities and real place of worth historically. To not embrace these truly outstanding accomplishments as unfortunately so many of us do daily, is to feed into an inaccurate concept of who we truly are. There will always be arguments for and against the level of assimilation we yield in order to fit into a predominant culture though assimilation should never take us away from a homogenous sense of being. Historically,. there are many of us in the race that lack the proclivity to create real change because of our cultural miseducation to come together as one people, and there can never be true durability without some level of vulnerability. Our ancestors did not make voluminous sacrifices for us to conduct ourselves in a lack-luster way non conducive to forward movement. The saddening spectre of no real global socio-economically or politically grounded structure to call our own, could suggest that there is a greater percentage of disunity, lack of durability and heightened vulnerability surrounding us.

cessity to extract himself from poor beginnings controlled by a then, nationally racist socio-economic and political agenda formulated by the white elite of the time that motivated Carter.G.Woodson to further explore the underlying reasons for the exclusion and subsequent misrepresentation of his own race in African and African-American history through several noted publications. ‘The Education of the Negro prior to 1861’ .’ A century of Negro Migration’ and’ the journal of Negro History’ being a tiny percentage of his unending exposé upon the advancement of the Black race. Later forming the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. His final appointment was as Dean of West Virginia State University from 1920-22. Carter’s instrumental role in our continued appreciation of our history as Black people cannot be overlooked. He would later write to the chairman of Washington’s branch of the NAACP documenting his frustrations with their lack of proactivity [‘I am not afraid of being sued by white businessman. In fact I should welcome such a lawsuit. It would do the cause much good. Let us banish fear. We have been in this mental state for three centuries. I am a radical. I am ready to act, if I can find brave men to help me’] When we magnify this individual achievement, it becomes clear that the ability to achieve and embrace purpose historically, in terms of a sense of who we are as a race of people, must come from a deeper grasp of our contribution to history, and so Black History is more relevant today than it has ever been, because of academic, socio-economic and political systems that still try to write us out of the annals of history. When a Black life becomes little more than the representation of a law enforcement sharp shooter’s bullet holes on a rifle range score card, or a defunct piece of legislation that gives us limited rights with regards to public and personal movement, but then constructs counter legislation to restrict our movements based on the Blackness of one’s skin tone, it is time to educate ourselves, elevate ourselves and love ourselves. Carter. G. Woodson and many other scholastic greats within the Black freedom movement were fearless in their advancement for a united elevated race so that we might live unshackled from oppression. Fun-

When I read continually of the historic achievements of my race; when in my daily walk I interact with accomplished, spiritually and culturally elevated brothers and sisters who are fully aware of our achievements as a race and seek to disseminate their knowledge with a view to strengthening all of us, I say that as a race we have achieved much historically, lost muc, but also accomplished much! As the great Marcus Mosiah Garvey once said: “God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement” This is ‘The Soul Of the Race’. Syandene..

“Read Every Day... ...Lead a Better Life” 17


Maybe those within the hierarchy of Luton Borough Council, the Bedfordshire Police, or other statutory bodies who are notified, because they can lend credibility to policies being pursued by this organisation, but as far as I know, there has not been an open door policy to these community-related meetings since October 2012, which makes me feel, as a supporter of my community, quite isolated and excluded. I am not sure if you know, but a conference to tackle gun crime in Luton, was proposed back in October 2012, a date was scheduled for February 2013, then delayed until June. It was eventually replaced with the ‘ACSP Away Day’ which took place in July 2013, with a follow-up conference re-scheduled for September 2013.

Can we achieve Inclusiveness within the Development of the African Caribbean Community?

I can’t help feeling discouraged by the process, because outside of this conference, feedback to the AfricanCaribbean Community or update of events has been announced nor, as far as I am aware, planned! The Away Day in July was not open to the general African Caribbean Community so was attended by a variety of specifically invited parties.

by Metatron Dear Editor,

I do hope you publish this letter, as I feel my sentiments reflect many and need to be shared.

Personally, I think herein lies the reason for the resignation and antipathy felt within the African Caribbean Community in Luton – we have no real leadership! The community having answered a call to action, is now left to feel that the call was made by a group of people who lack sustainability and purpose, which forces me to question: “What is their Agenda, if not to vehemently address violent crime that is affecting young adults?

In a spirit of cohesion, a few months, African Caribbean’s in the Luton Community came together to share their concerns regarding gang-related activities affecting African Caribbean young men and women. I was gladdened by the sense of a shared concern that was stirred by these violent incidents, and the urgent determination to make some difference made me feel optimistic. However, several months down the line, as part of the African Caribbean Community, and that forum, we have not received any feedback or update. Disheartened, I sense the initial passion and energy has lost its zeal.

The hopes and wishes of the African Caribbean’s in the Luton Community needs to be nurtured and embraced, but it is not too late for the community to regain control of the legacy of concern for their children and community. We must rally to the call and commit to greater and more proactive involvement in our own affairs. As a community we need to care enough to become politically active, be fight our corner and see the battle through with selfless action!

