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Our Pan African Drum programme on 28 September 2010 discussed the;

Forgotten Elders: Living Wisdom – Are we losing valuable lessons from history?


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Nyansapo - The Pan African Drum

Toyin Agbetu
Toyin Agbetu

Nyansapo - Forgotten Elders: Living Wisdom

‘She who possesses much wisdom, has it in her heart; she who has little, has it on her lips’ – African Proverb, Ganda

Greetings, this editorial will not be short, for today I’m in a bitter sweet melancholy mood. You see earlier this week I returned home with an urgent desire to embrace my family that extra bit closer, pour libation and thank the Ancestors and Creator for blessing me with the life that I have.

The cause? Well on Monday I was in west London to participate in the funeral rites of Frank Crichlow, a man who many of us know little about but in truth should have a picture of up in our children’s schools to next to other liberation heroes in order to remind them and us of what it means to fight the good fight with passion and grace.

Let me give you a bit of background. Many of you who came to know me as a community worker probably imagine I have been doing this for a lifetime, but in truth I came into the life of activism quite late, a mere decade ago to be more accurate. Alongside my colleague Emma, volunteers from a youth organisation named Insaka and the love and support of family, friends and community we were able to carve an identity in the British cultural landscape that for a while said the days of messing with us without challenge in the media are over. We will and indeed did metaphorically slap back with much success. But today I was reminded how before all then when I was a little wet behind the ears musician, producing song after song about love and partying, the grownups were taking care of business.


And how.

Back then I knew of and had even met Frank (we were loosely linked through family) but had never sat down or reasoned with him. To my little mind he was big people and I was man on road, what could an elder understand about what it was like to be fighting skinheads on streets with knives, being persecuted by police as a teens or being set up by time and time again by bent coppers for crimes we did not commit. No Uncle Frank was just another elder, always cool and mellow with his warm smile, trademark beard and jumpers - he would never have believed me if I had told him of what I and my generation had gone through - or so I thought.

I was wrong.

Hundreds turned up on the streets in memory of our elder now Ancestor. It was a fitting tribute. As the Mangrove Steel Band and some spirit led traditional African drumming sweetened the air with sweet African Caribbean vibes, the moving service attended by family, friends and indeed activists of generations past and present gathered to give respect to a man whose determination to provide us his people with a safe space to just be – may have cost him a life of safety but rewarded him instead with the title of community hero.

Unlike my generation and later, Frank came from an era where despite being a man of peace, whether you wanted it or not fighting racism included defending ourselves from continuous attacks by vicious thugs (police and otherwise) on the streets, in the courts and continuously in all the spaces we most felt safe. From the National Front to the Prime Minister and Chief Superintendant, African people had no respite from racist attacks especially that normalised by state authorities.

Today we may have returned to aspects of those horrendous times with discriminatory racial profiling leading to racist stop and search, DNA theft and horrific deaths in custody cases but believe it or not, back then the climate was far more intense, far more dangerous, people like Frank Crichlow and indeed Darcus Howe alongside the rest of the Mangrove collective stood up against unimaginable odds to defeat Babylon much like Shaka, the 300 or David and Goliath if you are religiously minded. Unlike as demonstrated by the shenanigans of a small minority of our young people today it was clear that there was no time to be fighting amongst ourselves for perceived slights, delusional postcode territories or criminal endeavours.
Liberation work was a serious thing.

Following the vehicle carrying Frank’s body there were so many people (and thankfully a discrete police presence) on the streets, the day felt like carnival. But I’m not talking about that embarrassing mess that’s has been branded ‘europe’s biggest street party’. No. I’m referring to a time when Frank himself was involved in organising it.

You need to understand that Frank was a Trini and let me tell you something, of all the African people in the Diaspora, Trinidadians know what a proper carnival should look like. Today had a hint of that flavour, people gathered to celebrate the life of a hero whilst enabling everybody - African and otherwise to reflect on our culture and traditions without feeling the need to compromise our soul by prostituting our heritage to corporate suits.

Being here triggered a rethink.

In a few days time it will officially be ‘black’ history month, the state designated period of the year where ‘white’ history is supposed to take a break in order to allow stories of singing and dancing minstrels entertain us. I am of course being deliberately facetious as I do not recognise ‘black’ or indeed ‘white’ history.

Nonetheless, my intent is to demonstrate that in seeking to categorise African history as something ‘black’ that sits outside world history, a laudable effort has over several decades rapidly degenerated into perpetuating the very same patronising ‘enslavement to Obama’ type narrative that it was originally intended to avoid. 

As I started writing this I was listening to an interview broadcast on Solar Radio with the legendary Leroy Hutson. His 1969 song Trying Times was being sung in the background by Roberta Flack and the title could not have been more apt.

On the morning of Frank’s funeral as I travelled on a train, I overheard a sista talking about telling her supervisor that she would be organising an African history month event at her place at work. She didn’t ask. She stated it as a fact. Apparently the supervisor didn’t even try arguing back. As she was relaying her story some of the other passengers in the sardine tin seemed to squirm uncomfortably. Yet what I liked most is that when her friend asked what she would be doing she listed a series of historical and culturally themed activities – not once did she mention a talk on slavery or Obama.

As she left the train I thanked her. She smiled back although I suspect she did not really know what I was thanking her for. A brotha standing opposite me looked up and we did that ‘alright’ acknowledgement nod thing.

Now before I get a torrent of emails criticising me for ‘disrespecting’ the ascension of President Barack Obama let me state that all I am asking is that in our celebrations of ‘post-racial (sic)’ triumphism we do not let mass-group-think euphoria  blind us to the realities and less well known makers of our freedom fighting history.

For example, if we are going to be subjected to a typically myopic focus of musicians during African history month, then why should the value of legends like Leroy Hutson who contributed massively to the civil rights movement soundtrack be negated? Right now in the background the radio is playing one of my all time favourite classic artists, Donny Hathaway. Even as I am writing, he is singing The Ghetto a classic co-written with Leroy Hutson and its taking me back.

Focusing solely on African American artists, I’m envisioning an event exploring the history and works of Nina Simone, John Coltrane, James Brown, Bill Withers, Max Roach, Billie Holiday, Marvin Gaye, Amiri Baraka, Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, Gil Scott-Heron, Pharoah Sanders...  How deep would that be?  It’s making me remember all the history deliberately moved by funders of ‘black’ history into the peripheral position of ‘entertainment’ when instead those above and more who are responsible for articulating our consciousness through the art of music often provided the soul for our liberation movements.

Talking of soul, last night I saw a wonderful play called The Meeting which depicted an imagined meeting between Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X. I won’t spoil it for you other than to say that you must see it. It was the closest I have felt to knowing the two men since reading Malcolm’s autobiography and a collection of all of Martin’s speeches and lectures. It moved me profoundly.  Both were ordinary men driven by spirit to act with purpose during extraordinary times. And yet, whilst we rightly recognise, honour, study and learn from these two immortal giants, I fear we simultaneously miss the opportunity to learn from those around them whose spiritual descendants willingly took the baton and are still with us today.

Many of our greatest leaders like Martin and Malcolm would not have been able to make their contribution without the support of those that contributed to our shared mission. From Rosa Parkes to the sistas that nurtured and fed our families whilst organising the car pool during the Montgomery boycott, from Malcolm X to the brothas that wrote the songs and poetry whilst fighting back against the racists that attacked our families in the streets and at work.

We need to rethink this.

That’s why I’m writing about ‘black’ history month. I want to suggest that many organisations in seeking to play it safe by delivering programmes in the ‘slavery to Obama’ vein have now become part of the problem holding back progress in tackling inequality and injustice. This lack of imagination has not only infected many of the events that we put on but it has also led to the consistently atrociously poor front covers of the only weekly national news publication we have in the UK. It keeps us both dumb and blind to issues that we should be aware of, campaigns we should be supporting, heck even albums we should be buying, exhibitions we should be attending, businesses we could be forming, films we could be viewing or better yet making.

For every bland new event or documentary that’s being produced/organised gushing praise on ‘peace prayers’ or ‘yoots saying no to gun crime’, we lose the opportunity to engage and learn from those elders who have real experience in empowering our community. 
In so doing, we shamefully forget to commemorate our real history and big up the many true community heroes that made, and often continue to make a difference in our lives.

That’s you and I.
Mum and Dad.
Grandma and Grandpa.
Elders like Frank Crichlow.

Yes we are not perfect, some of us have failed in our responsibilities whilst others have triumphed. But none of us would be here without them and the action they, we took.
But it must seem as though I’m rambling. Why am I saying all this?
Well it’s because whilst a minority of us may know the name Frank Ogboru and its relevance to us today, how many of us really know of Frank Crichlow?

Like so many of us, Frank Ogboru’s family continues to be denied justice but Frank Crichlow showed how with righteous determination evil can be held at bay. It’s not a coincidence that in aping American state aggression the brutish British police force repeatedly broke the law in order to attack Frank for daring to provide a community resource with advice, support and food at his Mangrove Restaurant, a space so valuable to our struggle and community development that it attracted guests such as Nina Simone, CLR James, Bob Marley and Muhammad Ali to come in and break bread.

And now he’s gone.

But we won’t hear about his achievements during ‘black’ history month, despite the significant role our elder had in securing many of the freedoms we have in the UK today. Instead we get a diet of historical clichés or role muddling sportsters and entertainers promoted as representing an acceptable goal for life.

Thinking about our now Ancestor Frank, it makes me wonder. Why is it we only seem to recognise true leadership in our community when it has gone? And then, why is it so many of us fail to have the courage to speak their name in public events even during this period named ‘black’ history month?

What’s with the silence? Have we really all adopted a culture that asserts our elders only have value when they become Ancestors? I ask have we even failed in this as my local council currently seeks to rebrand the CLR James Library with the generic name of Dalston Library and Archives!

Would Nelson Column ever be renamed Trafalgar Column or St Pauls Cathedral to the East London Cathedral?

Of course not.

So why is it during so called ‘black’ history month all we seem to get is more ‘enslavement to Obama’?

Well if you’re still with me reading then you’ll note that I’m asking a lot of questions and the majority of them are aimed right at our community. You see I believe that our lack of imagination and bold leadership on this issue has got so bad that even the [a]pathetic bourgeoisie Africans amongst us feel comfortable ludicrously arguing that things are now so good with a ‘post racial [sic]’ US, that teaching African history or promoting anti-racism in society is now a hindrance.

However only a fool would fail to recognise that the original conditions leading to Carter G Woodson’s institutionalisation of an annual period reflecting on African History still stands despite protestations from racists that celebrating ‘black’ history month is in itself somehow... well... racist.

And yet whilst I obviously ignore such foolish musings, It may surprise some to know that although I have issues with its focus, I do not write to advocate that we scrap ‘Black, Asian, Eastern European and Minority Ethnic (BAEEME) month’ although that is what has been covertly occurring over the last few years under the guise of ‘post-racial (sic) progress’.

No. Instead I wish to highlight the lack of innovation in the pedagogical practice that is portrayed as diversity education.

A rethink.

You see for far too long we have been sold the myth that it is only extraordinary people that make history and everyone else is an observer who should be happy simply being allowed to share the same space with these demigods. A good example are the millions of worshippers who conveniently sidestepped all moral concerns during the recent visit of the Pope to celebrate an ordinary man who many not only see his every act as an infallible deed but also regard him as speaking for God. Remarkably, I would say even perversely this is despite the scandal of his continuing reticence over the vile sexual abuse of children by priests, bishops and members of his organisation.

We need a rethink.

But without digressing into the arena of religion let me explain that this deification of humans is simply a classic example of what happens where the practice of comodifying personas of history above contributions is promoted as ‘normal’. We see it everywhere today with online tools like Facebook and Twitter capturing trends built around the cult of individuals instead of encouraging the articulation of historical stories that need to be told and shared without distorting them for commercial gain.

So what has any of this got to do with African History Month? Well I think like that sista on the train this morning demonstrated it’s a question of leadership. In the recent Labour Party contest likewise the London Mayoral candidate selection, thousands participated in a process that from the beginning was set up to produce a predictable result. Interestingly I was even sent an invitation on behalf of London Mayor Boris Johnson to attend an Africa@50 event for ‘black’ history month (I declined). No matter how many alternative or ‘diverse’ candidates were introduced into the jamboree, the process was designed to produce the same outcome. And they did.

Similarly if we continue to engage with ‘black’ history month using the same narratives we will continue to get the same results. Therefore the time has come for us to redefine, to rethink what and who we are commemorating.

We must recognise the Truth that we are all makers of history, so where are our local heroes? Where are those elders that brought us this far on liberation road? What were their strengths and weaknesses? What can we learn from them? Who are they?

Everything starts at identity.


Our challenges, our purpose, our energy, our freedom. 

You see whilst ‘black’ history is about slavery, African history is about freedom.

Whilst ‘black’ history is obsessed with what was done to us, African history focuses on what was done by us.

The myth of extraordinary players of history helps maintain the illusion that our individual lives are worthless. But this is not true. We gain strength by recognising the value of our identity and by acting in collaboration instead of competition with that identity.

Is it not time that organisers of African History Month events in the UK also reflected upon the contributions of those around us instead of always looking to America whose liberation experience is whilst similar, distinctly different from ours?

Instead of us every year following events dominated by themes tired by endless regurgitation, we can dare to remember and recall the history of those gone before and the many elders that still reside around us. I say irrespective of the messages portrayed in western media, our elders are far from worthless. Yet if we do not offer them respect, listen and learn from their experiences, should we be surprised when we repeat their mistakes and gain none of their strengths?

Thankfully many of the events listed below in this newsletter show initiative but for the others I say let’s take a fresh look at so called ‘black’ history and ask ourselves honestly - what benefit is there to be had from learning what we already know? Does this not maintain the status quo? Surely if we want to understand what we have accomplished, how we have done it and where we still have to go then we need to be prepared to research into the unknown - that is, the unknown to us, but often well known and deliberately buried by those seeking to keep us in the socio-political darkness that is ethnic - and not simply class based inequality.

I am tempted to now to name giants in our community, many still with us whose tireless works range from setting up refuges for victims of abuse, providing food and support for young people and elders to organising international book fairs or producing seminal works of empowerment. But perhaps that is for next time as I feel this piece really could do with some editing and external proof reading which I am too fatigued to do and organise, in fact I sense being emotionally compromised at this moment I may have written more than enough.

You see today we are losing many of our people some young, most elders. Some to natural causes others to ailments such as cancer aggravated by a lifetime of oppression and stress. We can do better by simply taking the time to listen to and appreciate those we claim to love and respect whilst they are here with us in this lifetime. The alternative is to forever bemoaning the words of Bob Marley as he once sang – ‘How long shall they kill our prophets as we stand aside and look’.

I’m exhausted, the week has been draining both spiritually and physically and this newsletter took a long time to put together, I hope you find it useful, I'm off to be inspired by the lyrics of Des’ree’s  song ‘I ain’t moving’.

May the Ancestors guide and protect us.


Toyin Agbetu is a writer, film director, poet, and founder of Ligali, the pan African human rights based organisation.


Nyansapo: News and Updates

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We Remember... Frank Crichow

Frank Crichlow
Frank Crichlow: 13 July 1932 - 15 September 2010
Frank Crichlow

On 15 September 2010, Elder Frank Crichlow joined the Ancestors after passing peacefully in his sleep.

Elder Frank Crichlow was born in Trinidad in 1931 and moved to Britain at the age of 21. He was widely respected and admired for his community work against inequality and injustice as well as his persistent resistance against police oppression.

From as early as 1970 there are newspaper reports documenting the savage assaults by police on Frank’s Mangrove Restaurant based at All Saints Road, London W11. It was a community hub for advice, education and healing and well known by artists and activists internationally. Its conscious mix of debate and African Caribbean cuisine attracted many supporters including the likes of CLR James, Nina Simone, Muhammad Ali, Bob Marley, Sammy Davis Jr, Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Four Tops, Sarah Vaughan, Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Gifford. T

Racist officers opposed to community empowerment sought every excuse to close the Mangrove down and in one instance even charged ‘[Frank] Critchlow, [Roy] Hemmings and a third man, John Cabussel... a total of £345 in fines and costs – for serving food [sweetcorn and tea] at the Mangrove Restaurant after eleven o’clock at night.'

Frank’s actions provided a clear demonstration of strong leadership and through his example taught many not to be afraid to stand up for their rights. The British authorities hated this message and continued launching malicious raids on the Mangrove including one which resulted in Frank being arrested and charged with assaulting PC Frank Pulley, a thoroughly corrupt and racist officer whose statement later revealed that he viewed the African people who dined at the Mangrove as ‘criminals, ponces and prostitutes’.

His view was typical of the many police officers who out of spite wanted to shut down the restaurant and between January 1969 and July 1970 raided the venue on twelve separate occasions. Fortunately Frank had much grass roots support and after one arrest a young Darcus Howe who worked the Mangrove tills at the time called for a protest against the continuous harassment. Darcus at the time also worked for the community newspaper, the Hustler which was edited by Courtney Tulloch and produced on the Mangrove premises.

The Independent newspaper writes; ‘Together, Howe, Critchlow and the local Panthers organised a March. On 9 August 1970, 150 protesters took the streets, flanked by more than 700 police. Police intervention resulted in violence and Critchlow, Howe and seven others were charged with inciting riot.’

Police corruption and brutality struck again leading to Frank, Darcus and seven others being arrested in dawn raids on their homes and charged with inciting members of the public to kill police officers alongside the spurious charge of ‘riot and affray’ leading to them subsequently becoming known as the Mangrove 9.

After a laborious 55 day trial at the Old Bailey where up to 36 police officers lied on oath, seven of the nine were eventually acquitted by a jury of the main charges, the remaining two who were convicted received suspended sentences. Even the judge ‘publicly acknowledged that there was "evidence of racial hatred" within the Met‘, an accusation that caused much anger high up in police ranks following their public shaming.

Still smarting from its humiliating defeat the Police took the vexatious step of arresting Frank again in 1985 after constructing a bogus charge of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He was initially held in custody but later freed on bail and ‘banned from going anywhere near his business for about a year’.

By now Frank had established the ‘Mangrove Community Association, which continued the work begun by the restaurant, organising demonstrations against apartheid in South Africa, institutional racism, and supporting national liberation movements from Africa to the Middle East. Critchlow was also instrumental in establishing and running the Notting Hill Carnival.’
This alone was reason to target him again and in 1988 Frank spent six weeks in prison awaiting trial until once again acquitted by a jury. As the Independent writes;

‘Police persecution of the Mangrove never wholly ceased. In 1989 Critchlow was in court once again, this time accused of drug-dealing, and again, church leaders, magistrates, community leaders black and white, all spoke out in his defence. Again he was acquitted of all charges. The final victory was Critchlow's; in 1992 he sued the Met for false imprisonment, battery and malicious prosecution. The police refused to admit fabricating evidence but paid him a record £50,000. Speaking at the time, he said that the money would help "in a small way. But it is no compensation for what they did. Everybody knows that I do not have anything to do with drugs. I don't even smoke cigarettes. I cannot explain the disgust, the ugliness, not just for me but for all my family, that this whole incident has caused."’

Frank was a true grass roots community leader. He is survived by his children Knowlton, Lenora, Amandla and Francesca.

Nelson Gipson
Nelson Gipson: Joined the Ancestors May 2009

Nelson Gipson

Town remembers unassuming man whose death brought a surprise

Nelson Gipson walked downtown every week in a tattered old flannel shirt and jeans.

On Sunday mornings, in dark suit and tie, he’d be found behind the organ in Pleasant Hill’s St. Bridget Catholic Church, playing “God’s music” for Mass for more than 50 years.

Longtime residents knew Gipson. His family history is neatly stitched into the fabric of the Cass County town.

But no one knew that this retired Social Security Administration worker had kept a secret. One he would share only on his deathbed.

One warm morning in May 2009 as Gipson, 82 and tired of fighting the cancer that ravaged his body, lay dying in a Cass Regional Medical Center bed, his friend Marcia McConville called an attorney, Donna R. Coke, to his side.

