THE NATIONAL GUIDE TO BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2013 www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk
ASPIRATION AND SOCIAL MOBILITY SINCE THE
Healing in the
Celebrating Difference With a worldwide reputation for academic excellence, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has always been home to great thinkers and open minds. Our 8,600 students come from 145 different countries. But did you know that we’re also home to more than 3000 full and part-time staff and occasional staff, of more than 118 nationalities, with opportunities in everything from academia to research and to support roles? As well as an unwavering commitment to diversity and equality in the workplace, we’re passionate about your ongoing professional development. We’ll also make sure that you’re well rewarded for your work, with travel loans, a defined benefit pension scheme and an on-site nursery. If you’d like to find out more, browse an up-to-theminute list of all opportunities or register for job alerts, please visit our jobs page at www.lse.ac.uk/jobsatLSE.
We value diversity and wish to promote equality at all levels.
FOREWORD Nick Clegg Deputy Prime Minister ............ 8 Prime Minister David Cameron ................ 9 PROFILE Day in the life of... Helen Grant MP......... 12 FEATURES The Tenacity of a Mother......................... 15 Britain’s First Black Police woman ......... 17 Day of the Windrush ............................... 18 Caribbean Women & the NHS ................ 21 The Freedom to Fight ............................. 26 Art In Africa ............................................ 29 Sketching…with pen ............................... 30 There’s Healing in the Arts ...................... 38 Black Oxford .......................................... 43
Published by Barbara Campbell and Ian Thomas Email: Barbara@blackhistorymonth.org.uk email@example.com
Hands Up Who Wants to be a Top Boy?.... 58 Classically Trained ..................................... 61
FASHION Accessories by Abike ............................ 54
EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE Born with Gifted Hands .............................. 41 Heading in the Right Direction ................... 44 US First Anchor Woman............................. 46
THOSE WHO PAVED THE WAY... Sports: Giving the First Kickâ€Ś .............. 56 Black American actors........................... 60
TRIBUTE John Archer ................................................ 25 John Lewis ................................................. 34 Dr John Anthony Roberts QC..................... 37
SPORTS A Blue Plaque for Laurie........................ 57
BUSINESS One Hand Cant Clap.................................. 48 YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS What Glitters Really is Gold ....................... 50 EDITORIAL OFFICE London SW11 1BN Tel: 0207 207 2734 ADVERTISING AND SALES Tel: 0161 312 3501
ARTS Film/Theatre .......................................... 64 Music ..................................................... 72 Literature ............................................... 76 Edutainment .......................................... 78
Editor: Barbara Campbell
Acknowledgement and Special Thanks:
Sub Editors Avril Nanton, Karen Morris Wendy Golding
Advertisers, printers and supporters of this annual publication and the chap around the corner and to Joi Kandace and Mr P.
Writer / Contributors Belinda Raye, Uche Nnoka Roderick Steele
Design Xandy Daehnhardt
No material in this publication may be used without permission from the publisher
A word from the Editor
am proud to be editor of the first issue of Black History Month Magazine the official national Listings magazine 2013. This year’s Black History Month is a celebration of the aspirations and social mobility of passengers on the Windrush who arrived here from the West Indies in 1948, and will be an acknowledgement and celebration of diversity and the richness it brings to our society. We reflect on, and introduce some extraordinary people, from the first black Mayor of London - celebrating his 100th anniversary to meeting the likes of Joshua, just eight years old who is already “practising” to become a surgeon. This magazine was created because black history was not in the text books I grew up with, or studied at school, so telling the personal stories of people of African and Caribbean descent has been overlooked. Initially BHM was seen just as a month that gave everyone the opportunity to take part in cultural events such as drumming, tie-dying, watching cultural dances or making crafts. It’s so much more. This season is about discovering hidden
histories, empowering through knowledge and encouraging those to come. As well as identifying people who have paved the way, in this special edition we are looking towards the future of those who are coming up behind us. And the future is… technology! Once a hard-copy magazine, this year, being our anniversary, sees Black Heritage Today creating a digital magazine that can be downloaded from all corners of the globe. We sincerely hope you enjoy this 2013 issue. Sixty five years on from the Windrush story, we highlight a variety of facts not widely known, including ‘The Tenacity of a Mother' giving an overview of a someone who fought for 20 years for justice after her son was fatally wounded. Also read about the US's first female black anchor who did not pull up the ladder after her and who continues to encourage those wishing to get into the media. For a full listing of all the events please see official listings website: www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk
Barbara Campbell Editor and CEO Winner: Black 100+ Black Achievers Award Winner: Hidden Creative Economy Award (HiCrEc) Winner: International Woman of Excellence Award Winner: Gathering of Africa’s Best Award Winner: GWINN Award Winner: EFBWBO Award
Be blessed and highly favoured.
Black Cultural Archives is opening the first Heritage Centre dedicated to Black heritage in the UK. We will move to our new home in Windrush Square, Brixton in 2014.
and dedicated education room offer a range of workshops, talks and events for adults, young people and families, there is truly something for everyone.
The Black Cultural Archives is the largest archive collection dedicated to Black heritage in the UK. Our growing archive collection includes periodicals, ephemera, journals, object and a unique library of rare books. We have materials dating back to the 18th century, with a wealth of materials from past decades to present day.
“This is a massive undertaking for a small community organisation moving forward on to a national scale, yet keeping a local base here in Brixton. We have had the unending support of our funders, volunteers, Trustees and Patrons working hard behind the scenes on Black Cultural Archives’ behalf.” Dawn Hall, Black Cultural Archives Chair of Board of Trustees
Immerse yourself in the collection and make discoveries such as the popular 1950s Black magazine The Drum and Flamingo, stunning photographs capturing life in the 1970s including work from Neil Kenlock; and newspapers articles documenting the uprisings of the 1980s. With the guidance of our archivists you can unlock the histories of people who have made important contributions throughout history. Join the conversation and discover more through our programme of exhibitions and events that bring the collection to life. Our gallery space
Discover more about Black heritage in the Britain. Black Cultural Archives will open its door in 2014. Join our mailing list at bcaheritage.org.uk for more information. Follow us Twitter @bcaheritage (https://twitter.com/bcaheritage) Facebook bcaheritgae (https://www.facebook.com/bcaheritage)
NICK CLEGG Deputy Prime Minister
lack History Month reminds us that remembering the past is about more than just memorising important dates and facts. It’s about recognising and understanding the kaleidoscopic mix of people, events and inﬂuences that have shaped the country we live in and make us who we are. Over the last 26 years, Black History Month has helped to inform and educate men, women and children across Britain, highlighng and celebrang the powerful contribuon of African and Caribbean people in every area of Brish society, across centuries of our history. Black History Month is built around the belief that people who are aware of their roots and the achievements of their ancestors – with stories passed from generaon to generaon – can look to their future with ambion and conﬁdence. Importantly, it is also a reacon to the fact that historians in decades past have failed to acknowledge Black historical ﬁgures. But it’s not just the impact of more well-known African and Caribbean people on Britain’s history that we recognise throughout this month, like the abolionists Olaudah Equiano and Mary Prince, Victorian Crimea War nurse Mary Seacole and composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, as well as Claudia
Jones who brought us the Nong Hill Carnival, Jazzie B who revoluonised the Brish music scene, Arthur Wharton and Viv Anderson who achieved signiﬁcant ‘ﬁrsts’ in football, Benjamin Zephaniah the celebrated poet and Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Floella Benjamin. It’s also those ordinary people, who – in their every day lives – connue to do extraordinary things to ensure a beer life for their families and their local communies. This includes the Windrush generaon. Sixty ﬁve years ago, this pioneering group of men and women arrived at Tilbury Docks with lile more than a suitcase in their hand. Yet, ever since, the transformave and remarkable eﬀect they’ve had on Brish business, polics, culture, arts, sport and elsewhere, is clear to see. For all of us, whatever our background, this is our history. This is Britain’s history. And I want to wish everyone – across the UK – involved in organising or aending events throughout October an enjoyable and successful Black History Month. * Nick Clegg is the Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, and MP for Sheﬃeld Hallam
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'm delighted to be supporng Black History Month again this year. And I want to thank all those who are working so hard to organise the many events and celebraons that are taking place. This month is a great opportunity for us all to pay tribute to the tremendous contribuon that generaons of Black and Minority Ethnic people have made to our country. And I think it's really important that we recognise the eďŹ€orts and achievements of so many who have helped to make our country the vibrant, tolerant and diverse society that it is today. But it's also a moment to celebrate the values we all share whatever our background or culture. The togetherness that makes
such a strength of our diversity and that gives us the uniqueness of our Brish identy. That spirit of togetherness is vital as we get to grips with our broken economy and seek to build the Big Society. So I hope this month can be a me not just to reďŹ‚ect on what we can learn from the past - but also to focus on how together we can shape our future. A me for each and every one of us to ask what more we can do to help each other and work for the common good. I wish you all a great month. David Cameron, Prime Minister
- not to be missed AWARDS & CELEBRATION Fri 11 Oct THE YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK AWARDS (YGAB) Established in 2003 this annual event attracts over a thousand people. The ceremony celebrates the academic achievements of pupils from African/Caribbean heritage from secondary schools and colleges in North East London. Under5 goes free. Venue: Walthamstow Assembly Hall, Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 4JA. Travel: Walthamstow Underground Station (Victoria Line) and Walthamstow Central (Main Line). Time: 7pm 10pm. Adm: £8. Info: 075383 56 683 (Skype)
EDUTAINMENT (Talks / Debates /Seminars) Mon 21 Oct HOW TO BRAINWASH THE YOUTH AND MAKE THEM ACT LIKE FOOLS! An in-your-face seminar with a black history perspective, for young people to develop critical thinking to look at how you may be conditioned by Hollywood movies, music videos, computer games and advertising to act dumb and love it! Are you brainwashed? A thought-provoking and interactive seminar. Venue: Lift, 45 White Lion Street, London N1 9PW. 5:30pm. Adm: Free just turn up! Thurs 24 Oct LOOK HOW FAR WE’VE COME… EXPLORING AFRICAN BRITISH HISTORIES The inter-generational audio-visual presentation by history consultant Kwaku, he focuses on and beyond his work in progress in order to highlight a narrative which maps out and hints at the length and breadth of more than a millennium of African British histories. Includes a Q&A session to encourage audience engagement. Light refreshments provided. Venue: Westminster Central Library, 35 Saint Martin’s Street, London, WC2H 7HP. Travel: King’s Cross Station (Metropolitan, Northern Line).Time: 6.30pm – 9pm. Adm: Free. Info: 0207 641 6200. Fri 1 Nov BLACK HISTORY’S FUTURE: BRINGING DIVERSITY TO EDUCATION AND CELEBRATION This conference seeks to bring together experts, educators, statutory representatives and the wider community to move forward and ensure that mainstream education and celebrations are fairly representative of the diverse communities that contribute to our history and the society. Venue: 200a Pentonville Road, London N1. 2pm. Adm: Booking: is essential Info: firstname.lastname@example.org 10
It’s TIME TO SHINE
Factor-style gospel talent search Time2Shine launched its third season on OHTV Sky Channel 199 in early September and it blew minds away! Fronted by former Blue Peter presenter and radio host Diane Louise Jordan, Time2Shine sees aspiring talent from London, Manchester and Birmingham battle it out to win a prize worth £100,000, which includes a record deal and £10,000 cash. Founded in 2011 by pioneering entrepreneur Mercy B, who is also an acclaimed gospel talent, Time2Shine’s popularity and production values have since grown rapidly. The Wise Woman Award nominee, who has been recognised for her business acumen, wanted to ‘expose the true talent
LITERATURE (Reading / Poetry) Thurs 24 Oct GHOST POET He laughs when he remembers how Gilles Peterson “took a risk on a random maverick” back in 2010 by signing him to the Radio 1 DJ’s Brownswood imprint. But Obaro Ejimiwe, aka Ghostpoet has a reputation of making music that drip feeds simultaneously upbeat and lo-fi sounds of longing and dubstep. He has a voice that was made possible through the very digital platforms that define his generation. Venue: Hackney Empire (Main House), 291 Mare Street, London E8 1EJ.Travel: (overhead train available). 7.30pm. Adm: £15£19. Info: 0208 985 2424.
CONFERENCE Fri 1 Nov BLACK HISTORY’S FUTURE: BRINGING DIVERSITY TO EDUCATION AND CELEBRATION How do we reach a place where people’s histories are not marginalised, so there will be no need for Black History Month, or other special events that seek to promote equality? What is the future of the role of equality events such as Black History Month? And how do we ensure that diversity is integrated in mainstream education and celebrations all year round? Venue: 200a Pentonville Road, London N1
in churches’ and to ‘create a platform from which they can pursue their career without having to compromise their faith’. Finalists are selected by a judging panel featuring Mercy B; veteran music artist manager Robbie Ringwood, comedian and entertainment entrepreneur Angie Le Mar; renowned musician Mark Beswick, and MOBO Award winner Guvna B. The family show was aired on OHTV Sky Channel 199 every Sunday from 7.30pm to
Booking: is essential. 2pm email email@example.com
EXIBITION Thurs 24 Oct INTERGENERATIONAL ORAL HISTORY EXHIBITION This exhibition is the culmination of an intergenerational oral history creative writing project that brought together primary school pupils and older people at Age UK Islington’s Drovers Centre. In a series of workshops, local elders from Black African and Caribbean backgrounds shared their memories, stories and cultural heritage with the children, who have interpreted the oral histories in fantastic pieces of art work and creative writing. The pupils work will be on display in this special exhibition at John Barnes Library until 21st November. The exhibition will be opened by the Mayor of Islington with a special presentation ceremony, awarding the pupils for their work. Venue: John Barnes Library, 275 Camden Rd N7 OJN. 6pm Adm: Free: Just turn up!
WORKSHOP Wed 23 Oct LYRICS AND HISTORY The power of lyrical expression to raise awareness and voice your history! This is an interactive workshop for you to work with an experienced rapper and compose your own lyrics or spoken word
8.30pm, with repeats shown on Saturdays at 6.30pm and Mondays at 7pm, followed by Time2Shine Extra, co-presented by Richard Blackwood. Some may have missed the show but the competition winner will be chosen by the public via text during a live final to be held at London’s IndigO2 arena on Sunday 13th October. For more info visit: http://www.time2shine.tv/
about Black British history and what it means for you and society today. This takes inspiration from renowned musical artists who have used their craft to inspire people about Black history, and learn about the struggle for equal rights for Black people in Britain, with a particular focus on the Bristol Bus Boycott, which marks its 50th anniversary this year. Learn, be inspired, create and perform your on piece. Venue: Lift, 45 White Lion Street, London N1 9PW. 5:30pm. Adm: Free, Just turn up! Fri 25 Oct HISTORY VS YOURSTORY: ROUTES 2 SUCCESS Discuss the different routes to success with R2S role models and identify the first steps you need to take down your path! Through quizzes, inspirational speeches and an interactive workshop you will discover the successes of great black men from the past and present. The ‘Positive Self Image’ workshop will allow you to reflect on your own strengths and how to make the best of them!R2S is a national role model programme connecting young Black males(11- 25yrs) with successful Black men. Venue: Lift, 45 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PW. 5:30pm Adm: Free: Just turn up! Info: 0207 832 5832 / Janine@bteg.co.uk For the full events menu visit: www.blackheritagetodayUk.com
Day in the life of...
HELEN GRANT MP Born to an English mother and a Nigerian father Helen Grant became the first black woman to be selected to defend a Conservative seat and her election made her the Conservatives' first black female MP. She tells us of her current role, how her childhood and career as a solicitor shaped her and what a typical day supporting victims and witnesses of crime is like.
o one day is the same working as a Minister, but I’m normally up very early, around 6am. If I have media interviews for programmes like BBC Breakfast or Daybreak, I have to set my alarm for before 5am. As Vicms’ Minister, my role is to do all
I can to help and support vicms of crime. I can’t do this without understanding the experiences people have had of the criminal jusce system. So geng out and about meeng individual vicms and their families and hearing their harrowing stories is an essenal part of my job. Over the last few months I have met many brave individuals and families. Vicms of fatal domesc abuse and rape, a Brish man who was traﬃcked for forced labour, and families of those who have lost loved ones in road traﬃc incidents. I’ve also met the women and men who support these vicms when they are most in need, and I know how much those that receive this support value it. Throughout my life I have seen, worked for, and protected vicms, whether as a child at my mother’s women’s refuge that she set up for vulnerable women in Carlisle or as a domesc abuse family lawyer. I’ve experienced some poignant moments during my me both as a family solicitor for 23 years and as Vicms’ Minister. When I was a praccing solicitor, a woman turned up on my doorstep one Christmas Eve with broken ribs and a black eye, three children and just two carrier bags of clothes to her name. She urgently needed an injuncon order to protect her and her children from further violence and abuse. Thankfully I was able to help her. It is that insight of what vicms goes through day in, day out that has made me determined to give them a louder, clearer voice as they make their way through the criminal jusce system which can oen be frightening and confusing. The Criminal Jusce system must work as hard as possible to deliver jusce for these individuals and help them recover and move on with their lives. To help vicms navigate their way through the jusce system, I will soon publish a new Vicms’ Code. This will clearly tell vicms what they are entled to, who should be helping them and how, and who to demand help from if they’re not geng it. I was brought up by three very strong women; my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I was born in Kingsbury, London, but moved to the Raﬄes council estate in Carlisle for the early part of my childhood. I was one of the few black children in my area and did
experience a certain amount of prejudice for my Nigerian heritage, but my childhood was very supporve and happy. I didn’t have much growing up, but what I did have was a tremendous amount of unquesonable love. I was raised to have a good work ethic and, thanks to the inﬂuence of the three
“I developed a strong sense of what was right and what was wrong. It is this sense of fighting for injustice which made me want to become a lawyer and ultimately a Member of Parliament” women who raised me, I developed a strong sense of what was right and what was wrong. It is this sense of ﬁghng for injusce which made me want to become a lawyer and ulmately a Member of Parliament. When I was younger, my dream was to be an Olympic athlete, not a polician! My move into polics happened around 2005 when I got to a stage in my life where I felt I had achieved all the goals I wanted to. My husband was the one who suggested polics. I joined the party and applied to become a candidate. People oen ask me what it’s like to be a black woman in Parliament. Whilst it is true that I am the ﬁrst black Conservave MP and Minister, I don’t think that my gender or ethnicity should maer. However, more does need to be done to increase diversity in Parliament. Currently 22.3% of MPs are women, up from 19.5% in April 2010. We are working with polical pares and the House of Commons to encourage pares to provide
greater transparency over candidate selecon. Whilst the number of women aending Cabinet remains at ﬁve, the number of female ministers has increased from 13 to 23 since 2010. Posive steps are being made and I remain hopeful that with the right iniaves, Parliament will connue to become more representave of the communies it serves over the coming years. The main challenges I face are juggling and balancing my career and family life. You have to work very hard to succeed in anything and I enjoy enormously being a wife and mother. It’s that balance of making sure you get everything done professionally to the best of your ability, and looking aer your base, making sure you are there with your children and a partner to your husband. I try to make me in the evenings and in my rare free moments at the weekends for my husband and children. These days I usually get home late as the evening vote is at 7pm but can be as late as 10pm. By the me I’ve gone through my Ministerial box, which has my papers for the next day and policy documents that I need to make decisions on, there’s normally only me to watch a bit of TV and then go to bed. I love my job as Vicms’ Minister – it’s tough but rewarding to meet people who have been aﬀected by crime, but have come through the other side with the help and support they deserve.”
Some of the posive changes Helen has made for vicms include: • The funding of new rape support centres around the country – we now fund 77 • Tesng pre-trial cross examinaon which will let vulnerable vicms be crossexamined ahead of the trial and without an audience to let them get support quicker so they can move on with their lives. • The new Vicms’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove who will hold government to account. • A new witness protecon scheme for witness whose lives are at risk.
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YOUR JOURNEY IS OUR PASSION
Tenacity of a
Mother She fought with dignity. There was no shouting, or tantrums, just the quiet determination of a mother who had lost her child in such a cruel manner. Black History Month salutes the tenacity of a mother who simply wanted to see justice done.
young married woman of Jamaican birth, Doreen Lawrence, was like any other mother when she gave birth in 1974 to her ﬁrst child Stephen. He was joined later by siblings Stuart and Georgina.
They were prey much an average, hardworking, strong, family unit living in Britain. The family’s life changed irrevocably when Stephen, aged just 18, was murdered in an unprovoked aack while waing for a bus to take him home aer vising family friends. This tragedy was what turned a quiet, humble woman who was studying for her degree, into a reless campaigner who spent years ﬁghng for jusce for her son. In 1999 with the help of the media, and with the support of many in the polical realm, Jack Straw then Home Secretary announced a public inquiry to look into the police’s invesgaon techniques and their mind-set. The inquiry was chaired by Sir William Macpherson with a basic premise to ﬁnd out why the police’ handling of the case was so ﬂawed and full of inconsistencies.
Doreen, her family and supporters, with the help of constant haranguing and endless hours of campaigning, had been promised by Jack Straw, a public inquiry which would review police procedure. As soon as Labour came into power, the promise was fulﬁlled. The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry published in February 1999, became an all-encompassing invesgaon which looked at every facet of police work while invesgang crimes involving ethnic minories. Another area that was looked at was the appalling rao of white police compared with other ethnic groups. The inquiry, which revealed instuonal racism, was a damning indictment on the Metropolitan Police Service. 70 recommendaons, mainly addressing police atudes concerning other ethnic groups, were made. The issue was the immediate need to raise the number of police from minority 15
ethnic groups. The government pledged that they would raise the amount from 2,500 to 8,000 by 1999, but sadly, according to a review of the second anniversary of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, only 155 new minority police were recruited. Although 261 were recruited the following year aer the inquiry report, police forces failed to recruit a single Asian or black person to their respecve teams. A survey carried out soon aer the inquiry showed that only 3% of the public felt that the police were sll inherently racist. Since 1991 according to the Instute of Race Relaons, at least 96 people have been killed where racial hatred and ignorance has been seen as a possible move. At least 15 of these cases remain unsolved. One shocking revelaon that has recently emerged is that the Met had tried to smear the Lawrence family by making accusaons against Stephen’s family and friends. In 1996 three young men were charged in a private prosecuon brought by the Lawrence family in a misguided aempt to receive some jusce. Unfortunately there was not enough evidence to proceed with the case and so the judge had to acquit them. Even though there was not enough evidence, the three men, along with two further men, were idenﬁed as prime suspects by the Macpherson Inquiry. At that me, if someone was charged with a crime and found not guilty, they could not be recharged at a later date, even if there was new evidence concerning the case. A prosecuon would have been barred under the old common law principle known as autrefois acquit, more commonly referred to as the rule against double jeopardy. Macpherson recommended that the “double jeopardy” rule should be looked at and possibly rescinded, and so the law - which had been in place for around 800 years - was changed in the Criminal Jusce Act 2003, on the advice of the government’s law reform advisors. The result was that you could be tried twice for the same crime if new evidence became apparent. That legislaon says the court of appeal must order a re-trial 16
Doreen’s campaigning has and will continue to change, the United Kingdom for the better. if there is new and compelling evidence and it is in the interests of jusce for an order to be made. The new law was brought into force in 2005 and used successfully the following year in a case where an acquied murderer had subsequently confessed.