As a delegate at the African Caribbean Strategic Partnership, a lack of sustaining enthusiasm was one of my main concerns, especially when following a meeting in January 2013, the next meeting was not convened for three months later. In between the time of the first collaborative meeting, and the most recent Away Day held on 24 July 2013, we (or at least I) had not been updated with a progress report, nor had I received any information about any positive developments, which has left me feeling disappointed - where was the follow-through required by good leaders? Did the community leaders not value the emotional capital invested by numerous contributors at the various community meetings enough to give them feedback? A review of the developments following on from the initial catalyst indicated that whilst there has been progress towards the establishment of a permanent organisation that can focus on social issues, those involved in the development of that organisation had not informed participants, which leads me to believe that they have divorced themselves from the community that mobilised and demonstrated their support. I say this having not been kept informed of any developments, nor, as far asI know, have my colleagues.

Luton’s Black Community must demand accountability from the community leaders (self-endorsed, selected, interim or otherwise), who should be serving their supporters and community members. To renew faith in our community leaders, those in positions of responsibility must be required to communicate and report back (at least to the conference delegates), with regard to the progress that has been made towards the achievement of the goals subscribed during the various meetings.

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Unless the African Caribbean Community rallies together to hold Community Leaders to account, we will continue to be ill-served by those who are are appointed to Community Development positions by the governmental department that employs them, but do not have the commitment and drive to see the vision for social justice through! (Letter submitted by Metatron, 8/2013)


The life of Olaudah Equiano, the African in 1789, which became the single most important literary contribution to the campaign for abolition. Courtney Pine is one of Britain’s best known and most innovative jazz saxophonists. His debut album, Journey to the Urge Within released in 1987 was the first serious jazz album ever to make the Top 40, and established Pine as the leading figure in the British jazz scene, and an inspiration to many young musicians, black and white. .

TOP BLACK BRITS Mary Seacole a skilful nurse and ‘doctress’ from Kingston, Jamaica, made her mark on British public life when she went to the Crimea by her own efforts to bring comfort to the wounded and dying soldiers, after her offers to help were rejected by the government. In 1855 she opened her British Hotel, and the British army soon knew of ‘Mother Seacole’. Wilfred Wood Born in Barbados in 1936, Wood came to London in 1962 and served as a curate. Being struck by the harsh conditions that black immigrants had to undergo and by the problems of the inner city, Wood maintained an active interest in race relations and social justice in London. O.A. Lyseight Founding Father of the New Testament Church of God England & Wales. Dr. Oliver Lyseight arrived in the United Kingdom in 1953 and being a devoted Christian. Today, the New Testament Church of God stands proud with over 107 branches, 12 missions and over 10,000 members with a further 20,000 adherents. Mary Prince, one of the first black writers to be published in Britain, shocked readers with her account of the horrors of slavery that served as a protest and rallying cry for emancipation that provoked two libel actions and ran into three editions in the year of its publication. After escaping from her owner in 1828, it is thought that Mary remained in England. Her story is an important contribution to early black writing, offering a glimpse into the lives of enslaved men and women whose life stories cannot be traced.

Sir Bill Morris Born in Jamaica in 1938, Sir Bill Morris was until recently General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union. His leadership of the TGWU has seen several high profile battles; in October 1999 he challenged the Ford Company over racism at its Dagenham plant, saying that the company was sitting on a tinderbox. Most recently he was awarded with a knighthood and is heading an inquiry into the treatment of ethnic minority police officers in London, an inquiry he says is vital to restoring public confidence in the Metropolitan Police. Sir Trevor McDonald Born in Trinidad in 1939, Trevor worked in various aspects of the media including local newspapers, radio and television. He’s served as news, sports and diplomatic correspondent before moving on to become diplomatic editor and newscaster. In 1992 he received an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List, and received a knighthood in 1999. . Bernie Grant Labour MP Bernie Grant was one of the most charismatic black political leaders of modern times. His death on 8 April 2000 marked almost four decades campaigning for racial justice and minority rights. 1st black head of a local authority in Britain, and was responsible for the well-being of a quarter of a million people, many of them Black and ethnic minorities. Professor Stuart Hall was born in Kingston, Jamaica and was educated in Jamaica and at Merton College, Oxford (Rhodes Scholar). He is currently emeritus at The Open University and Visiting Professor, Goldsmith College, Milton Keynes, he was Research Fellow and then Director of the Centre for tural Studies, Questions of Cultural Identity, Representation and Visual Culture: NOTE: Dr Tony Sewell, PhD (photo above) Founder of Generating Genius, will be featured in the next edition.

Olaudah Equiano was the first political leader of Britain’s black community. He worked closely with Granville Sharpe and Thomas Clarkson in the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, often speaking at public meetings describing the cruelty of the slave trade. He published his autobiography, 19 Source: Afrikanlife.com


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