The old gentleman spoke softly and slow, stopping periodically to rest. Coke leaned in close to hear. It was the first time she had taken a last will and testament this way, she said. For nearly two hours, she jotted down his words.

Gipson was a millionaire.

“I had no idea. I don’t think anyone did,” said McConville, who owns and runs Wallace Funeral Home in Pleasant Hill.

Gipson, who had never married and had no children, scribbled a weak, black ink signature on the final document. He died the next morning, leaving his home, the land and four tiny, boxlike rental houses worth $350,000 to St. Bridget; $120,000 to the Pleasant Hill Historical Society; and $800,000 to the University of Kansas, his alma mater.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business and economic administration from KU in 1950. Statistics weren’t kept on the racial makeup of the student body back then, but university officials doubt there were many other black students enrolled at that time.


McConville said Gipson, “who apparently was a shrewd investor in the stock market,” had never told a soul about his money. He didn’t talk much about anything really.

“If you were looking for a conversation with him, you had to lead it,” said Laurie Himmelberg, administrative assistant at St. Bridget, where a portrait of Gipson, painted by a local artist, has hung in the foyer since his death.

Gipson didn’t talk about his education, either. And if he knew the fuss his friends and neighbors have made over his contributions to their town, “he’d roll over,” said Bill McConville, Marcia’s husband.

“I wouldn’t say that Nelson was shy but he was, sort of,” said Marcia McConville, whose family had been connected by friendship with Gipson’s family for more than a century.

“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know Nelson,” McConville said. “I’d say he was a kind and gentle man.”

The kind of person, she said, who without being asked was quick to visit and care for the sick and shut-in in town.

Monsignor Bradley Offutt, chancellor of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, was Gipson’s pastor from 1993 to 2003.

“Nelson was the most eloquent testimony to the power of humility that I have ever known,” Offutt said. “He was so steady, so decent, so good. We have big shoes to fill to live our lives like Nelson Gipson.”


Gipson lived a quiet life in the same little two-story house that his grandfather built. In the spring, well-tended flowers filled the front lawn.

Inside, the house was modestly furnished; a piano he played often, a small black and white television he rarely watched, and a portable, table-top record player. His tiny bedroom only had space for a twin bed, small dresser and a chair. He drove a 1996 Honda Civic bought used.

He drove to work at the Kansas City Social Security offices, where he retired in 1982.

“I don’t see that he hardly spent a nickel on anything for himself,” said Monsignor Robert Murphy of St. Bridget.

About 10 years ago though, after the church had moved into a new building, members considered raising funds to buy a new organ for the larger sanctuary. Gipson quietly volunteered to buy the organ for them, $30,000.

Recently, Murphy said, the church bought a piano in Gipson’s honor.

He is remembered all over town. The Pleasant Hill Times printed a tribute to the man when his gifts were announced earlier this month.

Bob Kennedy, town historian, said the Pleasant Hill Historical Society became a passion of Gipson, who would sit off from the group, on a stool by the microfiche machine, at meetings. When he spoke, “everyone would listen,” Kennedy said.

Gipson spent a lot of time at the town museum poring over old newspapers searching for information on the black families that lived in Pleasant Hill.

“I often told him he was my source for the town’s black history,” said Kennedy, who is continuing Gipson’s work, adding Gipson’s own family heritage to the archives.


Gipson was the only child of “Miss” Lelia Gipson — the last teacher at the school for Pleasant Hill’s black children. She also taught piano to the children and her only son.

McConville remembers that Gipson’s mother and her grandmother were “very close, like sisters.” Miss Lelia’s father, known as Mr. Sam, and McConville’s great-great-grandfather, the wealthy George M. Kellogg, had been close.

The story told over the years is that Sam was a boy about 8 when he was found in a train boxcar one night. Apparently he had loved a horse sold by the people his family worked for in Kentucky. When the horse was loaded on the train bound for Missouri, the boy snuck aboard.

The boy was taken in by a Pleasant Hill family, the Gipsons. As a young man Sam Gipson went to work for Kellogg, who owned “the largest greenhouse this side of the Mississippi,” McConville said. “Sam ran the boilers and was Kellogg’s right-hand man.

“I don’t think Nelson ever knew his dad,” McConville said. If he did, folks in town never heard tell of him.

After grade school Nelson Gipson went off to high school for four years in Sedalia; Pleasant Hill had no black high school. His friends went to Kansas City, which meant the lonely Gipson occupied long hours practicing the piano.

Gipson’s donated photos of his mother in front of the black elementary school and one showing his own home hang on the museum wall.

The last time Kennedy saw Gipson, “he was wearing a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up so you could barely see his face. It was May and it was warm.”

The old man was having trouble stepping up onto the curb in front of the post office.

“He said to me, ‘I’m cold and I’m tired.’ He died a week later.”

The money Gipson left to KU will go to scholarships set up to benefit students in perpetuity. The scholarships were named for his grandparents Samuel and Rosa Gipson and his mother, Lelia Irma Gipson.

“He took what God gave him, and he did good for others,” Monsignor Murphy said. “Nelson Gipson was a good man.”



Community Champion Profile:
Education, Innovation and Dedication to our Elevation

ebb & flow

The rethink

Sometimes you just have this feeling when something is right. The past few days had been grey with rain, it was cold and the idea of travelling across London for a meeting during the early morning crush hour was not appealing. Yet today the sun was out, it was warm and as I entered the park come stylish cafe to meet Jon Daniel and Michael Liburd of ebb&flow it suddenly became clear that today was going to be something special.

It’s easy to be tempted to rethink the definition of cool after meeting them both, indeed the very name of the organisation epitomises the way they work together not only when seeking creative solutions to business challenges, but also when expressing their vision and amazing achievements. They remind me of my days as a musician when I was inspired by the genius but reclusive producers Jam and Lewis.

Like many, I had without even knowing it seen much of ebb&flow’s work in the public domain but remained totally unaware of the duo behind it. I was drawn to learning more about them after seeing the design for a brilliant new project on Africa named rethink. Who were they? What was their ethos, aspirations and of course - community contributions.

 Jon started by explaining that in seeking to understand the ethos of ebb&flow we needed to first start to have an understanding of self, a holistic appreciation of what it is we ourselves are about. As he spoke his confidence and passion was infectious, there was no hesitation, no doubt in his awareness that African enterprises no matter how small are capable of competing in a global market.  He stated that one of the keys to being successful in our endeavours is to first recognise that collectively we have the required skills to succeed and do not have to over compensate when coming to market. Instead of losing confidence by focusing on outside challenges - we simply just need to ‘do what we can do and be the best we can be.’

Michael joins in and refers to what Jon has labelled ‘undeniable professionalism’.  It is a perfect term to explain the aura the pair emit as he explains why we shouldn’t need to shout about this or use a different language to articulate it. Indeed the value of ebb&flow is demonstrated by the quality of their work. I remark that it sets an impressive benchmark, a compliment which Jon and Michael accept with humility.

I ask how can community enterprises progress beyond their immediate local market and we start talking about the internet. They explain how one of the biggest mistakes made when using the online media is not to recognise its potential to create a level playing field.

‘If I have prejudices and see a ‘black’ face I’m going to decide what you can deliver. However, effective branding creates a level playing field with any other business. Then it becomes not about who you are but what you do, irrespective of whether you are operating from your bedroom or are based in a massive office located in the west end.’
Jon explains how some businesses are failing simply because we don’t have the right language. He identifies how for example we may be talking about a hair salon and spell the business as hair ‘kutz’ – a decision I surmise that could perpetuate unwanted assumptions.

Michael agrees. He continues ‘we have an amazing amount of skills, resources and creativity in our community but I believe our community has an issue in realising it. The solution centres around our identity – how we portray who we are. ‘
The theme of identity is a recurring topic during our conversation and as I look at these two men I realise they can really help.  Their creative genius has already contributed to assisting major companies move themselves into new markets. Yet what I am sensing in their hearts is a desire to awaken our community and give something that can help stimulate our collective growth and development. Not by hiding who we are but by respecting, protecting and effectively projecting that identity.

I tease Michael into explaining in more depth. He responds. 

‘We have to understand our value. This is where the power we have to obtain the things we desire for ourselves and family lies. What we are not doing is thinking about ourselves as a collective or working collaboratively to add value to our eco system.’

One of the projects ebb&flow worked on was the 1824 Collective with Harriet Harman. Their engagement in the world of voter registration touched a nerve as it brought home how so many young people don’t believe they make a difference to the world they inhabit. The project was a success as it helped five million young people come together and realise that when they act collectively they have power.

Michael continues, ‘There is a light bulb that needs to come on. We need to learn how to engage our audiences and therefore effect change. We need to say - this is what I do, I do it very well, now how do we present ourselves at our best to showcase who we are?’

Jon offers the band of Toni & Guy as an effective example of branding as the pair continues;

‘African men and women including those from the Caribbean are the biggest consumer of the hair industry, where are our hair care products?  If I want to buy a comb where does it come from? We are over represented in sports, so where is the African Adidas?  Where in the music industry is the African Sony? Take a look at our cultural enterprises, our foods and clothes, we have beautiful textiles, designs and an abundance of talent – where are our products?’

I am impressed at how easy they both identify the challenges without adopting a fatalistic pessimism.  This is a topic they have clearly discussed and are both determined to work towards becoming a part of the solution.

‘Look at it on a global level, let’s take oil’ continues Michael. ‘Where are we? There are some smaller organisations that exist in pockets without fractious vision but are they competing with BP? Are they competing with Nike?  If we can get people asking these questions we can take that why and turn it into how.’

As the topic turns to Africa Jon points to the need for us to adopt a new paradigm that is encapsulated by the rethink project.

‘There’s this perception of Africa, that is typically always overwhelmingly negative, i.e. its all disease, all negative when the reality is that Africa is the emerging market, its where all the mobile companies are going, the fashion markets are going, with the economic downturn big companies have exhausted the western markets and now regions like Africa and India for example are seen as being on the rise.

Our perceptions are being thwarted by what we are seeing. Why have we not got a global media company that can compete with the Murdoch’s of this world -  I mean we do have billionaires amongst us.’

Michael adds an important caveat stating its not just about having the media as it still needs to be watchable, it still must have purposeful content.

‘Real power is silent and reserved as opposed to boastful over confidence. It’s not about whacking a gold chain around our neck in order to say we are rich. It’s about walking into a space and being comfortable there irrespective of how we are dressed.’

I ask them if our image compromises us. In western media African people are predominantly associated with the sports and entertainment industry or criminality. How does this impact on us? Should we be concerned?

Michael responds; ‘I do have concerns, when we talk to companies and they want to talk to our community they often have a prescribed view of how they should engage with us.  For example if a client wants to do something ‘urban’ they often feel the need to include graffiti and some guys wearing hoods and baseball caps. [As a community many of us] have contributed to creating this stereotype of who we are and need to [now work to] undo some of this thinking...

You don’t need to patronise an audience to reach them. The challenge is to select the right medium. Take for example if we decided to do a campaign for MTV. The advert that would stand out is the one that is silent and doesn’t move. It’s about how you communicate.’

Communication and branding plays a major factor in the way ebb&flow approach their work. We touch on the current use of flyers by organisations and question whether sufficient thought goes into thinking who am I, who do I want to attract and how am I going to have the greatest effect?

‘Many people don’t understand what branding is and how it works. If you see it akin to building a house then branding is its architecture. If you put all the work and thinking in at the start of the project then good branding is an investment that provides longevity, it understands that whilst the values may remain the same, what you are today may not be what you are tomorrow.’

They have me smiling and more crucially – rethinking. These guys are serious. I know the work, now I know the names but I also want to know who they are. We could settle for trivia, for example Michael spent seven years on submarines in the Royal Navy whilst Jon petitioned the Royal Mail for several years to commission stamps on the African contribution. But this doesn’t tell even a fraction of their story.

Michael Liburd (left) and Jon Daniel of ebb&flow
image: ebb&flow | dp daniel

I ask for the origins of the creative company and they tell me they’ve been working together as ebb& flow for six years. When you witness the humorous banter between them you can instantly understand how the creative ebb flows.

Michael worked with clients in corporate industry. Often addressing marketing and sales issues he became frustrated after becoming aware of the missed opportunities that could be fulfilled by companies that could deliver solutions based on creative thinking. Similarly, Jon was working in mainstream advertising. He liked the idea of developing concepts and working with the best people to realise them but his frustration grew following the inability of mainstream clients to sometimes break with safe and tired conventions. Jon often wondered how could we take the philosophy of an event or product and present it to people by making it something that is relevant to their lifestyle.

The both of them met one day and after discussing these frustrations thought - why don’t we do something about it. That was when ebb&flow was born and together they created a methodology they felt able to apply to their clients. One of the biggest fear was the financial one, how can I look after my family.

 ‘You realise yes money is an issue but it’s about freedom of expression, flexibility - it changes your outlook on life. You start to ask what value do you bring? We did not want to be shackled by convention.  We realised we could do anything if we put our minds to it, and applying the ebb&flow philosophy is absolutely paramount.’

I ask aren’t they crazy to take such a huge risk leaving the security of their jobs to enter such a closed industry? They both laugh.

‘There are easier ways to make a living and we certainly had our ups and downs but you can’t go into anything like that without confidence in your value. The ethos of the creative industry is that you are only as good as your last piece of work.’

I want to know of the challenges, what were they and how they overcame them. They reveal tales of clients who ask for innovation but in truth are unwilling to change and how some clients have preconceived perception of their ability when becoming aware of their ethnicity and assume they will think a certain way. They look for synergy when working on a project and enjoy working where the client has no preconceived ideas of how things ‘should’ go and is open to alternative ways of working. They explain the irony of those rare clients that do not appreciating their value who are characterised by not having worked with large agencies or experienced global thinking;

 ‘This is the true value of what we bring in that we can compete with large players... the failure is  sometimes that the client does not share the relevant information or does not understand the need for honesty to effect the economy of the solution...  because we work in an industry [where] there’s level of subjectivity to it. For example if a plumber comes in to fix your pipes whatever he tells you to do, you do. In the creative field this is not the same  – but we are not a ‘pretty pictures’ firm. When we are coming to you with a solution we are providing a solution that we believe is sound.’

I want to close on exploring how their work benefits the pan African community.  Jon and Michael list a series of high profile projects from helping African and African Caribbean men with parenting to giving back to Africa through their work with the singer Alicia Keys’ Aids charity, Keep a Child Alive. These are laudable projects but I suspect the benefits go far deeper than that. Having worked and supported grassroots organisations ebb&flow have changed perception within governments and corporate industries about the perception of Africans as a whole not only by the quality of their work but also by their approach in how they do it. By challenging them when they come with prescribed stereotypes they have clearly articulated that we can’t be perceived in a set way if we are to move forward towards persistent solutions and that our value which goes far beyond any stereotypical image is deserving of further investment. Michael closes our conversation by explaining that we should not be afraid to have global vision as a business.

‘We do like international projects so it would be good to find an African brand that wants to compete in a global market. We want to help find a pan African brand become the next BP, Microsoft or Estée Lauder. That’s what we want to do’
Jon agrees. As we leave I become aware that I have forgotten to ask what does the ebb&flow logo symbolise? 

Based on the ancient African Adinkra symbol. ‘Nykinkyim’ it stands for ‘Initiative, dynamism and versatility as do we’ says Michael with a grin that makes clear they had purposely chosen a symbol that best reflected the values of the company. I smile back, with that much attention to detail it’s hardly surprising these guys success comes from thinking that is clearly a cut above the rest.

Visit the website


African History Month events in Partnership with Ligali

The Meeting: Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X

Theatre: The Meeting (Malcolm and Martin):
Post Show Discussion with Toyin Agbetu

When: 9 October 2010, 7:30 pm
Where: PLEASANCE THEATRE, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF
Adm: £8-12.50

February 1965. Two great minds – Malcolm X and Dr Martin Luther King Jr. meet in a Harlem Hotel to share their two roads to freedom. This is a highly imagined encounter that captures the humanity, political maturity and enduring integrity of the two leaders, addressing issues still relevant today.

Toyin Agbetu, founder of Ligali, the Pan African human rights organisation will be moderating a post-show discussion themed; “Is 'Black' History Month Every Month?: (In)Equality in Teaching Diversity

The Meeting By Jeff Stetson, Directed by Chuck Mike is a theatrical event that challenges the state of equality in Britain from civil rights era to the present day. The play includes an educational foyer exhibition, pre-show participatory protests/rallies, and post-show discussions with high profile leaders in the Equality and Human Rights field. All these activities aim to engage audiences in a debate about creating greater equality in Britain today.



Word Power 2010:
Ukweli - Q&A with Toyin Agbetu

When: Sunday 17 October 2010, 1pm
Where: Centerprise, 136-138 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2NS
/ Tel: 020 7254 9632

Toyin Agbetu will be discussing his book Ukweli – A Political and Spiritual Basis for Pan Africanism at Word Power 2010: The 4th Annual Word Power, International Black Literature Festival and Book Fair.

Toyin believes that Pan Africanism only works when politics and spirituality is at the heart of its teachings married to its original ethos of education and community development. In this intimate discussion Toyin Agbetu will explain why Pan Africanism is still relevant in today’s world. How knowledge of our ancient history and wisdoms has helped win battles in a war of enslavement that begun hundreds of years ago. If you’ve ever wondered about your purpose and responsibility to community, or question whether rites of passage would help our children, then come join in with discussion merging spirit and politics.  

Ukweli is the Kiswahili word for Truth

Word Power 2010: Dozens of authors and writers,  hundreds of readers, thousands of books. All under one roof.

Word Power 2010

For more info:

BIS Publications
BIS Publications

An African-Caribbean Children’s Book Extravaganza:
Awakening the Child Within

When: Saturday 23rd October 1:30 – 5pm
Where: Conference Room at Voluntary Action Islington, 200a Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP
Adm: FREE but booking essential.

Join BIS Publications one of the leading publishers of multicultural fiction and non-fiction children books who are committed to the power of the word and image to uplift, motivate, educate and inspire every mind. With over 15 years in the publishing industry, they will highlight the contributions, which multicultural children’s books have and are making to the UK landscape.

Enjoy an afternoon, with a film screening, presentations and panel/audience debate. Learn all about the exciting area of multi-cultural children’s writing, publishing and marketing multicultural children’s books in the UK. All are welcome.

Refreshments available. Books available to purchase on the day.


Please confirm via email to: or call Savina on 0208 880 9076


Community Noticeboard

Judges Needed: Essay Contest for Children of African Descent 2011

Judges Wanted: Essay Contest for Children of African Descent 2011


For those of you who have participated in the annual Essay Contest for Children of African Descent in previous years, it’s that time of the year again when I ask "Can I count on your support as a Judge again?"   This email is also sent out to Africans who have expressed an interest in being a Judge and whom I told I would add them to the list and contact closer to the time. 
The annual Essay Contest for Children of African Descent, now in its sixth year, is about us showing children of African descent across the African diaspora that we care about them and are willing to show our support for their efforts.  The aims are very simple goals: to encourage and support our children in their educational development.  Some of the benefits are:

Boost self-esteem.
Focus attention on education.
Improve communication skills.
Encourage a sense of accomplishment.
Offer opportunities for personal growth and self-expression.
Recognize and celebrate success within the community.
Be a gateway to public speaking experience (winners).
Encourage critical thinking.

For more information, please visit under Essay Contests then 2011.  Also, please take the time to visit "Impact" where you will learn what teachers and parents are saying about the impact of this essay contest on their children.

Judges play a vitally important role in this contest as they read and provide positive and constructive feedback on essayists’ work.  This feedback is given to each essayist.  I have heard personally form teachers, parents and children how much the Judges’ feedback meant to them and how the comments they received encouraged them with their school work.  As a Judge, you will be invited to attend The Awards Ceremony.  This is also an opportunity when the children shine as they demonstrate excellence.

Please download a copy of the brochure for the contest from the website as I am not able attach it - - under Essay Contests 2011.    I have attached a Registration Form which I would ask you to complete and return it as soon as possible.  If you know anyone of African descent who might be interested in being a Judge, please forward this email to them and ask them to contact me.