The abolion of the "double jeopardy rule" eventually led to the convicon of Gary Dobson and David Norris for Stephen's murder, at the Old Bailey in January 2012. It had taken almost 20 years but both were sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 17 years. The Macpherson report made 70 recommendaons – 67 of which had led to speciﬁc changes in pracce of the law within two years of its publicaon. They included the introducon of detailed targets for the recruitment, retenon and promoon of black and Asian oﬃcers. The creaon of the Independent Police Complaints Commission had the power to appoint its own invesgators. During the early years of the campaign, Doreen founded The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, a charity organisaon to promote a posive community legacy in her son's name with the Trust giving mentoring and bursaries to young people to help further their educaon. Based in Dep ord since 1998, the Trust gives guidance and direcon, helping youths to follow their dreams. Doreen’s campaigning has and will connue, to change, the United Kingdom for the beer. On August 2013, in recognion of her unwavering work whilst campaigning for jusce and law changes, she was elevated to be a Life Peer and will be in the House of Lords as a Labour Peer and will be inducted into the House of Lords in October 2013 and known as Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, of Clarendon in the Commonwealth Realm of Jamaica. For twenty years Baroness Lawrence pursued her quest with support from a lot of the Brish public, both black and non-black. Unbelievable as it may seem, when it was announced that she was to be a peer Baroness Lawrence received some negave comments from the black community. This mother's need was simply to see jusce for her child. Not everyone will understand the unfailing love between a mother and her child but most people would want a society where race should not be reason to be disadvantaged. By Roderick Steele
Britain’s First BLACK POLICE WOMAN I n 1968, Sislin Fay Allen, a nurse at Croydon’s Queens Hospital, changed direction and became Britain’s first Black police woman. She was flicking through a newspaper when she saw an advert for male and female police officers to which she replied. At the time there were no black female officers so the mum-of-two sat down and wrote an application. Within a few weeks Sislin had made it to the interview stage. She shocked her husband and family when she was accepted. “On the selection day there were so many people. The hall was filled with young men, there were ten women and I was the only Black person.” After taking a set of exams and a stringent medical, Sislin Allen was told she had passed and would start work at Croydon’s Fell Road Police Station. “I can remember one friend said, `Oh they wouldn’t accept you, they don’t accept Black people in the force’, and so I said “Well my dear, I’ve got news for you’ and I showed her the letter.” The first day on the beat in Croydon was daunting for Sislin, but it wasn’t too bad because she went out with a fellow officer. “People were curious to see a Black woman there in uniform walking up and down, but I had no problem at all, not even from the public. On the day I joined I nearly broke a leg trying to run away from reporters. I realised then that I was a history maker. But I didn’t set out to make history; I just wanted a change of direction.” The first prejudices Sislin encountered came from her own community, for joining the police force. She said “Many of us, as you well know, have some sort of perception of the police that isn’t all that good. I was asked how I could leave nursing and join the police force. It was like joining something degrading.” After training Sislin was stationed in
She became Britain’s first black WPC, joining the Metropolitan Police in 1968. Croydon so she could be close to her family. Describing her first day on duty as daunting, Sislin says her patrol was met with a mixture of stares and people coming up to congratulate her. “After a while the stares soon passed,” she added. “My colleagues were very accepting - in Croydon really and truly. I didn’t have any problems there. I just did my work and after about a year I was posted to Scotland Yard.” Sislin worked in the Yard’s missing persons bureau for a while before she was transferred to Norbury police station. Her appointment as the Met’s first black female police officer prompted some hate mail, but while her bosses told her of the letters, she was never
shown them. “They gave me the good ones,” Sislin added. “They never, ever gave me the bad ones. They told me about them but they never showed me because they thought it would distress me and maybe they thought I would resign.” Sislin left the Metropolitan Police because of family commitments, returning to her husband’s birth country of Jamaica with their children. She joined the Jamaican police force. Some time after this she returned to the UK with her family and settled in south London. Sislin Fay Allen served from 1968 – 1972. The first “Woman Detective Constable” was appointed in 1973. 17
Day of the WINDRUSH For the Windrush passengers who made their life in Britain, the journey to Tilbury Docks was just the beginning.
he SS Empire Windrush, which sailed from the Caribbean in 1948, is commonly associated in modern British consciousness with the recruitment of muchneeded labour for London Transport and the National Health Service, while at the same time solving unemployment problems in the sunny islands of the Caribbean. The Empire Windrush’s voyage from the Caribbean to Tilbury took place in 1948. Many of the migrants intended to stay in Britain. The plan was ‘five years’ than ‘back home”. During the Second World War, thousands of Caribbean men and women had been recruited to serve in the armed forces. When the Windrush stopped in Jamaica to pick up servicemen who were on leave from their units, many decided to make the trip in order to rejoin the RAF. More adventurous spirits, mostly young men, who had heard about the voyage and simply fancied coming to see ‘the mother country’. June 22nd 1948, the day that the Windrush discharged its passengers at Tilbury, has become an important landmark in the history of modern Britain; and the image of the Caribbean’s exiting the boat via the gangplank has come to symbolise many of the changes 18
which have taken place here. Caribbean migrants have become a vital part of British society and, in the process, transformed important aspects of British life. In 1948, Britain was just beginning to
By the start of the seventies, West Indians were a familiar and established part of the British population, and they had achieved more than mere survival. recover from the ravages of war. Housing was a huge problem and stayed that way for the next two decades. There was plenty of work, but the Caribbean’s first clashed with the natives over the issue of accommodation. But alongside the conflicts and the discrimination, another process was taking place. Excluded from much of the social and
economic life around them, they began to adjust the institutions they brought with them - the churches, and a co-operative method of saving called the ‘pardner’ system. At the same time, Caribbean’s began to participate in institutions to which they did have access: trade unions, local councils, and professional and staff associations. By the start of the seventies, West Indians were a familiar and established part of the British population, and they had achieved more than mere survival. One indication of their effect on British life is the Notting Hill Carnival. the carnival took place in the same streets where West Indians had been attacked and pursued by baying crowds, but it began as a celebration, a joyous all-inclusive testimony to the pleasure of being alive. As it developed, it became clear that here was a British festival where everyone was welcome, and everyone who wished to had a part to play. Throughout the seventies, the children of the first wave of post-war Caribbean migrants began to develop a ‘black culture’ which is now part of a black British style shared by Africans, Asians and white young people alike. The people of the Windrush, their children and grandchildren have played a vital role in
creating a new concept of what it means to be British. To be British in the present day implies a person who might have their origins in Africa, the Caribbean, China, India, Greece, Turkey or anywhere else in the spectrum of nations. The now-familiar debate about identity and citizenship was sparked off when the first Caribbeans stepped off the Windrush. Alongside that debate came the development of arguments about the regions within the United Kingdom - Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The British national self-image has been thoroughly remodelled in a very short time. Seen against the deadly agonies associated with ethnic conflicts in other European
countries, Britain offers the example of a nation, which can live comfortably with a new and inclusive concept of citizenship. In a sense the journey of the Windrush has never ended. John Cllr Pauline Gibson in an interactive
discussion entitled Gateway To The Empire Windrush Tue 22 Oct., looks at the Black Communities that lived in England prior to the Windrush in 1948. Reflecting on the pre Windrush generation who played a big role in British History that has largely been forgotten, such as the community that used to live in Cable Street, London, which was active as late as 1955. Refreshments Donations will be welcomed. Venue: Marcus Garvey Library, Library Ground Floor, Tottenham Green Leisure Centre 1 Philip Lane, London N15 4JA. 7 – 8.30pm. Adm: Free. Info: 0208 489 5350. By Mike Phillips
The Windrush Era - 65 YEARS ON Sixty-five years later we explore the tale of Edith and Vincent Laing, how they met in the UK and what they thought about their years in England.
ittle is known about the ‘personal’ experiences of young Caribbean migrants and the children of migrants before the wave of large scale migration in the mid-20th century. There were sizable Black communities in Cardiff, Liverpool and South Shields but it is likely that for most growing up was a question of struggling to assimilate to life in England as unobtrusively as possible. Edith and Vincent Laing was part of the Windrush era. She said, “I was twenty years old when I left for England in November 1955. I have happy memories of Barbados, lot’s of sunshine and beaches.” Edith, born in St Michael’s Barbados and the eldest of three girls, had been raised by her grandmother as her father was in the 1940’s war and had since left the island. “My mother, who was very young when she had me, was working in a grocery shop and still living with her own mother due to her young age. Unfortunately jobs were few and far between and as I became a teenager the only jobs open to me were housekeeping. Vince, born in St Mary, Jamaica in 1930, was also 20 when he made the decision to travel to the ‘mother land’. His early memories of Jamaica are very happy with lots of friends and family around him. “My mother Harriet suffered with ill health, so from my memory I don’t recall her ever working.” Both his parents died in early 1960’s and due to limited communication it took a month for the news arrived. “Sadly by this time the burials had already taken place and I never got to see them from when I left Jamaica.” When Edith decided to immigrate Canada was a thought as her father had settled there in Montreal after the war. But
she felt it was too cold. Due to the “very” strict immigration rules in USA they choose England. The plan was to find work and England was openly encouraging immigrants to come. For Vince the choice was easy. He had an older sister who was married and living in the UK, so it was sensible to join her. Recalling her time on the boat Edith
said: “I remember my mother and boyfriend waving me off from the port. My grandmother, who had raised me, was at home looking after my two sons who were very young. The journey took a month, which seemed a lifetime.” She was seasick for two weeks solid and as the cabins slept four travellers found they were sharing with strangers. “From Barbados the next stop was Barcelona and eventually we docked in Paris. I then caught a train to London which took two days and eventually I arrived in Paddington. Initially I based myself in Harlesden,” recalled Edith. Of her first impressions of the UK Edith said, “It was very cold and grey, everywhere looked the same and the bomb sites were daunting.”
The couple met in the UK and used to go to house parties (blues) and walks along the river. When they committed to each other they went to live in Huntingdon for 38yrs and then moved to Cambridgeshire in 1969. Looking back at the early years, Edith admitted “life was very hard and at times difficult”. “Racism on our arrival in the UK was horrendous and the Teddy boys were violent and dangerous. The decline in the NHS is very sad to see, no real family Doctor, house calls are becoming a thing of the past and waiting lists for important operations are too long.” The couple were steadfast. They were determined not to be forced to leave England. “In the early years, life was very hard and at times difficult,” said Edith. The coupler persevered and managed get on the property ladder when, in the seventies, Margaret Thatcher opened up opportunities enabling them to purchase their council houses. Over the years employment opportunities got better, allowing a better standard of living for their family. There are even community places in England named after the Windrush. Looking back Edith and Viince happy with the decision to leave ‘home’ and settle here in the UK? “Neither of us have any regrets and wouldn’t change a thing,” they agreed. “We have been together for fifty seven years and have four beautiful daughters. We are all a close knit family. Racism is not as prevalent and the country is now more accepting of many different nationalities and cultures… perhaps a bit too much!”
Caribbean Women & the
The NHS was established in post-war England to tackle the major social and economic problems of the day, including ill-health and disease. However, Caribbean women made a significantly vital contribution to the NHS during its formative years.
ollowing the destruction caused by the Second World War and labour shortages in England, it was critically important for hospitals to recruit staff from the Caribbean to work in the new NHS. In response to recruitment drives in the Caribbean, many people responded and arrived in this country to help the NHS establish itself Aneurin Bevan, the post-War Labour Minister of Health, believed that society should collectively contribute, through a National Insurance scheme, to provide free health care for all. In July 1948 the National Health Service Act was born, heralding the birth of the Welfare State. Until then, only the well-off and those in work were catered for. The National Health Service (NHS) would address the inequalities that left vast number of Britons suffering through lack of money to pay for healthcare. The government became caretaker of Britain’s 2,688 hospitals in England and Wales. Resourcing this venture was problematic from the outset. The cost of administering the service, researching new cures and maintenance of hospital buildings was far greater than the government had first thought. But the most taxing concern of all was the chronic shortage of nurses.
“My mother borrowed the money and sent me up here. I had to pay it back when I began to work”
Britain found itself with a new expanding health service which it was unable to staff. Why were British people unwilling to train as nurses? In the wake of the post-War boom, men were reluctant to work long hours, in poor conditions, for low pay. Single women, with their newfound freedom, were being more selective about their career choices, opting for occupations such as secretaries and journalists. In the 1950s and early 1960s married women’s place was still considered to be in the home. To address the shortfall the authorities began an aggressive national campaign, with central government funded exhibitions, lectures and gimmicks to attract recruits in the regions from London to Liverpool. The campaign was not especially successful. Stars showed that there were just 17 enquiries for 737 vacancies. Out of this number, only two potential students and one qualified nurse came forward. Another scheme was devised by the Ministries of Health and Labour in conjunction with the Colonial Office, the General Nursing Council (GNC) and the Royal College of Nursing. From 1949, advertisements were placed in the Nursing Press encouraging candidates from the colonies to come to Britain to apply for work as auxiliaries and trainee 21
nurses. The advertisements featured interviews with nurses, who confirmed that across the length and breath of the United Kingdom ‘jobs could be found easily’. Recruitment campaigns were extensively and energetically pursued with senior British nurses visiting commonwealth countries for this purpose. Local selection committees were set up in 16 British colonies. Trainee nurses were drawn from all over the world, including Ireland, Malaysia and Mauritius, but at this time, the majority were recruited from the Caribbean Islands. Their expectations Colonial women interested in training as nurses came from diverse educational and economic backgrounds. From 1955, the British government had devised various schemes to assist with fares to Britain, but many recruits ended up funding their own journey in whatever way they could. One said, ‘My mother borrowed the money and sent me up here. I had to pay it back when I began to work’. Another said, ”A friend sponsored me, the bank paid my fares...it wasn’t free.” The great majority had high expectations from their period of training in Britain. They imagined they would train for three years and, after a further two years gaining vital work experience, they would then return to help the Nursing corp in their various islands. At the same time they felt they would be relieving Britain’s staffing problems. These expectations mirrored the plans negotiated between the GNC, Colonial Office and Colonial Governors, that Caribbean women, trained to the highest level in Britain, would return to take up responsible nursing posts. In the 1950s and 1960s, such posts were almost exclusively held by expatriate staff (British women). General hospitals and teaching hospitals were already relatively well staffed, but there were major shortages in hospitals caring for the chronically sick, disabled and the elderly. Post-war trauma had also greatly increased the numbers of people admitted to psychiatric hospitals. It was in these hospitals that the great majority of young Caribbean women found themselves placed as resident trainees. Until 1986, there was a two-tier system of nursing training: staff and pupil. The ‘Staff’ or State Registered Nurse (SRN) qualification included training in ward management, while the ‘Pupil’ or State
Enrolled Nurse (SEN) qualification concentrated on the clinical side of nursing. Discrimination Most Caribbean’s, like other Black nurses, were placed on the two-year SEN course. Due to racial discrimination few were accepted on the SRN course despite possessing the requisite qualifications. One recruit recalled, “This (difference) wasn’t explained to us. I was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Cheshire, when I really wanted to do general nursing.” After their two year basic training, most of the women found they could not get onto the higher level course, and certainly ‘couldn’t get promoted at all’. Yet many accepted night duties, to enable them to fit in with family commitments, and found they were ‘wholly in charge’. As one nurse remembers: ‘We had to get on with all the drugs, the drips, whatever treatment...but our pay remained the same.’ Once they arrived in Britain, young recruits were dispersed to their appointed hospitals all over the United Kingdom. Some were met at the train station, but many had to find their own way, dressed
more for the sunshine they had left behind than the cold and gray weather and bracing winds they now encountered. The new trainees lived in the Nurses’ Homes attached to the hospitals, and worked alongside other Colonial trainees. They provided an important support network for each other, as many felt isolated and far away from home. ‘When anyone new came and brought food, the girls got together, sitting on the floo, [or] anywhere like a big family. We would eat whatever, dividing it up between all of us’. At that time, there were few Black people in Britain, particularly in smaller towns. As a result, many nurses moved to large centres like London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol, with existing African, Asian and Caribbean populations. Staying after training Despite intending to return home after training many decided to stay. They all held British passports, a requisite until 1962 and were granted leave to remain in the UK indefinitely.
“After their two year basic training, most of the women found they could not get onto the higher level course, and certainly ‘couldn’t get promoted at all’
But why did they stay? Some felt unable to return to their islands. The Enrolled Nurse (SEN) qualification was not recognized in the Caribbean, and they would not qualify for the senior posts. However, most remained in Britain, because, at some point in their career, they became wives and mothers and found themselves settled with a family in England. Experiences were varied. Caribbean nurses were well respected by the patients they cared for but there were also examples of abuse and accusations. Overall they gained a great deal of knowledge and satisfaction from looking after sick people, often in specialities which the indigenous population refused to occupy. Caribbean nurses made a choice to come to Britain, and made a choice to remain here, but all agree that: “We contributed to the NHS. We have built the NHS because we were committed to our work and our nursing careers.” 23
EVERYONE HAS A STORY TO TELL: WE CAN ASSIST YOU IN TELLING YOURS Where do we originate from…? What were your parents like…? Were you happy as a child…? How did you come to be living in the UK? The gift of YOUR lifetime is a legacy for your family Just imagine holding a beautiful book written by your mother, or great grandfather, telling you all about their life, their hopes, their dreams, their disasters and triumphs. Now imagine your great grandchildren holding just such a book of your life. It would be their most precious possession.
Autodotbiography, in partnership with Black Heritage Today, is a unique online system that makes it possible for anyone, no matter how skilled or unskilled at writing, to create their own life story in a beautifully written, lavishly illustrated hardback book. With autodotbiography an ‘ordinary’ man or woman can sit down with their favourite photographs and important documents and put their life on record for the younger members of their family… and generations to come. Interested? To find out more email: info@blackheritagetodayUK.com or call 0208 653 5933 / 0207 207 2734 and mention Black Heritage Today.
Now it is possible for everyone to write a beautiful book about their life for their family.
I’d always said I’d write Mama’s story. Then she was gone and so was the opportunity.
Barbara Campbell Editor of Black Heritage Today
“When my mother died I was devastated. Mama and I were close, she was a wise and trusted mother and advisor and she was fun to be with. After a sudden stroke - our wonderful relationship died, and so did her memories. There were hundreds of questions I wanted to ask her. Born in Jamaica, Mama had had an amazing life, being a singer, meeting my father and working in politics during JA’s turbulent 60s, then moving to the UK and the agony of leaving her children. There were also the general challenges of life that she overcame....how? As a mother I do not want to put my children in the same position. autodotbiography is not expensive and you will not regret the result.”
100th Anniversary of first black Mayor in London Earlier this year John Archer and Black Politics, a free, audio-visual presentation by history consultant Kwaku, highlighted the community and local political activities of Archer who became London’s first African mayor when he was elected Mayor of Battersea in 1913 100 years ago.
here were negative, even racist, aspects to the campaign, with allegations that he did not have British nationality. He was billed as “a British race and political activist”, but in November 1906, John Richard Archer (8 June 1863 – July 1932) and Henry. He was billed as “a British race and political activist”, but in November 1906, John Richard Archer (8 June 1863 – July 1932) and Henry Sylvester-Williams became among the first people of African descent to be elected to public office in Britain, with Archer becoming a councillor and later Mayor of Battersea. Archer was born in Liverpool to Richard Archer, from Barbados and Mary Theresa Burns, from Ireland. As a seaman he travelled the world, lived in the US and Canada for a while and finally settled in Battersea, London. He ran a small photographic studio at a time when photography was in its infancy. Archer became involved in local politics and was friendly with London
“My election tonight means a new era. You have made history tonight”
radicals. He successfully campaigned for a minimum wage of 32 shillings a week for council workers and was re-elected in
1912. Initially a Liberal politician, he became a stalwart of Battersea’s Labour movement, and successfully worked with an Asian Communist to be twice elected MP. He was nominated for the position of Mayor (at that time a position implying that he was the political leader of the Council, rather than the ceremonial role common in England from the 1920s). Archer gave a notable victory speech: “My election tonight means a new era. You have made history tonight. For the first time in the history of the English nation a man of colour has been elected as mayor of an English borough. “That will go forth to the coloured nations of the world and they will look to Battersea and say Battersea has done many things in the past, but the greatest thing it has done has been to show that it has no racial prejudice and that it recognises a man for the work he has done.” 25
Even after many years of slavery it took time for some people to recognize that they had to use the political and legal ‘system’ to actively change societal decisions. Black Heritage Today relates the tale of those who recognized an opportunity and sought their freedom through the courts… and won.
t was a famous judgment of the English Court and deemed to became what was known as the Somerset Case of 1772, which held that slavery was unsupported in certain situations by existing laws in England and Wales (although not elsewhere in the British Empire). Nowadays this would be classified as a ‘loop hole’ in the system and it wasn’t long before some slaves recognized an opportunity and began fighting for their rights by taking their case (and their masters) to the highest courts. Joseph knight was one of those who fought for his freedom. The African born young man had been sold as a slave in Jamaica to Scotman Sir John Wedderburn of Ballendean who had himself been exiled to Jamaica after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Alongside his three brothers Wedderburn made a fortune as a faux surgeon and sugar planter. In 1769 he returned to Scotland to marry and reestablish the family name. He brought with him Joseph Knight - a token of his years in the Caribbean – to be a household servant Serving but not being seen by those he served and probably through gentlemanly conversations fueled with brand and cigars, Knight, soon learnt of the celebrated Somersett Case which evolved when James Somersett, an enslaved American, took his owner to court. The root of the argument was that according to English courts
slavery did not exist under English law. The ruling in England cast doubt on the legality of slavery under the Common Law. This opened the door for Knight to bring a suit against his master and gain his freedom. Despite still being a slave in the home, he took his master to court in 1778. Wedderburn, the 6th Baronet of Blackness (1729–1803) and a Scottish landowner who made a fortune in the West Indian sugar trade, did not expect his loyal and ‘happy’ slave to use the law against him. However, Knight won his claim, establishing the principle that ‘Scots law would not uphold the institution of slavery’ and demanded wages from his owner as an employee. When his ‘master’ refused Knight ran away. Wedderburn was indignant. After all he had bestowed on Knight by educating him and taking care of him. How could he! He had his fugitive slave arrested. Knight used all his resources, which were limited, to bring a claim before the Justice of the Peace (JP) court in Perth. When the JP found in favour of Wedderburn, Knight appealed to the Sheriff of Perth and found that ‘the state of slavery is not recognised by the laws of this kingdom, and is inconsistent with the principles thereof: That the regulations in Jamaica, concerning slaves, do not extend to this kingdom’. It was not a quick and easily dealt with case. In 1777 Wedderburn appealed to Edinburgh’s Court of Sessions and in Scotland’s supreme civil court the Baron argued that Knight still owed perpetual service, in the same manner as an indentured servant or an apprenticed artisan. Due to Wedderbrum’s status and connections the case became newsworthy and important enough that it was given a full panel of judges including Lord Kames, the important legal and social historian.
“The defender had no right to the Negro’s service for any space of time, nor to send him out of the country without his consent”
The case for Knight was fought by two legal representatives who argued was that ‘no man is by nature the property of another’. Further more, since there was no proof that Knight had given up his natural freedom, he should be set free. Conversely, Wedderburn’s counsel argued that commercial interests, which underpinned Scotland’s prosperity, should prevail. In an unexpected decision, Lord Kames stated “we sit here to enforce right not to enforce wrong” and the court emphatically rejected Wedderburn’s appeal, ruling that “the dominion assumed over this Negro under the law of Jamaica, being unjust and cannot not be supported in this country to any extent: Therefore, the defender had no right to a Negro’s service for any space of timet”. He pointed out that “the Negro was likewise protected under the act 1701, c.6.” from being sent out of the country against his consent”.
In effect, slavery was not recognised by Scotland’s and runaway slaves (or ‘perpetual servants’) can be protected by the courts if they wished to leave domestic service. After the case, Knight became a free man, and married his sweetheart Annie Thompson, a woman who had also been in Wedderburn’s service and had been sacked following the revelation of her relations with Knight. The case ruled that slavery was unsupported by law in England and Scotland, and therefore no authority could be exercised on slaves entering English or Scottish soil. It wasn’t too long before others cottoned on. Joseph Knight a book written by James Robertson the book gives a gripping and shocking story of history, slavery and enlightenment. Published by Fourth Estate Ltd. Info: ISBN 0-00-715025-3. By Belinda Raye
THE SOMERSETT CASE
ames Somersett, an enslaved American, was purchased by Charles Stewart when he was in Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay. It was also a British crown colony in North America. Stewart brought Somersett with him when he returned to England in 1769, but
William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, SL, PC was a British barrister, politician and judge noted for his reform of English law
in 1771 Somersett escaped. He was recaptured in November and imprisoned on the ship Ann and Mary (Capt. John Knowles), bound for the British colony of Jamaica to be sold to a plantation for labour. Three people - John Marlow, Thomas Walkin and Elizabeth Cade - claimed to be Somersett’s ‘godparents’ from his baptism as a Christian in England and made an application before the Court of King’s Bench for a writ of habeas corpus. Captain Knowles was ordered to produce Somersett before the Court of King’s Bench, which would determine whether his imprisonment was legal. The Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, Lord Mansfield, ordered a hearing for the following January, but it was not heard until February 1772. In the meantime, the case had attracted a great
principles. When the two deal of attention in the press, lawyers for Charles Stewart and members of the public put their case, they argued donated monies to fund that property was lawyers for both sides of the paramount and that it would argument. Jamaican be dangerous to free all the abolitionist Granville Sharp, black people in England. who continually sought test Lord Mansfield, leading cases against the legal commercial judge of his age, justifications for slavery, was having heard both sides of Somersett’s real backer. When Jamaican born the argument, retired to the case was heard, (between Granville Sharp make his decision. February and May) five Whilst argument by advocates appeared for Somersett arguing that while colonial counsel may have been based primarily laws might permit slavery, neither the on legal technicalities, Lord Mansfield common law of England nor any law appeared to believe that a great moral made by Parliament recognised the question had been posed, and he existence of slavery, and slavery was deliberately avoided answering that question in full, because of its profound therefore illegal. The advocates also argued that political and economic consequences. English contract law did not allow for any Somersett was freed, and his person to enslave himself, nor could any supporters, who included both black and contract be binding without the person’s white Londoners, immediately celebrated consent. The arguments focused on legal a great victory. details rather than humanitarian
he legal position of enslaved African’s in Britain before the abolition of slavery was ambiguous For instance, an owner’s right to his slave labour was challenged in court in
Middlesex in 1690. Katherine Auker fell foul of the rulings when she accompanied her master, Robert Rich, a Barbados planet, to England. She was tortured and expelled from his home in England, but Rich refused to allow her to work for anyone else. Auker, who, in the Middlesex Country court was granted the right to leave her cruel owner/employers, won her case but only partially. The court decided that she was at liberty to serve any person until such time as Rich returned from Barbados. 27
ART In AFRICA H
ow many people know that the origin of cartoons can be traced back to Africa on the cave walls of ancient Egypt? With this knowledge I arrived in Africa’s west-Central region, in which the Cameroon’s 14th International Festival of Humour and Caricature (FESCARHY as its known), was being held. I felt a sense of my roots and natural habitation and looked forward to me working with young aspiring Cameroonian artists in Yaoundé the capital. The Festival, AFRICA: The Democratic Symphony left no stone unturned in reminding the international community where lies the history of cartoons. Through a series of training workshops, the festival brought together 10 Cartoonists, four Humourists as well as 10 well known journalists and historians to reflect on the theme, and who all participated through various contributions. The cartoonists included myself, TAYO (representing Nigeria), Zapiro (South Africa), Pov (Mauritius), Pahe (Gabon), Popa (Tanzania) Asimba (Democratic Republic of Congo), Tawfiq (Tunisia) and Cameroonian cartoonists Retin, Moss, Bibi and Malyk. Ahead of the two week-long festival, African cartoonists and humourists had been given the opportunity to create cartoons, reflect and exchange discussions and views with historians and journalists, relating to change in power and democracy in Africa. Most discussions took place at Camp Artistique in Lada-Nkoabang village. Zapiro a well know cartoonist from South Africa also did an exceptional slide presentation of his cartoons giving an insight with his meetings with Nelson Mandela. The sessions were held at Camp Artistiqe a creative Summer Camp for children and used also for variety of creative functions, events and discussions. During the Comic Festival, children could be seen drawing cartoons and with various styles and techniques that can rival styles and techniques of artists in the West.
