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Bernie Grant centre

The Bernie Grant centre in Tottenham is to get a makeover according to a report in the Voice today.

Much of the grounds surrounding the central building will be furnished with outdoors facilities including an open air theatre and cultural arts fair space.

The centre is named after Bernie Grant, the fearless maverick Black MP, who represented Tottenham in Parliament from 1987-2000.  He became a living icon of Black British History by becoming one of the first Black MPs in the UK Parliament .   Continue reading

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A bookshop MLK would have been proud of

 

Books about Black culture by the dozen

 

New Beacon books is not your average bookshop.  It is situated a few doors down from my flat in Finsbury Park in the heart of cosmopolitan London.

Just passing by, looking in the window is enough to catch the eye of any activist concerned with Black empowerment and engagement.  The shop is quite literally littered with works of some of the most well known and prominent Black British, African, and European figures in history.
Continue reading

Ngugi wa Thiong’o odds on to win Nobel Prize for Literature

Ngugi: Author and nobel prize nominee

A Kenyan author has been tipped to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, having steadily risen from being an outside bet to the bookies favourite.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o is a social commentator, activist and professor at the University of California. His  seminal linguistics and post colonial text Decolonising the Mind is the most well known work in his catalogue , but he has also written for childrens literature.

Renewed interest in an author whose life narrative is as interesting as his array of accomplishments is testament to the spirit and pluck of a man who became a rebel after a play that he authored caused such uproar that he was imprisoned without trial in 1977. Continue reading

Commonwealth games

The UK team arrived in India a few days ago amid concerns over corruption, health and security at this year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi .

The opening event in the  Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday was an indomitable showcase of Indian talent, technology and culture with over 6000 performers.  This is the most expensive Commonwealth Games to date costing nearly $6 billion.

Some would say this was money squandered in a country where the average wage of a worker is a fraction of that in the UK.  Others would argue that it demonstrates a show of economic might by an emerging financial super power. Continue reading

Rio Ferdinand: less police will have a “massive impact”

rio speaks out

Footballer Rio Ferdinand has always been known for his social commentary away from the football pitch.  Most recently his outspokenness over the problem of violent crime and gang culture among young people has led to concerned expressions over cuts to the Police budget.

The Metropolitan Police is now facing a deficit of nearly £470 million and it is expected that there will be a reduction of the number of officers on the streets.  According to sources there will be 900 fewer officers on London’s streets this financial year. Continue reading

The rise of the Inequality Deniers

Munira: London's culture advisor

Sadly, there is never a shortage of African, Caribbean and Asians who will deny even what their political party bosses know to be the truth: persistent structural inequalities on the grounds of race in all areas at all levels of society. This is what the coalition Government leaders said at an OBV event:

‘We must tackle the deep and structural inequalities that all too often hold Black people back, especially the young… We know something is extremely wrong when the colour of your skin dictates how likely you are to succeed at school, starting a business, employment, or ending up in prison.’ David Cameron’s at an OBV event-April 2010

‘I want change…If you’re from an ethnic minority you’re still likely to be out of work, on low pay, and hassled by the police even though you’ve done nothing wrong.’ Nick Clegg’s at the same OBV event-April 2010 Continue reading

From Magistrate court to centre stage

Click image for full poster

An OBV shadowing scheme graduate, who discovered Leona Lewis, debuts as a playwright in Jackson Lane Theatre, London early next month.

Multi faceted entrepreneur Diane Thompson popularly known as Lady D, debut play “A Moment of Madness” will premiere early September. Continue reading