As Judges, your work will not commence until early February and you will have three weeks in which to read and provide feedback on your 10 essays.  You do not even need to leave the comfort of your home as your essays will be emailed to you.

I do hope you will see value in this initiative for our children’s development and that you will choose to participate in the Essay Contest for Children of African Descent 2011.
Do contact me should you have any questions or comments.

I look forward to receiving your completed Registration form or an email with the information required - namely that I can count on you in 2011!
With kind regards,
Lorna Jones
Essay Contest for Children of African Descent
London, UK and San Francisco, CA, USA

Positive Mental Attitude Community College
Positive Mental Attitude
Community College

Teachers Needed - P.M.A Community College

Peace Family,

Please circulate among potentially interested parties.

P.M.A. Community College is in need of teachers for the following subjects:
Key Stages 2 & 3 (Years 7/8 and 9):

  • English Language,
  • Science,
  • ICT .

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11):

  • English (GCSE and Units Towards),
  • ICT (GCSE and Units Towards),

Teaching posts at the moment are Voluntary. Volunteers are to be given first priority for near-future Paid Posts, notice of which will be provided by mid November.

Members of the community or professionals who are interested in Giving Back to our Future. Potential Applicants must have some experience in teaching or supporting teaching of children/young people aged between 11 - 16.
Please email GCSE PANEL on for application form or further information. Looking forward to your contact.

Ms Stevanna W. Francis (Adv. Cert. Ed.)
Executive Director/Jnr Lawyer
School of Interdisciplinary Education
Automated Service: 0844 804 5150
Ground Line: 0208 692 8090
Mobile: 0770 903 3110
Fax: 0208 692 8090


ADAP’s Working Holiday Break

Looking for a short break in Africa?
ADAP is offering a 7 day fully packed working holiday to The Gambia, between 30th November – 6th December
2010. Visiting various cultural & historical landmarks around the country with ADAP’s Tour Guide, and also an
opportunity to see & get involved with some of ADAP’s projects in the country, this would be an opportunity
not to be missed!

For more information, please contact

ADAP fully appreciates the support it gets from its current donors! and would like to
call upon new potential donors to help support our programmes around the world, by
donating on-line at

Black Cultural Archives
Black Cultural Archives

Exciting opportunities to make history:
Collections, Learning and Fundraising posts

Black Cultural Archives, London

Black Cultural Archives, a charity dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the history of Black people in Britain, is on the brink of making history. Recently the Heritage Lottery Fund announced a £4millon grant for the Black Cultural Archives to establish the National Black Heritage Centre in Brixton. Set to open in April 2012, the centre will be the permanent home of the Black Cultural Archives’ collection of historic material, providing the foundation for a strong public programme that will include outreach, exhibitions, educational activities and events. 

We are searching for experienced professionals motivated to work at an organisation dedicated to Black heritage, who have a keen interest in Black history and are inspired to be a part of a Black-led organisation. Black Cultural Archives’ staff will build upon and extend existing learning and collections programmes, fundraising efforts, and community development initiatives.

Collections Manager
£30 - £32k

Assistant Archivist
£22 - £24k

Learning Manager
£30 - £32k

Fundraising Manager
£42 - £45k

Closing date: 18 October 2010
Interview date: week commencing 1 November 2010

For further details of these posts and an application pack  please visit

Egbe Odun Niyi
Egbe OdunNiyi


Check out the album 'Kevin Haynes Grupo elegua'
Greetings Family and friends,

Kevin Haynes Grupo will be performing on Tues 5th October @ The Tabernacle center Talbot Road Powis Square London W11 shows starts 9pm-10pm tickets £8 see u there



Azelle Rodney
Azelle Rodney

Azelle Rodney Public Inquiry: 'He was shot six times. Why?'

When: Wednesday, 6 October 2010 at 10:30am
Where: Location: St Dunstans House

In 2005, a couple of months before the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes made headlines around the world, another unarmed man was shot dead by the same police force. So why has nobody heard of Azelle Rodney? And why has there been no inquest into his death? Patrick Barkham meets his family

The suspect was, police said, wearing a suspiciously large coat. Armed officers were acting on intelligence at the culmination of a covert surveillance operation. Six shots from a Heckler & Koch high-velocity assault rifle were fired into the young man's body. Witnesses said he didn't stand a chance.

On the night he died, Saturday April 30, Rodney, dressed up in smart clothes, clambered into the back of a hired silver VW Golf with Wesley Lovell, 26, and Frank Graham, 24. They drove him to get his hair cut - his mother found it still "glistening like he had just stepped out of the barber's" when she went to see his body at the morgue.

After leaving the barber's, the three men continued to drive across north London. They were apparently oblivious of the fact that the car they were travelling in had been under surveillance for some time. According to information later given to Rodney's family by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, armed police tailing the Golf in unmarked vehicles at some point moved to "state red". It meant that the car should be intercepted as soon as possible. Passing the Railway Tavern on Hale Lane at 7.43pm, the car was "hard-stopped": an Audi swerved in front, a Vauxhall Omega drew up tight alongside and a third police vehicle crashed into the rear of the Golf.

Fourteen members of the Met's elite C019 armed unit sprang out. The Golf's tyres were punctured with "Hatton rounds" designed to open doors or disable cars. Pedestrians screamed; drinkers sitting outside the pub on wooden benches ducked for cover. And from the passenger seat of the Vauxhall, E7, an officer with 20 years' firearms experience, leaned over his left shoulder and fired eight shots through the side of the Golf at Azelle Rodney, sitting in the back seat. Six bullets hit him in the face, head, neck and chest.

Within hours, news agencies misreported that Rodney was holding a gun when he was shot. The few newspapers that noted the incident subsequently described Rodney as a crack-dealing "drugs baron". This label perhaps explains why so few people have heard of the Azelle Rodney Campaign for Justice. The portrait of Rodney as a gun-toting drug lord is utterly alien to his family and wide circle of friends, however. And while his supporters don't say this, even if he was mixed up in drugs and guns, he could still be innocent: shot dead without cause or reason.

Click here to read the full article on the Guardian website


Dear Editor,

I would like my African kith and kin, who are freeborn and not zombie slaves, to join this campaign of cultural and economic development of our motherland, Africa.

Whether by design or practice, Africans are barred from wearing their national (traditional clothes) in the workplace and place of worship, i.e. the churches (when officiating). The reason provided is that our clothes are 'not smart enough'. However, we are allowed to wear them in the workplace on Fridays as a less formal day and as member of the congregation.

Have you noticed the  African pastors , both male and female in  churches, and many politicians, who choose to wear only European clothes. They pay lip service to African development and independence, but they are party to her enslavement. After all, who gains economically, if it is not the European business where these clothes are produced.

It is long overdue for Africans who are not slaves to wear African clothes instead of European clothes and thereby help our Continent to enjoy an element of economic growth but particularly, as a reflection of our DIGNITY and  CULTURAL PRIDE..

Needless to say that the consumption of our food which are more nutritious should also be adopted as means of the  economic growth . and national pride.

Please circulate for publication on social networks etc.

ADA (Amazon Daughter of Africa)

 The Reparations: Haiti First! Haiti Now! Campaign invites you to a

Justice for Haiti DEMONSTRATION

Where: The French Embassy, 58 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7JT
When: WEDNESDAY 29th SEPTEMBER 2010, 5-7PM

Demand that the French Government:

·        Immediately give Reparations/make restitution to Haiti  for the 90 million gold Franks (now worth 24 billion US dollars) shamelessly extorted from Haiti between 1825 and 1947.
·        End the current occupation of Haiti!
·        Oppose the Aid Agencies, Governments and Firms that - post earthquake - have failed to clear the rubble, feed the people or rebuild Haitian infrastructure or housing.
Haiti is the “poorest country in the Americas” only because since African-Haitians overthrew slavery and won independence (1791-1804) Haitians have been deliberately and systematically pauperised by Europe and America.


Reparations: Haiti First! Haiti Now! & the Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum
c/o Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum, 44-46, Offley Road, London SW9 0LS
07940 005 907,;

Protest for justice outside the Guyana High Commission, 1 July 2010
Protest for justice outside the Guyana High Commission, 1 July 2010



  • Guyana High Commission, 3 Palace Court, London W2 4LP
  • Guyana Consulate, 505 Consumers Road – Suite 206, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – M2J 4V8
  • Guyana Consulate, New York – 370 7th Avenue, 4th Floor Seven Penn Plaza
  • Guyana, Georgetown (meeting place TBC)


Our demonstration aims to expose the persistent acts of human rights violations and extra-judicial killings being perpetrated by security services in Guyana under the PPP regime.

We want to bring these crimes to international attention so they can be independently/fairly investigated and perpetrators brought to trial.

It is well-known to all Guyanese that the GPF and GDF have carried out countless acts of violence, torture and killings against mostly African males under the PPP dictatorship.


  • STOP the  TORTURE  OF  ANYONE in Police Custody
  • STOP the GUNFIRE exchanges resulting in DEATHS of innocent civilians without ANY inquiry against security services responsible
  • STOP the EXCESSIVE use of force by security services
  • STOP the ‘criminalizing of social protests’
  • STOP racial discrimination against African Guyanese

For more information about the demonstration contact: Mr. Norman Browne:, 07572453158 or Dr. Michelle Asantewa:, 07950308033


Uhuru!! to all our loyal members, friends and supporters

Put the date below into your diary.  Take the day off work/ college or university and encourage people in your network to stand up with us in support of InPDUM International President, Diop Olugbala against the Attack being waged by the City of Philadelphia and the US Government.  For more detailed information into the case and issues surrounding it, click on the links in our e-mail signature.

We will be joined by members of the Free Mumia Abu Jamal Defense Campaign on this day of action and they will be giving a statement about that campaign on the day also.  

All other anti-imperialist and progressive organizations are also encouraged to attend and support in solidarity.

Uhuru (Means Freedom)!


LFF Education Events - African and World Cinema

The Festival Education Programme is pleased to present free screenings of new films from Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal and Chad. Our three events explore and highlight the work of African directors, offering their own take on social and political issues in Africa to compare to recent big budget crowd-pleasers by Western filmmakers such as The Last King of Scotland and critical successes such as White Material.
Free Learning Resources are available for every screening, plus introductions and Q&As, to provide context and insight to the films.
Further free screenings of world cinema as part of the LFF Education Programme include Orion (Iran) and Abel (Mexico).

New African Stories

Thu 14 Oct, 11:00 - 13:00, BFI Southbank (NFT2)

Three innovative and multi-award winning short films from new African filmmakers
Lezare: In this beautifully shot and deceptively simple short, Ethiopian director Zelalem Woldemariam uses the story of a homeless boy to explore the link between poverty and human negligence.
Pumzi: Female director/screenwriter Wanuri Kahium presents Kenya's stunning first sci-fi film, imagining Kenya in a post-apocalyptic future in which water scarcity has forced all human life below ground.
Saint Louis Blues: Director/screenwriter Dyana Gaye mixes contemporary Senegalese culture with French musical tradition to present an offbeat and highly original musical taxi-ride from Dakar to St. Louis.

A Screaming Man (Un Homme Qui Crie)

Fri 22 Oct, 10:45 - 12:45, Ciné Lumière

This moving drama set in war-torn Chad tells the story of Adam, a father who betrays his son and is forced to come to terms with his guilt. By setting Adam's story in the war, the film explores the social and personal implications that civil war - in Chad and everywhere - has on the people who suffer it.
Following four critically acclaimed films (including Abouna and Daratt, Dry Season) that have earned him major prizes at film festivals, A Screaming Man is director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's latest feature. It was the first Chadian film to be selected for the main competition at the Cannes Film Festival this year, winning the prestigious Jury Prize.

To receive e-bulletin updates on Festival Education programme and speakers, email Festival Education

Festival Education
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XT
020 7815 1344

CLR James
CLR James

Save the identity of CLR James Library


I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently signed. BEMA and H-AMPS have started a campaign to retain the name 'CLR JAMES Library', when the new Hackney library is completed as part of the current Dalston Square Development. This issue should be of concern not only to Hackney based writers and readers from the African Caribbean community but to all those who want to see the cultural diversity of Dalston and the rest of the borough retained. It is of vital importance that you show your support to this initiative by clicking on the link below and signing the petition. It would also be helpful if you could forward this to others.

"Save CLR James Library "

Ngoma Bishop

Kwame Tyre Haki Madhubuti
History Makers: Kwame Ture and Hadi Madhubuti

A Message from Susan L. Taylor in Support of THIRD WORLD PRESS

I am reaching out to you on behalf of one of the most honorable people I know, a man whose work has elevated and encouraged our community for more than 40 years, Haki Madhubuti.

In 1967 Haki (those of us who came of age in the 60's discovered him then as poet Don L. Lee) founded Third World Press, the renowned book publishing company that has provided a place for our voices for two generations.
Third World Press (TWP) alumnae include Poet Laureate and first African American Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Derrick Bell, Julianne Malveaux, Chancellor Williams and John Henrik Clarke among others. Tavis Smiley's best-selling The Covenant With Black America was published by TWP. As difficult as it is to fathom, there were no other outlets for the work of many powerful thinkers TWP has published.
The role that Haki Madhubuti and Third World Press have played has been singular and seminal. Today they have an urgent need. The downturn in the economy has hit the press particularly hard. In recent years we have seen the erosion and subsequent disappearance of independent Black bookstores. We cannot now take for granted or let fade the one progressive publishing house that has told our story when no others would. Our love and support are the answer.
The Third World Press family is restructuring and repositioning itself to be competitive with mainstream publishing houses. This capacity-building effort urgently needs your financial support.
Join my husband, Khephra, and me in ensuring the survival of this vital institution. The critical need is to raise $500,000 by the end of the month. We can do this! Khephra and I have donated and are also committed to serving on TWP's advisory board and bringing new writers to the publishing house. From my heart to yours, I'm asking you to send a lifeline to Haki and the TWP family. I'm asking you to make a financial contribution that matches the best of your intentions and the depth of your love and respect for the griots and great voices TWP has brought us over the years.
Let us take care of our own. Please get the word out to your network via email, Facebook, blog and Twitter.
Send your contribution today to:
Third World Press
 P.O. Box 19730 
7822 South Dobson Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60619

You can also donate securely online via PayPal, visit:


Griot Training


Ndeewu Beautiful Spirit

Good news there is funding for this work which means each weekend is now £39.50, instead of £80. WHAT A SAVING! There are spaces for 12 participants for 4 weekends (not 5) as stated in previous leaflet. If you know people who would like to come on board and be part of this very exciting and important movement please encourage them to take part.

Daalu Griot Chinyere

ps All the camping places have been taken for this year. It will be an annual event so we have next year. Having said that the griot training includes a retreat and we are also planning a performance tour. Spoke to a consultant today about raising money for the tour that will give trainees a platform to express your new found skill in storytelling. It's all good!

Chinyere Nwobani (B'eng MA) Director Chi Creation Stories CIC 07765 070042


HCVS: The importance of Wednesday, 20 October to the sector

In my second blog I informed you all about the in-year spending reductions that the Council and Team Hackney were implementing. By way of update I though it useful to let you know about what is (or isn’t) happening with regard to future government spending.

The Area Based Grant (ABG) has funded a range of voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations in Hackney over the last few years (including HCVS’s own core contract which includes our work with the CEN) – about a quarter of this fund (total allocated was £17.9m in 2010/11) which was commissioned this year has gone to the VCS (around £4.8m to the sector) so its existence is very important to the sector. It’s an un-ringfenced Council grant which means the Council can choose what it does with it. Fortunately in Hackney, since 2008 the Council has decided to spend this money through the LSP, Team Hackney, to create a budget which has been managed by Team Hackney through the strategic commissioning process (before that it was Local Area Agreement funding for a transitional year after the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, NRF and was ringfenced). ABG is allocated to authorities according to specific policy criteria rather than the general formulae used to calculate the value of the formula grant (core grant) for local authorities.

The Council, and ultimately Team Hackney, will not know until after the new Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review on Wednesday, 20 October about the future of such funding which is calculated differently from the formula such as the ABG. The Coalition Government have been clear they want to simplify funding to local government so the fact that ABG was reduced this year gives an indication of its potential to disappear or be replaced with something new.

The level of the formula grant awarded to each authority will be announced by the Secretary of State in the House in late November / early December. Only after this point can local authorities start setting and approving budgets for 2011/12, although of course the planning has already started internally in the Council.

In terms of future funding for Team Hackney, unless there is funding specifically for LSPs, the Council would again need to make a decision about the scale and nature of funding, as part of budgetary planning from January to March (a budget will go to Cabinet in February). The Council can’t, at this stage, make any assumptions about funding managed by Team Hackney, although there does need to be discussion and scenario planning from now using the Sustainable Community Strategy priorities as a template which are still the overarching priorities for Hackney.

Discussions will be happening within the Team Hackney structure from October about this process and will include how ending of the current commissioned programme should be managed, how future commissioning could work based on what has been learnt from the current commissioned programme and scenario planning as well as identifying the areas of greatest risk from the current level of investment coming to an end and hence identifying how the Partnership can address these including possible transitional arrangements needed.

The CEN through its reps will be involved in some of the discussions so the sector has a stake at the table. However until the Spending Review in October the amount of money available locally to tackle Hackney’s priorities is unknown. What we have got is a commitment from commissioners and decisions makers to ensure the sector has a proper framework and set of principles within which it can be commissioned. You may have seen information about the draft Third Sector Commissioning Framework that is currently out for consultation.

If you have time and haven’t done already I encourage you to complete the questionnaire that is available online at to have your say.

Please email me directly at if you have any questions.

You can read this blog online here:

Jake Ferguson is Chief Executive of HCVS. In this fourth blog from Jake, read about how and when decisions made in the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review will impact on Hackney and the voluntary and community sector.

HCVS Information Service
Hackney Council for Voluntary Service
T: 020 7923 1962

Blair Mugabe 1997
Collectively Blak

GO THAT EXTRA MILE for people with lupus!

Members of Collectively Blak will be raising funds to support the South London Lupus UK Regional Group, as part of Lupus Awareness Month on Sunday 3 October.

The Paulette Allen Memorial Walk is in its third year and has been renamed in honour of Paulette Allen, who suffered from lupus and who sadly died in January of this year. Paulette was the Co-ordinator for South London Lupus UK Regional Group and invited Collectively Blak to organise the fundraising event.

Wider members of the community are invited to show their support for Lupus by participating in the walk and collecting sponsors by making a direct contribution to Lupus UK and to provide an important source of vital funding for our work.

The six-mile walk starts from 1.30pm at Kennington Park, South London and will follow both sides of the Thames alongside the Southbank via St Paul’s Cathedral and the Embankment.

All participants will wear a special Lupus UK “Go the extra mile” t-shirt to celebrate the event.

Derek McFarlane, Chair of Collectively Blak said:
“Collectively Blak is pleased once again to lend its support to fundraising and raising awareness of this medical condition, which has a particular on women in our community. We also want to ensure that we continue this role in memory of Paulette, who we lost earlier this year.”

Adetoun Hughes, Chair of South London Lupus UK Regional Group said:

“October is an important month for the Lupus community to seek recognition and gain the communities support. Many thanks to Collectively Blak for their continued support and I look forward to a large turnout going the extra mile for Lupus!”


Adetoun Hughes, Chair,
South London Lupus Group on 0208 657 8833 or

Collectively Blak
PO Box 6528
London E17 2TP

Derek – 07879-464492
Peter & Sharon – 020-8925 0664 
Madu – 07939 721591
Gary – 07956 554199

For more information visit:

For donations online visit:


NATIONAL CONFERENCE: celebrate diversity - challenge Islamophobia and racism

Saturday 11 December 10am-6pm
Mary Ward House, 5/7 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN

Ken Livingstone
Chair, One Society Many Cultures
Talha Jamil Ahmad  
Muslim Council of Britain
 Anas Altikriti
 Spokesperson, British Muslim Initiative
 Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC
Christine Blower
General Secretary, National Union of Teachers
Kay Carberry
Assistant General Secretary, TUC
Rev. Stephen Cottrell
The Bishop of Chelmsford
Dr. Edie Friedman
Executive Director, Jewish Council for Racial Equality
Dr. Jonathan Githens-Mazer,
Co-Director, European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC)
Billy Hayes
General Secretary,  Communication Workers Union
Neil Jameson
Executive Director, London Citizens
Bruce Kent
Vice President, Pax Christi
Jean Lambert MEP
Claude Moraes MEP
Lisa Nandy MP

Registration fees:
Organisation delegates £20
Individuals £10 (waged) £5 (unwaged)

To register reply to this email and include your name, address, email and number of places.