Tayo and young aspiring artists
Children are usually sent by parents to the camp during school holidays from French and English speaking Cameroon regions. They are taught to draw comics and cartoons and basic animation. Young artists would create cartoon characters and use images as a Visual Commentary to promote vaccinations and other public announcements. I was overwhelmed with their interest in my drawings as they gathered round me to listen to me talk about drawing cartoons at the grounds of Bois Sainte Anasthasie (St. Anasthasie Woods - situated in the centre of the capital). I was also at hand to answer questions from the young artists, providing inaccessible drawing materials and comics, which I had raised funds for, to give out for the duration of my week stay. Their ages ranged from 7 to 16 year olds to young adults. I felt fulfilled. An illustrated exhibition of Cameroon’s Greatest Men was on the grounds of the woods and the same beautiful displays were compiled into a book by Cameroonian artists highlighting achievements of great Cameroonians past and present, with text in French and English. The Cameroonian
Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Arts and Culture officially opened the exhibition and with point of interest, went round the exhibition and I through with him my displayed cartoons and how I arrived at each concept. The exhibition, with an impressive turnout was opened to invited guests, Government officials, artists and performers. The plan: to the eight regional head towns of Cameroon and 10 main cities across Africa. . FESCARHY is the brain child of Cameroonian, Leontine Babel Babeni, and director of the festival who is a woman passionate about the works of African Cartoonists and Comic artists. On Wednesday October 23 – Cartoonist TAYO Fatunla takes his Black History Month Cartoon Sketch class Special to Hawksmoor School, Thamesmead, London SE28 8 AS. To mark Young Readers Festival TAYO Fatunla will be holding his ever popular cartoon workshop sessions at the new Library of Birmingham on Monday 28 October. Info: 0121 242 4242. By TAYO Fatunla
Exhibition Wed 25 Sept – Sun 10 Nov HURVIN ANDERSON: REPORTING BACK Ikon presents paintings by Birmingham-born artist Hurvin Anderson (born 1965), inspired by his upbringing in Birmingham’s Afro-Caribbean community in Handsworth, and ongoing works arising out of time spent in Trinidad in 2002. Venue: Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace,Birmingham B1 2HS. 11am-6pm Tue-Sunday (closed Mondays). Adm: Free. Info: 0121 248 0708 /www.ikon-gallery.co.uk Thurs 24 Oct 2013 INTERGENERATIONAL ORAL HISTORY EXHIBITION This exhibition is the culmination of an intergenerational oral history creative writing project that brought together primary school pupils and older people at Age UK Islington’s Drovers Centre. In a series of workshops, local elders from Black African and Caribbean backgrounds shared their memories, stories and cultural heritage with the children, who have interpreted the oral histories in fantastic pieces of art work and creative writing. The pupils work will be on display in this special exhibition at John Barnes Library until 21st November. The exhibition will be opened by the Mayor of Islington with a special presentation ceremony, awarding the pupils for their work. 6pm Cost: Free: Just turn up! Venue: John Barnes Library, 275 Camden Rd N7 OJN Throughout October– 24 Nov 2014 DADDY I WANT TO BE A BLACK ARTIST Kimathi Donkor’s exhibition ‘Daddy I want to be a black artist’, showing is the catalyst for a month long programme of free events and workshops for everyone at Peckham Space. Venue: Peckham Space, 89 Peckham High Street, SE15 5RS. Wed to Friday at 11am to 6pm; and Sat and Sun 11am to 5pm. Info: 0207 358 9645 /Web: www.peckhamspace.com Now - Thu 31 Oct AUTOGRAPH ABP ARCHIVE IN FOCUS: BACK IN THE DAY A selection of photographs from Autograph ABP’s extensive archive, featuring the work of Raphael Albert, Bandele ‘Tex’ Ajetunmobi, James Barnor, John Goto, Colin Jones, Syd Shelton, Neil Kenlock and Vron Ware. Spanning more than 30 years, the images range from staged portraiture to social documentary, and offer insight into the experiences of black people during an uneasy era signified by civic turmoil, racial discrimination and a wider struggle for social justice. Venue: The Drum Arts Centre, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham B6 4UU. 10am-5.30pm weekdays,. Adm: Free. 0121 333 2444 / www.thedrum.org.uk Tue 1 – Thu 31 Oct ‘ROOTS OF THE UNIVERSITY’ EXHIBITION George Edalji was one of the first students at the University’s Mason Science College and was of mixed race heritage. George was wrongfully convicted of the Great Wyrley Outrages and later cleared as a result of a campaign by the writer Arthur Conan Doyle. Venue: Muirhead Tower Ground Floor, University of Birmingham Ring Road South, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT. Adm: Free. 9am-6pm weekdays
Sketching …with pens
Most ‘creatives’ do not endeavour to be creative… they just are. Aaron Facey is one of those people whom art connoisseurs should keep an eye on.
e has been drawing as far back as he can remember, but Facey didn’t know if he was any good unl a teacher praised him for a self-portrait. “I was in Year One at the me and I remember saying that I wanted to be a cartoonist when I grew up,” said 25-year-old Facey. “I was always drawing cartoon characters from TV, and as I got older I got into drawing anime
However, the London-born arst said he didn’t excel in art at school. “The assignments were more about evaluang
the volume of work the students had done rather than the quality”, he recalled. ”The grading system has never favoured my style of art.” At college the imminent choice of career prospects loomed and it seemed like graphic design was the nearest subject in which he could apply his creavity. “At the me Graphic Design appeared to be my only lucrave opon but I didn’t enjoy the course at all”, confessed Facey. “When I was at university I started drawing portraits to get away from doing course work. An example of how procrasnaon can be a good thing.” Even though Facey was not encouraged to take art seriously, art was
one of his chosen subjects and whilst studying A-level art he was inﬂuenced by the etching style of Rembrandt. This was how he was able to capture facial expressions in his portraits. Facey said of the ‘master’, “His energec style of cross hatching gave the impression of movement making the people in his drawings come to life. I learned how to cross hatch and developed my own style. I think his aenon to light and shadow also rubbed oﬀ on me.” As his course came to an end, Facey knew graphic design was not what he wanted to do, so when he graduated from the University of Her ordshire in 2010 he didn’t have a clue which way to turn. “I took a year out and did nothing but read and draw, whilst holding down a temporary part-me cashier job,” said Facey. During quiet periods he’d take out his sketching pad and draw. Several customers connually asked, “Why are you a cashier when you could draw like that?” Slowly it dawned on him that he had
“My style at the moment reflects my fascination with the human face and my obsession with rendering detail” to develop the gi he had been given. He began spending me on his art. “My style at the moment reﬂects my fascinaon with the human face and my obsession with rendering detail. I usually
draw a person because I see them as an embodiment of something I like, i.e. hip hop, jazz, blues, the 60s, ﬁlms, rebellion.” Facey didn’t realise he could sell his work unl a clothing line company approached him asking him to draw something for them which would be used on T-Shirts. It was 2011 and it was his ﬁrst commissioned portrait. “It felt really good to get my ﬁrst cheque,” said Facey. Did he splash out? “Yes…. on arts supplies,” he laughs. See the exhibion Aaron Facey: Works On Paper of his work on Tues 8 - 21 Oct at The Brick Lane Gallery, 196 Brick Lane London E1 6SA. Info: 0207 729 9721 Address: The Brick Lane Gallery, 196 Brick Lane London E1 6SA Travel: Shoreditch High Street Staon Time: Open 1pm-6pm everyday Adm : Admission is free Info: 0207 729 9721
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In Acknowledgement of….John Lewis
Behind Every STRONG MAN… There’s Another Fifty years ago he became the youngest of six leaders invited to speak on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and bear witness to Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech. We explore the work of John Lewis, considered to be the main man behind the scenes. “Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for extraordinary destiny…” C.S.Lewis
f there was someone for whom that quote was perfect for it would be Congressman John Lewis. The civil rights campaigner and Georgia Representative, has been an important and vocal opponent of inequality since his days as an important member of the SNCC [student nonviolent coordinating committee] in the sixties. He has been at the forefront of racial politics and civil rights since then, organising school sit ins in Nashville and Greensboro and taking part in bus boycotts and several other schemes to raise awareness to the segregation issue. In 1960 he was part of the freedom riders who were a mixed group of young men [seven white and six black] who travelled by bus from New York to New Orleans together, to bring awareness to some of the old “confederacy states” still making it illegal for a black to share a seat with a white. In 1963 Lewis became a member of the “big six” civil rights leaders who helped plan the
John Lewis (U.S. politician)
BLACK FACTS & FIRSTS
Million Man March on Washington, which culminated with Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have A Dream” Speech. He even gave the inaugural speech that day, quite remarkable for someone so young. He has faced opposition because of his colour since he was born in Troy, Alabama 1940, but he faced it head on. Severe beatings, imprisonment, and prejudice, has not stopped him. His entire life has been given over to the racism fight, letting the black voice be heard across America. Not quite so visual or dramatic as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King or Medgar Evers he fought from his days as an important member of the SNCC and taking many political offices, right through to being elected in 1981 to the Atlantic city council, and beyond. He tackled the “war on drugs” by challenging his Democratic opponent Julian Bond to take a drug test during the Democratic runoff. He is still very visual in American Politics being a Congressman and Georgia representative.
A known Congressman for Georgia, he is very vocal in American life - constantly speaking out for the poor and disenfranchised and known as a beacon for “right-thinking people”. Lewis has opposed the anti-gay propositions, and problems with health care reform. He has even been a vocal voice against conflict in other countries. Being “the voice of reason” in the senate, he is an integral cog in American Politics, Often quoting MLK Jr and espousing on his experiences, in the civil rights conflicts, with quiet dignity he talks about building a new America. One in which “it is always the right time, to do right”. After Obama clinched the Democratic nomination for president, Lewis said “If someone had told me this would be happening now, I would have told them they were crazy, out of their mind, they didn’t know what they were talking about ... I just wish the others were around to see this day. To the people who were beaten, put in jail; asked questions they could never answer to register to vote, it’s amazing.” In 2007, despite switching his support from Hilary Clinton to Obama for which he was criticized by his constituents, Lewis never stopped pursuing his ideals. John Lewis, now in his 70s, has been through abuse and disenfranchisement, yet his quiet and dignified voice continues to speak for the down trodden and socially peripheral amongst communities. He is the perfect example that the loudest voice isn’t necessarily the strongest voice, or to put it another way…no John Lewis no Barack Obama. By Roderick Steele
James Derham, did not hold an M.D. degree and was First African American to formally practice medicine in the U.S. Jamaican-born chess player Maurice Ashley became the first Black Grandmaster in 1999. That same year, he opened the Harlem Chess Center, where he began coaching young chess players. During the 1970’s Black children were labelled Educationally Sub Normal (ESN) and educated separately from other children. In 1999 Amadou Diallo was shot 41 times by New York police who assume his wallet is a gun but No officer were convicted. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, popularly known as “The Father of Chicago”, was the first known settler in the area which is now known as Chicago, Illinois. In 1967 Black people in Britain were routinely thrown out of Anglican and Catholic churches and told not to come back. William Harrison “Bones” Dillard is an American former track and field athlete, the only male so far to win Olympic titles in both sprinting and hurdling. In 1971 Charlie Phillips became the first black photographer to have work published in Italian Vogue. Lawyer Constance Baker Motley was the first African-American woman ever to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court Dr. David J. Peck is the First African American to graduate from a U.S. medical school, (Rush Medical College). In 1969 the US Black Panther Party sets up free breakfast programme for poor kids. In 1954 In South Africa the Bantu Education Act restricts education for black children In 1999 Amadou Diallo was shot 41 times by New York police who assume his wallet is a gun but no officer were convicted. In 1962 Black Churches are burned and black men are lynched in the USA. US Senate blocks antilynching laws 35
DR JOHN ANTHONY ROBERTS QC In England and Wales he became was the first person of African ancestry to be made a QC as well as being head of his Chambers and not to mention being made a Recorder of the Crown Court.
e was the first person of African ancestry to be appointed by the British Government to dependent territories as a High Court Judge of the Supreme Courts of the British Virgin Islands, and Anguilla, British West Indies. There are so many ‘first’ that’s applicable to Dr John Anthony Roberts QC that one would run out of steam to name them all. He was born in Sierra Leone in 1928. His great grandfather Joseph Jenkins Roberts, born in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, was the first President of Liberia, and his grandfather, John Anthony Roberts (Snr.), born in Liberia, was a cable engineer in a variety of countries. John’s father, John Anthony Roberts (Jnr.), was a Brazilian, and John’s mother, born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, who was a descendant of “liberated” Africans, who chose to return to Africa after the Slave Trade. In the 1940s John, who was fascinated by airplanes, having seen members of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Sierra Leone during the Second World War, worked as a Costs Clerk for Taylor Woodrow in Sierra Leone and then as a Civil Servant. He settled in the UK in 1952 and joined the RAF where he qualified as an accountant whilst serving in Europe, the Near East, the
Far East and the South Pacific. He was then invited by the then Prime Minister of Sierra Leone to work in the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Service, He did so until 1964. John returned to England in the mid sixties with Jamaican wife, Eulette, and their son Tony, who was born in Sierra Leone. John worked as a Civil Servant for around two years then started to read law, because he, “Loves helping people”. He was called to The Bar (Gray’s Inn)
He was the first person of African ancestry to be appointed a Queen’s Counsel at the English Bar. becoming a Master of Bench and then a Member of Lincoln’s Inn where he particularly ensured that his set of Chambers was fully mixed and culturally diverse. It wasn’t long before John became a High Court Judge in The Supreme Courts of the British Virgin Islands, and Anguilla, both British West Indies Dependent Territories.
He tried many high profile cases, including homicide. John was made an Assistant Recorder (a part-time judge of the Crown Court) in 1983 and became a Recorder five years later - the first person of African ancestry to be appointed a Queen’s Counsel at the English Bar. Apart from the English Bar, John was called to the Bars of 10 other countries: Jamaica (1973), Sierra Leone (1975), Trinidad & Tobago (1978), Bahamas (1984), St Kitts & Nevis (1988), Antigua (2002), Barbados (2002), Bermuda (2003), Anguilla (2006) and Grenada (2007). In 1990 he was made a Bencher of the Council of Legal Education in Sierra Leone and later tutored at the Inns of Court School of Law in London, concentrating on Advocacy. John was a former President of the British West Indian Ex-Servicemen and ExService Women’s Association and former joint President of the British Caribbean Association, UK. Away from his work force and many accolades John was a keen pianist, an organist, guitarist and choir singer and a firm believer that “you are never too old to learn”. He retired in 1998 aged 70. 37
There’s Healing in the Arts
Earlier this year celebrated British sculptor Donald Brown was presented with The Flame Keeper’s Award at the African Diaspora World Tourism Awards Event in Atlanta. Belinda Raye explores his work and how he is using it for change and healing. 38
e hasn’t got a swagger, he doesn’t need one. When he enters the room one just knows… he’s arrived, and he has yet to touch the mic! Welcome into the world of Donald Brown, sculptor extraordinaire. While dubbed ‘The Renaissance Man’ by his native countrymen and admirers in England, Brown is also much admired and sought-after in the US... and throughout the world. Brown was born and raised
in Great Britain. His interest in the arts was evident from childhood. What makes him so unique is that he is selftaught, and at the tender age of ten he chose to ignore those who discouraged him from making, what they viewed as, ‘an unwise career choice’. Considered a child prodigy, by the age of 14 Brown was drawing national television and media attention to his sculptures. Ironically his
first university application was rejected on the grounds that there was no one at the university capable of teaching him anything new where his technique and ability was concerned. That was a great compliment, but Brown pursued his dream of becoming a great sculptor and that included studying more. His second application was successful and he opted to study the history of art the following year. In 1988 Brown graduated with a BA Honours Degree in Fine Art Sculpture from Wolverhampton University in England. However, his foray into the workforce was not great. “I spent a year working in the accounts department for my University and absolutely HATED every second of it,” says Brown. “It reaffirmed for me that that type of 9 till 5 was not for me and I HAD to pursue my passion as a sculptor.” He moved to Manchester and did both voluntary and paid work as an artist in residence in various schools. “Whilst in Manchester I applied for a £100,000 sculpture commission. I was one of the many candidates to be short-listed, and then through to the final selection and eventually selected for the commission.” When Donald arrived at the commissioning office to meet with the architects he realised from the reactions he received that they had only seen the pictures of his sculptures.... and not the colour of his skin. “It was my first real experience of corporate racism,” he remarks. “Long story short they came up with all sorts of excuses as to why they could no longer offer me the commission.” Similar experiences followed so Donald set his sights on America. “I was visiting the BBC studios in Manchester on business when I saw the Hollywood (Roots) actor John Amos walk by and thought he would be a great subject to sculpt,” shares Donald. “He was performing his acclaimed one-man show Haley’s Comet, so I went to his show and introduced myself to one of his associates.” Timing was key, because that week Donald had been written up in a two-page spread in the Manchester Evening News. “I left the newspaper with him and several days later I received a call to have a meeting at his hotel. He said he only had 30 minutes.” Over two hours later they were still conversing and became fast but firm friends. “He invited me to his home in New Jersey and from there we attended the National Black Theatre Festival.” While at the festival, Brown’s proposal of creating a portrait bust of the festival’s founder Larry Leon Hamlin led to numerous
doors being opened. He met a host of other celebrities and began being featured in publications such as Upscale and Essence Magazine. After the first of his many visits and guest appearances at red carpet events in the US, Brown continued to take America by storm with his amazing limited-edition works of art that are true twenty-first century masterpieces. In fact, the international demand for his works excelled even his expectations. “Essence Magazine blew my mind,” he mused. “It was a half-page feature and as soon as it came out the phone literally did not stop ringing. If I had prints available at that time I would have made a fortune. I would answer one call and thank the caller for their words of
support and encouragement and then put the phone down, only to have two or three messages waiting for me that came in while I was on the last call. This went on for about two weeks. It was incredible.” In 1996 Brown visited the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina. He was invited to sit on the stage with about 40 Hollywood celebrities. “They were all acknowledged and about six of them were invited to speak.” When he too was invited to speak, Brown’s initial observation was, “I knew the audience of over 1,500 guests were wondering who on earth I was.” He opted to present the ‘Millennium Monument’ sculpture featuring a man lifting up the continent of Africa along with America,
Extraordinary People Japan and Great Britain - representing the four corners of the earth. “I explained its meaning and talked about how men played such a significant role in many aspects of earth’s’ history and how without the positive contributions of us men the world would not be what it is,” he says. “Of course the men in the audience felt good but the women were quiet… indignantly so.” It was an awkward moment but then Brown carried on and turned the sculpture around to show that really it was the woman who was carrying the weight of the world on her back. “THE PLACE ERUPTED!” exclaims Brown, who usually steers clear from debates pertaining to who is the stronger sex. That does not stop him, however, from paying tribute to his a very important woman in his life. ”I look at my now 84-year-old mother and see a very strong, spiritual woman who gave my older brother Newton and me a good life. Although my father was always there for us it was mother who nurtured us in many aspects of life. The reality is that if there’s one without the other... we don’t survive.”
ministry within my work and that’s more important to me than fame.” It’s evident that far from being onedimensional, Brown is a social-change agent who is using his creative talent to inspire individual empowerment and help promote world peace. He is the Director of The Global Gallery Limited (TGGL), an international communitybased company that incorporates the visual arts, the performing arts and sport to address
“It is about creating our hearts and minds to create and master peace hopefully it will go nationwide and world-wide. ” During the festival Brown could not take a step without requests for pictures and autographs. “To have actual celebrities introducing themselves to me and wanting to have dialogue completely blew my mind.” Admirers and recipients of his work include General Colin Powell, Gladys Knight, Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Coach Eddie Robinson, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Smokey Robinson, Barbara Sinatra, Bryant Gumbel, Kweisi Mfume and Debbie Allen, poet & author Maya Angelou, veteran actress Cicely Tyson, singer Janet Jackson, top fashion model Iman and actor Lawrence Fishburn, Congressman John Lewis, Beyonce and sports legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar. The adulation was great but Brown kept his feet firmly on the ground. “It wasn’t about me,” he thoughtfully observed, “but the
issues that include, building confidence and self-esteem, striving for excellence and creating positive role models. One of the projects under the umbrella of TGGL involves him working with the countries of the world to deliver an historic unveiling ceremony. The particular sculpture in question is entitled A Sporting Chance for Peace. Another of the projects is The Struggle For Change, an initiative that was launched in his stomping ground of Wolverhampton, with British/Hollywood actor Joseph Marcell, better known as Geoffrey the Butler on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. “The objective is to change negative perceptions of both young and old. The influence of notable individuals encouraging audiences to consider positive change in their lives has proven to have a lasting impact,” says Brown.
