Blog

Why the History we are not taught is more significant...

Why the History we are not taught is more significant than the History we are exposed to! As a Black person born raised in the West the truth has very often been a mystery to me. The truths of my origins, the truths about my worth and the truths of my identity. The cultures...

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We Used to call it Shadism

Back in the day , we used to call it “Shadism” but in the more recent times it has become known as “Colourism”. For those who do not know Shadism/Colourism” is the value we attach to people of different complexions and for what it’s worth “Shadism” seems to be a more accurate description of this issue...

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The Souls of Black Folk

As the year draws to a close it seems a good moment to reflect on the condition of the Souls of Black Folk.; in the words of W.E.B Dubois. The great man reminds us that Black people need to be aware of this thing called “Double Consciousness”. Essentially...

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Is Racism a contributor to Black People’s Mental Health

Does Racism make Black people “Mad”…. and is this madness internalised or acted out or both….that is the question!....

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Diversity is no Substitute for Equality

As someone who grew up influenced by the Civil Rights movement of the 60s ,70s in America and the equivalent movement in the UK, it is with some regret that we now witness a time where right wing politicians are invoking Martin Luther King in defence of their racist rhetoric and adopting language that we assumed was a thing of the past....

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Heritage: The Path of Least Resistance

The theme for Black History Month this year is “Heritage”,  and how we interpret that can tell us something about ourselves and something about the society we live in.....

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No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish

I recently watched a documentary about the condition of Black people, in the 60s/70s when they first came to the UK, the underlying narrative was to take control of our own destiny but the popular narrative consisted of gangs of racist Teddy Boys, the first “recognised” racist...

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Diversity v Equality?

Diversity has become one of those words that no one is really sure about anymore. Some say it is a superficial sprinkling of one interpretation of what is supposed to be good, others say it’s a distortion of reality that is...

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The Empire Strikes Back

We now live in times when many, both Black & White, question whether calling out racism is the right thing to do. Is calling out racism a subversive activity or have we lost the will to challenge racism by either not acknowledging it or not responding to it. Newly arrived BME communities are less...

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Is Woke the new “McCarthyism”?

How do we find ourselves in a time where empathy, sympathy and accepting of difference are qualities that are derided as being WOKE!....and those advocating on behalf of the disadvantaged are...

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Stephen Lawrence Day: So Many Reports and So Little Change

Stephen Lawrence was murdered 30 years ago and the question that we should ask ourselves is what has changed and is it enough. We recognise Stephen Lawrence as a symbol for young Black men who are still perceived as dangers to society. We are still...

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green book

In 1936, Victor Hugo Green, a black postal worker, created a guide that would allow African Americans to embrace the adventure of road trips enjoyed by their white counterparts. The result was The Negro...

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The Windrush Fiasco

22 June 2023 will mark the 75th anniversary of The Windrush; a ship that brought hundreds of migrants or Immigrants as they used to be called to the UK. Windrush Day has become a key symbolic moment in the story of the Black British contribution to this country and the broader post-war...

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Sometimes Just Being Black Is Not Enough!

The recent murder of Tyre Nichols by five Black police officers in Memphis Tennessee raises a number of issues that many of us in the Black communities have been aware of; but felt uncomfortable about bringing it to the fore. From the..

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White noise

As the last year fades away and the chanting of Black Lives Matter become just a distant memory and seemingly “small” acts of racism are converted into micro aggressions, our will to protest are reduced to a symbolic disagreement and diminished by the empty carnival of virtue signalling. Do we need to consider how far we wish to collaborate with this slightly perverted version of anti-racism…. and is...

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Images: “Somebody Told A Lie One Day”

Kwame Braithwaite was a Black photographer and community activist and in the 1960s, in his small darkroom in Harlem, he developed an imaging technique that made black skin stand out in photographs, showing off its inherent life and energy. He spent thousands of hours in his darkroom to ensure that his images could demonstrate the beauty of Black ...

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Versions of Blackness

At its core, Pan-Africanism was a belief that African people, both on the continent and in the diaspora, shared not merely a common history, but a common destiny. The necessity of survival has somewhat blurred this vision and as Black History Month comes to a close….there are many Black & White who breathe a sigh of ...

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Why is Multi Culturalism a Threat!

Multiculturalism is defined as a state's capacity to deal with cultural plurality effectively and efficiently within its sovereign borders.  In simple words it tests the ability of the state to integrate other cultures and ways of life into systems and lifestyles that have developed over hundreds of years. The reality is that many ...

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“Never forget where you came from and who helped you get there."

The closer we get to Black History Month, the more we appreciate how little the world has changed regarding how Black people are perceived by the wider population. The arrival of Black History Month should make all of us Black & White consider where we have come ...

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Is Black History Month an Outdated Concept?

Now you may very well think that i am the last person who should be writing a piece like this…but here we go! Black History Month was started in 1926 in the USA by Carter G Woodson as a way to respond to the view that the Black Americans and others of African descent had made no significant contribution to ...

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Race Advice Service : Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner!

Once upon a time there was a Race Equality Service, and it was called the Southampton Council for Race Equality and was based initially in Northbrook Rd and later Palmerston Rd. The aim of the organisation was to provide a service where individuals and organisations ...

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“Even Salt Looks Like Sugar”

I was brought up on a notorious council estate in Harlesden Northwest London called Curzon Crescent, and when we were there in the 1960s the estate was known for poverty and became a vandalism hotspot. As it happens, we were the only Black family….and as you can..

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Dark Matters

A quote inspired by Honore De Balzac  “Behind Every Great Fortune There is a Crime” epitomises the theme for the May Blog. When I was a youth I was taught in school about “Great Britain”  and the wonderful exploits of people like Winston Churchill, Sir Francis Drake, Horatio Nelson and..

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Black Man or Woman in a White World

It is known by some that international superstar Michael Kiwanuka is now settled in the Southampton area, and I have been an admirer of his work since I first saw him in his earlierdays in Brighton. It is great to see that Southampton now boastsat least three acclaimed Black artists that have been successful internationally

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IDENTITY: Who Do We Think We Are?

We all pride ourselves on “knowing” who we think we are. Our identity is something we cherish and is an expression of who we choose to be; and if we believe that identity is threatened, very often we become a little defensive and sometimes aggressive. This expression of identity, with regard to Race, on many

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Southampton: City of Diversity 2025….Make It So

As many of you may know or should know, Southampton is hoping to secure the nomination for City of Culture 2025, and I sincerely hope that we are successful. I was born in London, and some would argue as to what right I have to speak about this city; but the reality is that I have spent more

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Sports & Music and a Natural Sense of Rhythm….or Not!

When I was a very young man many of the famous Black peoplethat I was aware of were famous for their skills in either sports or music. For some the received wisdom was that for some reason we as Black people were endowed with special talents in those areas. Of course

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Why is it so hard to be Black!

When my parents came to this country from Sierra Leone, they were definitely Black. However, that definition was perceived by many white people here as something that we were unfortunately cursed with; and sadly this legacy of inferiority still exists for some Black people today...

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Why black history belongs to everyone

Now that Black History Month is over, there will be some who breathe a sigh of relief in the hope that they can relax for another year. However, these people are very often those who fail to realise that Black History Month is simply a reminder of what they should be concerned about all year round.

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