Themes of the conference include:

  • Opposing all the forms of racism and prejudice that continue to blight our society
  • Defending freedom of thought, conscience, religious and cultural expression
  • Celebrating the contribution of our rich, multicultural and diverse communities
  • Challenging rising Islamophobia and attacks on Muslim communities
  • Examining the growth of the English Defence League & the British National Party


News and Views


Wife of Author on Africa on 2nd charge of racism in a week
September 2010

Penny Mansfield, wife of Richard Dowden (author of Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles) faces a 2nd charge of racism this week at an Employment tribunal hearing in Central London today.

The cases against One Plus Marriage and Partnership and its director Penny Mansfield is brought by Julie Chewe a Zambian accountancy student in London who has been with the organisation for 4 years and Ms Angela Basoah a British Ghanaian who has worked for the organisation for over 5 years

Julie Chewe, Finance Officer, told the Employment Tribunal today that Ms Mansfield and the Head Administration (Kate Balston) conspired to deprive her of the role of Interim Head of Finance and victimised her when she complained about their duplicity.  Having already earmarked an associate for the job of Interim Head of Finance, Ms Mansfield “rubber stamped” the appointment through a sham recruitment process. Ms Mansfield’s misdeeds came to light when an email was left on the photocopier by Kate Balston. Ms Chewe’s case which started today at the Employment Tribunal in Holborn, Central London is scheduled to last until 30th September 2010.

Ms Basoah, Head of Marketing at One Plus One cites instances of bullying, harassment, public criticism and racial discrimination and that she was undermined and prevented from doing her job because of her ethnicity. Further, she highlights a “closed and cliquey” culture including Trustees recruited from friends and acquaintances of the defendant Ms Mansfield. And that, as such, it could be argued that these Trustees were therefore ineffective as a scrutinising body of the organisations governance and practices.  Ms Basoah’s case is adjourned to 22nd November due to insufficient time after an 8 day hearing.

Ms Mansfield denies racism claiming that her husband Richard Dowden and herself have many African friends. However faced with her second Employment Tribunal case alleging racism this week and her third Employment Tribunal case in less than last 2 years,  Ms Mansfield’s claims have echoes of the “My Best Friends are Black” defence.

Ms Mansfield’s alleged racism was first challenged last year by Janet Fielding, the previous Head of Finance and ex-Dr Who Assistant who whistle blew to the trustees and submitted an Employment Tribunal claiming saying she was victimised for intervening on behalf of Ms Basoah. Ms Fielding’s case was settled out of court

Richard Dowden is Director of the Royal African Society. His wife – Ms Mansfield - is Director of One Plus One Marriage and Partnership Research, a registered charity which receives over 90% funding from the tax payer under Department of Education


Editors Notes

Case: Ms Julie Chewe (claimant) 
One Plus Marriage and Partnership Research

Location: Employment Tribunal, Regional Office, Ground Floor Victory House
30-34 Kingsway, London WC2B 6EX

Time:  10am – 4.30pm

Stafford Geohagen
Healthy Eaters manager Stafford Geohagen

Brixton traders fear the future

21 September 2010
By Nadia Gilani

MARKET traders fear being forced out by huge rent rises and demands for thousands in back payments. Traders in Market Row and Brixton Village’s covered markets fear for their future as their landlord negotiates lease renewals and rent reviews.

Some said they had received bills demanding £30,000 in payments backdated to 2007 when London and Associated Properties (LAP) took over as landlord. Rosie Lovell has run Rosie’s Deli in Market Row for six years. She is facing a 50 per cent rent rise. Ms Lovell said: “I’m disappointed and really sad. It feels like a kick in the teeth. “I’ve brought a huge amount of custom to the area since I’ve been here and I’m a pretty good tenant.

“Others like me have come to the area because I proved that you can survive here and that it’s a brilliant place to have a business.”

Meanwhile, Stafford Geohagen, manager of Healthy Eaters in Electric Avenue, is facing an annual service charge of £28,000 on top of his £44,000 yearly rent which is due to be reviewed next year. The trader Mr Geohagen replaced paid an annual service charge of £6,800. He said: “My service charge is becoming ridiculous – it’s really unjustifiable.

“I’m struggling to survive. I won’t survive if I have to pay it.”

Chris Brown is the Association of Brixton Arcade and Shops chairman and runs a hat shop in Granville Arcade in Brixton Road. He said: “The rent increases are too much in the current economic climate. “If local traders go out of business, Brixton will lose its identity, and that’s what we want to keep.”

Mr Brown has met with fellow traders to discuss their concerns and is waiting for LAP to set a date for a meeting. Councillor Rachel Heywood, Lambeth’s cabinet member for communities, said: “The continued success of Brixton Market is absolutely critical to the success of Brixton, with its mix of traders both new and established.

“It’s a really important facility providing food and other goods for our residents.

“As a local councillor I will do everything I can to support and promote Brixton Market and its traders.”

LAP’s accounts for 2009 show the family-run firm made profits of £2million on Market Row alone. Ben Tunstall, chairman of Friends of Brixton Market said: “We ask the Heller family to consider the damage LAP could do to Brixton’s community.”

John Heller, LAP chief executive, said: “There are a number of rent renewals taking place. “If an area has become more popular rents can go up or rents go up because of general inflation. “We don’t have individual comments to make on any of the lease renewals or rent reviews.”


Blair Mugabe 1997
Edwin Broni Mensah
Manchester student is Britain’s top African graduate

06 Sep 2010

A University of Manchester PhD student and budding entrepreneur has today been named as the most outstanding African student in Britain.

Edwin Broni-Mensah, a 25-year old who created his first computer game at the age of seven and now runs his own company, was selected from a shortlist of 200 people.

Edwin, studying for an Applied Maths PhD as well as running his innovative refillable water bottle company GiveMeTap, topped the list by Future Leaders magazine, sponsored by Barclays Capital, Deloitte and the University of Cambridge.

The shortlist features 100 graduates in total, all who have balanced good academic grades with impressive achievements outside of their studies.

Edwin is a shining example of this, having set up a company which encourages local businesses to offer free refills of water to anyone carrying a distinctive GiveMeTap bottle.

The firm then sends 70% of its profits to help support water projects in African regions where it's needed most.

Currently, Give Me Tap is supporting the All4One Namibia Water Project to provide clean water to 1,200 people in that Kalahari area of the southern African country.

The aim is to reduce the number of plastic bottles in landfill sites. Edwin has already managed to build up a network of over 43 restaurants and eateries as outlets in Manchester and, recently, Salford as well.

Edwin now plans to recruit more outlets across Greater Manchester and the rest of the country, and is also hoping to offer GiveMeTap’s services at the 2012 Olympics.

Born in Edmonton, North London, Edwin hopes after completing his PhD to work full-time on GiveMeTap.
He said he was delighted to receive such impressive recognition for his achievements.

Edwin added: “I am extremely delighted and feel very honoured at being recognised as one of the Future Leaders. I was overjoyed at being named number one for on such a prestigious list; and my parents were excited too.”

“What gives me the most pleasure is being in a position where I can meet and inspire young people to pursue their dreams as literally anything is possible, and the people in Future Leaders list prove that”

“Looking forward, I would love the opportunity to speak with leading eateries chains so that I can expand GiveMeTap into every city across the UK, in order to fund our chosen water projects in Africa.”

Edwin was selected by a panel of judges after a rigorous process that included contacting every university in the country and formal interviews with all those on the shortlist.

Edwin’s first-class degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, which led to him being awarded a straight scholarship to study his PhD, impressed judges immensely, as did the fact that he managed to achieve all this while running his own bourgeoning business.

Martin Henery, entrepreneurship lecturer at Manchester Business School, said: "Edwin's entrepreneurial spark was clear from the outset – it's rare to work with someone who combines the ability to make things happen with such original thinking.

“Give MeTap is one of those concepts that nearly everyone can see the value of straight away, but it's really tough to make happen. It needs true vision and tenacity to stick with it and see it through to the end goal.”

The 100 students will all be honoured on September 6th, at a prestigious reception at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Victor Adebowale.


Mark Samuels, right, with from left Christine Chambers, Junie James and Chaka Artwell who are also involved in the classes
Grant boost for classes on African history

Friday 24th September 2010

A REGGAE-LOVING youth worker is celebrating after banking £800 to help run classes on African history.

Mark Samuels – known as Natty Mark – has secured the cash thanks to Oxfordshire County Council’s community support fund, to provide books and teaching materials.

He set up the free classes last year to inspire people about the continent’s different cultures, traditions and customs.

The scheme, which is approaching its first anniversary, is holding a celebration party tonight at Jubilee Hall in Sorrel Road, Blackbird Leys from 8pm, where the classes are held.

The money will buy books and learning resources as well as stationery, publicity materials and the funds to set up a website.

Father-of-two Mr Samuels, from Townsend Square, East Oxford, said the money meant he no longer had to count the pennies when buying books.

He said: “I need books to deepen my knowledge and my research so I can pass it on in my teaching.

“Books are very expensive. I went into the Oxford University shop and bought a book which cost £120 and normally that would have crippled me. This is a real boost.”

Mr Samuels, 47, has applied for more cash from Oxfordshire grants to help him get his classes, which explore the history of Sub-Saharan African societies in pre-colonial times, accredited.

He currently attracts four regular members to the Monday evening sessions, as well as other drop-in learners.

He added: “Some of them have roots in Africa and others just want to broaden their knowledge and get a more balanced picture of Africa as opposed to the negative story telling you get from the media.”

Among the subjects covered so far have been the Azande people, from north east Africa, and the Venda people from South Africa. In September, learners were taught about pre colonial cultures including the Bemba people from Zambia, Yao from Mozambique, and Oromo from Ethiopia.

Mr Samuels, who has been a youth and community worker in Blackbird Leys for more than 12 years, has roots in Ghana and is passionate about the continent and its heritage. He is teaching at Ruskin College’s Headington campus on October 15-17 on pre-colonial central African societies.

For more information call 07748031529 or email

Source: Oxford Mail

Blair Mugabe 1997
Wole Soyinka

Nigerian author leads new political party
25 September 2010

LAGOS, Nigeria, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Renowned Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka has founded a political party, months before the presidential election, the BBC reported.

Soyinka, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, the first African to do so, was elected chairman of the Democratic Front for a People's Federation in Lagos, the British Broadcasting Corp. said.
The new party says it aims to combat corruption and improve health and education.

Soyinka's books and plays have won worldwide acclaim, but he is also known as a political activist. His book "The Man Died" in 1972 dealt with his imprisonment during Nigeria's 1967-70 civil war.
State, presidential and legislative elections are scheduled next year, but it is not known whether Soyinka will run himself.

Nigeria has nothing to celebrate at 50, says Soyinka

28 September 2010

NOBEL Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday differed from those justifying the elaborate celebration of the nation’s 50th Independence Anniversary because the country remained one since 1960.

He pointed said that there was nothing to celebrate in the country at 50 years and that the country’s unity alone was not enough to celebrate to celebrate its independence.

Soyinka, who alongside Prof Emeritus, Tekena Tamuno; Prof of Law, Prof. Akpezi Ogbuigwe and Prof. Ndowa Lale of University of Port Harcourt, were the three main discussants at a lecture organised by the Rivers State government to mark the country’s 50th independence, stressed the need for the country to return to agriculture as means to create wealth, instead of relying solely on oil and gas as the main stay of the economy.

In his paper entitled: “The renaissance vision: Between potential and fulfilment”, Soyinka stressed that the country has failed to translate potential to fulfilment, since the current situation of the ordinary Nigerian does not worth celebrating.

“As a nation,” he noted, “Nigeria is a country that is facing conflict, pointing out that every segment of the society is aiming at kidnapping the resources of the nation.”

He also said that any government that failed to provide food for its citizens should be seen as a failure.

Soyinka said: “Is it true when commentators say that Nigeria is blessed with potential? The right of staying together as a country is worth celebrating, but I find this embarrassing.

“I have raised the questions what and when is a nation. We should find genuine need for celebration. There is a gap between potential and fulfilment.”

Tamuno said that the unity of the country, after 50 years of independence, was worth celebrating, even though the country has not been able to achieve what it set out to achieve at independence.

“Having Nigeria as one is good because when there is life, there is hope,” he said.

Tamuno noted that some of the problems facing Nigeria had been tackled by some countries she has independence with, and urged Nigerians not to see colonialism as the reason for the country’s lack of progress.

He reminded the audience that countries like the United States (U.S.) and India also passed through colonialism, but that they have been able to put into place very strong economies for their peoples.

Tekena condemned kidnapping, which he noted was on the rise.

“In Nigeria you kidnap for ransom, rituals and there is a third, this group has kidnapped the nation state. This set of people has taken up everything,” he added.

Also speaking, the Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, noted that the country’s leaders have misappropriated the available resources, thereby sowing poverty, which according to him, was responsible for kidnapping.

“If there is poverty, one million policemen will not check the kidnappers,” he said.

He urged politicians to shun corruption, just as he challenged religious leaders to ask their members the sources of their wealth, especially when they come to do thanksgiving.

Amaechi noted that half of those who condemned government do so because they want an opportunity to “do their own kidnapping of the resources.”


Gaddafi gaddafi and Berlusconi
Charity Myths: Bono and crying African child
Bono's ONE Campaign gets £10 million in donations but gives only £118 thousand in aid

U2 star Bono has been rocked by revelations his charity gave only £118,000 to good causes despite receiving nearly £10million in donations.

The singer is behind the non-profit ONE campaign, which has been accused of blowing millions.

The group spent £5.1m on around 120 staff salaries – an average of £42,500 each a year.

Meanwhile, poverty-stricken children in Africa live on less than 80p a day.

Figures from 2008 show that ONE received £9.6m in donations, yet it splashed out on expensive gifts in a bid to raise awareness of Aids victims.

American newspaper staff were handed free £13 water bottles, £10 leather notebooks and pricey bags of coffee.

The group, which aims to help the world’s hungry, also sent out giant cookies.

Charity expert Daniel Borochoff warned the gift campaign was a “risk” and added: “There could be recipients, or donors, who might think the money could have been donated to help their cause.”

But staff at the organisation defended the spending and insisted its main objective was lobbying.

Bono One
Bono's One Camapign: Making the Rich Richer

ONE claimed it does not take donations from the public and most of its cash comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Spokesman Oliver Buston said: “We don’t provide aid programmes on the ground.

“We are an advocacy and campaigning organisation.”

But he admitted: “This was an attempt, perhaps in hindsight not the best way, to get our message across.”

Bono, 50, was also criticised in 2007 after his Product Red initiative to create a global brand to raise money for Africa cost £50m to set up.


Actress Wunmi
No makeup artists or luxury trailers ... Nigerian actress Wumi during a shoot. Photograph: Ludovic Careme/Corbis
Hooray for Nollywood!

Inspired by Bollywood musicals and Brazilian soap operas, the Nigerian film industry is now the second largest in the world

Die-hard fans have known for some time that the Nigerian film industry is truly unique, but even they may be surprised to discover just how big – and lucrative – it has become.

A new festival, Nollywood Now, takes place in London from 6-12 October and is the first major event to celebrate the second largest film industry in the world. Its chief aim is to draw wider attention to the success and popularity the films enjoy across Europe, and particularly the UK.

Nollywood makes about 2,400 films per year, putting it ahead of the US, but behind India, according to a Unesco report last year. Nigerian film-makers tend to operate in a fast and furious manner; shoots rarely last longer than two weeks, cheap digital equipment is almost always used and the average budget is about $15,000 (£9,664). The finished products often bypass cinemas altogether and are instead sold directly to the "man on the street" for about $1.50 (£1). Most films shift between 25,000 and 50,000 copies globally – although a blockbuster can easily sell up to 200,000.

So, what exactly is it about the films that resonates so much with their audience? For all of their populist appeal, Nigerian films are very rooted in local concerns, according to Nollywood Now's creative director, Phoenix Fry: "Many of the films have looked at how traditional beliefs co-exist with Islam and Christianity, Nigeria's main religions," he says. "There are some superb sequences using quite simple video effects to transform aunties into demons, or show evil animal spirits being driven out from the possessed."

This view is shared by Nigerian director and producer, Ade Adepegba, whose feature film Water Has No Enemy, explores corruption in his native country: "Nigerians are the largest group of Africans living in the UK, and the majority of them live in London," he says. "Nigerian films still hold their strongest appeal to first generation immigrants who feel a deep attachment to their homeland. So, at the moment nostalgia is the main reason for the appeal of Nollywood."

Ultimately, it's the way the films are crafted, rather than their juicy content that gives them universal appeal, says Fry. "The storytelling is so good. Nigerian filmmakers really know how to entertain their audiences. They've studied the populist genres from other countries – Bollywood musicals, low-budget horror and Brazilian soap operas, for example – and reworked these to appeal to anyone with a love of drama."

The process is tried and tested, and the main reason Nollywood is currently in such rude health, but how long can it stay that way? It's hard to see how an industry that prides itself on producing so much in so little time won't start to lose its momentum in the coming years. Diversifying is probably its best hope of lasting success, but loyal and long-standing fans may see that as a betrayal of its origins.

Adepegba believes that widening its scope will serve Nollywood well in the long term: "The industry needs to start making films with deeper social and artistic values – the path to even greater success," he says.

In October, Nigeria celebrates 50 years of independence, and thanks in no small part to Nollywood, its creative industries are under the global spotlight like never before. Film-makers need to make the most of these new opportunities to showcase the country by accurately portraying its flaws as well as its triumphs. This may mean tackling less savoury subjects regarding everyday life in the country, such as crime, corruption and abject poverty. It will not please everyone, but to ensure the legacy it deserves, Nollywood audiences should demand no less.

Source: Guardian

Teachers Tv Black History Walks

Black History Walks work onTeachers TV

A senior consultant from BHW worked with Teachers TV to write and present a documentary based on our walks for use in classrooms. The interactive video  is  in 4 short clips. Each clip presents numerous facts on African-British History which depart from the usual Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Mary Seacole trinity. Areas covered include: African architecture in Britain, African civilisations, the richest black man in the world in 1324, African gold in the Bank of England and the Jamaican who in 1820 planned to take over England and run the country. 

We also provided an extensive list of resources to help further explore the facts. The list features grassroots groups who don't get mainstream recognition but are consistently educating the community; BIS publications, Golden Destiny, Nubeyond, Black History Studies etc .

To see all four of the videos (Obelisks ,Gold, Coffee and Black Britons)
click here   or  
Click here for the complete resource list .Teachers TV is an online resource for all the schools in England.

3000 were called, 21 answered..Education in Crisis..

Kokayi Supplementary School

The National Association of Black Saturday Schools (NABSS)  ran an emergency meeting to discuss actions to reverse the trend of Saturday Schools closing with Kokayi as the initial focus. Invitations went out to over 3000 people, on the day 21 people turned up. Actions agreed included: Saturday Schools education day (6th November) with a focus on how to include black history on the curriculum, hiring out Kokayi's meeting space, consolidation of closed Saturday Schools with open schools, schools sharing teachers, graduations/sports days/theatre and cinema trips, recruitment of professional and committed trustees, rejection of council funding and embracing community fundraising. Lemuel Findlay school in particular is looking for trustees and fundraisers.

Contact if  you wish to act.

An African renaissance in Senegal?

Senegal, a country on the Western edge of Africa with a predominantly Muslim population, has a fully functioning democracy and has largely escaped the separatist violence that has hampered the progress of several of its neighbours.

But it is not without its problems. Its economy has recently faltered and there are suggestions that its cherished tradition of democracy is under threat, with the president allegedly grooming his son to succeed him.