“We address social issues such as gun crime, violence and drug abuse and developing the art of communication, nurturing healthy relationships and promoting positive principles.” Many times he gets the message through with the help of celebrity friends who take time out of their own schedules to meet, mingle and talk to young people about gun crimes, gang violence drugs and promoting education, being positive role models and striving for excellence. The Struggle For Change has been received and endorsed by many leaders including Gambia’s president Yahya AJJ Jammeh, former Georgia, USA representative John White and Deputy Mayor of Johannesburg, SA Councilor Norman Reed. Brown’s latest 21st Century masterpiece is captivating audiences worldwide. It’s visual, appeal is breathtaking and has taken over two years to create. The sculpture promotes personal peace first in order to achieve social peace whilst incorporating the positive principles of life such as discipline, patience, humility and respect. Brown has discovered that by combining the visual appeal of his works with psychology, it addresses real life issues relevant to all people. “It’s about creating a project that will somehow effect change, not just for myself, not just for you but for the community at large. Hopefully it will go nationwide and world-wide. It is about creating our hearts and minds to create and master peace,” says Brown. As a talented teenage sculptor Donald Brown had the presence, the charisma and the determination to make his mark. And he has. Info: www.theglobalgallery.org. By Belinda Raye
Born with Gifted Hands It was once a surgical technique regarded as way too dangerous to even contemplate. We report on the cleaner’s son who thought differently and became a huge part of medical history.
hen a single mother saw that her younger son was struggling academically throughout elementary school, and giving in to the emotions of temper tantrums, his mother decided drastic action was called for. She reduced his television time and required him to read two books a week and then produce written reviews for her. Thankfully, through her actions, Benjamin Soloman Carson started to excel in middle school and throughout high school,. He went on to become the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins (the Binder twins) who had been joined at the back of the head. The young neurosurgeon made medical history in 1987 with his 70member surgical team. They worked for 22 hours and at the end, the twins were successfully separated and now survive independently. Carson was born in the hardened climate of inner-city Detroit, Michigan. After his parents divorced he was raised by his single mother, Sonya, a domestic who made a lot of sacrifices for her two sons. “She always worked, refusing to go on welfare,” said Carson. “Sometimes we didn’t see her for several days at a time because she would go to work at
Cuba Gooding (who played Ben in the movie) with Ben
Gifted Ben Carson being honored by previous President George Bush
five in the morning and not get back until after 11pm, going from one job to the next.“ The eldest boy, Curtis, was two years older than his sibling but when Ben’s grade fell to the bottom of the class, with Ben becoming the object of ridicule by his classmates, he too was treated just like his brother. Thanks to the steadfastness of their mother, both children became extremely academically inclined and successful in their chosen careers. “My mother was someone who would not accept an excuse. It didn’t matter what the situation was. If I came with an excuse, she would always say, ‘Do you have a brain?’ After a while it became clear to us that no excuse was acceptable.” After graduating with honours from Southwestern High School, Ben Carson attended Yale University, where he
earned a degree in psychology. He also met his wife-to-be, Lacena ‘Candy’ Rustin, with whom he would have three sons and who became an accomplished musician. He was inspired to pursue a career in medicine after hearing stories in church of missionary doctors and their ability to heal people physically, mentally, and spiritually. Aged 33, Carson became the youngest major division director in Johns Hopkins’ history, as Director of Paediatric Neurosurgery. His hand-eye coordination and three-dimensional reasoning skills made him a gifted surgeon. Carson’s focus was on traumatic brain injuries, brain and spinal cord tumours, achondroplasia, neurological and congenital disorders, craniosynostosis, epilepsy and trigeminal neuralgia. He was also interested in maximizing the intellectual 41
Extraordinary People potential of every child. He said of children, “What you see is what you get - when they’re in pain they clearly show it with a frown on their face, or when they are happy they show it by smiling brightly.”. Carson’s other surgical innovations have included the first intrauterine procedure to relieve pressure on the brain of a hydrocephalic foetal twin, and a hemispherectomy in which a young girl suffering from uncontrollable seizures had half of her brain removed. Prior to the innovative surgery with the twins he recalled a conversation he had back in 1987 with medical colleagues about brain surgery. When he asked, “Why is it that this is such a disaster?” he found out that it was because the patient would exsanguinate - bleed to death. Pondered on the situation he’d responded saying, “There’s got to be a way around that. These are modern times”. Carson said, “I was talking to a friend of mine, who was a cardiothoracic surgeon, and the chief of the division, and I said, ‘You guys operate on the heart in babies, how do you keep them from exsanguinating?’ And he said, ‘Well, we put them in hypothermic arrest’”. “I asked, ‘Is there any reason that – if we were operating on twins joined at the head we couldn’t put them into hypothermic arrest… at the appropriate time when they are most likely to lose a
lot of blood?’“ It was a thought-provoking question and finally his colleague responded. He said, “No Way!” As fate would have it, a matter of months later, doctors based in Germany presented the case of the ‘Binder babies’ who were Siamese twins. Carson was asked for an opinion. He proposed to - incorporate the hypothermic arrest technique and he and his colleagues went to Germany to see the twins. “We actually put in scalp expanders, and five months later we brought them over and did the operation,” said Carson. “Lo and behold, it worked.” The
operation was 100% successful. As a member of the American Academy of Achievement, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, and having received the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, there is no doubt that Carson is highly esteemed
in his field. In 2008, the White House awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour. In July 2013, Carson, a Professor of Neurosurgery, Oncology, Plastic Surgery and Paediatrics and the Director of Paediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, announced his retirement as a surgeon, stating “I’d much rather quit when I’m at the top of my game. And there are so many more things that can be done.” Carson and his wife started the Carson Scholars Fund in 1994 with scholarships awarded to students in grades 4–11 who exemplify academic excellence and humanitarian qualities. There are over 5,700 scholars in all 50 States and the District of Columbia. Speaking of the need for cohesion within the family unit, Carson pointed out that the more solid the family foundation, the more likely kids are to be able to resist peer pressure. “Humans are social creatures,” he states. “We all want to belong, we all have that desire and we will belong, one way or another. If the family doesn’t provide that, the peers will, or the gang will, or you will find something to belong to. That’s why it’s crucial for families with young children to understand what a critical anchors they are.” Carson currently serves on the boards of the Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corp., and the Academy of Achievement, among others, and is an Emeritus Fellow of the Yale Corporation. Carson’s biography Gifted Hands, one of four bestsellers, is published by Zondervan, an international Christian media and publishing company. Gifted Hands, the other three are The Big Picture, Take the Risk, and Think Big. The first book is an autobiography and two are about his personal philosophies of success that incorporate hard work and a faith in God. See the film Gifted Hands starring Cuba Gooding by visiting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6T HQGHY7gk
The team during the operation
BLACK OXFORD The Untold Stories of Oxford University’s First Black Scholars
amela Roberts is not a woman easily deterred by barriers or challenges. Her philosophy is ‘why can’t it be done?’—or get on and do it yourself. It was this attitude that led Pamela to produce her new book Black Oxford: The Untold Stories of Oxford University’s Black Scholars. Giving us the background on how and why she came to write the book, Pamela, a cultural heritage professional engaged in promoting and developing independent Black films and filmmakers from the African Diaspora, takes us back a few years. She was active with the Black cinema/film festival scene in London, coming from a background with twenty years experience in the media. After moving to Buckinghamshire she found that the Black cinema scene was nonexistent. Undaunted, she founded the International Black Media Festival. The festival was very successful, garnering many awards, including being recognised in the 2004 Queen’s Speech for its outstanding contribution to media services. When the festival transferred to Oxford Pamela became interested in the Black history and heritage of the city’s famous university, looking to incorporate elements into the festival. Following initial enquires she was bluntly informed by a local government officer that ‘Black people did not go to Oxford University’ and that ‘you people
only came here in the sixties to work in the factories and drive the buses.’ The remark was not only racist and ignorant but absolutely wrong. Motivated by the insult, Pamela started to research Oxford University’s Black heritage and found that the institution has a long and illustrious history of attracting Black scholars from Africa, the Caribbean, America and the Commonwealth dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Black Oxford Untold Stories, the first Black guided heritage walking tour of Oxford University was
founded. Pamela says, ‘participants from the tour would often ask why the scholars featured on the tour where not included in any of the guide books.’ The book uncovers the stories of prominent and lesser-known historical and contemporary Black scholars at Oxford from the arrival in 1873 of Christian Frederick Cole, grandson of a slave, who became the first African to practise in an English court. He was followed by other outstanding personalities: Alain Locke, the Father of the Harlem Renaissance, the first Black scholar to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1907; Koforworla Moore, the first African woman to achieve a degree from St. Hugh’s in 1935; and Eric Williams, the great historian of the Caribbean, elected Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago. The book provides an overview of the educational history of the Caribbean, Guyana, Africa and US, exploring the academic routes taken by many scholars to Oxford. It is divided into the following categories: Published by Signal Books. Black Oxford: The Untold Stories of Oxford University’s Black Scholars Price £7.99. Available from www.signalbooks.co.uk and bookshops For further information: info @blackoxford.co.uk www.blackoxford.com
Heading in the RIGHT DIRECTION At six he started taking classes at the University of Oxford and now dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon. We speak to an extraordinary young man who knows exactly what he wants from life.
Photo Credit: Clive Mc Donald
ot many children in pre-school know what they want to be when they grow up, and most youngsters would be humoured and patted on the head if they’d replied saying they wanted to be a neurosurgeon. Not Joshua Beckford, he knows exactly what he wants to study. “I’ve always had a clear idea of what I want to be when I get older,” says the eight-year-old who has unusual skills in: Maths, Foreign Language, History, Philosophy, IT, Art and Science. “When I was four years old I decided that I wanted to become a NeuroSurgeon. I am fascinated by how the human body works, especially the brain.” Joshua was born in London in 2005. His father Knox Daniel said he first noticed his son was advanced as a baby. Joshua used to sit on his lap whilst he was working on the computer. “I started telling him what the letters on the keyboard were and I realised that he could understand and was able to point to each letter and number correctly before he could speak” says Knox. He started home teaching the boy, aged just 10 months. Between that age and when he turned six Joshua taught himself to touch-type on a computer before he could use a pencil, aged two and a half he learned to read fluently using phonics and after mastering Japanese he started to learn Chinese Mandarin. At three he was able to correctly name most cars on the road and what country they were made in. He also developed an uncanny fascination with the Human body and finished reading 11 advanced books on Human Anatomy including Genes and DNA. In 2011, when Joshua was still 6 he began practising Simulations of Surgical Operations on his laptop using Microsoft Surgical Simulator. At seven years old he had completed more than 16,000 primary maths problems and earned a certificate on IXL. Searching for more challenging things to keep him stimulated outside of school Knox spoke to the Director of Education at the
autism and ADHD which means that along with other symptoms of the condition he is also very intelligent, is on the autistic spectrum - Asperger’s (High functioning). Knox is used to his son being way ahead of his years. “Most of the time I don’t notice his intelligence because he is just Joshua to us. But he can be a bit of challenge because sometimes he asks so many questions.” Speaking of his ambition to become a neurosurgeon, Joshua, who has a reading age of an adult, says of his father, “He bought me lots of books and software on human anatomy.” Joshua mastered naming all the internal organs of the body (using their technical terms in Latin) and can explain how the 12 systems all work together to keep people alive including the parts of the brain and which parts of the body they control. He performs Surgical Operations on his laptop using Microsoft Surgery Simulator. He can correctly use all the instruments and successfully complete operations such as the removal of a Hernia, appendectomy, removal of a cataract, varicosis, and tonsillectomy, repair a lower leg fracture and perform a Cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gall bladder). What may appear to be child’s play online is an absolute plan to Joshua. “In five years time I hope to be doing neuroUniversity of Oxford’s On-line Learning Platform about Joshua’s unusual talents. She suggested a Master Class on Philosophy for highly able children between the age of eight and 13. Joshua was six years old at the time and the University had not previously accepted anyone that young. They made an exception and the youngster was enrolled on the Philosophy course. He became the youngest student ever to pass with a distinction. After receiving his certificate Oxford University offered him the opportunity to do another master class in Historical Enquiry on the Great Plague of 1665. He came 4th out of 24 students all older than him and earned another Distinction. He can explain quite complex concepts such as gravity and infinity. Since then the International press has been writing articles on him and he is featured in over 90 countries around the world. Joshua has since been diagnosed of having high functioning
Most of the time I don’t notice his intelligence because he is just Joshua to us. But he can be a bit of challenge because sometimes he asks so many questions” surgery and Genetics research at either Oxford or Cambridge University. I would like to practice surgery to save lives so that people don’t have to lose their families and friends.” Meanwhile, Joshua, who loves reading, is captivated by Imhotep, the Great Egyptian Multi-Genius and Father of Medicine. He is spends his spare time writing a book on Egypt called Interesting Facts about Ancient Egypt for children. He asserts, “I am fascinated about ancient Egypt as the Egyptians were able to do the most amazing things long ago. I want to help children to learn about history.” In 2012 Joshua won the Black Youth Achievement (BYA) in the category of Education.
He knows the human brain inside out
US First ANCHOR WOMAN She was the first black female TV news reporter in the US, overcoming the obstacles of both racism and sexism, and helped change the face and focus of television news. We tell the story of how Belva Davis broke the glass ceiling.
uring the early sixties, in Britain, if a ‘coloured’ person sauntered onto a television screen, the entire family in a black household would ground to a halt at the sound of “Come look, there’s a black man on the TV”. This would reverberate throughout the street, never mind the house. It was the same in America, as television became a fixture in most homes throughout the country. However, despite segregation, change was afoot and African-American Belva Davis was at the forefront of that shift. She made history by challenging racism and sexism and become the first African-American woman television reporter on the US West Coast. Belva Davis (nee Melton) won eight Emmy Awards and a fleet of other accolades related to her work and was recognised by the American Women in Radio and Television and the National Association of Black Journalists. She became a trusted familiar face on the evening news for thousands of TV viewers in the San Francisco Bay area. Belvagene Melton was born on 13th October 1932, to John and Florence Melton in Louisiana - the oldest of four children. Her mother was 15 years old at Belva’s birth, and Belva spent her early years living with various relatives. She was given the title of being “a farmed out kid”, but says the first part of her life was the best part of her life as a youngster. “I was given to my mother’s sister to bring up. She was a childless woman who wanted a baby very badly. So I was very spoiled for three
“Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so” years.” Her aunt became ill and died when Belva was nearly four years old and she was returned to live in the home of her biological parents. It was the time of the ‘Great Depression’ and family members from all over would stay in the house at any given time. “It was a very crowded facility,” says Belva. “There were no bedrooms for all of us so we had something called a ‘pallet’. This basically was a blanket placed on the ground during the night and rolled up during the day.
“This made it very easy when I was being transferred from one relative to the other as I had very few things to pack to take with me.” Belva describes her young self as, “very quiet, withdrawn and constantly trying to find ways to please so that maybe someone would keep me permanently.” When she was eight years old, Belva and her family, including aunts and cousins, moved into a two-bedroom apartment in Oakland California. Eleven people lived in a basement apartment. It was not quite “the American Dream”. “We arrived in California expecting peaches and honey. It was not at all so,” says Belva. “Just being disliked by so many people who didn’t like our accents, didn’t like our names, just didn’t like very much about us because we were different”. Growing up in the 1930s, in a place and a time in which discrimination was rampant, she said of her youth, “I learned to survive. And, as I moved from place to place, I learned to adapt.” By the late 1940s, Belvas’ parents were able to afford a house in California. In 1951 the bright student graduated from Berkeley High School - the first member of her family to do so. Unable to raise the money to go on to college Belva found work as a typist. Soon after that she married and had two children. Reading and campaigning on behalf of others in the community helped Belva to see
where her strengths lay - writing about community issues galvanised the combatant in her. In 1957 Belva began freelancing for Jet, a magazine focusing on African-American issues. Freelance journalists were known as ‘stringers’ and it was their job to contribute reports or photos to news organisations. Belva spread her wings across radio with news reports and was also a disc jockey (DJ). Over the next few years, Belva also wrote for other AfricanAmerican publications and in 1961 became editor for one - the Sun Reporter. “The majority of my experience was spent working in segregated media. I could only work at stations that were programmed especially for Black people. I could only write for newspapers that were published for a Black audience. And no one else would give me even a decent (job) interview for many years.” Belva made her television debut in 1963, inevitably covering an African-American beauty pageant, but it was an incident at the 1964 Republican National Convention in California that crystallised her ambition to become a serious and dedicated reporter with a voice. According to Belva, while she and a colleague were covering the event both were chased out of the venue by convention attendees who threw food at them amid yelling racial slurs. It would not be the last time that Belva encountered racism in her field: When she covered a Civil Rights march in Forsythe County, Georgia, she attempted to interview a white woman who responded by spitting in her face. Despite the prejudice she became an anchor woman and among the first to break the colour barrier when she was hired by a San Francisco TV station in 1967. But at that time, Belva says, society at large wasn’t ready for a Black female TV reporter. She recalls encountering hostility and scepticism. On top of that as the first female of colour in the newsroom, she was seen as an oddball and many of her colleagues thought she wouldn’t last. “I was working, doing the City Hall beat,
and I wasn’t allowed in the press room,” she exclaims. “I couldn’t even put a telephone in the press room.” Often, whilst attempting to do her job Belva was asked to leave news conferences because “This is for reporters”. “No one could believe that I was a reporter,” she explains. “I was refused an interview because the person I wanted to interview did not believe I was qualified to do so, and a couple of times in hotels, I was mistaken for the ironing or the cleaning person. Those were all parts of growing in the
Belva Davis overcame the obstacles of both racism and sexism, and helped change the face and focus of television news. business.” Even when Belva’s station sent her and a crew to interview former US President Gerald Ford, rejection was waiting around the corner. “There he was at the St Francis Hotel in San Francisco doing an interview. After it ended he went around the room and shook hands with everybody including the camera operators. I was the only Black person in that room and he did not greet me… he did not shake my hand. It was very awkward. Nobody knew how to respond.” Then suddenly, as the President left the room he did an about turn and walked back to Belva, greeted her, apologised, shook her hand and wished her well. Belva could not fathom why he would do an about turn, but thought perhaps the President had initially been taken by surprise where her presence was concerned. “Maybe he had not expected the likes of me to be there. We were in an era when Black people were not in responsible positions and
he had not expected a Black woman to be in that room questioning a president at the particular time in history.” Determined to prove the sceptics wrong, Belva worked long hours and eventually reported on some of the most explosive stories in the headlines; Vietnam war protests, the Al Qaeda bombings in Africa that preceded 9/11 and the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and gay activist Harvey Milk. In addition to the headline news, she sought out stories that would otherwise go untold. In the 70s and 80s, she was among the first in the nation to report on breast cancer, dyslexia and the mysterious new disease that was killing gay men - AIDS. It is believed that some lives were saved because of those early stories.” Belva was highly regarded for her coverage of politics and issues of race and gender, as well as her calm demeanour. Rita Williams, a reporter for KTVU, said, “Belva knew instinctively how to keep everyone in check. Amid all these prima donnas, she had so much class, so much presence, so much intuition. She has always been the grande dame”. Today, Belva is one of the reasons American television now reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the country. For years Belva Davis carried a sheet of paper with inspirational words that encouraged her. It stated: “Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so”. The grandmother, now in her 70s, is still sharing important issues by remaining active in journalism as host of a weekly current affairs television show. Off the air, she continues to promote the hiring of minorities in the media. She serves on several prestigious boards and once raised $5 million for the Museum of the African Diaspora in a year. Belva Davis’ autobiography Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism, can be found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Never-MyWildest-DreamsJournalism/dp/B008SM1VSW
Founding Father of the NABJ
ax Robinson (May 1, 1939 – December 20, 1988) was the ﬁrst African American broadcast network news anchor in the United States. The broadcast network news anchor began his television career in 1959; he was hired to report the news at WTOV-TV in Portsmouth, Virginia but was required to read it while hidden behind a slide of the
staon's logo. One night, Robinson had the slide removed, and was ﬁred the next day. He later went to WEC-TV in Washington, DC and stayed for three years, winning six journalism awards for coverage of civil rights events such as the riots that followed the 1968 assassinaon of Dr. Marn Luther King Jr. It was during this me that Robinson won two regional Emmys for a
documentary he made on black life in Anacosa entled The Other Washington. He was the founder of the Naonal Associaon of Black Journalists (NABJ). Today, the organisaon annually holds the naon's largest journalism convenon and career fair each summer with plenary sessions and workshops for career and professional development.
ention the name Lorlett Hudson and some people will hesitate as they try to put a face to the name. Mention ‘One Hand Cant Clap’ and everyone’s response is an immediate ‘ahh!’ Such is the brand’s position that the name of the person behind those famous cards of Jamaican proverbs “Things Mama Used To Say” is almost superfluous.
ONE HAND CANT CLAP! What do we mean by that?… working together to succeed perhaps?…or collective responsibility maybe?… How about: “No man is an island”? …accepting help from others or no one wins alone? Well, actually, it’s all of the above. “Growing up in Jamaica, where the language is rich with proverbs such as ‘one hand can’t clap’, from an early age my love of storytelling and proverbs became an important part of my life to the point that I named my business One Hand Cant Clap. My grandmothers’ inspirational storytelling, with their language laced with proverbs, taught me some valuable life lessons. It also helped me to develop my ideas with high expectations and strategies in order to navigate my life effectively. These proverbs help me to
Today, with the pressures of modern day living, it’s easy to forget our culture, our heritage, and the stories passed down throughout the generations. Life today sets the scene for the realisation that one hand really can’t clap. accomplish my goals while anticipating the possibility of obstacles along the way. I know life isn’t always going to be plain sailing but I’m prepared. I believe there is something powerful about these enduring proverbs, full of wisdom that thousands of us were raised on. Proverbs like ‘Dem tek bad tings mek laugh’ – teach people how to laugh during hard times and effectively navigate their lives out of what is concerning them. Proverbs have the power to move and inspire people into action, especially when used by someone with strong leadership skills. As a child, when my granny, Bertha, had to convey a message to get me into action she would simply say, ‘Yu caan sit pon de bucket an draw water a de same time’. For me that meant if you intend to succeed in life you have to put yourself
into action. My gran gave me some strong selfmanagement skills and tools using proverbs that enabled me to make key decisions swiftly. I have never forgotten them. These proverbs and sayings form an integral part of our cultural heritage; they represent the experiences of people through history and highlight the ingenuity and oral storytelling traditions and creativity of the Jamaican & Caribbean people in creating a form of communication that passes on knowledge and wisdom across generations. We may remember our grandparents telling us these proverbs and sharing their stories with us and believe they no longer have any relevance today, but we would be wrong. The saying ‘One Hand Cant Clap’ is as relevant today - if not more so than it was then. No man or woman is an island, we all need support. Our ancestors braved countless obstacles and hung in there through the good times and bad to make a difference in the world. Storytelling is at the heart of every language and culture. The power of story connects life experiences so we can share, learn and teach each other. We can come together, finding common ties (interesting how close the words ‘common ties’ are to ‘communities’!), giving us a sense of belonging and understanding of our culture. Today, with the pressures of modern living, it’s easy to forget our culture, our heritage, and the stories we were told. As technology becomes more advanced,
TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE Proverbs like ‘Dem tek bad tings mek laugh’ – teaches people how to laugh during hard times and effectively navigate their lives out of what is important to them. the use of oral traditions to pass on moral and educational messages in all cultures throughout the world has diminished. Be mindful to take time to speak with your families, your communities, sharing those common
ties that bring you together. Take time to develop your cultural intelligence; share the stories outside of your own culture as everyone can benefit from them. For example, who wouldn’t benefit from the saying, ‘If yuh caan hear yuh wuh feel’? To succeed in life if you don’t listen to advice when given, you will end up in trouble. In Jamaica’s 51st year of independence, let’s celebrate and reaffirm those proverbs which bound together our parents, grandparents, and ancestors throughout our history, and
sustain us today. We must continue to do our best to keep our heritage and traditions alive, using stories and proverbs in a positive way to develop ourselves to be the best we can be, to contribute within our communities and to guide our youths to success.” One Hand Cant Clap is a multi-award winning training and development business committed to reliably delivering training solutions that raises people’s aspirations to succeed in the things that matters to them.
Word Up Day At Lewisham Shopping Centre Tuesday 8 October from 10.30am-4pm Highlights within a day of delights combining words and music
ping Centre Lewisham Shop freely welcomes all tots of the sample elemen History Lewisham Blackme. Month program
Kicking off at 10.30am with Black History Month theme Baby Bounce with Lewisham Library staff.
Lloyd Bradley (author of Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King, a best-selling book written about Jamaican music) introduces his new book in person with words and music samples. As well as a journey through musical history,Sounds Like London: 100 years of Black Music in the Capital tells of the shaping of London and beyond through Black music. Listen in - buy a signed copy.
Steve Alexander Smith’s Black British Gospel is the subject. Steve will explore a range of gospel styles – both the enduringly popular and those which fuse with and other record industry subgenres – with the assistance of Pure Wisdom performing in those styles. Buy Steve’s book and accompanying music CD.
Professional storyteller and writer Sandra Agard takes on the persona of the Book Doctor, chatting to shopping centre visitors of all ages and dispensing ‘reading prescriptions’ and steers towards the best local Black History Month events.
Dr Lez Henry (aka Lezlee Lyrix) is both one of the pioneer UK Reggae-Dancehall DJs and a Social Anthropologist, researcher and educator. Dr Lez joins Lloyd with his own anecdotes and the Nu Beyond stall from which his books and on trend merchandise can be purchased. Lucreta La Pierre MBE, author of Meh Landing Frock, frequently writes and performs poetry in her native Creole. Enjoy highlights from Lucreta’s journey from idyllic childhood scenes on St. Vincent. From arrival in the UK as part of the Windrush generation of the 50s and 60s, life to community work in Catford, and a return to the land of her birth. A chance to buy the book and other merchandise. Lucreta returns as a member of Inspired Word, a Lewisham community-based creative arts group. Karen, Ottis and Hanneke from the group also take to the stage.
Venue and car parking information: www.lewishamshopping.co.uk Details of the full programme: www.lewisham.gov.uk/blackhistorymonth
What Glitters Really is Gold Having an entrepreneurial mother does help to shape a child, so when two sisters aged 11 and 13 decided to start their own business, it was no surprise to their mum.
ngenie, now 15, and Sachar, 13, began thinking “long term” about their future. They both want to go to university and they sought a way to pay towards the cost themselves. “We wanted to combine our creative skills within a business, but also to be independent, whilst having fun,” says Angenie. “I’ve seen our mother constantly working and wanted to make sure we too could contribute. We enjoy what we do and love meeting people.” The business name was created using a combination of both the girls’ names and with a logo that is also inspired from their purple amethyst and pearl birth stones. They began by creating small earrings for their mum’s’ charity, Cancer Research UK. This blossomed into a small but growing commerce. The sisters often spend their weekends and holidays at a variety of places to move their stock. Anieshar Accessories can be found regularly at festivals, craft fairs and even at Party Planners events whereby a host invites her friends to an evening of partying and pampering. They try on and buy jewellery while having a great evening. At the end, the host will get a free gift or gifts of value based on 40% of total sales of the night, or they can take 20% of the total sales in cash. “It’s all their idea, nothing to do with me, but I am very proud of them,” says their mother Elaine, who chauffeurs her children to their business stalls events, and uses the time to engage with customers to get them interested in being involved with her charity, Cancer Research UK, Relay for Life, of which she is the Chair for London.
“I’ve seen our mother constantly working and wanted to make sure we too could contribute” 50
L:R: Diane (from Eastenders), Angenie and Sachar
“The ultimate goal for Anieshar Accessories is to have highstreet stores, and for their label to be recognized on clothing lines as well as jewellery” says Angenie, who is hopeful to start with a range of shorts by next spring. Recently the girls branched out by providing ‘Anieshar Business in a Box’ for other young ladies who want to have their own businesses but cannot source jewellery and accessories themselves. Very much like a franchise. Info: 07985197041 / www.aniesharaccessories.com
Advertorial Youth in Excellence (YiE©) is a not for profit social enterprise, whose aim is to work with young people, families, schools and communities in a way that promotes understanding, confidence, empowerment and progression through a range of products and services. One of these products is the ‘Black Youth Achievement - BYA Awards©’. Since 2009, the BYA Awards© have been recognising and rewarding the talents, actions and personal accomplishments of young people between the ages of 8 and 25, of African Caribbean heritage in the UK.
interviews with BYA Award finalists, winners and ambassadors from 2009 to 2012, as well as culturally diverse inspirational video interviews with ‘ordinary’ people doing extraordinary things, articles on youth related matters, information on educational and career opportunities and lots more. It also gives the BYA participants a global platform of recognition and The BYA Awards© are proud to promote the real provides an opportunity to share their continued image of young black individuals, creating strong stories of success. role models and positive visual representations, who future generations can look up to and take Youth in Excellence worked in partnership Black Heritage Today by offering a journalism internship inspiration from. to young people. They conducted the interviews The BYA Awards are unique because of the diverse and wrote some of the articles for ‘YouthPhoria range of categories that people are nominated UK©’ whilst receiving valuable industry advice, within. These include - The Arts (Creative, Literary guidance and mentorship from Barbara Campbell. and Performing); Business and Enterprise; Choices; This opportunity demonstrated the benefits that can Community; Education; S.T.E.M (Science, be gained from developing effective partnerships Technology, Engineering and Math) and Sports. In with one another. addition, there are the categories of Personal Development Organisation of the Year and Mother & Father of the Year. These categories have enabled the awards to reach an intergenerational audience UK© and create a positive pathway of support and skills Look out for YouthPhoria th launching November 27 2013 to the individuals and groups who are associated with the awards. Nominees in all categories are For further details: acknowledged for their hard work, commitments Call 020 8677 8009 or email email@example.com and abilities to inspire others. www.youthinexcellence.com To celebrate BYA Awards 5th anniversary, www.blackyouthachievements.org Youth in Excellence are launching a digital Youth in Excellence CIC is a registered not for magazine in November 2013 called profit company where ‘Excellence is the YouthPhoria UK©. YouthPhoria UK© will feature Expectation’ 52
Black Heritage Today 2013-2014
Fashion as a whole is great, but most times it’s the accessories that make that outfit shine.
ccessories by Abiye is a new fashion accessories brand by Nigerian born, Abiye-Yvonne Dede who uses them to hand make fashion jewellery & accessories. Abiye has always had a passion for creating & customising jewellery from a tender age. She loves the vibrant colour and patterns of the African print fabric and describes accessorising as a key element of her personal style. “‘I love teaming up any look with ‘statement’ accessories because I love the way accessories can transform any basic outfit.” She hopes to use Accessories by Abiye to show how African fashion can be incorporated into work, party and casual outfits using her accessories.
“My vision from the start was to create quality, affordable, handmade accessories that embrace the essence of my personal style, which was rooted in my culture & heritage,” says Abiye. “I wanted to make accessories that are inspired by my African tradition and can be worn with everyday ‘Western outfits’ to create the ‘Africanmeets-Western’ look.’’ Abiye describes accessorising as a way of taking a simple, classic outfit & updating it with African inspired accessories for a look that
is more stylish and current. “I’ve always been fascinated with the way statement accessories can transform one simple outfit into various looks, and accessorising is a key element of my personal style. I love wearing accessories that make a statement – accessories that are unique, eye catching and elegant.” Currently all items are handcrafted with meticulous attention to detail by Abiye. The range consists of jewellery, earrings, bangles, necklaces, hair accessories, brooches, and other accessories such as handbags, clutch bags and shoes. They also have a growing collection of men’s accessories which isn’t limited to bow ties, pocket squares and cufflinks. The brand’s uniqueness extends to custom orders as all items are fully customisable and tailored to suit the requirements of each customer.
Launched in December 2012 Accessories by Abiye is available to purchase at: www.accessoriesbyabiye.com
Those who paved the way in ...
Giving the First Kick… Despite the discrepancies he did become the first black player to win a major competition. We look at the career of Andrew Watson, thought to be Britain’s first Black football player, ten years before Arthur Wharton’s triumph.
sk anyone who is into sports history who was the first Black professional footballer in Britain and without doubt the name Arthur Wharton flags up. Although Arthur Wharton is commonly thought to be Britain’s first Black player, Andrew Watson, born on 18th May 1857 in Demerara, British Guiana, is widely considered to be the world’s first Black association footballer to play at international level. He was capped three times for Scotland between 1881 and 1882. His career predates Wharton’s by nearly a decade, although Wharton became the first Black player to turn professional. Andrew Watson was born on 18th May 1857, Demerara, British Guiana (Guyana). He was the son of Peter Miller Watson, a wealthy Scottish sugar planter, and a local woman named Anna Rose. With this advantage Watson was educated at King’s College School where records show he excelled at football and other sports. He later studied natural philosophy, mathematics and engineering at the University of Glasgow when he was 19. It is there that his love of football blossomed. Watson played in the full back position, on either the right or the left flank. After first playing for Maxwell, in 1876 he signed for local side Parkgrove where he was additionally their match secretary, making him the first Black administrator in football. On 14 April 1880, Watson was selected to represent Glasgow against Sheffield. In November 1877 he married Jessie Nimmo-Armour - their son, Rupert, was born the following year and a daughter, Agnes Maude, in 1880. After the wedding in Glasgow, Watson signed for Queen’s Park F.C. – then Britain’s biggest football team – and later became their secretary. He led the team to several Scottish Cup wins, thus becoming the first Black player to win a major competition.
In 1882, he was the first Black player to play in the English Cup and two years later he was the first foreign player to be invited to join The Corinthians, the most exclusive of football teams that allowed only 50 members of high elite to join. During his
worthy of a place in any representative team.” Watson won three international caps for Scotland. His first cap came for Scotland-v-England on 12 March 1881, in which he captained the
time there, this included an 8 - 1 victory against Blackburn Rovers, who were at that time the English Cup holders. The campaign ‘Kick Racism out of Football’ may be needed in 2013 but the colour of Watson’s skin was of no significance to his peers and there is no historical record of racism on the part of the Scottish Football Association. His entry in the Scottish Football Association Annual of 1880–81 reads as follows: “Watson, Andrew: One of the very best backs we have; since joining Queen’s Park has made rapid strides to the front as a player; has great speed and tackles splendidly; powerful and sure kick; well
side; Scotland won 6 – 1. A few days later Scotland played Wales where they won 5 – 1. Watson’s last cap came on Scottish soil against England on 11 March 1882. This was a 5 – 1 victory, again to Scotland. In 1926 the sportswriter “Tityrus” (the pseudonym of J.A.H. Catton, editor of the Athletic News) named Andrew Watson as left back in his all-time Scotland team — a remarkable endorsement of the talent of a footballer who had played at such an early date, from a man who had watched almost every England-Scotland international over the preceding 50 years. Watson later emigrated to Australia. He died in January 1902.
A Blue Plaque for
In 1974 a promising young footballer, aged 18 years, made his debut for Leyton Orient.
formed a famous partnership with defender Brendon Batson and striker Cyrille Regis, aka the legendary ‘Three Degrees’. On Saturday 12th October 2013 the Nubian Jak Community Trust in partnership with Leyton Orient Football Club, Kick it Out and Waltham Forest Council will be unveiling the Laurie Cunningham Blue Heritage Plaque Tribute in the presence of family members, ex team mates, friends, fans and members of the public. All are invited to come and take part in this celebration. Chief Executive of Leyton Orient Football Club Matthew Porter said: “Laurie is one of our most fondly remembered players both for his talent and character. Arguably our most naturally gifted player of all time, his spirit very much lives on at the Club and every fan of his generation can recall watching him play. As a Club we are committed to keeping his memory alive and hope that he can continue to inspire many future generations.” Laurie’s brother Keith Cunningham is very proud of his sibling. “My brother & I were very close; I am extremely proud of his achievements & contribution he made to football. On behalf of the Cunningham family, I would like to thank everybody for their involvement of keeping Laurie Cunningham’s memory alive”. Venue: Plaque Ceremony: 6 Brisbane Road, London E10 5NZ. Time: Mid-day (12am ceremony start). For more info: 0800 093 0400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
sed as a second half substitute in a home game against Oldham Athletic at Brisbane Road, the match eventually finishes 3-1 to the O’s. However, there is no doubt to the home fans that they had discovered a new star. This fledgling talent would continue to do things with a football never before seen in the English game. His name was Laurie Cunningham, and 75 games later he would be gone sold to midland’s club West Bromwich Albion for £100,000, but not before being acknowledged by Leyton Orient fans as arguably the club’s most gifted ever player. Laurie would continue to make a name for himself at West Brom where he 57
Feature Young TALENT AML EYSAN AMEEN Ameen was born in London, to Vincentian (Caribbean) parents As a child he appeared in West End in shows such as Oliver! and Jolson. At the age of 11 he performed on stage with Michael Jacksonat the 1996 BRIT Awards, in a performance famously invaded by Pulp‘s singer Jarvis Cocker. Ameen’s first acting role was in 2004’s Bella and the Boys, in which he played the character Terry. Ameen starred in Jason Barrett‘s British feature film The Naked Poet, and won best actor at the V.I.P.F awards in 2010 for his performance. He was named one of The Tomes newspaper’s ‘Ones To Watch’ for 2006, and won ‘Best actor in a TV performance’ at the 2007 Screen Nation Awards. A year or so ago Aml appeared his first Hollywood film role, in George Lucas‘s Red Tails. A film about the African American Tuskegee airman in World War II. Aml appears alongside Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Terrence Howard. He will appear as Alby in the upcoming film adaptation of the young-adult, science-fiction, dystopian novel, The Maze Runner. The film will be released in February 2014.
BELINDA RUTH OWUSU Belinda Ruth Owusu (born 19 April 1989) is a English actress, who rose to prominence in 2006, aged 17, when she won the role of Libby Fox in BBC’s EastEnders. As a child she became a student at the Anna Fiorentini Theatre and Film School, opened in Hackney in 2001. She won sponsorship for a place at the school, which helped her to get a role in the BBC soap EastEnders, in 2006. She has played Libby Fox in EastEnders since May 2006. Prior to getting this role, she had appeared in a pizza advert. Owusu has also been a contestant in an EastEnders special of The Weakest Link, in In April 2010 it was announced that she would be leaving EastEnders. Belinda went on to work for the Nuffeild Theatre and working as Desdemona in their version of William Shakespeare‘s Othello, they are touring and going to schools to show their twist to the play. Owusu is of Ghanaian and English descent.
HANDS UP Who Wants to be a TOP BOY?
Many may see TV series like Top Boy, starring Ashley Walters, as pandering to the gangland culture, but many young actors are turning a negative into a positive and for some. It’s an opportunity to debate and help those who need their eyes opened.
aving forcibly removed the kingpin of the estates’ drugs industry, charming and smart 27 year-old Dushane (Walters) has finally made it as ‘Top Boy’, by securing his largest ever drugs deal with boss Joe (Hayman) but it has come at a price. Not only has he lost the friendship and support of his main ally Sully (Robinson), but police have uncovered the body of ex-rival Kamale – who Dushane and Sully brutally killed in a turf war - and they are closing in on the boys. After making a full recovery from her breakdown, Ra’Nell’s mum Lisa (Duncan-Brewster) lands a job managing a hair salon but just as her life appears to be back on track, dramatic rent increases put up by local property developers threaten to destroy everything she has worked for. Meanwhile, Gem’s (Mancini) reckless behaviour is
pulling Ra’Nell (Kamulete) away from the only opportunity he has to escape life on the streets. When the police finally catch up with Dushane, he finds himself falling for Rihanna (Burroughs), a smart and beautiful lawyer who shows him a world outside of the streets. But when the police put pressure on the boys’ trusted friends for information about Kamale’s death, Dushane and Sully must reconcile and work together to save their livelihoods - and their lives. Top Boy Season 2 (the first season was aired in 2011 on Channel 4) is written by screen writer and novelist Ronan Bennett (Public Enemies, Top
“I believe that young people are faced with these issues, whether it is peers taking part in it, young people discussing it, or music and films alike” Consultancy C.I.C, who engages with youths who have, or are on the cusp of, making the ‘wrong’ decisions for their lives, sees Top Boy as a platform for discussion. “I believe that young people are faced with these issues, whether it is peers taking part in it, young people discussing it, or music and films alike. With or without Top Boy it is there,” says Syrus. “At an outside glimpse ‘Top Boy’ may glamorise the behaviour, but on a deeper level if the characters are analysed, I believe there can be some positive learning gained. For example, Ra’Nell’s aspiring footballer is portrayed as a much stronger and admirable character than Mancini, who although is involved in weed growing, is clearly being used and now found himself in deeper than he wished and unable to get out.” He believes that in terms of deterring crime some of the solutions are going to be discussion, education and challenge, The Croydon-based director himself has been on the wrong side of the law. After spending time in prison he recognised that that was not the future he wanted to maintain. He changed his life around and devoted time to helping young people recognise where they are tempted and giving them the tools to walk up a different path. “I had the same temptations and access to this lifestyle and it was not discussed in school and it was not discussed at home, so my knowledge came from my peers or those involved in the lifestyle,” says Syrus. “I speak with many parents of children, either in court or in prison, and they had no clue of their child’s lifestyle choices or what their child
was capable of.” Unfortunately even with the evidence, some parents believe their children’s behaviour and attitude is primarily the fault of others around their child. Syrus has a rude awakening. “Ignoring and pretending this isn’t an issue that affects predominantly young black males doesn’t make it not real, neither does the banning of TV shows and music.” “The goal”, he insists, “is not for young people to listen to anyone, it’s about young people making informed decisions, discussing the issues, to be challenged and encouraged. Ideally this support would be continual with mentoring towards positive outcomes.” He maintains that using Top Boy as a base for addressing issues and engaging young people would turn a seemingly negative into a positive. One of those positives is in front of all those who have viewed the series. “The writing, acting and overall creation of these types of series employs and engages many young people who get to either further their careers, or start a career in acting, writing, music etc,” he points out. As for Ashley Walters (whose previous films includes: Outcasts, Hustle and Bullet Boy) was Top Boy a good move? Syrus was philosophical and down to earth in his reply: “It is a starring role on a leading TV network. Many actors and actresses are out of work through lack of opportunity. To stay relevant, be seen in a popular series, even with surrounding controversy, I believe is it is a good move for his (Walters) career. He has the ability to portray and play different roles and should showcase that given the opportunity.” In 2012 Chris Syrus won ‘Croydon’s Next Top Role Model’, a summer programme in the borough and in 2013 is recognised by Black Youth Achievers (BYA) to mark their 5th Anniversary. For more information visit: http://www.syrusconsultancy.com/
Boy Season 1) who uses his own experiences as an ex-Hackney resident to create an accurate portrayal of urban lives in East London. Exposing the harsh reality of a drugfuelled underworld, BAFTA award-winning crime, Top Boy, presents a frighteningly realistic depiction of gang life on London’s streets. But the question must be asked - is this not glamorising gang culture? However, Chris Syrus, Director of Syrus
Young TALENT NATHALIE JOANNE EMMANUEL Born in 1989 in Southend-onSea Natalie attended St Hilda’s School, Westcliff from the age of 3 to 11. She then moved schools, attending Westcliff High School for Girls from the age of 12. The English actress is best known for her role in the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks as Sasha Valentine, which she played from 2006 to 2010. Her first major television break came as the star of a summer Vodafone advertisement while she worked at a bank. She also played Nala in the West End production of The Lion King alongside Pippa Bennett-Warner and Dominique Moore. She then later played ‘Charlie’ in the E4 show, Misfits in the first episode of the third season. In January 2012 Emmanuel presented BBC Three’s Websex: What’s the Harm? investigating the online sexual habits of 16-24 year olds in the UK. Nathalie’s the role in HBO‘s Game of Thrones was that of Missandei and there’s talk of her be appearing in Fast and Furious 7. In 2007, Emmanuel presented the award for ‘Best R & B Act’ at the Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards alongside Martin Offiah. She also presented an award at the 2008 Urban Music Awards.
JIMMY AKINGBOLA Born in 1978 in Plaistow, at sixteen, Jimmy, a founding members of TriForce Promotions, a network that enables actors and talent to connect with each other and gain more opportunities in the creative industry., attended Epping Forest College where he studied performing arts. In 1996 he attended the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) in Wandsworth, London. In 2003, Jimmy became a regular in the first black BBC sitcom THE CROUCHES. He played the popular character of Dennis Dutton, followed in 2004 with a leading role at thee Birmingham Rae in the play BEZHTI. He returned to TV again in 2010 to play an iconic character in the BBC2 BAFTA Winning Comedy, REV, starring Tom Hollander and Olivia Colman, then played Babatunde, the Nigerian Receptionist in the BAFTA Winning Comedy Sitcom, TWENTY TWELVE, November 2013 will see Jimmy back on stage after a three year break due to TV and film commitments. He will be playing Winston in THE ISLAND, a play devised by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona. The apartheid era drama was inspired by a true story and is set in an unnamed South African prison based upon that inhabited by Nelson Mandela. Pic Credit: Abi Oshodi Photography
Those who paved the way in...
Black American actors, dissatisfied with the racism of Hollywood and Broadway, moved to London to forge successful careers in both stage and film. Now, the reverse is happening. With fewer job offers in the UK, this time it’s black British actors who are moving to Hollywood and finally finding the praise and success they deserve. ra Aldridge became one of the most famous Shakespearean actors of his time. Born near New York City in 1807, he attended Schenectady College to study theology. He didn’t complete the course but he left to pursue his love of acting. In 1825, he made his stage debut as the first black actor at Royal Coburg Theatre (today the Old Vic), London. From then on, Aldridge performed across the UK in dramas, comedies and Shakespeare - his famous role was that of Othello. He went around Europe breaking racial barriers during a time when many of his black American contemporaries were still enslaved. He had a sensational career and became the first black actor to achieve celebrity in the theatre. Following several years later Paul Robeson (1898 – 1976), an American actor of film and stage became the first major concert star to popularise the performance of Negro spirituals. Like Aldridge, he too played Othello (on Broadway) – the first black actor of the 20th Century to do so. Robeson’s earliest surviving film is 1924’s Body and Soul, a silent film which he played a preacher with a split personality. Between 1925 and 1942, Robeson appeared in eleven films – all but four of them British productions – after he and his wife moved to England in the late 1920s. The son of a former slave turned preacher, Robeson, who obtained a law degree, only drifted into acting because of a lack of opportunity in his chosen field. He made his London debut in 1922 and appeared in O’Neill’s play All God’s Chillun Got Wings in 1924. He also played the role of Joe, which was written for him, in the 1928 London production of Show Boat and repeated his performance in the 1932 Broadway revival of the show and the 1936 film version. Then of course there was the famous Elizabeth Welch (1904 – 2003). Her outstanding voice was noticed in a church
choir and she was booked to appear in a revue, Running Wild. The American-born singer made her debut in British films of the 1930s and 1940s. Sophisticated, glamorous and charming, her appearances were a refreshing departure from the stereotype of black women perpetuated by Hollywood films of that time. One of her best screen roles was Beulah, the nightclub owner and hostess, in Ealing’s Dead of Night (1945). After a long and distinguished career in West End musical theatre, Elisabeth returned to the screen in 1979.
All these well-known names made the move from America to London during the first half of the 20th Century to forge careers for themselves as actors and performers. These artists felt stifled by the lack of roles for them in Hollywood and Broadway, and saw Europe as their last calling card. However, where the UK film industry was once seen as a creative hotspot for black performers, it’s now become an insular little club governed by Oxbridge graduates whose antiquated ideas do not acknowledge the diversity of the country’s population. The UK, particularly London, is a snappy, multicultural society full of colour and vibrancy but, unfortunately, this is not being reflected on screen. A modern example of this whitewashing of the facts was seen in the Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts flick, Notting Hill. Even though the area has become gentrified over the years, Notting Hill has still got a large black population, none of whom were represented in that film. If anything, black performers are most likely these days to be seen as one-dimensional thugs and miscreants in episodes of The Bill and Crimewatch. This lack of satisfactory roles has prompted many black British actors to up sticks and take their craft to America, where they’re consistently delivering excellence in critically-acclaimed shows like The Wire, Oz, Without A Trace and Lost. Actors like Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Idris Elba, Eamonn Walker, Lennie James, David Harewood, Naomie Harris and Sophie Okenedo are all making a splash on the other side of the pond and, more often than not, they’re seen portraying American characters. When Marianne Jean-Baptiste broke the glass ceiling in 1995 and won an Oscar nomination for the Mike Leigh helmed Secrets & Lies, she became the first black British actress to gain such an accolade. Unfortunately for Jean-Baptiste, she discovered that back in Britain she wasn’t perceived as having broken new ground.
From pirate radio to the Royal Shakespeare Company, from South London to Singapore, Daniel Francis is leading the next generation of young classically trained British actors, into establishing an international career on stage and screen.
“I didn’t know anyone from my area who went to drama school so it was time to look into it more seriously”
Pics: Skye Tan
e was interested in acting as a child but in no way did Daniel Francis think he could take it seriously. “My mum has an old tape of The Jungle Book from my last year in primary school and me playing Baloo the Bear, songs, fur and all,” he chuckles, “however, in secondary school I hated it (acting). It became too abstract and artsy for me.” The Battersea-born actor, whose stomping ground included Clapham and Stockwell, liked exploring humanity and what makes people tick. “I like delving into parts of people that the everyday person doesn’t get to explore and often don’t want to, so when the project is disconnected from a strong story, human relationships and motivations, I lose interest,” he revealed. “That’s what happened at secondary school.” Aged 16, Daniel was introduced to the Pyramid Young Initiative. It was here that his interest in acting was re-ignited. “I loved it. We started looking at scenes and putting on plays. It was from there that I discovered there was such a thing as drama school.” But he also had a yen for music. “My main focus at that time was my music group Operation V.C.I. It was keeping me out of trouble and giving me a clear focus,” says Daniel. “I used to love rapping, doing PAs and hosting our pirate radio sets on Supreme and then Delight FM. Then the music scene started becoming negative, lyrics getting more violent,
Those who paved the way in... Shortly after her nomination, she was excluded from a group of actors sent to the Cannes Film Festival to promote British talent. She decamped to California in 2000 due to the dearth of roles for black women
here. In an interview in 2007, she said, “In the US, it’s much easier to get work once you have an Oscar nomination. In the UK, I was still being asked to meet for initial discussions about roles.” Then Jean-Baptiste plays an FBI agent in the missing persons’ cop drama Without A Trace which. In its fourth season it drew in more than 18 million viewers stateside. Another actor who’s enjoyed success on an American cop show is Idris Elba, who appeared in the first three seasons of the critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire. Although his character was a dangerous Baltimore drug lord, the script required Elba to deliver a nuanced, complex performance that felt far more multidimensional than any of the cardboard roles offered to him in Britain. Since then, he’s appeared in the harrowing independent feature Sometimes In April, which was based on the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and This Christmas, about an African-American family coming together for the holidays. Even though Elba has been tipped by the American press as Britain’s answer to Denzel Washington, he has had to downplay his Britishness in order to get the roles that he wanted in Hollywood. During the auditions for The Wire, the producers of the show didn’t even know that he was British. This reticence for a lot of black British actors to disclose their backgrounds so readily to American filmmakers is in stark 62
contrast to white British actors like Hugh Laurie and Anna Friel, whose Englishness is seen as a particularly attractive quality in Hollywood where, ironically, they portray American characters. Laurie in particular, whose volatile turn in House has earned him an Emmy Award, is shown
already an established actor in Britain when he went to Hollywood in the 1990s. An acquaintance of his was friends with one of the producers of the hit prison show Oz, so he requested to be recommended for the show. At first, the producer did not want to meet with
“Marianne Jean-Baptiste became the first black British actress to gain such an accolade after playing an FBI agent in the missing persons’ cop drama Without A Trace . It drew in more than 18 million viewers stateside” admiration and respect for his accurate Americanisms whilst black British actors have to downplay their roots. This is down to the fact that although American film and TV is getting more diverse just as the British film industry is getting more insular, there still aren’t enough roles for black American actors, let alone black British actors and, as such, they have to fight to get the jobs they want. It amounts to a curious kind of racism because, in the minds of Hollywood execs, they simply see the British actors as ‘black’ and, to them, that only means ‘black American.’ A case in point: Eamonn Walker was
Walker on account of the fact that he was British, but they finally met at a party and the role that has defined Walker’s career in Hollywood – the Muslim black nationalist inmate, Kareem Said – was finally his. Since then, Walker has carved out a CV that would make any actor, black or white, envious. He’s appeared on ITV1 as Othello as well as the lead in Justice, an American courtroom drama. This level of success has had a rippling effect and, now, actors like David Harewood (soon to be seen in the upcoming Mandela biopic) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost) are enjoying major success. In terms of actresses leading the way are Naomie Harris, who’s appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean and Miami Vice alongside Jamie Foxx. There’s also Sophie Okenedo, whose astonishing turn as a Tutsi woman in Hotel Rwanda alongside Don Cheadle earned her Golden Globe, BAFTA and Oscar nominations, becoming the second black British woman after Marianne Jean-Baptiste to achieve this feat. Despite all this success, many black actors are still facing a great deal of difficulty procuring work and there are still many more mountains to climb in terms of equality. However, some headway has been made and, as long as there are fearless, headstrong performers who continue to go the way their hearts beat, there’ll always be always a sense of possibility.