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Senegal's independence from France, Abdoulaye Wade, Senegal's president, made an announcement confirming what many knew already: The special link between Senegal and its former colonial master was over.

"I solemnly declare that Senegal is retaking, from this day, the 4th of April 2010, at zero hours, all the bases previously held, on our soil, by France, and intends to exercise its sovereignty there, which lies in principle in the present declaration," he said.

The relationship between the two countries dates back to the 17th century, when Africans snatched from their towns and villages walked through the 'door of no return' on Goree Island and boarded slave ships heading for the New World.

France won control of the small outpost from the Dutch in 1677, taking over the trade in human misery. From the coast of Senegal, the French began an expansionist push into the interior, taking control of what would become their West African colonies.

A democratic legacy

They governed the new territory from Saint-Louis, one of the four communes established in what is now known as Senegal. But unlike most West Africans, the local residents of these communes were accorded a special privilege, French citizenship.

"President Abdoulaye Wade used to say that the Senegalese people learned to vote since the 18th century because this country has assimilated the rules of democracy for a long time," Mamadou Bamba Ndiaye, the president's spokesperson, says.

This democratic legacy provided the foundation upon which Senegal built its political stability. But it came at a price for the Senegalese - the re-writing of their own history. 
"At school we were not taught about African history, or [the] part of African history that was taught was saying that all our African heroes were barbarians, they were dictators, they were people who used to kill their own people," Abdullah Bathily, a history professor and member of the opposition, says.

"In the meantime they would teach us that our ancestors are the Gauls, that the ancestors of the French are our ancestors. We were taught to say that, which was totally ridiculous."

Leopold Senghor, Senegal's first president, was a product of this education. And although Senghor promoted African identity he remained steadfast in his support of the French empire. But neither he nor France could slow down the momentum of the nationalist movement that was sweeping the continent.

"I think he was pushed by the events. He thought that we, the African people, were not prepared for independence. Senghor was very much like a French man, upon whom independence was imposed," Bathily says.

Senegal gained its autonomy on April 4, 1960.

"People were rejoicing, in Saint-Louis we as cadet boys we were marching in the streets with a lot of dignity saying that this country is ours now; we will no longer sing the song of a French colonial army," Bathily says.

An independent streak

But far from severing ties with the former colonial master, Senghor, the newly-appointed president, forged even closer links with France. France provided political advisors and economic aid, French companies dominated commerce and industry, and the French military maintained a sizeable presence in the country. French became the official language and the newly-minted currency, the CFA Franc, was pegged to the French Franc.
During the last 10 years this has begun to change. The election of Wade in 2000 brought four decades of socialist rule to an end. An economist by profession, Wade's priority was to open up the country's markets and he began to look beyond Senegal's former coloniser to do so. 

"France used to almost have the monopoly in import and export of goods but when President Abdoulaye Wade came into power, we were diversifying our partners, so Senegal is no longer France's own. Still, our relationship with France keeps developing but in a more equal manner," Ndiaye says.

And, as if to flaunt the nation's independent streak, Wade recently made a grand gesture designed to re-assert Senegal's sovereignty. A massive bronze statue showing an African man, his wife and child emerging from a mountain top was built in the capital, Dakar, to mark 50 years of independence.

"This statue has been opposed by all the sections of Senegalese society. By the Muslims, because from their religion they think that there should not be a human representation .... For the civil society organisation, for political leaders, they are against it on the basis that this monument is the symbol of misgovernance," Bathily says.
At a cost of $27mn the statue was meant to evoke feelings of pride, but in an uncertain economic climate, that pride appears misplaced to many. The government, however, insists that the statue did not cost the Senegalese people anything.

The informal economy

The Senegalese government devotes 40 per cent of its budget to education, providing free schooling to children aged six to 16. But illiteracy rates are as high as 58 per cent.

Higher education has fared equally as badly. Dakar university was built to cater to 10,000 students, but today there are close to 60,000 enrolled.
"It's difficult to find work here. I see people that go up to the Masters, they can't find a job matching their diploma. They may find a small job but never a job that they have the grade in, I am talking in terms of salary," says Laurent Diabisse, a student at Dakar university.

Moubarack Lo, an economic analyst, says that "less than three per cent of the population" receives a formal salary every month while the rest rely on "informal revenue".

Annie Diouf makes her money informally. She works in Sendaga, Dakar's largest market, selling fabrics. "I got started in this business, because earlier I worked for a company and with inflation and the global crisis companies started shutting down in Senegal and because I didn't think I would find a job, I decided to work in the informal sector of the economy," she says.

The work is hard and involves spending long hours in the sun and rain, often with little to show for it. With little faith in the government to improve their lot, Diouf and a few of her colleagues have taken matters into their own hands.

"We got organised, we put together a women's association so we can stand by each other. We pool our profits together and give the money to one of the women on one day and she buys the material for her stall, the next day another woman goes out and does the same," Diouf explains.
"The only sector that is thriving is the informal sector ... because the Senegalese [are] very inventive in all sectors of the economy. The young people, men and women ... do everything to make a living, they fight everyday," Bathily says.
But they are fighting an uphill battle. Electricity outages are common, hospitals are crumbling, food prices have rocketed and fuel is scarce.

Corruption and constitutional change

In Dakar, the government has embarked on an ambitious infrastructure programme - building new roads and bridges. But in the ghettoes on the outskirts of the capital infrastructure is in total decay.
In the poor suburbs of Dakar unemployment is high. Most people who live there have to travel to the city centre to work, but with the roads in serious disrepair and a public transport system that is barely functioning the journey can take up to two hours.

But the biggest problem they face is the flooding caused by a virtually non-existant drainage system.

Even President Wade's supporters are losing patience. "The city is under water and it's true that President Abdoulaye Wade has put aside large sums and mobilised efforts to help the people and drain the water, he also started a relocation programme to move the residents to areas less prone to flooding. So his instructions were clear ... But the problem is that this does not translate to action on the ground," says Cheikh Diop, a resident of Medina Gounass.

One of the reasons given for this is that public funds may not always reach their intended targets. But Ndiaya insists that the government is tackling corruption. "Corruption is everywhere, in every country of the world. We cannot say that there is none in Senegal, but it's not particularly bad. Already under Diouf's presidency, we had set up a tribunal against illicit wealth; currently we have a national commission against corruption which is doing well and recently President Abdoulaye Wade has advised the set up of a financial tribunal in order to fight financial crimes."
But the opposition claims that, far from dealing with the problem of corruption, the authorities are themselves implicated. "In terms of transparency in the management of the financial resources of a country Wade has broken all the records in terms of corruption," Bathily says.

And there are worrying suggestions that Senegal's proud democratic tradition is also being eroded. Rumours that Wade is grooming his son to take over from him have been circulating for some time.

"Wade had changed the constitution 18 times over the last 16 years .... So the son for the Senegalese now, has been put in a position to be his successor, but this is resented so much," Bathily says.
But Ndiaye insists that the allegations are false. And despite all the issues that plague Senegal it is clear that the nationalist sentiment that brought the country independence 50 years ago remains alive and well. The optimism of its people is the nation's greatest asset.

Contemplating 50 years of Senegal, Diabisse, the student at Dakar University, says: "It's true that it is difficult living here but there is no other country like Senegal. We love Senegal. We are proud of it."

Source: Al Jazeera


Pan African Worldview

John Henrik Clarke
John Henrik Clarke
John Henrik Clarke: Bad Boy of Academe

THE ELDER RADICAL-JOHN HENRIK CLARKE- BAD BOY OF ACADEME Interview with Ja A. Jahannes America’s most fervent radical in the 1980s and 90s was not found wearing black power symbols on tee shirts, or dreadlocks, or in the Nation of Islam. America’s most fervent black radical did not spew forth racist expletives.

America’s foremost black radical was John Henrik Clarke, an 80 year old gentleman from the old South who lived in Harlem. He was a professor Emeritus of Hunter College, who trained generations of freedom fighters to use their minds and history as weapons of liberation. Born in Union Springs, Alabama, January 1, 1915, John Henrik Clarke grew to young manhood in Columbus, Georgia. He moved to New York City in 1933, with the ambition of becoming a writer. He studied history and world literature at New York University. From his early years, Dr. Clarke studied the history of the world and the history f African people in particular. There was no voice in America during this period that spoke singularly and more authoritatively on the plight of African American people than Dr. Clarke. There were few voices that spoke as powerfully of African world history.

Professor Clarke’s articles and keynote addresses on African and African-American history, politics and culture have been published in leading journals throughout the world. Professor Clarke has written or edited twenty-two books. The best known are: American Negro Short Stories, 1966,

William Styron’s Nat Turner: Ten Black Writers Respond, 1968, Malcolm X: The Man and His Times, 1969, Harlem, U.S.A., 1971, Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa, 1973, and African World Revolution: Africa At The Crossroads, 1991. He was a galvanizing speaker with few equals. His credits for founding organization that deal with the protection of African and African American life alone would have been enough to enshrine him in African American history. Yet, he reached young folks and seasoned scholars alike as he traveled throughout the world enlightening people about the heritage of African peoples. Teacher, philosopher, scholar, lecturer, social activist, Dr. John Henrik Clarke was without peer in America history.

I was privileged to serve as Chair of the Pan African Movement USA (PAMUSA) with Dr. Clarke as Co-chair, and took the opportunity on August 23, 1995 to interview him. Knowing his advanced age and sometimes failing health, I wanted future generations to hear from him on a number of topics related to the African American and Pan African experience. Though Dr. Clarke was legally blind, he saw with an appareled clarity the issues that confronted African Americans, Africans and their relationship to the world. Below is that interview, unedited.

Ja A. Jahannes JAHANNES: What are the central problems in American society today?

CLARKE: The search for definition, direction and political orientation.

JAHANNES: What kinds of leaders do we need for today in America? In the Black community?

CLARKE: We need leaders who will give us a new vision of ourselves and our future in relation to the search for our definition of self and our political orientation.

JAHANNES: You are in demand as a lecturer around the globe. What are the topics most requested of you to address as a public speaker?

CLARKE: African history, in general, followed by the African family, both at home and abroad, and the African Resistance Movements in the 19th and 20th centuries.

JAHANNES: Since the early days of Black Studies, which you helped pioneer, how far have they come?

CLARKE: Black Studies has made a few steps forward but these have not been giant steps. My personal disappointment is how researchers overlook the very rich and available material on the African people in world history, in Africa, the Caribbean Island, the United States and the impact of the African on Asia, Europe and the Americas.

JAHANNES: What is your view of the current wave called "multiculturalism?”

CLARKE: I think it is a lot of educational fakery which has as its mission the mixing of African history with the history of other cultures to the point where the history of African people will no longer be outstanding.

JAHANNES: What is the impact of Africentrism, in your view?

CLARKE: The whole concept of Africentrism is overestimated. It should have been called “African Consciousness” because without African Consciousness we will have no understanding of our history and its significance to world history.

JAHANNES: Has the Black power revolution of the 1960′s been betrayed?

CLARKE: The Black power revolution was betrayed from the beginning by its creators. It was further betrayed by those that inherited it.

JAHANNES: What is the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement?

CLARKE: Frustration, disappointment, broken hopes, broken dreams. ‘

JAHANNES: I will mention some of the issues that invariably characterize any discussion of African American life, whether rightly or wrongly, and ask you to comment on them. Welfare.

CLARKE: Where Black people are concerned welfare is a sham because most of the people in this nation one way or another are on some form of welfare.

JAHANNES: Drugs in inner cities.

CLARKE: Drugs are not controlled by the victims. The victims have no way of controlling the entry of drugs into this country. The small seller of drugs are the victims in the final analysis.

JAHANNES: Unwed mothers in the African American community.

CLARKE: Numerically there are just as many unwed mothers outside of the African American community. We need to put more emphasis on this statistic.

JAHANNES: What is your opinion of historically Black colleges and universities?

CLARKE: I believe profoundly in the existence of Black colleges and universities because people rise and fall within the context of these institutions. Some of these institutions are stillborn children who never developed into manhood or womanhood and not a single one of them is fully dedicated to teaching students about Africa from an African point of view.

JAHANNES: Recently you gave some of your papers and books to Clark Atlanta University. Why did you make this gift to Clark Atlanta University and what was included in the collection?

CLARKE: My personal library of relevant books on African and African American history will go to the Robert Woodruff Library at Clark Atlanta University. My personal papers will be deposited at the Schomburg Center for the Study of Black Culture in Harlem. The significance of my gift to Clark Atlanta is that I was born in Alabama, grew up in Georgia and wanted to make this donation to one of the states that nurtured me. Clark Atlanta has the best facilities for maintaining a library of this size.

JAHANNES: The library at Cornell University is named in your honor. What is the significance of this honor to you?

CLARKE: The significance of this honor to me is that the Africana Center at Cornell, like the Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies is one of my two academic homes. In my three years as Distinguished Visiting Professor at Cornell, I not only did some of my best teaching, I learned to be a better teacher by becoming a better human being.

JAHANNES: Can African Americans get a decent education in predominantly white colleges and universities?

CLARKE: African Americans can get a decent "Western Education" in predominantly white universities that they can adapt to their own needs if they have the insight and intellectual industry to do so.

JAHANNES: What do you view as essential to the Black man who would presume to be educated?

CLARKE: Simply, a knowledge of his own people and how they relate to the people of the world.

JAHANNES: You have been critical of Islam as a religion, and Arabs as despoilers of Africa? Why do you hold these views?

CLARKE: I hold these views because they are true. The Arabs like all invaders of Africa did Africa more harm than good. They have used Islam to subjugate people instead of enhancing them spiritually. Islam has and has always been the handmaiden of Arab design. The Arabs were in the slave trade before Islam and to some extent they are still in the slave trade today.

JAHANNES: What is your definition of racism?

CLARKE: Race is a myth because nature created no races. Racism is a derogatory manifestation of this myth and the concept that people by virtue of race are better than other people.

JAHANNES: DuBois said the problem of the 20th century was the problem of race? Is there the potential for man to overcome racism in the 21 century?

CLARKE: DuBois actually said the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line. I extend his comment by saying that the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the culture line and the political line. We can overcome the problem of race by becoming enough to ignore racists or isolate them.

JAHANNES: As a writer of fiction, you have published over fifty short stories that have been distributed in this country and abroad, including your best known short story, "The Boy Who Painted Christ Black," which been translated into more than a dozen languages. Why have you never written a novel?

CLARKE: I have written several novels. None of them have been published. My main novel, Journey to the Fair, deals with a young kid who hoboes across country on his way to the Chicago World’s Fair. It is somewhat autobiographical and it is some of the best writing I have ever done. For over 20 years I have been trying to get back to it.

JAHANNES: Of your many published works, short stories, poems, essays, histories, etc. which of them are you most proud of and why?

CLARKE: Africans At The Crossroads: Notes For An African World Revolution. This is the book I have always wanted to write.

JAHANNES: Some critics, like historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Pulitzer Prize winning historian, in his new book The Disuniting Of America: Reflections On A Multicultural Society, sees the African American intellectual discovery of self as a hustle by misguided and miseducated Black social scientists. Schlesinger has scoffed at your view of history and implied that it is less than accurate. How do you respond?

CLARKE: The accuracy of my view of history is what frightens Professor Schlesinger. It is the truth of it that he cannot live with. The truth is that a bunch of frightened people came out of Europe to colonize the truth about the world. The truth of my history exposes the lie of their history.

JAHANNES: You have visited every country in Africa except South Africa. Have you deliberately avoided South Africa?

CLARKE: Yes. I have deliberately avoided South Africa because some of the political activists have asked me to do so. They believe some whites would misinterpret my visit to their detriment. I have not visited South Africa out of respect for their wishes.

JAHANNES: What are the prospects for peace and democracy in South Africa?

CLARKE: There are no prospects for peace and democracy in South Africa as long as the power is held by whites and white-approved blacks. After the revolution, which must come, and it is a revolution that Africans must win, I hope you will ask me the same question again.

JAHANNES: You have been called "radical" often. What is your view of a radical in America? When people call you a radical what do you think they mean by it?

CLARKE: I think they mean a person that dares to disagree with the norm, when the norm does not serve the best interests of the people. I believe a radical is one who dares to search for the truth, expose it, live with it, even if it is against him or herself.

JAHANNES: It is reputed that although you are 85% blind, you read about ten books each week?

CLARKE: In fact I have less than 2% vision which makes me 98% blind. I read by either having books read to me or I read them on my reading machine for the blind or from cassettes sent by the Lighthouse For the Blind.

JAHANNES: What books would you recommend as essential to read for a sound grounding in African history and African American survival issues?

CLARKE: For a good grounding in African history and African America survival, I recommend some simplified works first. Lerone Bennett’s’ Before the Mayflower is well written and is good reading. They should also read John Hope Franklin’s From Slavery to Freedom. I would recommend for a good overview of slavery they should read John Blassingame’s The Slave Community, and the books by Carter G. Woodson should not be ignored. Especially his works, The Negro in Our History, and The Miseducation of The Negro. In African history, a few books would serve as an overview. John G. Jackson’s Introduction to African Civilizations, Joseph Harris’ African People and Their History. The heavy weights in the fields, Chancellor William’s Destruction of Black Civilizations, and his neglected work, The Birth of African Civilization. Another heavy weight is Cheikh Anta Diop: definitely read his African Origins of Civilization: Myth or Reality and his the last work he completed before his death, Civilization or Barbarism. For an understanding of Caribbean history, definitely read Eric Williams, The Caribbean from Columbus to Castro, and his work, Capitalism to Slavery: Documents in West Indian History. For the importance of the African in world history, they should read three special issues of the Journal of African Civilizations, edited by Ivan Van Sertima read Africa in Early America, Africa in Early Asia, and Africa in Early Europe. Reading these books will eventually lead to other books. Reading books should be like an addiction. It should take over your life and you should never let it go. Reading is the only positive addiction I know.

JAHANNES: What is your view of what is needed to get the masses of African Americans out of this self-destructive abyss they seem to be in?

CLARKE: First, we would have to understand that war has been declared on the African American family and this war shows no mercy. If we are to stop the war or slow it down, we might have to break some TVs or burn some Bibles. Religion, which should be our spiritual, physical, and our financial liberation, is so large in our lives we are imprisoned by it. No people will prosper without a knowledge of their history that they can respect. This is where you start to use history to tell your time of day, wherever you are.

JAHANNES: What is the quality of African American leadership, today?

CLARKE: As a people, we have more leaders and less leadership than other people. A lot of people we accept as leaders are showmen, some good, some bad.

JAHANNES: Some names seem synonymous with leadership of African American people. Please comment on a few of them.

JAHANNES: Marcus Garvey.

CLARKE: Marcus Garvey was the finest leader to emerge in the African world in the 20th century.

JAHANNES: W. E. B. DuBois.

CLARKE: DuBois was an intellectual leader, emphasis on intellectual, and the finest leader of this caliber we produced outside of Africa.

JAHANNES: Martin Luther King Jr.

CLARKE: King was a great spiritual leader and one of America’s greatest theologians, black or white.

JAHANNES: Farrakhan.

CLARKE: I consider Farrakhan part leader, part showman, part faker.

JAHANNES: Jesse Jackson.

CLARKE: I am not too clear where Jesse Jackson is leading us or if he is worthy of being called a leader. Of all the black men of the 20th century, he had the finest opportunity of becoming a leader. He sacrificed this potential to the altar of his ego.

JAHANNES: Is violence ever necessary in the African American struggle for equality and freedom in America?

CLARKE: Among all people in their struggle for freedom there is a time for violence. It cannot be avoided. Violence at the right time is right, at the wrong time, it is wrong.

JAHANNES: Why haven’t African Americans and Africans on the continent come together for economic and political self help?

CLARKE: Africans and African Americans have not come together because both of them are still listening to the voices of their former slave masters and their former colonial master. You cannot help yourself until you know yourself. You cannot change the world until you change yourself.

JAHANNES: Why does the Caribbean, with its heavy African descendant populations, continue to be exploited by white America and European economic interests?

CLARKE: Caribbean people have a color fascination different from other people living outside of Africa and too many of them believe white is right.

JAHANNES: What is the real threat of Cuba to the U.S.?