Thurs 10 Oct MALCOLM X: BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY A documentary about Malcolm’s life from his childhood. The film features a mixture of interviews and lectures. Malcolm’s life is well chronicled in this documentary. There will be a discussion after the screening. Hot food and Refreshments will be on sale. Venue: Marcus Garvey Library, Tottenham Green Centre, 1 Phillip Lane, Tottenham, London, N15 4JA. Nearest Tube: Seven Sisters Station. Nearest Mainline: Bruce Grove Station. Buses: 123, 149, 230, 243, 259, 279, 318, 341, 349, 476, W4. Time: 6.30pm (doors 6pm). Adm: Free. Info: 0208 489 5309 SAT 12 OCT MAAFA 2007 (Cert: U) Film Screening and Q&A By Black History Studies. British government promoting an inaccurate revisionist version of the 1807 Abolition of the ‘Slave Trade’ Act, many were determined to ensure that Truth prevailed in 2007. With contributions from community activists, project workers, teachers, historians and the business community, this documentary confronts the myths about British slavery, presents the true history of the Maafa and African resistance and examines the politics of the government’s bicentenary celebrations. Refreshments Donations will be welcomed. Venue: Marcus Garvey Aldult Library, Ground Floor, Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, 1 Philip Lane, London N15 4JA. 6-9pm. Adm: Free. Info: 0208 489 5350. Sun 13 Oct POST TRAUMATIC SLAVE SYNDROME (Cert: Exempt) Film Screening and Q&A. Dr. Joy DeGruy authored the book entitled “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing”, which address the residual impacts of trauma on African Descendents in the Americas. Post Traumatic Syndrome lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present, and opens up the discussion of how we can eliminate nonproductive attitudes, beliefs and adaptive behaviours and, build upon strengths we have gained from the past to heal injuries of today. Refreshments Donations will be welcomed. Venue: Marcus Garvey Aldult Library, Ground Floor, Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, 1 Philip Lane, London
shootings in clubs, and I could feel it influencing me in a way I didn’t like.” Wanting to get away from these potentially negative influences, he started looking for his own unique path. He enrolled in drama school and this time took it seriously. “I didn’t know anyone from my area who went to drama school so it was time to look into it more seriously. I went to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and a new journey began.” It was here that Daniel Francis came into his own. The year 2007 led to a “dream opportunity” to appear alongside John Lithgow (3rd Rock From the Sun, Shrek) in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Twelfth Night. “From the moment I heard about the RSC it became my goal to work there. Just thinking about the calibre of actors who had worked there, I knew I had to do it also. It was an incredible feeling. You have movement, text and voice workshops at the RSC so you are continually growing on the job, which is important for me.” His time there facilitated a perfect transition from drama school into the industry. London audiences were introduced to Daniel in the return of Bijan Sheibani’s Olivier Award nominated The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney at the Young Vic. This performance established Daniel as a leading man, and his critically-acclaimed performance in the title role of The Hounding of David Oluwale, followed shortly after. The true story of a Nigerian immigrant subjected to police brutality and eventually found dead in a river near Leeds, spanned a 20year period and presented Daniel with an opportunity to showcase a complexity and depth of emotion, and the ability to transform physically. Surely it must have been strange to play someone who was dead? “ No, the playwright Oladipo Agboluaje decided to have David as a sort of restless spirit helping Detective Perkins to fill in the missing pieces of the case through flashbacks.” Daniel was now on a roll and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving soul. The Royal Court theatre saw Daniel and Ashley Walters take the lead in Off The Endz by Olivier Award-winning playwright Bola Agbaje, directed by Jeremy Herrin. His performance sparked interest from the USA and initiated his on-going affiliation with the industry in Los Angeles. ”I’ve been back and
forth a few times and the mind-set is very different in the States, the get-up-and-go ‘make it happen’ mentality resonates with me. My main aim was to learn and absorb how they do things and bring that work ethic back with me. It was great!” Daniel was reunited with director Dawn Walton (The Hounding of David Oluwale), in the comedy One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show by Don Evans, followed by screen roles in ITV’s Eternal Law, Noel Clarke’s Fast Girls, and a supporting role in the ITV military drama Homefront alongside Clare Higgins, Greg Wise and George Costigan. He then returned to the stage to work with artistic director David Lan in the controversial play Blackta. What is he doing now and does he think there will EVER be a black James Bond? 2013 presented Daniel with the opportunity to delve deeper into his love of Shakespeare in the title role of Othello and he has an episode of Holby which will be screened in November. Daniel is also developing a TV series as well as a programme for educating actors about the business side of our industry. But back to James Bond: “Ha ha! Will a black man ever play Bond?” grins Daniel. “If it’s not Idris I don’t think anyone else has enough charisma and swagger to carry it off. Me? I’m a bit too young right now. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.” Pics: Skye Tan
FILM Screening / Documentary Sat 6 , 13 , 20 , 27 Oct FAMILY FILM CLUB SCREENINGS Multi-cultural films for the family. Look out for additional multi-cultural focus within our films for the whole family in October. 4pm to 5pm Free Council Venue: Forest Hill Library, Dartmouth Road, London SE23 3HZ
Wanting to get away from these potentially negative influences, he started looking for his own unique path 63
Film/Theatre N15 4JA. 4-7pm. Adm: Free. Info: 0208 489 5350. Tue 15 Oct ONCE UPON A TIME WHEN WE WERE COLORED Award winning film adaptation of Clifton L. Taulbert’s autobiography set in an African/American community in the segregated South, the film follows Taulbert through three decades from his birth in a cotton field through to the harsh realities of being black in the mid-20th century deep south.110Mins, Cert PG (Adult Situations/Questionable for Children). Venue: Drovers Centre, North Road, London N7 9EY. 6pm. Adm: Free but book. Info: 07807 325 369. Tue 15 Oct CARMEN JONES (1954) As part of Black History Month, the Ritzy cinema will be screening Carmen Jones, Otto Preminger’s wartime retelling of Bizet’s opera Carmen featuring an allblack cast led by Dorothy Dandridge - the first black actress nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the title role. Venue: The Ritzy Cinema, Brixton, London SW2 1JG. 12pm. Adm: £3.50 for the Over 60s. Info: 0871 902 5739 / http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/ Wed 16 Oct THE STORY OF LOVERS ROCK, Writer/director Menelik Shabazz introduces his feature length film which celebrates Lovers Rock and the generation that embraced it, referencing many Lewisham notables and their stamp on the ‘romantic reggae’ sound and scene. 6pm to 8pm Free Council Venue: Deptford Lounge, 9 Deptford Lounge, Giffin Street London SE8 4RW Thu 17 Oct MENELIK SHABAZZ INTRODUCES THE SCREENING OF THE STORY OF LOVERS ROCK Writer/director Menelik Shabazz introduces his feature length film which celebrates Lovers Rock and the genration that embraced it, referencing many Lewisham notables and their stamp on the ‘romantic reggae’ sound and scene. Venue: Forest Hill Library, Dartmouth Road, London SE23 3HZ. 5.30pm 7.45pm. Adm: Free Thu 17 Oct DREAM TO CHANGE THE WORLD (Cert: Exempt) Film Screening plus and Q&A. The documentary film, “Dream to Change the World”, draws on the visual archive of past events in the multicultural history of Trinidad and its Diaspora to tell the story of John La Rose’s life. Having been involved in workers rights movements in Trinidad in the 1940’s and 1950’s leading up to independence from the British, La Rose settled in London and became an active member of Britain’s black community in the early 1960’s
Director Andy Mundy-Castle and yummy Caribbean food.The film captures the cultural importance of barbering as an institution throughout marginalized communities and what the profession really means to the four men and what inspires their desire to succeed. 76 mins, Cert 15 . Venue: Mildmay Community Centre, Woodville Rd, N16 8NA. 7pm. Adm: Free but book. Info: 0207 249 8286 / email@example.com
not to be missed screenings of the ﬁrst all black ( Race) Silent Film - Within Our Gates by Oscar Micheaux as well as the other talkies made by Early Black Film makers. Abandoned by her ﬁancé, an educated negro woman dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished negro youths. Within Our Gates was produced and directed by Oscar Micheaux in 1919. He is considered to be the ﬁrst African-American director of feature ﬁlms and this is the ﬁrst such ﬁlm sll in existence. Also being screened is Ethnic Noons, the Emmy Winning Documentary by Marlon Riggs, which takes viewers on a disturbing voyage through American history, tracing for the ﬁrst me the deep-rooted stereotypes which have fueled an-black prejudice. Through these images we can begin to understand the evoluon of racial consciousness in America. "Riggs packs enough in one hour to ﬁll a documentary three mes its length! Hearing the songs, watching the ﬁlms and seeing all the arfacts are what make Ethnic Noons roll with the power of a juggernaut... It’s nothing short of astounding", whilst another said it’s a "historically accurate, though ul, skillfully-craed treatment of the racial stereotypes and images that have plagued Black people
since slavery. It is a compelling documentary, a superb teaching aid, and an impressive work of art". Take part in the discussion aerwards about the portrayals of Black folks in Hollywood and mainstream ﬁlms and the need for all black, known as ‘Race’ Films. Day two will be examine Race and ‘Religious’ with a discussion by panel of ﬁlmmakers and the screening of, among others the religious ﬁlms - Hallelujah . Take part in Early Black Filmmakers - A Black History Month Event is on Mon 28 & 29 Oct 2013 at West Greenwich Community & Arts Center, 141 Greenwich High Road , Royal Greenwich SE10 8JA. 10am - 3.50pm. Adm: £5 per screening. Info@ firstname.lastname@example.org / 0208 333 0086. Within our Gates: hp://www.youtube.com/watc h?v=h1E0NrcnwAE
The Early Black Film Makers Refreshments Donations will be welcomed. Presented by Michael La Rose. Venue: Marcus Garvey Library, Library Ground Floor, Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, 1 Philip Lane, London N15 4JA. Info: 0208 489 5350. Fri 18 Oct PRESSURE Hailed as Britain’s first black feature film, Pressure is a hard-hitting dramatisation of
the tensions that exist between first and second generation West Indian immigrants in 1970s London. 120mins, Cert 15. Venue: The Peel Centre Percy Circus, King’s Cross, London WC1X 9EY.11am Adm: Free but book. Info: 07807 325 369. Fri 18 Oct FADE Followed by Q&A with British Filmmaker
Sat 12 Oct MAAFA TRUTH 2007 Featuring onscreen contributors such as Dr Abiola Ogunshola, emma pierre and so on. Comes community activists, project workers, teachers, historians and the business community, this documentary confronts the myths about British slavery, the true history of the Maafa and African resistance and examines the politics of the government’s bicentenary celebrations. Venue: Marcus Garvey Library, Tottenham Green Centre, 1 Phillip Lane, Tottenham, London, N15 4JA. Nearest Tube: Seven Sisters Station. Nearest Mainline: Bruce Grove Station. Buses: 123, 149, 230, 243, 259, 279, 318, 341, 349, 476, W4. Time: 6.30pm (doors 6pm). Adm: FREE. Info: 0208 489 5309 Sun 13 Oct POST TRAUMATIC SLAVE SYDROME The screening addresses the residual impacts of trauma on African Descendants in America, and understanding how the past has influenced the present. Later on, the Q&A on how we can eliminate non-productive attitudes, beliefs and adaptive behaviours, upon the strengths we have gained from the past. Venue: Marcus Garvey Library, Tottenham Green Centre, 1 Phillip Lane, Tottenham, London, N15 4JA. Nearest Tube: Seven Sisters Station. Nearest Mainline: Bruce Grove Station. Buses: 123, 149, 230, 243, 259, 279, 318, 341, 349, 476, W4. Time: 4pm (doors 3.30pm). Adm: FREE. Info: 0208 489 5309 Mon 14 Oct THE UK PREMIERE OF C.O.P CRIME OF THE POLICE This is a documentary about unarmed Black men killed by police in Northern California and San Francisco. It shows cases and vivid pictures of the reality on Police Brutality in America. Consisting interviews with Attorney Adante Pointer From The Law Offices Of John Burris and former Black Panther Party Chairperson, Elaine Brown. Children under 16 are free. Venue:PCS Headquarters, 160 Falcon Road, Clapham Junction, London SW11 2LN, (3 minutes walk from Clapham Junction.) Time:7pm (doors 6.30pm). Adm: £5. Info: 0208 881 0660 Tues 15 Oct BOB MARLEY THE MAKING OF A
LENGEND Based on footage shot in the early seventies and lost for more than thirty years, NAACP IMAGE AWARD winner Esther Anderson takes us on a to journey Jamaica and into 56 HOPE ROAD, Kingston, to see and hear the young Bob Marley before he was famous. Q&A with director Esther Anderson and co-director Gian Godoy. Venue: PCS Headquarters, 160 Falcon Road, Clapham Junction, London SW11 2LN, (3 minutes walk from Clapham Junction.) Time: 7pm (doors 6.30pm). Adm: £5. Info: 0208 881 0660 Wed 16 Oct ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE: THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY The film covers slavery, civil-rights activists, assassinations in the ‘60s, and explores methods used by police, the FBI, and the CIA to divide and destroy the key figures in the Black Panthers. Watch as they explore beyond the Panther history to more recent times. Children under 16 are free Venue: PCS Headquarters, 160 Falcon Road, Clapham Junction, London SW11 2LN, (3 minutes walk. Mon 21 Oct LUMUMBA: DEATH OF A PROPHET (Cert: Exempt) Film Screening and Q&A. The film offers a unique opportunity to reconsider the life and the legacy of one of the legendary figures of modern African history. Like Malcolm X, Patrice Lumumba is remembered less for his lasting achievements than as an enduring symbol of the struggle for selfdetermination. This deeply personal reflection by acclaimed film maker Raoul Peck on the events of Lumumba’s brief twelve month rise and fall is a moving memorial to a man described as a giant, a prophet, a devil, “a mystic of freedom”, and the “Elvis Presley” of African politics. Refreshments Donations will be welcomed. Free Venue: Marcus Garvey Library, Library Ground Floor, Tottenham Green Leisure Centre 1 Philip Lane, London N15 4JA. 79pm. Adm: Free. Info: 0208 489 5350. Wed 23 Oct SAPPHIRE (1959) This 1959 film was directed by Basil Dearden. In 1950s London racial hostility to Commonwealth immigrants is openly paraded. A pregnant girl, initially assumed to be white, is murdered. As two detectives start to investigate, and discover her racial origins were much more mixed, public prejudices and those of the officers themselves are exposed. Venue: Minet Library, 52 Knatchbull Road, SE5 9QY. 2pm. Info: 0207 926 6073 Wed 23 Oct LINCOLN (Cert 12). Steven Spielberg directs Lincoln, a revealing drama that focuses on America’s 16th President’s 2nd term in office and his battle to end slavery and
Born for the Camera A
mbitious, driven and gorgeous Kyla Frye is an award-winning actress and model from East London, hailed by Future Leaders magazine as one of Britain’s ‘100 most outstanding young graduates’. Both of Kyla’s parents forged successful careers in the entertainment industry, so she naturally developed a passion for the performing arts at an early age. Aged just two she made her camera debut in 1990, beating more than 2,000 entrants to win TV Toddler of the Year, a competition launched by BBC1-s popular daytime programme Open Air, hosted by Eamonn Holmes. The young star was rewarded with an appearance in the music video for British folk singer Tanita Tikaram’s hit “We Almost Got it Together”, and gained further experience performing in theatrical productions at infant school. Over the next few years, she would travel to South Africa and the Czech Republic to sing with her school choir, and attend Jennifer Hayley’s stage school where Kyla learnt drama, ballet, modern, tap, and contemporary jazz dancing, alongside classmate and future Sugababes singer Jade Ewen. While still in her teens, Kyla joined street dance troupes Boy Blue Entertainment and Estate of the Arts, and honed her skills competing in the International Street Dance Championships and performing at venues such as Wembley Arena and Sadler’s Wells. Around the same time, she began nurturing a previously undeveloped passion for acting and joined Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Youth Theatre and Identity
Drama School and Agency. “All I wanted to do was, as an actor, take ownership of my craft and take my career in the direction that I wanted it to go,” says Kyla.
She was nominated for her passion and dedication towards her craft, and for also inspiring future generations. Kyla Frye is considered a talent and a powerhouse to look out for. Her commitment led to further acting work and by the following year she was nominated for Best British Actress at the Black Filmmakers Awards for her role in The Hydra, which won Best Film on the night. In 2010, Kyla collected Black Entertainment, Film, Fashion, Television and Arts (BEFFTA) awards for Best Model, and in 2011 was nominated for Best Film Actress, respectively.
Additionally, in 2011, she received a Black Youth Achievement award in honour of her work in the performing arts and now represents the organisation as an ambassador. Kyla also featured in comedian Angie Le Mar’s play, Younger Brothers and in a series of productions at Soho Theatre including Noel Clarke’s, “The Play”. More recently, Kyla made her big screen debut in Sheila Nortley’s Zion and celebrated the premiere of her first feature film, The Naked Poet, directed by Jason Barrett. Adding a business strand to her bow, the actor and model widened her resumé when she set up her own production company in 2013. Kyla Fryeday Entertainment Ltd gave Kyla the opportunity to release her filmmaking debut, The Key, which she declares is not another “urban” company that perpetuates the “bootyshaking, blinged out, hood-rat” ideologies. “I was tired of complaining about the stereo-typecasting and the lack of opportunities within the industry for people of colour and decided to actively try to do something about it,” says Kyla. “The Key was about creating that change and working with people who wanted to be a part of that change also. We deal with REAL stories, for and by REAL people.” The film has been seen by over 21,000 people on TV. It is also the most watched of all the British Urban Film Festival (BUFF) shows on BBC iPlayer. The Key has since gone on to be screened at Channel 4 and was also an official selection for film festival, Caribbean Film Corner. Watch out for Kyla in the feature film, Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise. www.kylafrye.com 65
Just Classically British Photo: John Pridmore
Building on their spectacular 10th anniversary event last year, Classically British continues with its unique celebration of a rich, cultural dance fusion. change the fate of generations to come, or did it? Children 12 years plus. 150minutes. Venue: Wood Green Library, Business Lounge, 187-197A High Rd London N22 6XD. 6.30 – 9pm. Info: 0845 071 4343. Fri 25 Oct AUDRE LOURDE: THE BERLIN YEARS 1984-1992 Followed by networking drinks Audre Lorde, is the highly influential, award winning African-American lesbian poet came to live in West-Berlin in the 1980s. 84mins, Cert: PG Venue: 200A Pentonville Rd, London, Greater London N1 9JP.7pm. Adm: Free, adv booking. Info: 0207 832 5800. Mon 28 Oct GUESS WHO IS COMING TO DINNER (Cert PG 103mins). Film Night Screening of a classic. Starring Sidney Pottier, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in the 1967 film this is groundbreaking comedy-drama about interracial marriage. Venue: Wood Green Library, Business Lounge, 187-197A High Rd London N22 6XD. 7-9pm. Info: 0845 071 4343 Tues 29 Oct THE LONG WALK OF NELSON MANDELA Telling the story of the man behind the myth, examining Mandela’s character, leadership and transformation in prison
reaking new ground by showcasing British ethnic minority dancers and choreographers in classical and neo-classical ballet, the organisation creates a platform for all to express their diverse cultures through the language of dance. Their forthcoming event features two short films, a photographic exhibition and afternoon dress rehearsal. The short film, ‘Classically British’, showcases the history of the project and gives a historical account of the rise of Black and Asian classical ballet dancers in the UK. Directed by Dennis Alexander, it pays tribute to the dancers and artists that have been a part of Classically British for the past 10 years. The evening show which features artists like Rambert Dance, as well as guests from the commercial mainstream, is part of the lifelong ambition and creative vision of Mark Elie. As the Artistic Director of Portobello Dance and Director of Classically British, he is committed to promoting the careers of British dancers of ethnic origin. Elie trained at Rambert School of Ballet and the Dance Theatre of Harlem. His dance career included works with Ballet Gulbenkian, Arlene Phillips’ Hot Gossip, numerous West End shows and TV appearances. He is also a rehearsal director and former member of the Carol Straker Dance Company. See Classically British on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 October at The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W11 2AY. Main door 6.30pm, show 7.30pm. Admission: £10. Dress rehearsal times: 12.45pm (show 1.45pm). Admission: £5. Info: 07947 484 021 www.facebook.com/pages/Classically-British/28281803250
from a risk-taking radical into a mature leader and statesman. 120 minutes, Cert PG. Venue: St Luke’s Centre, 90 Central Street, London, EC1V 8AJ 7pm. Adm: Free but book. Info: 0207 832 5818.
our barbers, four lives, one story... The Fade is an inmate portrait of four Afro barbers across the world over seven days. The observaonal documentary reveals exactly what this profession means to society in the 21st century. Set in Ghana, Jamaica, the USA and the UK, the ﬁlm interweaves the barbers' stories and explores the contrasts between their diﬀerent countries. This ﬁlm, Directed by Andy Mundy-Castle, was screened last year and is back
by popular demand! The cast includes Pharrel Williams, Jay Sean, Joe Budden. Take part in the talk and discussion, with The New Black Collecves. Venue: Stra ord East Picture House, London. Cert: 15 and lasng 76 min. Time: 8pm. Adm: £6, concs available. For a trailer visit: www.tnbfc.co.uk
Fri 1 Nov OF GOOD REPORT An extraordinarily accomplished and darkly comic film, shot in Xhosa is set in underprivileged rural areas of South Africa follows the fortunes of introverted high school teacher Parker Sithole regarded as a man “of good report”. Shortly thereafter, he meets a mesmerising young woman, Nolitha (brilliantly played by newcomer Tshuma) in a local bar, and he falls for her. The next day Nolitha walks into his classroom and he realises that the blossoming love which has brought joy into his world is forbidden. 101mins. Followed by a Q&A with Director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka. Venue: Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE. 6.35pm. Info: 0871 902 5734. Sun 3 Nov MOTHER OF GEORGE A mesmeric, visually stunning drama in a New York immigrant community. Brooklyn restaurant owner Ayodele (Gurira) and his bride Adenike (Alafia) are married and blessed with traditional Nigerian prayers of fertility. But Adenike does not become
pregnant and, under pressure from her mother-in-law, must take drastic measures to save her marriage. With sumptuous cinematography by Bradford Young (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints), Dosunmu’s exquisitely moving second feature captures the vibrant culture of the Yoruba community in New York. Dir. Andrew Dosunmu. With Danai Gurira, Isaach De Bankolé, Yaya Alafia. 106min. Venue: Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE. 8.30pm. Info: 0871 902 5734. Fri 8 Nov COZ OV MONI II The GUBA Special Achievement Awardwinning duo FOKN Bois, popularly known for thanking God they are not “a Nigerians” after giving the world its first ‘Pidgeon Musical’ Coz Ov Moni, are among the most well-known Ghanaian artists in the world due to their unconventional style, ingenious and shocking lyrics, and progressive sounds. In this uproarious sequel, the Bois are out for revenge on a machete-wielding gang that ambushed, wounded, robbed and left them for dead. Q&A with director Mensa
Ansah of FOKN Bois. 73mins. Venue: Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE 9pm. Info: 0871 902 5734. Sat 9 Nov THE PRESIDENT (LE PRESIDENT) Currently censored in its native Cameroon, Bekolo’s characteristically stylish and intelligent film takes a piercing, fictionalised look at current affairs. It’s the night before an important summit, and the head of state vanishes into thin air. Potential heirs and overthrowers converge around the capitol, while bloggers, hangers-on and talking heads tussle with the president’s problematic legacy. Bekolo gestures unmistakably toward Cameroon’s own 31-year president Paul Biya, as well as the varied bigshots across the continent who have consolidated postcolonial power in the vacuum of leadership. Followed by a Q&A by director Jean-Pierre Bekolo. Venue: Ritzy Cinema, Brixton, London SW2. 7pm. Sun 10 Nov GRISGRIS Dir. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. With
BYTE SIZE GIG
JACKSON LIVE IN CONCERT
ust about every dance lover and MJ fan think they can ‘do’ Michael Jackson but ‘Jackson Live in Concert’ sees long-time fan and hugely talented Ben recreate the Michael Jackson experience with a stunning rendition of all his favourite songs, and he’s totally mind-blowing. See ‘Jackson Live in Concert’ on Thurs 24 Oct at Millfield Theatre, Millfield Arts Centre, Silver St, London N18 1PJ. 8pm. Adm: £21, Info: 0208 807 6680 / www.millfieldartscentre.co.uk Souleymane Démé, Anaïs Monory, Cyril Guei. France/Chad. 2013. 101min. Colour. Charming, visually lush and consistently surprising, Grisgris is Haroun’s most optimistic film to date. The film ingeniously tracks Grisgris overcoming all kinds of obstacles, fighting both his disability and the baddies (he
starts to work for a gang of petrol smugglers). Will Grisgris get the girl (Monory)? Venue: Cine Lumiere,17 Queensberry Place, London, Greater London SW7 2DT. Adm: 8.15pm. Info: 0207 871 3515 / Info: www.filmafrica.org.uk
HACKNEY celebrates 25 years of BLACK HISTORY MONTH
ackney Council is launching its annual Black History Season of FREE events, entertainment and educational activities for adults, children and young people in celebration of black culture and achievements in the borough and beyond. The packed programme runs from October to December. This year Hackney explores 25 years of Black History Month in Britain as well as oral tradition and the written word, highlighting key contributions from the black community over the years. The season will be launched at Hackney Museum on 26 September with the opening of its exhibition – Sankofa, the truth behind Black History Month 1926-
2013. Sankofa means ‘the wisdom of learning from the past to build the future’, and the exhibition will reflect on over 75 years of the history of African and African Caribbean people in this country to the rise of Black History Month, from its American origins to its beginnings here 25 years ago and its growth and development across London. Hackney’s eight libraries and Hackney Archives will also be putting on a series of events, with a focus on art, literature, music and culture. A host of influential people from the creative community will be delivering workshops or giving talks throughout the programme including novelists, performers, writers and poets. Workshops include: Jamaican speak performance, traditional head wraps and braiding, Afro Caribbean dance sessions and mask making. There will also be film showings, stories and music as well as debates tackling topics such as the future of black publishing.and how well are black
people represented in sport and its hierarchy? Please tweet your views, stories and pictures from Black History Season using #BHHackney. Events take place until the end of November 2013, with the Hackney Museum exhibition running until 4 January 2014. Some events require you book in advance. For more information and the detailed programme of activities, visit: www.hackney.gov.uk/blackhistory-month
Troubled Island W
orking in New York and Los Angeles as a performer and arranger of popular music and a composer of concert music and grand opera with over 150 works to his name, the Black American musician William Grant Still combined European, New World and African musical heritages to create a unique modernist style which fused and transcended the contemporary influences of classical and jazz. Troubled Island (1949) tells the story of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, once a slave, then a rebel general. He led the Haitian Revolution and became the first Emperor in the age of Napoleon, ruling an independent Haiti under the 1801 constitution. With dynamic scenes of heroism, love, betrayal and murder, as a commentary on the revolutionary life it parallels the better
known tragedies of Spartacus and Emiliano Zapata. The opera by William Grant Still (18951978), with libretto by Langston Hughes (1902-1967) Is produced by Thee Black Swan Theatre & Opera Company. Do not miss the first chance in the UK to see a taster presentation of this major work in London venues of repute see Troubled Island starting from: Thursday 31st Oct, Friday 1st & 2nd Nov, at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate N6 4BD. 7.30pm. Adm: ÂŁ7. Info: 0208 340 3488; Fri 8th & 9th Nov at Catford Broadway Studio Theatre, Catford SE6 4RU. 8pm. Info: 0208 690 0002; then on Fri 8th & November and Saturday 9th November 2013 at The Wilberforce Theatre, The Museum of London, Docklands E14 4AL . 8pm. Info: 0207 001 9844.
And on Sun 10 Nov at The Wilberforce Theatre, The Museum of London, Docklands Sunday 10th November at 7.30pm. Adm: ÂŁ7. Info: 0207 0019844 / 07747 770 722
ALL MY SONS
Theatre Now – 26 Oct CALL MR ROBESON Based on what happened when Paul Robeson - great and famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner got too outspoken for the establishment’s liking. He was branded a traitor to his country, and denied opportunities to perform or travel. Directed by Olusola Oyeleye, 80mins. Venue: Tristan Bates Theatre, 1A Tower Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9NP. 7.30pm, mat 4.30pm. Adm: £12 (£10 concs, £7 schools. Info: 0207 240 6283. Now – 31 Oct GINA YASHERE “Girl where yu bin?” Gina has been well and truly missed but apparently 2012 has been a momentous year for her, working in the US. Now she’s bak. Yippee. Venues include: The Public, Birmingham; The Epstein, Liverpool; The Y theatre, Manchester, The Albany London; The Glee Club, Cardiff and Fairfield Halls, Croydon. Info: www.ginayashere.com
oe and Kate Keller, are an all-American couple who have the ghosts of World War II living in their backyard. Joe is a successful, self-made businessman, a loving family man and a pillar of the community. He is a partner in a machine shop building fighter plane parts. One thing overshadows Joe and Kate’s happiness - their son is missing in action, presumed dead by all but his mother. In Joe and Kate Keller’s family garden, an apple tree - a memorial to their son Larry, lost in the Second World War has been torn down by a storm. But his loss is not the only part of the family’s past they can’t put behind them. Not everybody’s forgotten the court case that put Joe’s partner in jail, or the cracked engine heads his factory produced which caused it and dropped twenty-one pilots out of the sky. All My Sons is Arthur Miller’s 20th Century classic play based on a true story about social responsibility set against personal gain. The lead roles unite two of the country’s most distinguished actors – Don Warrington MBE (Rising Damp, Death in Paradise) as Joe and Doña Croll (Casualty, Doctors) as Kate. Both are outstanding actors).Directed by Michael Buffong, this Talawa Theatre Company’s play is one of extraordinary power and emotional depth. The full cast also includes Delroy Atkinson, Simon Coombs, Andrea Davy, Roger Griffiths, Kemi-Bo Jacobs, Bethan Mary-James and Chiké Okonkwo. All My Sons run from Wednesday 25 Sep - Sat 26 Oct VENUE: Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Greater Manchester M2 7DH TIMES: 7.30pm (Mon-Fri), 8pm (Sat), Matinees 2.30pm (Wed and Thurs), 3.30pm (Sat) ADM: £10 - £36 INFOE: 0161 833 9833 www.royalexchange.co.uk/bookonline
Tues 15 – Sat 19 Oct THE SPIRIT OF HARRIET TUBMAN There are many plays about Harriet Tubman, but none share her entire life story like a visit with The Spirit of Harriet Tubman. Leslie McCurdy invokes the ‘spirit’ of Harriet Tubman as she portrays the life of the famous Underground Railroad conductor, recreating stories familiar and some rarely told, using words said to have been Harriet Tubman¹s own. 60mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 9.30pm, mats 2.30pm & 1.45pm. Adm: £10, conc £8. Info: 0207 240 6283. Fri 18 Oct – 23 Nov THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS The true story of nine young black men, aged between 12 and 19, travelling on a train through Scottsboro, Alabama in 1931 in search of a new life. By the end of their journey, their lives had been changed forever by the devastating effect of a single lie.Venue: Main House, Young Vic, London (nearest train Waterloo).7.30pm & 2.30pm. Adm: £10-£19.50. Info: 0207 922 2922 / www.youngvic.org Tues 22 – Fri 25 Oct MOTHER TO MOTHER A beautifully imagined conversation between the mother of a killer and the mother of the victim, based on true events surrounding the murder of American Fulbright scholar, Amy Biehl in Gugulethu, South Africa. It allows a deeply empathic theatrical encounter, exploring how one unforgiving moment in an ordinary day has repercussions beyond the imaginable. The tour-de-force monologue makes for powerful and profoundly moving theatre, delivered with dignity, sensitivity and humour by South African actress Thembi Mtshali-Jones Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 9.30pm, mat 2.30pm. Adm: £10, conc £8. Info: 0207 240 6283. Sat 26 Oct THE LONG ROAD TO PEEKSKILL William Kaufman presents the story of Woody Guthrie’s personal transformation from a youthful Oklahoma racist to the ardent anti-racist champion who, along with many others, risked his life holding the line against American fascism during the notorious Peekskill riots of 1949. The Long Road to Peekskill is both a harrowing and uplifting presentation, showing through the example of Woody Guthrie that racists are not born, but made - and that they can be unmade. 72mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 9.30pm. Adm: £10, conc £8. Info: 0207 240 6283. Sat 26 Oct REGINALD D HUNTER A popular comedienne with a unique blend of humour. Enjoy his new theme: In The Midst of Crackers. Venue: Fairfield Hall,s Croydon. Adm: £32, conc £21. Info: 0208 688 9291
He has a name one simply cannot forget and when he plays his cords the rhythm stays with you clear into the next day. Born in Jamaica, Ciyo Brown arrived in England aged just six months. Taught to play the guitar at the age of nine by his father, he is known for his ability to bring his best to any musical genre. From reggae, jazz, lover’s rock to ‘psychedelia’ Brit-pop/folk this is a man constantly indemand to collaborate.
Ciyo has participated musically in theatre, studio recordings and live performances alongside a parade of internationally acclaimed artists. These include: Caron Wheeler (Soul II Soul), Ann Nesby (Sounds of Blackness), Ruby Turner, Annie Lennox, YolanDa Brown, Suggs, Jason Rebello, soca queen Alison
Hinds, Jean Carne, Jazz Warriors, Tomorrow’s Warriors, Talvin Singh, LCGC, East London Gospel Choir, Chevelle Franklin, Andy Hamilton and Carleen Anderson It’s hard for Ciyo to name just one artist he’s worked with and who left him totally impressed. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many true greats,” he smiles. “However, working with Ann Nesby of Sound of Blackness, at Wembley, was a truly amazing experience. Her vocal performance was literally out of this world!” Along with forthcoming gigs Ciyo is excited about his new album, Put A Little Jazz In Their Lives. The title, he reveals, is meant to celebrate the importance and beauty of diversity. “To me jazz and reggae co-exist beautifully and demonstrate an important metaphor for life...mutual respect, tolerance, togetherness, peace and harmony,” says Ciyo. Although a high academic achiever in the area of law, music has always been a dedicated and professionally nurtured constant throughout his life’s journey. “The album is dedicated to my late grandmother, father and mother who have blessed me with the tools that have enabled me to navigate my way through life and a foundation upon which to build my dreams. Music is a one of the many dreams and aspirations that I have and which I simply want to be able to share with people.” Ciyo Brown’s album (Put A Little Jazz In Their Lives) is out now. It is available in both digital and physical CD format and will soon also be available from iTunes, CD Baby etc. To order the album visit: www.ciyobrown.com
MUSIC Wed 23 Oct ERIC BIBB American blues singer Eric Bibb brings the sounds of rural Louisiana to the Queen Elizabeth Hall. With a career that spans four decades, Bibb brings a wealth of experience to the story-telling and narrative of each song. He will perform songs from his 2012 album Deeper in the Well, which combines blues with folk, creole influences and country. Venue: Queen Elizabeth Hall Southbank Centre, Waterlook, London SE1. 7.30pm. Adm: £25 £20 £15. Info: 0844 847 9910. Fri 25 Oct BOMBINO Omara “Bombino” Moctar is a singer and songwriter who was born and raised in Niger. He brings his desert blues to London for this performance, mixed with a garage sound from producer Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys.Venue: Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Waterloo, London SE1. 7.45pm. Adm: £15. Info: 0844 847 9910. Sat 26 Oct THE VIP COMMANDER B Entertainment from Michael Gordon, Nerious Joseph, Frederica Tibbs and Lovella Ellis. It’s Mr B’s birthday party and you are invited. Djs include: Courtney Meloldy, Roberto Allen, Stuido 1, JB Crew, BP sound and the Vibes FM Dream Team. Venue: Tabu Lounge, 179-183 London Rd, Croydon CR0 1RJ. 10pm-6am. Adm: £12. Info: 07976 033 058. NOVEMBER Tues 12 – 25 Nov SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR Over the last 10 years this choir had brought joy into the lives of audiences all over the world.. Along the way they have won 2 Grammys, an Emmy and Oscar. Venue: Various, including, London, Gateshead, Coventry, Malvern, Bromley, Oxford, Birmingham, (22 Nov)Croydon, Torquay, Brighton, Milton Keynes. Info: www.sowetogospelchoir.com
DEAN ATTA Presence…. Poet Dean Atta teams up with English folk and soul singer, Ayanna WitterJohnson and Red Cable Sunday – the music project of Denis Fernando to bringing for an evening of poetry and music.
enis has been the NUS Black Students Officer and a human rights campaigner for some years.. Debut single Prelude to the Nocturne featured on Radio 2 (Alan Titchmarsh), Radio 3 (The Late Junction) and he has played at the Spitalfields festival and City Showcase, which previously provided a breakthrough platform for Sat 16 Nov THE REAL THING Amy Winehouse and Keane They certainly are! Britain’s No.1 Soul Rising star Ayanna Witter Johnson (pictured) band celebrate an incredible 40 years in will no doubt help to fill seats at Red Cable Sunday. the business. The three original Orchestrated by Denis Fernando, the event takes vocalist, Chris Amoo, Eddie Amoo and its name from the battle for Cable Street in the Dave Smith perform with their own 51930s East London where Denis worked as an antipiece band featuring all their hits, including You To Me Are Everything. racist activist for a decade. Venue: Fairfield Hall,s Croydon. Adm: Ayanna, the first non American to win the £17.70, £20 and £22.50. Info: 0208 688 legendary Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in 9291 Harlem, is a performer of extraordinary versatility.
The English folk and soul singer, songwriter and cellist was 12 years old when she had her first gig. She began to take it more seriously aged 20, and smilingly calls her cello Reuben. According to her it’s “the sexist instrument I know and l love playing with him”. No doubt Reuben played a part in Ayanna’s forthcoming I EP which will be available in early October ahead of going on a world tour. She may not like to say so for seeming to boast but Ayanna is the daughter of acclaimed actor Wil Johnson, currently in ITV soap Emmerdale. “I’m a Mummy’s and daddy’s girl,” admit Ayanna, “and he is extremely proud.” Also on stage will be Dean Atta, a writer and performance poet commissioned to write poems for a variety of organizations including the Damilola Taylor Trust, Keats House Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. Atta won the 2012 London Poetry Award and was named as one of the most influential LGBT people by the Independent on Sunday Pink List 2012. In March 2013 Atta published his debut poetry collection I Am Nobody’s Nigger with The Westbourne Press. Dean Atta Presence….will be staged on Dartmouth House, on Wed 23 October at 37 Charles Street, London W1J 5ED. Travel : Green Park Station at 7-8.30pm. Adm: £8 Members/Alumni, £10 General Admission. Info: 02075291594 73
Martin’s Speech Rocks On Believe it or not Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream…” could have been the beginning of free-styling, according to an Urban/Pop group.
ukus & Dwaine Hayden from The Trinity Band are a 5-piece Urban/Pop group with a unique style and vibrant live performances that transcend across many musical genres. When asked what stood out for them in King’s speech, Rukus said, “The famous part of the speech... i was actually freestyled! King had finished his original parts and Mahalia Jackson, a famous gospel singer shouted and said: ‘Martin tell them about the dream!’ King’s next few words began with: “”I have a dream”. We Live The Dream is a specially commissioned UK tour which celebrates the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech which remains a powerful expression of one person’s passion for justice, freedom and equal rights under the law in the USA. The six city UK tour will bring five of the freshest acts on the UK Black music scene together for the first time, with new compositions and collaborations that reveal how the words of this often quoted speech have helped shaped the world we live in today.
The young British breakthrough artists Rukus, Paigey Cakey, Shezar, Macca, Dwayn from the TTB band relish the idea of celebrating MLK’s 50 year legacy of freedom through words and music. They will be featuring new and original compositions and supported by outreach, inspirational visual arts and video entries from artists all over the UK. Macca regards MLK’s speech as special for many reasons but he’s particularly moved by the feeling it gives listeners. “It’s a really special speech that gave Black people a voice not just in North America but the whole world, which is now firmly imprinted into our culture and is now an inspiration for everybody of any nation or race.” Hackney-born MC Paigey Cakey (aka Paige Meade) is one of the most talked
about female MCs on the music scene right now and has collaborated with Tinchy Stryder and more recently Lady Leshurr. The multi-talented rapper is also a professional actor. She launched her career in the movie Attack the Block and is currently starring as Jade in the BBC1 series Waterloo Road. Last but not least is Shezar who has an incredible vocal range. MK, a member of the Stayfresh family has recently been rated by many DJ’s from BBC radio 1 and 1xtra and has made great waves across the UK online following. King’s style, language, charisma and bravery lit a beacon of hope that still burns today. Now bring on the youngsters…….. for all the right reasons!
TOUR DATES Thurs 26th September The Exchange LEICESTER: Fri 27th September The Drum Arts Centre BIRMINGHAM: Thurs11th October Malcolm X Community Centre BRISTOL: Thurs12th October Sefton Park Palm House LIVERPOOL: Sun13th October Rich Mix Arts Centre LONDON: Mon 14th October Band on the Wall MANCHESTER Info: www.punch-records.co.uk
He’s Massive, not Tiny
here’s not much one can say about Tinie Tempah. There’s no need really Just toss him a mic and watch him represent The Award winner artist, born in England to Nigerian parents is one the UK’s most innovative, credible, charming and authentic artists around. When Tinie Tempah announced that he would be hitting the road this December in support of his highly anticipated new album Demonstration there was a distinct buzz in the air. Tinie builds towards the November 4th release of Demonstration with the new single ‘Children of the Sun’ which will be out on October 28th on Parlophone. Featuring vocals from John Martin, last heard on Swedish House Mafia’s ‘Don’t You Worry Child’, the
chart-troubling ‘Children of the Sun’ is sure to be a festival filling, hands in the air anthem. Like his multi-platinum selling debut DiscOvery, Tinie, legally callked Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu, has once again delivered an innovative, bold, surprising, pioneering piece of work, inhabited by a sense of musical adventure and an eclectic array of collaborators. The tour dates start from 2 to 18 Dec 2013, well into 2014 in Manchester Arena, Leeds Nottingham Arena, Glasgow Hydro, Newcastle Arena, Liverpool, Cardiff Arena, Bournmouth BIC, Birmingham BLG Arena and London 02. Adm: £28.70 plus booking fee. Info: 0844 338 8000 / www.theticketfactory.com
Afro Supa Hero
ost young boys either imagine the African diaspora. His their super heroes in the action figures, comic books playground or hanker after having and games offer an insight one. Jon Daniel didn’t envisage them helping into the experience of a boy of him to find out who he was and to African Caribbean heritage experience that feeling of belonging. growing up in 1960s and In his late twenties Daniel, a graphic 1970s Britain, in search of his designer who has worked for many of identity. London’s leading advertising agencies, Any positive black role began to collect action figures. This came models came from the West about as a result of an article in The Face Indian culture of his family and magazine featuring a Malcolm X action from the United States, with figure, created by Olmec Toys in New York. its conscious Black Pride, the His collection focuses on action figures as, civil rights movement of the for Daniel, these most strongly embody the 60s and the funkiness of the era. In the display Meteor Man, Mr T and 70s. Lieutenant Uhura stand alongside real-life On visits to America he found everything icons Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King bolder, blacker and better; cartoons like The and Nelson Mandela; heroes hardly known Harlem Globe Trotters, films like Shaft and Car Wash, and particularly pby the young Daniel. funk, soul and R & B music, all Daniel grew up in East Sheen, south-west London, had a profound effect on him. during the 1960s and early Of his forthcoming 1970s; as the child of West exhibition he said, “I hope my Indian parents, he felt there was collection will add another little in British culture he could voice to the Museum’s displays by providing an insight into my relate to. own childhood. It highlights Afro Supa Hero is a snapshot the fascination with African of his childhood and journey to American culture experienced adulthood, shown through a personal collection of pop by many of my generation, Jon Daniel cultural heroes and heroines of who could not find the cultural
icons or representation they desired on these shores.” Jon Daniel has worked on many black cultural projects and initiatives including campaigns for Operation Black Vote, the 1990 Trust Arm, African Reparations Movement and the brand identity for the Bicentennial of the Abolition of the Slave Trade for the Mayor of London’s Office in 2007 In regard to Afro Supa Hero, the highlight for Daniel is the 1975 Shindana Super Agent Slade action figure, modelled on Richard Roundtree’s private detective character Shaft and highly sought after by collectors. Also on show are games and comics including Black Lightning, and The Falcon and Lobo, one of a two-issue series featuring the first leading African American character in the genre. The display opens at the V&A Museum of Childhood on 14September and runs until 9 February 2014. Venue: V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA Nearest tube: Bethnal Green. Time: Open daily: 10am – 5.30pm. Adm: Free Info: 0208 983 5200 / www.museumofchildhood.org.uk 75
CREATIVE… GET READING
s the Waterstones Children’s Laureate for 2013 - 2015, Malorie Blackman is on a mission to get more children reading. As a child, the first library she ever visited was Lewisham Library. It was there that the world of literature opened up to her. As she stepped through the door she recalls being awed that she could take any book out and that whilst it was on loan to her it was hers. Malorie and her mum shared a love of myths, legends and fairy stories so would spend time reading together and discussing different stories. Her father however was more into facts and figures and non-fiction books. A former script-writer for Byker Grove, Malorie, who, in 2008, was honoured with an OBE for her services to children’s literature, is author of over 60 books for children and teenagers, including the award-winning Hacker, CloudBusting, and Thief! Her novel Pig-Heart Boy was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and adapted into a BAFTAwinning television series. The novelist is celebrated for writing about a diverse range of characters, including those who are often marginalised in society, such as teenage fathers in her novel Boys Don’t Cry. Malorie sees stories as a way of connecting with people and creating empathy between people and is working on “making reading irresistible for teenagers” by making reading come alive for digitally aware young adults. 76
Multi-award-winning Noughts & Crosses was her first book in which the issues of race and ethnic identity were placed in the foreground, depicting a world in which black people, (Crosses), are the ruling elite and white people, (Noughts), are confined to minority status, denied legal rights and work in menial jobs. For Malorie, stories are “not just about reading but about broader life” and she’s interested in how stories
As the Waterstones Children’s Laureate for 2013 2015, Malorie Blackman is on a mission to get more children reading. inspire film, music, art, poetry, rap and all spheres of culture. This crossover is exemplified by the recent reference to Malorie in a No1 chart hit by Tinie Tempah. According to Malorie, no child should get left behind in terms of their reading and she urges all children and young people to use libraries, not only for books but also for activities and computers. Indeed, Malorie’s 75 year old mum regularly attends free computer sessions in her local library and appreciates the guidance she receives from staff there. Recognising that not all children will
have access to a PC at home Malorie feels that public libraries should offer free access. Without this, a child’s dream or emerging talent could be undermined through lack of access. Of her new role as Children’s Laureate, Malorie says she will “bring her own interests and passions” to the table. This includes technology and her background as a computer programmer and using technology as a springboard to encourage digitally aware young people to respond creatively to stories. “Libraries are brilliant places to reinforce that, whether it be novels, comics or graphic novels”. Believing reading is a birthright of everyone and that “everyone has a voice” she encourages interested young people to write with intent to be published but to remember “if you want something you need to work at it and create your own style”. Malorie had 82 rejections from publishers before her first book was accepted. As she says, “learn your craft. Success rarely comes easily”. As Children’s Laureate, Malorie calls on teachers and parents to spend at least ten minutes per day sharing a book with their pupils and children. “More children reading more” is the mission. Her new novel, Noble Conflict, and her classic Noughts and Crosses series are published by Random.House.