CLARKE: The real threat of Cuba, as it is conceived, is that the Cubans might develop a type of government that is viable without it being capitalist. People have a right to develop a form of government that suits their needs but America considers this a threat in the western hemisphere.

JAHANNES: Why has Haiti suffered so profoundly and so long? How do we end Haiti’s suffering?

CLARKE: Haiti still suffers because the U. S. and Europe do not want the example of a former slave state to be successful anywhere in the world.

JAHANNES: You have said that you believe white men do not like women. What do you mean by that?

CLARKE: Their treatment of women manifest a desire to either dominate or avoid them. They consider women a threat to their manhood. Because they have a question with their manhood, they created a situation that would not have existed if they were secure.

JAHANNES: In your book African World Revolution: Africans At The Crossroads you ask the question "Can African People Save Themselves?" Can they? What will it take?

CLARKE: No people will save themselves until they know themselves and are willing to make sacrifices on behalf of themselves.

JAHANNES: Why is it that little is known of African peoples in Asia, in Europe, in the Polynesian and Melanesian islands?

CLARKE: Little is known of Africans throughout the world because we live in a Eurocentric intellectual universe. The rulers of this universe intent to project the concept that the world waited in darkness for Europeans to bring the light. The exact opposite is true.

JAHANNES: Is there still a crisis among African American intellectuals?

CLARKE: If ignorance is a crisis then the answer is "yes." I am not a believer in Harold Cruse’s (author of The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual) imagined crisis among black intellectuals, his crisis is more about Harold Cruse’s personal intellectual crisis.

JAHANNES: Who are the scholars you most respect?

CLARKE: The present day scholars I most respect are Jacob Carruthers and his new work on Egypt and the Caribbean Islands, especially Haiti. Sterling Stuckey, his new approach to slave cultures and the ideology of Black Nationalism. Anderson Thompson’s new approach to the politics of the civil rights movement. Joseph Harris, of Howard University, and his approach to African world history. Among the African historians that I have great respect for are Theophile Obenga, protégé of Cheikh Anta Diop; Father Mbane, a neglected Jesuit priests who writes more history than he teaches; and Joseph Gazebo, who is only second to Cheikh Anta Diop in a new approach to African history.

JAHANNES: Who have been some of your protégés?

CLARKE: Both Jacob Carruthers and Iva Carruthers of Chicago. Frank Scruggs, a young lawyer in Florida. Professor William Drake of Virginia Commonwealth University, and Professor Ralph Crowder of Purdue University, Professor Dona Richards of Hunter College, and many others.

JAHANNES: Do African American writers have any obligation to the African American experience?

CLARKE: Yes, as much obligation as all other writers and the same obligation as other African Americans.

JAHANNES: What would you want your legacy to be?

CLARKE: That I used my life to make a positive statement about the right of African people to be sovereign rulers of that piece of geography called Africa and to walk this earth with peace and dignity, giving the same respect to others that they would ask for themselves. c. 1995 by Ja A. Jahannes

About the Author: Dr. Ja A. Jahannes is a psychologist, educator, writer, and social critic. He is a frequent columnist for numerous publications. His work has appeared in such diverse publications as the Journal of Ethnic Studies, Vital Speeches, the Journal of the National Medical Association, Ebony, the Black Scholar, Encore, Class, Black Issues in Higher Education and the Saturday Review. He was national chair of the Pan African Movement U.S. A. (PAMUSA) with Dr. John Henrik Clarke as co-chair in 1992 and 1993. Dr. Jahannes has lectured in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East. Contact Dr. Ja A. Jahannes at

Source: Africana Online


Community Rites and Education

Akoben: Symbol of vigilance and wariness. Akoben is a horn used to sound a battle cry.

Mashufaa Classes
Spirit Of A Warrior

: Every Week
Adm: 1st lesson is free.  Thereafter, £4.50 per lesson.  Members £2.00 per lesson

Mashufaa is a martial are created for the mental, physical and spiritual upliftment of a generation of people who have become detached from themselves! Mashufaa is about living a life with light through the sweat of training.  Sweat lets you know you are alive.

Remember Mind, Body and Spirit are one.  Train to live and live to train. Mashufaa Classes will take place from at The Albany Theatre (Plum Room) nearest Rail: Deptford or DLR Deptford Bridge.

Monday and Fridays*
Time: 7-9:30pm
Venue: Lord Morrison Hall, Chestnut Grove (off Scales Rd), Tottenham, London N17 9ET
Travel: Tube: Seven Sisters (Victoria Line), Tottenham Hale / Rail: Bruce Grove
/ Buses: 243, 341, 149, 259,279

*Adults and Children
with the children's classes, We encourage learning through positive encouragement and use games and skills to reinforce the martial arts techniques that they learn.

Time: 7:15-8:45pm
Venue: The Plum Room, The Albany Theatre/Centre, Douglas Way, Deptford, London SE8 4AG
Tube: New Cross
/ Rail: Deptford Station / Buses: 53, 453, 177



For further details please contact us on: 020 8808 7547 / 07956 337 391 or, via email on:

Reggae Choir
London City Reggae Choir

The London City Reggae Choir  

When: Mondays 7-9PM starting 27th  September 2010
Where: The Brixton  Recreation Centre, Social Room 1, 5th Floor 27 Brixton Station Road, London SW9 8QQ.

Join our community! Celebrate Jamaica's contribution to London's culture as part of the London City Reggae Choir.

Many of us have grown up enjoying jamaica music and realise the privilege it is to know and love this music.Bring your own experience of this music and meet like minded people. Your experience of singing can be extensive or limited. Your background, origin, age and community is immaterial . Jamaican music has been developing for nearly half a century. Be part of London's foremost Jamaican music choir.

The London City Reggae Choir:

- A platform for beginning and experienced singers to train and work towards paid performances.

- A supportive and professionally led learning environment for all who love Jamaican music

- Sing, create and adapting classics in new ways, just like the pioneers of Jamaican music.

- An exploration of the Jamaican musical heritage and its influences including  Africa, Jamaican folk, work, church and ceremonial songs, Mento,
Merengue, Calypso, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Latin, Country, Carnival.

- An urban community of singers, conductors, arrangers and songwriters to develop a shared musical expression.

- Opportunities for volunteers in PR, promotion, events organisation, dance, fundraising.

Text & Telephone

Main Contact: 07854327993  


Community Events

Omo London

Nigeria in British playwriting: A FESTIVAL
When: 21 September – 11 October 2010
Where: Oval House Theatre, 52-54 Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SW / Box Office:  020 7582 7680

Online booking: (no booking fee) /
Access:  All events are in Downstairs theatre which has flat, ground floor wheelchair access.

There is space for up to 8 wheelchairs. Induction loop facility in both Upstairs and Downstairs theatres. Parking available for disabled visitors.

Travel:   Nearest Tube: Oval (Northern Line, 1 minute) or Vauxhall (BR and Victoria Line, 15 minutes)
Buses:  3, 36, 59, 133, 155, 159, 185, 436
Car/Parking:   Spaces available for disabled drivers ONLY

On-Street parking nearby (free after 6:30pm)
We are not in the congestion charge area

To mark the 50th Anniversary of Nigerian Independence, Oval House Theatre proudly presents Omo London, a short season of work examining the identity, heritage, and legacy of Nigerian communities in the UK. The festival consists of one main full length play, three play readings and a debate.

The main festival production is the full debut production of Arinze Kene’s, ESTATE WALLS, directed by Ché Walker. The play is set in an inferior London estate and follows the story of Obi, a young writer who dreams of leaving.  Told through rich, witty and lyrical street language, the story focuses on the young artist’s conflict between his ambitions and his loyalty to his friends.

“Oval House is proud to be presenting OMO London, a festival that explores the growing influence of Nigerian playwriting on British theatre. This festival is the start of an ambitious future of African Theatre for us, and in 2011 we will be presenting full productions of the three play readings being staged during this festival.” Ben Evans, Oval House Director of Theatre.

Alongside our Main House production, noted playwright Oladipo Agboluaje curates a series of Monday evening readings, under the title LONDON NAIJA, showcasing three new plays by London based Nigerian writers. These three plays, EGUSI SOUP by Janice Okoh, FIXER by Lydia Adeunji and PANDORA’S BOX by Ade Solanke, explore both the experience of Nigerians in the UK and the contemporary relationship between Nigeria and Great Britain.

On Saturday 25 September from 2.30pm – 6.30pm, the season will be complimented by an afternoon debate followed by dinner. The debate explores the past, present, and future of Nigerian culture in British Theatre has been produced with Goldsmiths College, University of London. The main speakers are Oladipo Agboluaje and Mojisola Adebayo.

Omo London means “Child of London”, from the Yoruba word “Omo”, meaning child or children.


Inner City Theatre presents the World Premiere of ESTATE WALLS
Written by Arinze Kene, Directed by Ché Walker
21 September –¬ 9 October, 7.45pm
£12 / £6 concessions

Set in an inferior London estate, Estate Walls follows the story of Obi, a young writer who dreams of leaving.  Told through rich, witty and lyrical street language, the story focuses on the young artist’s conflict between his ambitions and his loyalty to his friends, who are planning a heist in which Obi refuses to take part. Meanwhile, his love for a forbidden girl adds to the complexity of his life, making him soon to enter a whole world of problems.

Preview of Estate Walls on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 September, 7.45pm. Special preview ticket rate of £6 for all seats.
Post-show discussions of Estate Walls with the cast and creative team, included in ticket price, on Tues 28 September and Tues 5 October.
British Sign Language performance of Estate Walls on Thursday 7 October, 7.45pm.
Audio described performance of Estate Walls on Friday 8 October, 7.45pm

27 September – 11 October
£5 per play

A series of three Monday evening play readings, as listed below:-

EGUSI SOUP by Janice Okoh
Monday 27th September, 6pm

As a British-Nigerian family pack their suitcases and prepare to head home for a funeral they realise they will need to get rid of some excess baggage first…
A fast, furious and funny new family drama about life in London, death in Lagos and soup on the kitchen table! Presented by Menagerie Theatre Company.

FIXER by Lydia Adetunji
Monday 4th October, 6pm

Northern Nigeria. When militants attack a new oil pipeline, journalists, spin doctors and consultants rush to the scene. In the middle is one man who thinks he can play them all.

PANDORA’S BOX by Ade Solanke
Monday 11th October, 6pm

On holiday with her streetwise teenage son in Lagos, a British-Nigerian mother is in turmoil. Should he be on the plane back to London with her? Or should she leave her only child in a strict Lagos boarding school rather than return him to the battlefields of inner London…

Saturday 25th September, 2.30- 6.30pm
Tickets £5

A debate exploring the past, present, and future of Nigeria in British Theatre. Curated by noted playwrights Oladipo Agboluaje and Mojisola Adebayo, in collaboration with Goldsmiths College, University of London.

*£20 SPECIAL TICKET OFFER: All day Debate, Dinner, Drama
Includes admission to Stages Of Independence debate, dinner in Oval House cafe/bar and a ticket to the evening performance of Estate Walls.


Discussion and Launch Event: "Where Does Racism Come From?"

When: Monday, 27th September 2010, 4pm - 6pm (Doors open 3.45pm)
Where: London Metropolitan University

The HB team is always on the look out for new resources that deliver clearly and concisely!

David Dalgleish has written a new book: "Where Does Racism Come From?" - one of the best educational resources for understanding the grass roots of racism as theory and practice  - all in a simple, clear and effective language.

If you have ever been interested in asking any of the following questions, or any others, then come along and find the answers to:

  • Where does racism come from?
  • Did racism start with slavery?
  • Who invented the different races?
  • Why do we have Black History Month?

Speakers on the day will include:

If you would like more information about the launch or would like to attend:

Email: / Tel: 07712 591488 / 020 7320 2222.

The Hogarth Blake Team

The Meeting

When: 29 September — 30 October 2010
Pleasance Theatre Islington, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF (Nearest Tube: Caledonian Road)

The Meeting

A play about what would have happened if Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. had ever met.

It's Valentine's Day in Harlem, 1965. Malcolm X has returned from the UK to an America seething with violence and hatred. His house has been fire-bombed and in one weeks' time, he will be assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom. But tonight, separated from his family and with a death warrant on his head, he will risk the scorn of his followers to meet with the iconic leader whose philosophy he has so fiercely opposed: Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Taking place just days after Malcolm X's electrifying visit to England, this highly imagined encounter captures the individual humanity, political maturity and enduring integrity of two men who would ultimately give their lives for freedom.

The Meeting is a theatrical event that challenges the state of equality in Britain from civil rights era to the present day. The play includes an educational foyer exhibition, pre-show participatory protests/rallies, and post-show discussions with high profile leaders in the Equality and Human Rights field. All these activities aim to engage audiences in a debate about creating greater equality in Britain today.


1st October: Barrister Karl King: "(In)Equality in the Law"

2nd October: Colin Prescod, Chairman of the Institute of Race Relations: "Campaigning on the New Front Line: Race & Class in Britain Today"

8th October: Holly Aylett, Director of the UK Coalition of Cultural Diversity: "(In)Equality in Cultural Representations: Building international consensus for change"

9th October: Toyin Agbetu, Founder of Ligali: "Is 'Black' History Month Every Month?: (In)Equality in Teaching Diversity"

10th October: Afua Hirsch, Legal Affairs Correspondent for The Guardian

26th October: Shobha Das, Director of Programmes for Minority Rights Group International: "Demonstrations of Prejudice: Hate Crime in Britain Today"

27th October: Geoff Schumann, Radio personality, entertainer and educator

30th October: Dr. Lez Henry, Social Anthropologist and Director of Nubeyond.


Harrow Black History Month (BHM) 2010 Launch

When: Thursday 30th September, 6.00PM – 8.30PM
Where: Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Middlesex HA1 2XF
Adm: Free

The launch will be promoting events in October on the 2010 theme:'The Importance of Education to Africans with a link to Britain'. Harrow resident John Roberts QC, will be recognised during a packed programme featuring an overview of Supplementary Schools, poetry, music by Harrow Youth Gospel Choir, and 4Instinct, and key presentation -'Haiti: Learning About The Other Story - From The Black Jacobins To Now' byKwaku and Dr Cecil Gutzmore, followed by a Q&A.

Refreshments during networking 6:00PM - 6:30PM.

For further information: or call Deven Pillay, Chairman of Harrow BHM Steering Group 07901 915 794

Global African Congress


When: September 30th – 3rd October
Where: African Caribbean Centre, 9 Clarendon Road Turnpike Lane North London N8 0DJ

“Walking the talk”

GACuk, on behalf of the Global Afrikan family, we invite you to the Bi Annual Family Gathering to be held in London this year.

The four- day event will address the continued development of our organisation, finding conflict resolutions with Afrikan solutions to Afrikan problem, such as knife and youth crimes within our community and the delivery of the UN Durban Declaration and the outcome of the recent review conference in Geneva.

The conference will in part be open to the general public and others part limited to formal members of the Global Afrikan Congress (GAC).

This will be an educational and informative event in order to move forward the process started in Durban South Afrika in 2001 at the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) which declared enslavement of Afrikans and colonialism crimes against humanity.

The four - day event will include a tour guide and an educational process of getting to know the “Afrikan History of London” the city with the greatest influence on Afrikan enslavement and the ongoing after effects known as racism.

A whole day’s open event will be dedicated to addressing all of issue affecting the Afrikan Community in all areas including those identified by the GAC’s Bridgetown declaration of 2002 and the Surname’s constitution family gathering in 2004.

The event will end with a press conference and an uplifting session setting out how to progress the outcome of the international family gathering.

Keynote Speakers and contributors will be delivering our program of action for future years of “Walking the Talk” where actions must replace mere ‘good spoken’ words.

Afrikans are a much travelled people, and all parts of our nation will be expected to send represented to this conference.

DAY one and two,
September 30th Thursday & Friday 1st October

Internal Matter of concern to Global Afrikan Congress members, affiliate
and newly joined and recognised local Chapter members.

DAY 3: Saturday 2nd October
An educational event aimed at all Afrikans on how to ensure the gains
made at the United Nation’s Conference in Durban South Afrika (Azana)
2001 and review conference held in Geneva 2009 are not lost.

DAY 4: Sunday 3rd October
Tour of London and an historical ‘walk about’ to find out more about London’s hidden Afrikan history, Press Conference and Closing ceremony open to all supporters with entertainment and Edutainment, Afrikan food, International Keynote Speakers setting the scene for moving the Afrikan agenda forward.

Comments and queries can also be sent to Secretary General Amani BABA BUNTU
Tel: Baba Buntu 0027825449417

Salma Thurayya 07769500676/07825568363

Glenroy watson 07956 133 450

Age of Extremes

Screening: Age of Extremes

Where: Riverside Studios, Crisp Road, Hammersmith
When: Thursday 30 Sept 2010, 7:30pm

You are invited to the premiere of the new Rice N Peas documentary.

The documentary exposes how the British establishment have utilised propaganda and deliberately demonized and marginalized Islam as a means to bolster support for their wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

BOX OFFICE:  0208 237 1111

We strongly recommend that you purchase your tickets in advance as ricenpeas events are generally sold out. This is a documentary not to be missed.

Please feel free to forward this invitation

For more information visit our website and check out this month's issue of our online magazine.


African History Month 2010 - Events

Self Love
"Self Love" by Carol Ann Cezanne

Sisters in Spirit Exhibition

When: 1 - 31 October 2010
Where: The Original Gallery, 1st Floor, Hornsey Library, Haringey Park, London N8 9JA

An exhibition of works by 11 artists who best represent what it means to be a black woman in Britain today. Whether choosing paint, collage, mosaic or textiles a fresh crop of Black British artists like Carol Ann Edwards (Cezanne) and photographer Mary Osinibi (Mary O) are making waves in a field where, for so long, Black women were unrepresented.

Curated by Clem Richards of Alexandra Galleries, Sisters in Spirit examines the central themes of their artistic explorations such as the unity of the family, relationships, the Black British experience and identity.

Often having to balance numerous careers to support themselves and their families, these artists bring a wealth of artistic experience to their work. Several of them are also active in bringing art to the community and using it as a tool of awareness.

Sisters in Spirit showcase the works of Soheila Keyani, Paulette Robinson, Melanie "Shay" LaRocque, Michaela Lavine Lewin, Lorna Graham, Carol John, Munirah Olton, Dionne Ible, Jennifer Lewis, Carol Ann Edwards and Mary Osinibi for this landmark exhibition at The Original Gallery, which forms part of London Borough of Haringey 2010 Black History Month celebrations.

Supporting this exhibition is Sister Talk, an evening of art, poetry and spoken word on Thursday 21 October, 7 - 9pm at the Original Gallery. Contact Clem Richards for more details on 020 8249 5807.

Alexandra Galleries, 17 Hayes Lane,
Beckenham, Kent BR3 6QS Tel: 020 8249 5807


Onyeka: Narrative Eye
Exploring the history of Black people in Tottenham

When: Every Friday throughout October starting from Friday 1st October, 7.00pm
Where: The Bernie Grant Arts Centre Town Hall Approach Road, N15 4RX

Adm: Free

Narrative Eye in association with The Bernie Arts Grant Centre Presents

A series of FREE 4 workshops exploring the history of Black people in Tottenham, hightlighting significant
events in its recent past. Includes talks, seminars and Q&A sessions, as well as interactive workshops.

The Black Community of Haringey - Friday 1 October 2010
Interactive presentation including archive music and video footage
The Black community over a period of 50 years and more.
An historic journey of the Black experience in Haringey starting from the 17th century to modern times.

The Broadwater Farm Riots - Friday 8 October 2010
An analysis into the political atmosphere which exploded in Tottenham and the legacy left from
the race riots of the 1980's across the nation.

Bernie Grant’s influence on Tottenham - Friday 15 October 2010
Looking at Bernie Grant’s influence in Tottenham. A workshop investigating how
Bernie Grant created foundations for the community grow.

Tottenham institutions – Friday 22 October 210
Workshop looking at iconic businesses including Body Music and more that are the
fabric of Tottenham’s black community for generations.

Take the opportunity to make your own history by recording your memories of Tottenham to leave your mark for others to follow.