LITERATURE (poetry, readings etc) Tues 8 Oct ALEX MVUKA NTUNG’S BOOK LAUNCH “Not My Worst Day: A personal journey through violence in the Great Lakes Region of Africa” The author talks about his newly published book describing his incredible personal experience of surviving extreme poverty and violence, and finding a new home in Sussex. Age 14 plus. The evening will start with Rwandan music performance and end with light refreshment. 6pm Venue: Room G7, Brighton University, Research Centre on Conflict and Violence, No.10 and 11, Pavilion Parade (opp. Royal Pavilion), Brighton. Adm: Free
The state of Black British publishing publishing in sustaining its future and that of Black authors. To explore this important topic will be Joy Francis, executive director of Words of Colour Productions, Patsy Antoine (former editor at HarperCollins, Steve Pope (former editor of The Voice, and co-founder of X Press, Kadija George Sesay (founder/ publisher SABLE LitMag, series editor for the Inscribe imprint at Peepal Tree Press) and Becky Nana Ayebia Clarke MBE (former submissions editor for Heinemann African
Tue 15 Oct AUTHOR EVENT: DOROTHY KOOMSON Dorothy Koomson will talk about and read from her work. This will be followed by a question and answer session, and book signing. Read more about Dorothy on page four. Booking is essential. Book your places using the contact details below. Venue: Canada Water Library, 21 Surrey Quays Road, SE16 7AR. 7pm Info: 0207 525 1570/
Patsy Antoine Sat 19 Oct AUTHOR EVENT: CATHERINE JOHNSON Catherine Johnson will read excerpts from her current book, which will be followed by a question and answer session, and book signing. Read an exclusive interview with Catherine at www.southwark.gov.uk/blackhistorymon th. Booking is essential. Book your places using the contact details below. Venue: Peckham Library, 122 Peckham Hill Street, SE15 5JR. 2pm. Info: 0207 525 1570. Mon 22 Oct TIME WITH PAULINE BLACK lead singer with the platinum-selling band The Selecter will talk about her life and read from her acclaimed autobiography Black by Design. Adopted by a white working class family in the 50s, Pauline Black’s, traces her escape into the world of music and her recent search for her birth parents. The Queen of British Ska) will also perform some of her classic songs during the evening. There will also be an opportunity to ask her questions, followed by book signings. Venue: Culture Space, Canada Water Library, 21 Surrey Quays Road, SE16. 7pm 8.30pm. Adm: Free, but booking is essential. Info: 0207 525 1570. Wed 23 Oct THE ACHEBE LEGACY
rom the margins to the mainstream? The state of Black British publishing. Amid the heated debate over whether traditional publishing will survive epublishing and the Kindle, what is happening to Black publishing? Since the publication of Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African in 1789, Margaret Busby launching Allison & Busby Ltd in the 1960s and the heady launch of The X Press in 1992, how is Black publishing faring? What is its current role? The event will also discuss the role of e-
In this illustrated talk writer and storyteller Sandra Agard will look at the work of Chinua Achebeand analyse his legacy through gifted writers such as Ben Okri and Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Venue: Peckham Library, 122 Peckham Hill Street, SE15 5JR. 7pm. Info: 0207 525 1570 Wed 24 Oct PRECIOUS WILLIAMS Precious’ is a tale of mothers and daughters, of a struggle with racial identity and a journey to find a sense of belonging. Precious Williams was just
and Caribbean Writers Series, founder Ayebia Clarke Publishing). For age 16 plus. Book your place on Thurs 24 Oct at Dalston C.L.R. James Library and Hackney Archives, Dalston Square, E8 3BQ. Station: Dalston Junction Station or Dalston Kingsland Station. 6.30pm - 7.45pm. Adm: Free, no booking required. Info: 0208 356 3000 (ask for Dalston C.L.R. James Library).
ten weeks old when her Nigerian mother arranged for her to be fostered by a 57 year old white woman, beginning a story of growing up black in a white community, of struggling to find an identity that fits, of deciphering a childhood full of secrets and dysfunction. Precious’s talk will include readings from her acclaimed autobiography and an audience Q&A session followed by book signings. Venue: Culture Space, Canada Water Library, 21 Surrey Quays Road, SE16. 7pm - 8.30pm. Info: Free, but booking is essential.l Info: 0207 525 1570.
NOVEMBER Sat 2 Nov WRITE MEET READ - INK ON MY LIPS Travel between America, Africa, Europe & the Caribbean in an evening of stories, poems 7 music from five writers reading from a new anthology. The evening will also include stories and poems from dear departed Irene Mensah. Venue: Brighton Dome, Studio Theatre, New Rd, Brighton, BN1 1UG. 7:30pm. Adm: £5, conc £4 conc. Info: www.brightondome.org
Edutainment EDUTAINMENT Talks, Seminar and Exhibitions Tues 15 Oct PAUL ROBESON’S BRITISH FILMS (1935-40) Stephen Bourne discusses Paul Robeson’s film work in Britain in the late 1930s. 50mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 6.10pm. Adm: £5, con £4. Info: 0207 240 6283. Wed 16 Oct BEFORE PAUL THERE WAS IRA Oku Ekpenyon MBE is a Historian, Education Consultant and Campaigner. In 2003 she launched a campaign to hang a picture of the Black 19th century Shakespearian actor Ira Aldridge at the Old Vic Theatre in London which took place in 2004.She also campaigned for stamps to mark the Bicentenary of the Parliamentary Abolition of the Slave Trade in 2007 which were produced by the Royal Mail and is currently working to erect a permanent memorial, the Enslaved Africans Memorial Garden, in London’s Hyde Park. 50mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 6.10pm. Adm: £5, con £4. Info: 0207 240 6283.
Thu 17 Oct PAUL ROBESON AND ‘BLACK BOLSHEVISM’ Hakim Adi is a historian who has written widely on the history of Pan-Africanism and the African Diaspora, including three history books for children. His latest book is entitled Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and the Diaspora, 1919-1939. He is currently working on a film documentary on the West African Students’ Union. 50mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 6.10pm. Adm: £5, conc £4. Info: 0207 240 6283. Thus 17 Oct AUTHOR EVENT: MALORIE BLACKMAN Malorie Blackman will talk about and read from her work. This will be followed by a questions and answer session, and book signing. Read more about Malorie on page three. Booking is essential. Book your places using the contact details below. Venue: Dulwich Library, 368 Lordship Lane, SE22 8NB. 7pm. Info: 0207 525 1570 Sat 19 Oct BLACK LONDONERS For this afternoon only a pop up media studio will appear at the Aylesham Shopping Centre, allowing you to create
graphic cards and signposts against the backdrop of passing pedestrians, and record your stories. Venue: The Aylesham Shopping Centre, Rye Lane, SE15 5EW. 1pm 7pm. Info: 0207 793 4287 Fri 18 Oct REGGAE HISTORY An evening of historical significance charting the beginnings & roots of what we now call Reggae music. To celebrate Black History Month come and hear how the genre has evolved see, dance and enjoy! Venue: Lansdown Arms, 36 Lansdown Pl, South Downs National Park, Lewes, BN7 2JU. 8pm. Adm: Free. Sat 19 Oct WILF SULLIVAN Wilf Sullivan works for the TUC as their Race Equality Officer. He is active on race equality policy matters both inside and outside of the trade union movement.He is a member of the Government’s Ethnic Minority Employment Stakeholders Group, is Vice-Chair of the UK Race and Europe Network and sits on a number of race equality research academic advisory boards. 40mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St, City of London, WC2H 9NP. 6.10pm. Adm: £5, con £4. Info: 0207 240 6283.
Sun 20 Oct I HAD A DREAM The story behind Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream Speech, with Awardwinning Guardian and Nation columnist, Gary Younge. It’s 50 years since Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, which stands as the USA’s favourite address delivered by one of its most beloved figures. But “I have a dream” wasn’t in the text of the speech and its mainstream popularity only grew after King was assassinated. Gary Younge, author, traces the genesis of the speech and asks, “Why has America embraced it the way that it has and what is its significance in the age of Obama.” 50mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St, City of London, WC2H 9NP. 3.10pm. Adm: £5, conc £4. Info: 0207 240 6283. Mon 21 Oct HOW TO BRAINWASH THE YOUTH AND MAKE THEM ACT LIKE FOOLS! An in-your-face seminar with a black history perspective, for young people to develop critical thinking to look at how you may be conditioned by Hollywood movies, music videos, computer games and advertising to act dumb and love it! Are you brainwashed? Scary Movie, Soulja Boy, Lil Wayne, Futurama, Disney, 300, GTA, Pussycat Dolls, Mariah Carey, Nelly, Lord of the Rings, continued on page 78
SANKOFA why Britain celebrates Black History Month
Sankofa is the African Adinkra symbol meaning the wisdom of learning from the past to build the future.
n exhibition that looks back over 75 years at the history of African and African Caribbean people in this country and the rise of Black History Month, from its 1926 American origins as Negro History Week to its beginnings and development during 25 years in the UK. On display will be rarely seen archival material relating to grassroots, national and global campaigns from groups such as the Black Parents Movement, Teachers against Racism and Hackney Black People’s Association. Find out how people came together and rose up against the injustice of discrimination; how individuals set up organisations to educate, empower and inspire a new generation of British youth, especially those of African
heritage. Alongside this you can see changes in style, fashion, music and technology from Sugar Minott to Ms Dynamite, from Hip Hop to Dubstep, from Afro’s to Locs, from Super Nintendo to I-phone. Come and add to our ‘Tweet’ wall to tell us your thoughts for the next 25 years for Black History Month and how to build a future without racism or discrimination. On Sat 4 Jan 2014 at Hackney Museum, Ground Floor, Technology and Learning Centre,1 Reading Lane, E8 1GQ. Travel: Hackney Central Station or London Fields Station/ Time: During Museum opening hours. Adm: Free, no booking required. Info: 0208 356 3000 (ask for Hackney Museum).
Secrets of the AFRO COMB F
or many years the Afro comb was associated with the Afro hairstyle of the 1970s. However, not many people know that the Afro comb first appeared in the ancient Nile valley and is over 6,000 years old. Author K.N. Chimbiri thinks Secrets of the Afro Comb, 6,000 Years of Art and Culture is an ideal introduction African history and art. The book covers 6,000 years of history through the Afro comb and features more than 40 full-colour illustrations and 49 photos, many of which have never before been published. Written in a clear and engaging narrative that includes maps, timelines and a reader-friendly glossary that makes the book an invaluable reference. Secrets of the Afro Comb is ideal for parents and teachers who want to introduce children to African history, art, and design. “I wrote Secrets of the Afro Comb to accompany the Origins of the Afro Comb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum explains Chimbiri. “It’s the world’s first children’s book about African combs. In addition to looking at the Afro comb as an art object, the book also discusses cultural issues such as why African hair is curly.” The Origins of the Afro Comb exhibition includes hundreds of remarkable combs from pre-dynastic Egypt to modern-day ‘Black fist’ combs referencing the 1970s Black Power Movement, as well as associated images and sculpture showing the wide variety of hairstyles found in Africa and around the world. K.N. Chimbiri is the author of Secrets of the Afro Comb, 6,000 Years
of Art and Culture and two other African history books for children: The Story of Early Ancient Egypt and the historythemed activity book Step Back in Time to Ancient Kush. Chimbiri established her own publishing house, Golden Destiny Limited, in 2009 because of the lack of diversity in available children’s books and the lack of information about Ancient Africa and Black history that goes beyond slavery. The 6,000-year history of the Afro Comb, its extraordinary impact on cultures worldwide, and community stories relating to hair today are being explored in this new exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Museum of
Archaeology & Anthropology in Cambridge. Material culture on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum includes hundreds of remarkable combs - from predynastic Egypt to modern-day black fist combs referencing the Black Power Movement - as well as associated images and sculpture showing the wide variety of hair styles found in Africa and around the world. A digital interaction gallery features projections of personal stories about combs and African type hair and visitors are encouraged to share their own stories The exhibition, Origins of the Afro Comb, is now open and runs until the 3rd November 2013. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington St, Cambridge, CB2 1RB Info: 01223 332 900
Edutainment Pirates of Caribbean, all make an appearance in this thought-provoking and interactive seminar. In partnership with Black History Walks, 5:30pm. Adm: Free ust turn up! Venue: Lift, 45 White Lion Street, London N1 9PW. Tue 22 Oct THE FEDERATION OF THE WEST INDIES Luke Daniels is a consultant, counsellor and trainer on Domestic Violence. He is also the President of Caribbean Labour Solidarity - campaigning for workers’ struggles in the Caribbean and in Britain. 50mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 6.10pm. Adm: £5, conc £4. Info: 0207 240 6283. Wed 23 Oct UNEARTHED Tracing Legacies of British Slave Ownership. Dr. Nick Draper is codirector of the Structure and Significance of British Caribbean SlaveOwnership 1763-1833 project at University College London and author of The Price of Emancipation (2010). Prior to returning to academia, he worked for 25 years in the City. 50mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 6.10pm. Adm: £5, conc £4. Info: 0207 240 6283. Wed 23 Oct BLACK HISTORY CULTURAL EVENT The purpose of this event is to encourage students to reflect on their cultural heritage and actively participate in activities from a range of cultural backgrounds as a learning and development initiative. Venue: Basingstoke College of Technology, Worting Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 8TN. Info: email@example.com The theme of this event is “Connecting with Our Cultural Heritage” which is The purpose Tues 23 Oct AFRICAN MUSICIANS AND RENAISSANCE ROYAL CELEBRATIONS Dr. Miranda Kaufmann delivers an insightful talk on the musical contributions to royal celebrations during the 1500s, of Africans such as John Blanke, an African trumpeter who performed at the Tudor royal courts, and the ‘More taubronar,’ drummer to James IV of Scotland. Venue: Adult pod, Peckham Library, 122 Peckham Hill Street, SE15. 7pm - 8.30 Adm: Free Thu 24 Oct LONDON: MIGRANT CITY With Lindsey German, a socialist writer and campaigner. She is the co-author of
‘A People’s History of London’, which traces London’s radical past from the Romans to the present day, and most recently ‘How a Century of War Changed the Lives of Women’. She is a lifelong campaigner against war and racism and a lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire. 50mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 6.10pm. Adm: £5, conc £4. Info: 0207 240 6283. Fri 25 Oct PROFESSOR GUS JOHN Making the Global African Diasporar the Sixth Region of Africa, and central to the 21st Century African Renaissance. Professor Gus John is an associate professor and honorary fellow at the Institute of Education, University of London. He is a member of the African Union’s technical committee of experts, working on modalities for making the Global African Diaspora the Sixth Region of Africa. 50mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 6.30pm. Adm: £5, conc £4. Info: 0207 240 6283. Sat 26 Oct JAK BEULA Discussing the Importance of Identity when sharing a common cultural heritage. The social entrepreneur is CEO of the edutainment and leisure group “Nubian Jak”. The organisation has one of the highest profiled commemorative plaques in the world with the Ignatius Sancho Plaque installed on Her Majesty Foreign Office in Whitehall. The Nubian Jak name is also engraved in stone on the Foreign Office. 40mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 2.10pm. Adm: £5, conc £4. Info: 0207 240 6283. Sat 26 Oct BLACK HISTORY AND CULTURE WORKSHOPS A workshops that will those attending actively participating in activities from an African Caribbean cultural perspective with a focus on food, music/poetry and hairdressing. Attendance at these workshops will provide a valuable opportunity for participants to learn from business professionals from the local African Caribbean community. The theme of this event is “Connecting with Our Cultural Heritage. Venue: Chute House, Church Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7QT.12noon-6pm. Info: 07852 111126 Sat 26 Oct CARIBBEAN MIGRATION It Was Not The Windrush Alone! says Donald Hinds. He was Head of History at a secondary school and later Senior Lecturer in history in the Department of
Education at the LSBU. His latest publication, a novel Mother Country: In The Wake of a Dream is to be published later this year. 50mins. Venue: The Tristan Bates Theatre 1A Tower St City of London, WC2H 9NP. 6.10pm. Adm: £5, conc £4. Info: 0207 240 6283. NOVEMBER Fri 1 Nov BLACK HISTORY’S FUTURE: BRINGING DIVERSITY TO EDUCATION AND CELEBRATION What is the future of the role of equality events such as Black History Month? And how do we ensure that diversity is integrated in mainstream education and celebrations all year round? Speakers and panellists include: Dr. Robin Whitburn and Abdullahi Mohamud discussing their ongoing work and new book on teaching Black history in schools Doing History Justice’ Venue: Voluntary Action Islington, 200a Pentonville Road, London N1. 2pm. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org Booking: is essential (booking essential)
FAMILY FUN Sat 19 Oct JULIET SAMURA Celebrating BHM with the launch of Its Story Time storytelling session for ages 3years -8years. Venue: All Nations Christian Centre, 15 York Hill West Norwood SE27 0BU.Time: 2pm-5pm. Info: 0208 670 0300 / 07958 393 690 Sat 19 Oct BLACK HISTORY MONTH FAMILY FUN Enjoy the day. All ages. Venue: Cornerstone Community Centre, Church Road, Hove, BN3 2FL Adm: Free Sun 20 Oct CELEBEBRATING BHM With African Drumming & Dance Workshop. High energy African drumming and dance with Ernest Kwame Obeng & friends. Venue: St Lukes Hall, 64 Old Shoreham Rd, BN1 5DD. 4pm onwards. Adm: Free admission for all ages. NOVEMBER Thurs 7 Nov DEAD LATE An evening of traditional story telling, drop in dance session, Mexican cocktails & live DJ set featuring traditional & contemporary Latin rythmns. (Mon - Fri); Brighton Museum. Venue: Brighton Museum, Royal Pavilion Gardens, brighton, BN1 1EE.
ifty years ago civil rights leader, Dr Martin Luther King Jr stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington and delivered his historic ‘I Have A Dream’ speech calling for freedom justice and equality for ALL. In Let Freedom Ring Lively Up! Festival pays tribute through music, poetry (Ben Okri and Lemn Sissay). This and the moving image in a stirring, thoughtprovoking, yet utterly uplifting multimedia show that combines
10pm Adm: £4 advance, £5 members, £7 on the door. Inf: 03000 290 902 Sat 9 Nov DEAD LATE Experience Brighton’s take on dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead). An afternoon of music, film, talks, arts & crafts workshops 7 readings from Latin American authors. Venue: Brighton Dome, Cafe-bar, Church St, Brighton, BN1 1UG Adm Free (Children’s workshop £2) 1 5pm. Sun 17 Nov BRIGHTON & HOVE BLACK HISTORY MONTH FAMILY DAY Brighton & Hove Black History Month’s annual mutli-cultural family friendly celebration of arts and cultural heritage exhibitions, talks, films, children’s workshops & activities, performers, live music, stalls and food. Venue: The Old Market, Hove. 7pm. AdmL Free. Info: www.theoldmarket.com
PARTY TIME Sat 26 Oct RUM & BASS FEAT. BLACK SLATE After the sold out success of last year’s party, here is another serving of reggae,
hand at the arts & crafts workshops. Latin Voices Live! is a multi-art form celebration of Latin cultures from around the world, co-ordinated by Sussex-based Writing Embrace latin literature with bi-lingual story telling, translated texts and a special Dia de Los Muertos themed children’s area with a Tree of Life. Venue: Jubilee Library, Jubilee St, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1GE Adm: Freefor all ages
dom Ring live jazz, blues, afrobeat, rhythms and rousing gospel. Expect appearances from Denys Baptiste, Nataniel Facey, Jason Yarde and more. Lively Up! Festival is also proud to host the world premiere of Where Dreams Lead – a beautifully crafted suite by rising star, Peter Edwards for for the Nu Civilisation Orchestra. Where Dreams Lead on Sat 26 October at the Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre, London, Waterloo. Adm: FREE rum, rice & peas. Featuring 70’s reggae legends Black Slate (“Amigo”) live on stage plus Roots Garden & King Tafari Love7pm Come join the party! All ages welcome, under 14’s must be accompanied. Early ticket buying recommended. Venue: Brighton Dome, Corn Exchange, Church St, Brighton, BN1 1UG. Adm: £10 advance, £12.50 on the door. Tickets can be bought in advance from Ticket Office, 29 New Road. Info: orwww.brightondome.org Wed 6 Nov ROKIA TRAORE Described as West Africa’s most inventive singer-songwriter, Rokia Traore delivers her unique blend of blues and contemporary rock, rooted in the musical traditions of Mali. Venue: Brighton Dome Corn Exchange 17:50. 8pm. Info: 01273 709 709 / www.brightondome.org o Sat 2 Nov 11am, Mon 4 November 4pm, Sat 9 November 11am LATIN VOICES LIVE! Following the amazing success of last year’s one-day festival, we return with a week of activities to celebrate the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’. Hear music, watch films, try the food, listen to the story telling and literature and try your
WORKSHOPS Sat19 Oct CULTURAL EXHIBITION AND HEAD TIE WORKSHOP WITH MEDITATION A cultural exploration of body adornments worn by women from Africa to Asia, and an exhibition of African arts and crafts. Venue: St Hugh’s Church, Crosby Row, SE1 4PH. 2pm - 5pm. Info: 07760 252 655 Wed 23 Oct MAKE A BUBA OR WRAPPER In this taster you will learn to make either a traditional African top (buba) or skirt (wrapper) through free-hand cutting and sewing. Register to guarantee a place (10 max). Adults only. Venue: Thomas Calton Centre, Alpha Street, SE15 4NX. 1pm - 3pm. Info: 0207 358 2100 Wed 23 Oct 2013 LYRICS AND HISTORY This is an interactive workshop for you to work with an experienced rapper and compose your own lyrics or spoken word about Black British history and what it means for you and society today. This takes inspiration from renowned musical artists who have used their craft to inspire people about Black history, and learn about the struggle for equal rights for Black people in Britain, with a particular focus on the Bristol Bus Boycott, which marks its 50th anniversary this year. Learn, be inspired, create and perform your on piece. Venue: Lift, 45 White Lion Street, London N1 9PW. 5:30pm |dm: Free, Just turn up! Fri 25 Oct 2013 HISTORY VS YOURSTORY: ROUTES 2 SUCCESS Discuss the different routes to success with R2S role models and identify the first steps you need to take down your path! Through quizzes, inspirational speeches and an interactive workshop you will discover the successes of great black men from the past and present. Venue: Lift, 45 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PW. 5:30pm Cost: Free: Just turn up! Info: 0207 832 5832 /Janine@bteg.co.uk
Wed 23 Oct LYRICS AND HISTORY The power of lyrical expression to raise awareness and voice your history! This is an interactive workshop for you to work with an experienced rapper and compose your own lyrics or spoken word about Black British history and what it means for you and society today. We take inspiration from renowned musical artists who have used their craft to inspire people about Black history, and learn about the struggle for equal rights for Black people in Britain, with a particular focus on the Bristol Bus Boycott, which marks its 50th anniversary this year. (see image right)Learn, be inspired, create and perform your on piece inpartnership with BritishBlackMusic.com Venue: Lift, 45 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PW. 5.30pm. Adm: Free. Just turn up! Fri 25 Oct HISTORY VS YOURSTORY: ROUTES 2 SUCCESS Discuss the different routes to success with R2S role models and identify the first steps you need to take down your path! Through quizzes, inspirational speeches and an interactive workshop you will discover the successes of great black men from the past and present. The ‘Positive Self Image’ workshop will allow you to reflect on your own strengths and how to make the best of them!R2S is a national role model programme connecting young Black males(11- 25yrs) with successful Black men. Venue: Lift, 45 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PW. 5.30pm. Adm: Free. Info: 0207 832 5832 /Janine@bteg.co.uk
CELEBRATE/ TRIBUTE Now - 25 Oct DOMESTIC AFFECTIONS: ‘CROSSING THE TEAS’ A tribute to Irene Mensah, with a visual and performing arts installation in response to the theme. Venue: Jubilee Library, Jubilee St, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1GE On Mon, Tues, Thurs. 10am - 7pm; Wed, Fri, Sat 10am - 5pm; Sun 11am 5pm. Adm: Free for all ages. Sat 12 Oct NIGERIAN INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION Celebrating culture, dance and fashion. Feat live performances from Lady Matto (Sierra Leone), D3 Dancers and lots more! Assorted Nigerian dishes and
drinks on sale on the night. Venue: Moulsecoomb Hall, Lewes Road, Brighton. 5pm til Midnight. Adm: £10, £7 adv, £5 students (tickets include free raffle entry) children FREE. Info: 0776621010 / 01273 691 101 Tues 15 Oct IRENE MENSAH - A CELEBRATION A Special night to mark the 50th birthday of a much missed talented artist and dear friend who passed away April 2013. Join us for an evening of music, spoken word and installation to celebrate her life and work. Venue: Redroaster Coffee Company, 1d St James St Brighton, BN2 1RE. 8 10pm. Adm: Suggested donation £3 on the door, all profits will go towards the Irene Mensah Memorial Fund. Sat 19 Oct BLACK HISTORY CELEBRATION St Martin’s Community Centre would like to invite you to their Black History Month celebration where you will be mesmerized by the different events to show ‘Our Journey’ throughout the centuries. This includes traditional dances, poems, historians, and folk songs - Calabash food, and much, much more. Everyone welcome. Venue: St Martin’s Community, Centre, Abbotts Park, Upper Tulse Hill, London SW2 3PW. 2pm - 8pm. Info: 0208 674 3038 / 0208 674 3040 Sat 26 Oct 2013 IN CELEBRATION BHM A Dinner & Dance Celebrating the cultural heritage of BHM, celebrating The 65th Anniversary of Windrush and also raise awareness of the lives of kidney patients by giving support and information. Great food, good music Trust at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital. Venue: Club Langley Banqueting Hall, Hawksbrook Lane, Beckenham, BR3 3SR. 6.30pm til late. Adm: £45 each or 2 for £80. Info: 07881 960699 / 07818 531898 / E: email@example.com. NOVEMBER Sat 2 Nov CELEBRATION BHM A wonderful night of LIVE African music:- the magical harmonic progressions of the Kora (African harp) and wild hot African Rhythms song and dance. AfroManding band YIRI BAA will have you up and dancing. Venue: The Brunswick Pub, 1 - 3 Holland Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 1JF 8pm onwards. Adm: £7. Info: 01273 733 984 or www.wegottickets.com.
To see the full BHM listing borough by borough visit
You are invited to AED's launch in November 2013 For more information please see above.