To book a place and for further information please contact: 
The Bernie Grant Arts Centre on: 020 8356 5450

Narrative Eye: 020 808 7547/ 07949 850 205

N A R R A T I V E  E Y E
P R O P E L L I N G  T H E  W R I T T E N  W O R D


Black History Studies

Black History Studies in association with PCS have put together a series of educational film screenings. Please see below for details of our upcoming film screenings in October:

Friday 1st October 2010- Egalite for All: Toussaint Loverture and the Haitian Revolution

  • Friday 8th October 2010- Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property
  • Sunday 10th October 2010- MOTHERLAND
  • Friday 15th October- Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind
  • Friday 29th October 2010- Apocalypse Africa: Made in America 
  These film screenings are part of the loyalty card scheme. For more info, click here 

There will be an entry fee of £4 per person.
In order for us to manage seating and room layout, we would be grateful if all who are attending this event could confirm their attendance in advance. Please confirm via email   how many of you will be attending this event. Please can you also notify any cancellations made after confirmation.

Charmaine Simpson
Chief Executive
Black History Studies
Educating the community to educate themselves 
Tel: 0208 881 0660 
Fax: 0208 881 0660
Mobile: 07951 234233

Film Night

Screening: Burning An Illusion (1981)

When: Saturday 2nd October 2010, 7pm Start
Where: Walthamstowe
Adm: £6 minimum donation

As always, food and drink will be provided.

For More info/directions call: Tanya  07932 435118 or Afua 07956 337391

A young British-born black woman begins to question her attitude to love and life and desire for middle-class respectability and security through marriage. This film addresses the pattern in the modern Black woman today and her thoughts and feelings about life.  Pat's goal is to settle down and seek a quiet life despite the trials and obstacles which face her community daily. 

The most radical thing about Burning An Illusion is that it's about black people who aren't radical. It's about a male-female relationship, and problems they face in dealing with themselves and one another.  Made in the early 80's this film illustrates fundamental points still relevant today.

Self Love
Akeba African History Month 2010

Black History Awareness Weekend

Where: St George's Square, Luton LU1 2NG
When: Saturday 2nd Oct, 12 - 7 pm / Sunday 3rd Oct, 10 am - 5 pm -

Saturday - Giveaways/Displays/Celebrities/Dance/Poetry

Sunday - British Black History Exhibition, African & Caribbean Market, Community Information Stalls, Steelband, Drummers, Storytellers.

Direction Africa

Direction Africa: Music, Film, Discussion

When: 2nd October 2010, 4pm - 1am
Where: Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA
Adm: Film and Panel: £5 | Live Music & DJs: £5 | Joint ticket £8, £6 concs

Afri-kokoa presents a one-day event in celebration of Black History Month, curated by Peter and David Adjaye OBE. Combining visionary African art, film and music, Direction Africa celebrates the continent’s culture at a time when there is greater focus on Africa than ever before.
The event will include films and a panel discussion, with live music from M3nsa and the Afri-kokoa DJ's playing till 1am!

Info: Facebook Afri-Kokoa


Screening: Pressure

When: Sunday 3rd October 2010 from 2pm to 4pm
Where: Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Street, East Finchley, London, N2 9PJ
Adm: Free

Hailed as Britain's first African Caribbean feature film, Pressure is a hard-hitting, honest document of the plight of disenchanted British-born African youths. Set in Ladbroke Grove, West London, an area with a large Caribbean population since the 1950s, Pressure (d. Horace Ové, 1975) explores the assimilation (or otherwise) of Caribbean people into British society.

The Phoenix Cinema is one of the oldest purpose built cinema's in the UK. This year it is celebrating its centenary with various events including free screenings and free behind the scenes tours. On the day of the screening, there will be free tours of the cinema from 10am to 1pm on the hour.

Tickets for this film screening are FREE! and will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so don't delay. To book your place on the cinema tour and film screening, please call The Phoenix Box Office on 020 8444 6789.

Tropical Island

Tropical Island live radio show and musical theatre

When: Saturday 2nd October  12pm & 4pm
Where: Freedom's Ark, 117 Bruce Grove, London N17 6UR. Tel: 020 8493 0050 

Tropical Island, the west-end musical theatre show returns with a special one-off radio showcase from Freedom's Ark in north London!  This is a special fund raising event to support communities! The show is exciting and interactive with a limbo competition, dancers, radio host and YOU.

Yes, you help to make the show by joining in the fun, reading out letters and making requests to friends and families around the world and filmed for TV! If you're looking for happiness you'll definitely find it here with Tropical Island the live radio & theatre show!  

For video sample click here or


When: Sunday 3rd October 12.30 - 7.30pm
Finsbury Park
, London

UpRise is a FREE anti-racism festival by many high profile public figures including Meera Syal MBE, Bonnie Greer, Ken Livingstone, Beardyman, Ava Vidal, Diane Abbott, Mark Thomas, Imran Yusef, Zoe Lyons, The King Blues, Asian Dub Foundation, The Invisible, Ty, Dub Pistols, Roots Manuva and many more.

For the past 2 years a dedicated team of individuals and organisations have been working to bring back London's anti-racism festival since Rise was canceled in 2008.
London can lead in the cause to eradicate racism and promote unity as one people.
The festival features:

Ty, Natty, Soothsayers, Yabba Funk, Imaani, United Vibrations, Nathan 'flutebox' Lee, WanDan, Jimmy Screech, Shri, Jally Kebba Susso, Sanchita Farruque, Step 13, DJ Ritu, DJ Rita Ray - with many more to be announced. Hosted by Imran Yusef with spoken contributions by One Society, Many Cultures and Progressive London.

Volunteers needed:

As a people's festival, you play a very important part in the festival by volunteering.

Assistance is required in the lead up to the festival with Flyer distribution, set up of the site on Friday, Saturday and during the actual event on Sunday. Roles will included practical; steward management of the site and emergency exits, backstage areas, the main stage and many others.
for more info contact:
Amelia Parkinson - Volunteer Manager

More details and information about the event and campaign can be found at the website:

UpRise is made possible by the support of the many contributing and supporting organisations and it's sponsors; UNISON, Unite the Union, SERTUC, NUT, GMB (SO), GMB (LO),The Cooperative, Musicians Union.

Egbe Odun Niyi
Egbe OdunNiyi


Portobello Nu-Jazz: "One Night Affair"

When: Tues 5th October 2010, 7.45 pm (approx)
Where: The Tabernacle Center, Talbot Road, Powis Square London W11
Adm: £10 / £8 conc


Come and check out Nu Jazz with performances by Kevin Haynes (Grupo Elegua) and Robert Mitchell Panacea at the Tabernacle.

DJ Dez Parkes will be setting the mood.


Tony Allen 70 - Nigeria 50

Tony Allen 70 – Nigeria 50

When: 6th October 2010, 7.30pm
Where: Barbican Centre, Silk Street , London EC2Y 8DS
Adm: £13.50 - £22.50

In this raucous celebratory concert, Allen brings to the Barbican a dazzling array of international talent. Seun Kuti – son of Fela – is widely seen as the true inheritor of the Afrobeat crown and electrified the audience at his last Barbican show; Pee Wee Ellis , James Brown’s saxophonist for many years, embodies the music that so influenced the Afrobeat generation; Thandiswa is a soulful South African singer and a legend of the country’s Kwaito music scene and Jason Yarde and Byron Wallen are two of the UK’s most exciting and versatile jazz musicians.



Mary Seacole Event

When: 6th October 2010
Where: Friends House, Euston, NW1 2BJ 12 - 4pm
Adm: Free

The aim of the day is to highlight the contribution and life of Mary Seacole. Followed by Q&A with Prof Elizabeth Anionwu and Dr Geoffrey Day.

For more information email: / Tel: 020 7641 8547

Albany Afrovibes Festival

Afrovibes Festival: No Borders

When: 5 Tuesday - 10 Sunday October 2010

The Albany in association with The Drum, Contact and UK Arts International presents
Afrovibes Festival: No Borders
Cutting edge and confronting theatre, dance and
visual arts from South Africa

Only London appearance!

Be challenged and inspired by dynamic performances demonstrating the best of what
contemporary South Africa has to offer. Mix with artists and performers, take part in workshops and discussions, watch films in our pop up cinema, soak up the atmosphere of our Township Café or make a night of it with DJ sets and live bands.

Tuesday 5 & Wednesday 6 October, 7.45pm
Via Volcano and Benji Reid present
Experience the traditional township dance of Pantsula fused with breaking, hip hop and tap.
Tickets £10, £7 concs

Thursday 7 October 7.30pm, Saturday 9 October 8.30pm & Sunday 10 October 7.30pm
Ncamisa! Kiss the Women
An explosive and emotional play exploring the consequences of being a lesbian in Khayelitsha, a township on the outskirts of Cape Town.
Tickets £9, £6 concs
See with 'A Face Like Mine' and save! Studio doubles £15/£10 concs

Wednesday 6 October 7.30pm, Saturday 9 October 7pm & Sunday 10 October 6pm
A Face Like Mine
A lyrical and sensual performance exploring the many fragmented perceptions black women have of themselves.
Tickets £9, £6 concs
See with 'Ncamisa' and save! Studio doubles £15/£10 concs

Friday 8 October & Saturday 9 October 7.30pm, Saturday matinee 3pm
Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom’s production of
Welcome to Rocksburg
A gritty, thrilling and intense view of life in the townships today from ‘Township Tarantino’ Paul Grootboom.
On track to becoming a theatrical masterpiece’ Tonight Newspaper SA.
Tickets £12, £8 concs

Thursday 7 October, 7.45pm
World Premiere
Kwa Mashu: Still My Home
A vivid documentary about one of Durban’s oldest townships, Kwa Mashu, and the people who call their home.
FREE. Please call the Box Office to reserve your place

The Albany
Douglas Way, Deptford
London SE8 4AG

Click for Map

Book Online
(no fee) or call
020 8692 4446

£34/£24 (concs)

Call the box office for details


An Evening With Dawn Butler, Dame Jocelyn Barrow & Special Guests/The African Voices Speed Discussion

WHEN: Friday 8th October, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
WHERE: Space 2, Willesden Green Library Centre, 95 High Road, Willesden, London NW10 2SF (Willesden Green)
Adm: £8 or free with a copy of the book or DVD

Starts with the ladies from the 'What They Said I Should Be' DVD discussing strategies for drive, achievement, values and overcoming challenges. Followed by the quotees from the 'African Voices: Quotations By people Of African Descent' book, including Supt Leroy Logan and Bieneosa Ebite, leading the speed discussion based around their quotations covering topics such as discipline, role of role models, and self-responsibility. Refreshments at beginning.

To book ot for more information: Ms Serwah,, 020 8450 5987,


Screening: Walter Tull

When: 8 October 2010, 6.30 - 8.30pm
Where: Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, SW1E 6QP

Epic documentary discussing the life of Walter Tull, England’s first black professional football player and first
Black officer in the British Army.

For more information email: / Tel: 020 7641 8547


Art at the Palace

When: 9-31 October 2010, 11-5pm daily (Closed Mondays)
Where: The Spirited Palace, 105 Church Road, Crystal Palace, London SE19 2PR

Art at the palace

A Contemporary exhibition featuring 4 new up and coming artists

Contact: Kofi 07943437619 premesis: 0208 768 0609


Heritage walk for Joanna Vassa

When: Saturday 9 October 2010 from 2pm to 3pm
Where: Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 0LH.

In memory of Joanna Vassa and her father Olaudah Equiano, Arthur Torrington will be leading a heritage walk to Joanna’s graveside on Saturday 9 October 2010 from 2pm to 3pm at Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 0LH. A member of the Clavering Congregational Church (where she and her husband Henry Bromley ministered) will also be present.

Having visited the Church in Essex some months ago, Arthur has seen evidence that Joanna and Henry collected signatures for the Abolition campaign and that they held church services on August the first each year.  I will give an update on their lives to those who attend on 9 October.

The event is held in association with Abney Park Trust, and it will be exactly six year to the day that Arthur first saw the grave. It was discovered on 7 October 2004 by Professor Vincent Carretta and his wife Pat.
Further info:


Screening: Spike Lees Miracle at St Anna

When: Saturday 9th OCTOBER 2010, 6.00pm-12.00am (Film Starts 7.00pm Prompt)
Where: The Courthouse Hotel 19-21 Great Marlborough Street,London, W1F 7HL
Adm: Tickets £10 / Members £7.50

Adinkra Film Nights and Q&A

Synopsis: Spike Lees Miracle at St Anna An epic film telling the story of four African American soldiers and their heart wrenching experiences while stationed in Italy during World War II.

Please note: Tickets for this screening MUST be purchased in advanced as unfortunately no tickets can be purchased at the venue. There will also be no admittance 15mins after the film/documentary has started.

Tickets will be non-refundable after this time.


The Glanville Lecture 2010

When: Saturday 9 October 2010, 2pm
Where: Mill Lane Lecture Rooms

Dr Maulena Karenga, Professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach will present a lecture entitled ‘The Maatian Ideal of Social Justice in Ancient Egypt: A Classical African Conception’

Admission is free but by ticket only. To reserve a place please contact

Anna Lloyd-Griffiths AKL32@CAM.AC.UK or telephone 01223 332900

The lecture will be followed by a reception in the Egyptian Galleries at The Fitzwilliam Museum.

Tickets for the reception are limited and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis

Amazing Africa
Amazing Africa

Amazing Africa Festival

When: 9th October 2010, 12pm to 6pm
Where: Trafalgar Square, London
Adm: Free

Join Amazing Africa in this free festival celebrating the landmark Jubilee Independence anniversary of 17 African countries. See Trafalgar Square turned into a bubbling calabash of celebration of African culture through music, dance, enactments, food and arts & crafts.

Don't miss your chance to enjoy the Rhythms of a continent with Ivory Coast superstar Meiwei, Daara J Family from Senegal, Modeste from Madagscar, Muntu Valdo from Cameroon and many more.

Info: Amazing Africa 


African History Month: Buffet dinner and dance

When: Saturday, 9 October 2010, 7.30 p.m. until late
Where: Riva Lounge, 3 – 7 Bromley Road, London SE6 2TS
Adm:  £25 per person or £45 per couple

Hi Everyone!

JustBe invites you to celebrate Black History month in style with a buffet dinner and dance with special guest Angie Greaves.

As the trees shed their leaves in autumn and we are reminded of the wonder and beauty of nature, JustBe, along with other black and minority ethnic groups, celebrates our rich heritage during the Black History Month with a dinner and dance.  The occasion will raise awareness, feature notable artistes and events during an evening of purposeful fun and entertainment.

There will be excellent food and drink in an ambient setting, informative talks and great music. We will finish with a raffle draw and themed prizes including indigenous works of African and West Indian art.  A donation will be made to our chosen charity, Lupus UK.

For more information click on the the attached 2-page flyer.  For tickets and reservations, call Debra on 07926 392545 or email  Do spread the word by forwarding this email to your friends/families.   

Kind regards

Yvette McDonald

Children's Book Reading and workshop with Eileen Browne

When: 9 October 2010, 11am-11:45am
Where: Archway Library on Highgate Hill

Eileen Browne, author of the much-loved children's story "Handa's Surprise" will be running a childrens book reading workshop. The reading is suitable for children from 3 to 7 years old.


Tony Wade Seminar

When: 11 October 2010, 6.30 - 8.30pm
Where: Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, SW1E 6QP

Gain practical knowledge on working in a business environment, developing entrepreneurial skills and supporting community initiatives.

Organised by: Tony Wade, BIS Publications

For more information email: / Tel: 020 7641 8547


Screening: Thriller In Manilla + Q&A with the director John Dower and executive producer Andrew Mackenzie

When: Mon 11 Oct / Screen 2 / 7pm
RICH MIX, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA / BOXOFFICE 020 7613 7498

Dir: John Dower / U S/UK / 2008 / 100 mins
On October 1st 1975, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali was in the ring with his arch rival Joe Frazier for the third time. The fight was in the Phillippines, and nicknamed Thriller in Manilla, it is considered one of the most dramatic boxing matches in history. With the help of archive footage and eyewitness accounts (including Imelda Marcos) this documentary not only reconstructs the match, but shows us what was happening behind the scenes.

Followed by a Q&A with the director John Dower and executive producer Andrew Mackenzie
Click to book tickets online or call to the Box Office on 020 7613 7498


History and Contributions of African Chuches in Britain

When: Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Where:  Room G34, Senate House University of London, Russell Square, London WC1
Adm: Free Everyone is welcome. You do not have to pre-book/register.

Rev. Israel Oluwole Olofinjana, History and Contributions of African Chuches in Britain.

The seminar will trace the history of African Churches in Brittan, explore why Africans are starting churches in the UK and their contributions to the British society. Rev. Olofinjana’s recent book  Reverse in Ministry and Missions: Africans in the Dark Continent of Europe will be available at a reduced price. (Rev. Olofinjana is the minister of the Crofton Park Baptist Church, Brockley Grove, Lewisham)



When: Sunday 10 October, 2010, 9 30am-12 45pm
Where: West Indian Ex-Servicemen & Women Association (Uk)161-167 Clapham Manor St. SW4 6BD 5 Nearest tube Clapham Common & Clapham North. Northern line)




Delivering the Lecture will be: Ms Esther Roniyah Stanford –Xosei Jurist Consult of Soul Law Company and International Human, Woman Rights and African Reparations Campaigner & Prof. Yehoeshahfaht Ben Israel, Deputy of Foreign Affairs to the European Theatre on behalf of the African Hebrew Israelites, Conflict  Reconciliation Coordinator for the Dr. King and Ben Ammi Institute for a New Humanity and Dean of IRT.

020 7627 0702 (For more information visit  or call 07903086174)

Hot Vegan Food on Sale incl. Books, DVDs, and other Educational materials


[1997-1998] The Years of the His Excellency’s two consecutive sojourns and National Lecture
Tours to London, Bristol and Manchester
(Acote Yishibah Baht- Gavriel) Curator of the African Edenic Heritage Mobile Museum.
 10 45 am-- READING OF SPECIAL TRIBUTE AND DEDICATION TO HIS EXCELLENCY BEN AMMI (Atur (Crowned) Brother Eliyahtsoor Ben Prince Aaharone
==BREAK--Youth-On-The Move Presentation BREAK==15MINS
HOT TASTY VEGAN FOOD ON SALE                                     
11 15 am--Inaugural Lecture Part One: ‘The Ascension of the African Queen- Mother.’ Ms Esther Roniyah Stanford-Xosei Juristconsult of Soul Law, Human and Woman’s Rights and African Reparations Campaigner                                                                                                                                      
11 45pm--Part Two: ‘Are you an African ‘Descendant’ or an ‘Ahdamic Ascendant?’  ‘A Paradigm Shift from Degeneration and Stagnation to Divine Dominion, Ecological Harmony and Peace…’     Prof. Yehoeshahfaht Ben Israel, Principal Lecturer of the Institute IRT, London, Deputy Representative of the European Theatre Foreign Affairs of  The Hebrew Israelite Jurisdiction                                                                                                                                                                                                             
12 30pm—
Closing remarks Vote of Thanks and Announcements Prayer of Blessings Resident Priest…. SPECIAL FREEWILL DONATION TOWARD ANNUAL LECTURE FUND. THANK YOU! Shalom! Shalom! 1 00pm PROMPT DEPART!!!!


Interconnected Worlds: an Event Showcasing the British Library's African, Caribbean and ‘Making Britain’ Materials  

When: Wednesday 13th October, 17:15 - 18:30
Where: British Library’s Foyle Suite
Adm: While the event is free, places are strictly limited and booking is essential. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and if you wish to attend please contact Philip Hatfield,

  • Experience first-hand a selection of the rich heritage held by the British Library
  • Discover the story behind 'Making Britain' and how South Asians shaped the nation, 1870-1950
  • Meet and talk with British Library curators and members of the 'Making Britain' project

As part of October’s Black History Month, the British Library invites you to a special event at which a selection of our books, documents and images will be on display. These collection items will illustrate the historical and current interconnections of Africa, Britain, the Caribbean and South Asia, through the themes of

  • enslavement, abolition and empire
  • the end of empire and the beginnings of independence
  • rich cultural and scientific material produced by and about Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian sub-continent


Black Fatherhood: One-day seminar

When: Wednesday 13th October 2010
Where: Location: Room 806/7, 8th floor Keyworth Building, London South Bank University

One-day seminar organised by London South Bank University and the National Black Voices Network, National Children’s Bureau to develop practical and policy-focused dialogue on the issue of Black fatherhood in Britain.


One-day seminar organised by London South Bank University and the National Black Voices Network, National
Children’s Bureau to develop practical and policy-focused dialogue on the issue of Black fatherhood in Britain.

09.30-10.00 Arrival and registration

10.00-10.20 Welcome and Seminar Overview

Professor Harry Goulbourne (LSBU)
Dr Rob Berkeley (Director of Runnymede Trust)
Patrice Lawrence (NCB) and Dr Tracey Reynolds (LSBU)

10.20-11.20 Research on Black Fatherhood in the UK
Chair - Harry Goulbourne (LSBU)

Dr Robert Williams (University of Birmingham)
African and African Caribbean Fatherhood and the Links Between Well being and Symbolic, Social and Cultural Forms of Capital

Dr Tracey Reynolds (LSBU)
Family Lives and Community Ties of Black Fathers that Live Apart from their Children

11.20-11.40 Break

11.40-13.00 Policy Agenda on Black Fatherhood
„I'm not Bill Cosby!' How can policy respond to Black fathers without resorting to stereotypes?

Chair - Patrice Lawrence (NCB)

Dean Atta - Black Fatherhood Video Contributor

Nia Imara (National Association Black Supplementary Schools)
Annetta Bennett (Equality Consultant)

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.20 Working Together for Change with Black Fathers
“If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” (Toni Morrison) How are we rewriting Black fatherhood in practice?

Chair - Dr Rob Berkeley (Runnymede Trust)

Melvyn Davis (The Male Development Service)

Frederick Clarke (Mighty Men of Valour)
Superdads project

Leandra Box (Race Equality Foundation)
Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities project

15.20-15.30 Break

15.30-16.00 Roundtable discussion on black fatherhood
Facilitated by Rob Berkeley (Runnymede Trust)
Next steps for policy and practice on black fatherhood?

16.00-16.20pm Close and Refreshments

Please note that spaces are limited to a maximum of 40 participants and places will be reserved on a first come first serve basis, so please RSVP Melanie Walters at the following email address by Thursday 30 September 2010

For travel details and map of how to get to Keyworth Centre, Keyworth Street, London SE1 6NG please click the following link


African International (Development): Do you want to trade internationally?

Day 1: 13th October 2010 (Information session)
When: 10am to 4pm (incl networking lunch)
Where: Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA
Adm: Free

Day 2: 21st October 2010 (Panel Discussion)
Time: 6pm - 9pm (incl networking drinks and canapés)
Venue: London South Bank University
Tickets: £15 | £5 | Free to for registered businesses

A high level information session and panel discussion to give African-led and Asian-led creative practitioners and businesses, working in the sectors of music, film or design, an overview on how to export their products or services internationally.

This programme is FREE and is being held over two days for established registered businesses who are taking their first steps into international markets.

This event is being produced by Urban Inclusion and Hatch Events with funding from the European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England.

Conclusion Part 2: Young Africans Debate

When: 14th of October, 7pm.
Where: Open The Gate, The Black Culture Cafe, 33-35 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston London N16 8BJ

Young Africans gathered by the Poetika art collective discuss and debate topics that effect them today.

The last event debated the questions;


  • How does music of today affect us as oppose to our ancestors music?
  • Do social networking sites affect the way that we communicate with each other?
  • Can we survive without a government?

Conspiracy Theories

  • If self-knowledge is power than why are black people enticed in illuminati and freemasons, which is not to do with oneself?
  • How does Barack Obama fit in with the New World Order?


  • Should at any point crime be justified as a means of survival?
  • Why is so much crime committed in urban areas?


  • Is God male or female?
  • Why do people follow religions?
  • Is religion the devils system? If so, does God have a religion?
  • Are holy books, books of religion or science?


  • In what way does racism still exist?
  • What does it mean to be black?
  • What are your views on interracial relationships?
  • How has the Willie Lynch formula used in slavery affected modern day relationships between partners, families and each other?


Exploring the issues of childhood suffering and exploitation within an African context

When: Friday 15 October 2010 from 6pm to 9pm
Where: Metro Bar, 6 St. Christopher’s Place, London, W1U 1ND (2 mins from oxford circus and bond street tubes)
Adm: £8.00 per person



About the Authors

Precious Williams A Contributing   Editor at Elle, Cosmopolitan and the Mail on  Sunday's'Night & Day‘  magazine.   Precious is author of the acclaimed ‘Precious: A True Story’, a memoir of her  childhood in a ‘private foster care’ setting & her struggle to reconcile 2 adversary cultural influences. 

Abidemi Sanusi  Nigerian born Abidemi is the author of several inspirational books translated into many   languages.  Her latest book ‘Eyo’ is the story of an illiterate 10 year old girl trafficked to the UK with promise of a better life – only to experience exploitation and suffering.  The book was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize as African’s Best Book.

Ola Lydia Taiwo Lydia presents a heart wrenching memoir of a woman overcoming the emotional, physical and psychological trauma of childhood abuse in, What A Life!  She was motivated to write this book as part of her healing process, and to shine a bright light on the severity of childhood abuse.

Ogo Akubue-Ogbata Originally from Nigeria, Ogo is a multi-talented writer, inspiring speaker and creative consultant. Writer of the  heart-wrenching ‘Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman’, Ogo captures the love, strength, creativity & aspiring instincts of African women whilst celebrating the hope, culture & tenacity that all races share.     

All featured books will be available for purchase on the evening

To book your place please contact Sarah O'Gorman at AFRUCA on 0207 7042261 email

See attached for further details

Event organised by AFRUCA - Africans Unite Against Child Abuse

  Word Power 2010: Voices of the African (Black) Diaspora

When: 15th-17th October 2010 Time: 10.00am-9.00pm
Where: Centerprise, 136-138 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2NS Tel: 020
7254 9632

Dozens of authors and writers, hundreds of readers, thousands of books. All under one roof
4th Annual Word Power, International Black Literature Festival and Book Fair
Stalls available - phone for details

Word Power 2010


Historical Boat Trip

When: 16th October 2010, 11am-1pm
Where: Westminster Pier, Embankment, London SW1A 2JH

Come share an enjoyable and informative trip on the River Thames, raising awareness of key landmarks and highlighting the history of the River Thames during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Organiser: Westminster Family Information Service, Steve I Martin

For more information email: / Tel: 020 7641 8547


Songs for the Black Magi: Celebrating the Medieval and Renaissance Collections

When: Saturday 16 October 2010, 15.30-17.30
Victoria and Albert Museum

Enjoy an afternoon of joyous faith music, poetry, spoken word and inspirational speakers from Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas, hosted by television presenter Diane Louise Jordan.
£8, £6 concessions (includes afternoon refreshments)

To book, call 020 7942 2211


Break the Silence Congo Week

When: Sunday 17 October to Saturday 23 October 2010
Where: PCS LEARNING CENTRE (Victoria), 3rd Floor, 231 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 1EH. Nearest Train/Tube Station: Victoria (for map to the venue please click here).

Black History Studies is taking part in Break the Silence Congo Week for African History Month 2010.
The purpose of the Break the Silence Congo Week is to raise consciousness about the devastating situation in the Congo and mobilise support on behalf of the people of the Congo.  

The Congo is the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today where nearly 6 million people have died since 1996, half of them children under 5 yrs old and hundreds of thousands of women have been raped all as a result of the scramble for Congo's wealth.

The United Nations said it is the deadliest conflict in the world since World War Two. However, hardly anything is said about it in the media. Can you imagine 45,000 people dying each month and hardly a peep from anyone in the age of the Internet? This is literally what has happend and continue to happen in the Congo. There is a media blackout about Congo and no worldwide resolution to end the conflict and carnage there. 

Black History Studies have a number of events planned for Break the Silence Congo Week. 

Please see below for details of our events for Break the Silence Congo Week:

  • Sunday 17th October 2010- Presentation: The Early History of the Congo and Zaire Regions
  • Tuesday 19th October 2010- Film Screening: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death
  • Wednesday 20th October 2010- Film Screening: Arms, Dealing and National Interests 

For more info: 
Black History Studies Ltd
PO Box 45189
N15 3XP

Tel: 0208 881 0660 
Fax: 0208 881 0660
Mobile: 07951 234233

Business in Ghana: Import and Export with the UK

When: Thursday, October 21, 2010 from 5:30 PM - 9:30 PM (CT)
Where: Artillery House, Artillery Lane, London E1 7lP
Adm: Free

Import and Export are key areas of interest for the governments in both Ghana and the UK come and find out how to position oneself for maximum success. With incentives in place to encourage businesses in this sector, now is the best time to develop your business interests in this area and we have some key speakers who would help give you the bigger picture to a brighter future. This event is part of the series of Business Events AFFORD will be hosting in partnership with our sponsors to open up the business market in Africa, this season the focus is Ghana. These events are part of the AFFORD REMADE project that assists people who wish to start or expand their business in Ghana.

To find out more contact AFFORD or come to this event and speak to one of our business consultants.


Ghana High Commission Department of Trade and industry

Mr Fynn – began his duty tour of the United Kingdom as a Minister Counsellor for Trade and investment in September 2008. He had been a director in the Ghana Ministry of Trade & Industry in various capacities. This included monitoring, evaluating and reviewing Ghana’s trade policy regime and recommending measures to enhance the incentive framework to support private sector operators.

United Kingdom Department of Trade and Industry (UKTI)

Bryan Treherne - has had over 40 years experience in exporting and importing having run his own business for 23 years and exporting to over 45 countries worldwide and importing from several. He is trained in documentation by the British Chamber of Commerce and has led many trade missions to South Africa, Caribbean, Poland, Hungary, Ghana and etc. He is on the board of the Institute of Export who are responsible for training qualification for exporters. He is also responsible for over 30 companies in the London area who are on the government scheme entitled Passport to Export.

South London Export Club

Neil McAllister – International Trade Training Services provide training to businesses who would like to trade internationally, either as exporters or importers. Available courses cover research documentation and finance as well as risk management. The company also organises trade visits for businesses as well as one-to-one mentoring services.

This event is free and we will have business advisors with knowledge of international Business start up on hand to discuss your ideas with you and help to locate where AFFORD can help you with your business and business ideas.

Refreshments: Hot food will be available 


If you have any questions or queries please: Call Anna or Elvina 0207 582 3578,

Email or Visit our website


Pan African Congress Seminar

When: 22nd October 2010, 6.30pm-8.30pm
Where: Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, SW1E 6QP

A seminar exploring history of Pan-Africanism, highlighting significant events such as the Pan-African
Conference in 1900 which took place in Caxton Hall, Westminster and notable attendees, including Westminster
Barrister and local MP Henry Sylvester Williams, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, John Alcindor, Dadabhai Naoroji, John
Archer and William Du Bois.

For more information email: / Tel: 020 7641 8547


Olive Morris and the Brixton Black Panthers  

When: Sat 23 Oct 5.30-7.30pm
Where: Topolski Gallery 150 Hungerford Arches, (5 mins from the BFI/Waterloo)
Adm £4 Best to book in advance.          

Olive Morris

0207 620 1308

Olive Morris is on the Brixton pound and has a building named after her but who was she ? Was there really a branch of the Black Panthers in Brixton ?  How is Choice FM connected to street protests in the 1970's ? An interactive presentation with archive film from the team that delivered, Who was Michael X?


Story Telling Event

When: 26 October 2010, 11am -12pm
Where: Pimlico Toy Library, Pimlico Academy, Lupus Street, SW1V 3AT

Bring your children and enable them to have the opportunity to experience theatrical story telling of African/Caribbean traditional tales.

Organised by: Chi Creation Stories

For more information email: / Tel: 020 7641 8547


African History: Did You Know? CD Launch

WHEN: Wednesday October 27th, 6.30-8.30pm
WHERE: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, London HA1 2UL (Harrow & Wealdstone)
Adm: Free

Akoben Awards - African History

Akoben Awards launches the 'African History: Did You Know?' CD, made up of edu-tainment tracks recorded by conscious rapper Kimba in collaboration with Akoben Awards' Kwaku and BTWSC's Ms Serwah. The tracks will be performed during the Education In Britain Through Supplementary Schools & Mentoring BHM event with Dr Hailu Hagos and Eric Huntley. Refreshments at beginning.

For more information:, 020 8450 5987.


ACBN 10th Annual Conference: Partnerships For Prosperity

When: Wednesday October 27, 2010 from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM GMT
BT Conference Centre, Newgate Street, St Pauls, London EC1A 7AJ ( Nearest Tube Central Line: St Pauls Tube)


Save This Important Date In Your Diary
Wednesday 27th October 2010
FREE Registration Now

To attend the BT Conference Auditorium, Newgate Street, in London's  financial district for..

Baroness Howells of St Davids Patron of the event, and Jennette Arnold AM, Vice Chair Great London Assembly will  take the lead at The African Caribbean Business Network [ACBN] 10th Anniversary conference - Big Society 'Partnerships For Prosperity' where some of the UK's best business heads will share with over 150 small businesses their key messages, strategies, and advice on how to survive and grow in the current economic down turn.

To be held at BT's Conference Auditorium at their head office in Newgate Street, St Pauls, the conference will run from 08:30 am to 13:30 pm and is free of charge.

Being congruent with the theme of this year's conference ACBN has joined with partners BT, University of East London, Business Link in London to ensure some of the best advice you will receive this year is shared with you - a small business owner. Register Now


Read More

We look forward to see you there
Dana Williams, African Caribbean Business Network, Tel: 07581 581 233


Harlem Shuffle

When: 27 October 2010, 7:30-9:30pm
Where: The Cockpit Theatre, Gateforth Street NW8 8EH

Come and join in and promote the musical and creative dance skills of young people. This event will be promoting positive role models.

Organised by: Union Dance, National Youth Jazz Orchestra

For more information email: / Tel: 020 7641 8547


Sistatalk Motivational Meetings

When: Wednesday 27th October 2010
The Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury, 6-9:30pm
Adm: £10

This meeting is the first of our monthly meetings designed to help individuals come together to connect and successfully design and live the life they love NOW!  Attendees will learn how to boost their personal and professional performance; develop new skills and strategies for success; achieve extra-ordinary achievement, peace of mind and happiness and create the life that you really, really want, These events aim to give you powerful strategies for taking charge of your life.

This is an OPEN event.
RSVP: 0845 467 1148


Food and Drink Festival

When: 29 October 2010, 12-9pm
Where: Westminster Central Hall , Storeys Gate, SW1 9NH

Come to a food and drink festival event, celebrating diverse communities and promoting community cohesion
with a mixture of art, exhibitions and multicultural food.

Organised by: World Foods, Level 7 Media, Africa Caribbean Development Foundation

For more information email: / Tel: 020 7641 8547

The Figurine
The Figurine

Nigeria Day part of the BFI African Odysseys season

Explore the African roots in world cinema through our monthly matinee programme of films and talks.

Archive Nigeria

When: Sat 30 Oct 11:00
Where: NFT2, BFI South Bank, London SE1
Adm: £5

Nigeria Day: The untold history of Naij in words and rare footage. The event is free to ticket holders for The Figurine, subject to availability.

The figurine Araromire + shorts from new directors

When: Sat 30 Oct 14:00
Where: NFT1, BFI Southbank, London SE1
Adm: £5

Nigeria 2009. Dir Kunle Afolayan. 120min
Nigeria Day: Groundbreaking thriller in which a mysterious charm changes the lives of three friends.
+ selected shorts from new Nigerian directors.


African History: Did You Know? Rewind & The Conscious Music Mini Discussion

WHEN: Sunday October 30th, 4.00-5.00pm
WHERE: Gayton Library, 5 St John's Road, Harrow, HA1 2EE (Harrow On The Hill).
ADM: Free

Akoben Awards is about connecting consumers with, and highlighting, artists that make conscious, positive black music. So as part of promoting Gayton Library's new Sunday opening, Akoben Awards will be rewinding the edu-tainment tracks from the 'African History: Did You Know?' CD, followed by a mini discussion between fans of conscious music and Kimba and other artists on the state of the conscious artists going against the grain.

For more information:, 020 8450 5987.

  Screening: Cy Grant (8.11.19 – 13.2.10)

When: Sun 7 Nov 11:00 – 16:00
Where: BFI Southbank, London SE1

Adm: £5

A special tribute to the Guyanese lawyer, actor, singer, writer, broadcaster and cultural activist.


Mother Country

When: Wednesday,  17 November 2010
Where: Room G34, Senate House University of London, Russell Square, London WC1
Adm: Free, Everyone is welcome. You do not have to pre-book/register.

Stephen Bourne will talk about his new book Mother Country which acknowledges the wartime contributions of Britain's Black community to the Home Front in WW2.


CREATIVITY, DISSIDENCE AND WOMEN: A Weekend Course With Nawal el Saadawi

When: 19-21 November 2010
Where: Goldsmiths College, Lewisham Way, London SE14 6YZ
Adm: £150 (Discounts Available)

A rare opportunity to be taught by Writer and Activist Nawal el Saadawi.

Nawal el Saadawi is a popular speaker and writer in the UK. For the first time ever she will be facilitating a course on her specialised area, creativity  and dissidence. Places are limited and will be offered on a first come first served

This course is suitable for writers and non-writers who are interested in these themes and is based on facilitation and discussion between Nawal el Saadawi and participants. The course is open to men and women.

Organised by African Writers Abroad (PEN) Centre


Screening: The Negro Soldier

When: Sat 20 Nov 14:00
Where: NFT3, BFI Southbank, London SE1
Adm: £5

Dir Frank Capra. USA 1943. 49min.

WW2 film that was intended to build pride among the black community while educating wider US society. + related programme.

Adinkra Films
Adinkra Films

Screening: MOTHERLAND with Q&A

When: Saturday 27th November 2010, 3.00pm-6.00pm
Lexi Cinema 194b Chamberlayne Road Kensal Rise London NW10 3JU
Tickets £10 / Members £7.50

Adinkra Film Nights presents the documentary: Motherland with Q&A

Film Starts 3.15pm Prompt

Synopsis: Motherland (Enat Hager) Is a bold, epic documentary through Africa with a distinctive African voice. Fusing history, culture, politics, Motherland sweeps across Africa to tell a new dynamic story of a continent. From the glory and majesty of Africa’s past through its complex and present history.
Please Note: there will be no admittance 15mins after the film/documentary has started. Tickets will be non-refundable after this time.


Screening: Besouro

When: Sat 18 Dec 14:00
Where: NFT1, BFI Southbank, London SE1
Adm: £5

Dir João Daniel Tikhomiroff. Brazil. 2009. 95 mins. EST

Not-to-be-missed new action-drama set in 1920s Brazil with a score from Gilberto Gil.
It follows the exciting story of the life of a legendary capoerista who seeks revenge for the murder of his master and fights against racial discrimination in his neighbourhood.


Nyansapo - The Pan African Drum broadcasts live every Tuesday between 9pm - 12 pm. We discuss pan African news, current affairs and feature reviews of cultural media and events. It is an interactive programme so please feel free to call and join in. As ever, your support and feedback, especially constructive criticism is welcome.

Nyansapo - In service to our family, with the spirit of our Ancestors

LIGALI is a Pan African, human rights organisation. It is maintained and funded entirely by friends and family of the Ligali organisation, donations are welcome as we need your help to keep it running.

NYANSAPO is the name of one of the many Adinkra symbols in Akan culture, it is a knot that is so intricately tied it is said that, “only the wise can untie the wisdom knot”. This ebe (proverb) points to the fact that only wisdom affords one the ability to see parts in relation to the whole within which they belong. Wisdom breeds patience, and the insight needed to untangle complex issues and arrive at just solutions grounded in divine order without profaning Ancestral culture in the process.

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