Black Dolls Galore – “I want one just like me”

Self-love is key to self awareness, self-consciousness and self-esteem. When our children are growing up in a society which chooses not to represent them in the toys they play with, or the books they read, this is the beginning of sef-destruction. Let us take control and plant the seeds of self-worth so our children will look at a black doll and say – I want one just like me.

Take your daughters down to the 9th Black Doll Expo!

Saturday May 13, 2017 at 13:30 – 17:30pm. Maa Maat Centre – Community Bookshop, Tottenham. Tickets £0 – £8.03

 

Operation Sankofa presents the 9th Black Dolls Expo – a platform for discussion, making and buying all things black dolls from around the world! A panel of experts will be on hand to share information about creating, manufacturing, distrusting, selling, collecting, and most important of all, celebrating and promoting BLACK DOLLS. So, come along and join in the discussoion, sign up for a doll making workshop, choose a special Black Doll from a wide selection, and look out for some bargains!

The expo will feature the first Jamaican Patois speaking doll, rom the Zuree Dolls range!

 

To buy tickets, please click here.

We all ready know that the high street does not want to sell black dolls the way it sells white ones, but there are black sisters and brothers who are taking a stand and making their own.

Here are other Black Dolls available to buy online:

To see what else is going on in the Black community, see our Black Events page.

Black Women in Activism Film Festival

Having kicked off on Friday May 5, 2017, the Women in Activism Film Festival is set to be an inspiring and invigorating watch. Re-discover a history the system will not teach us. Who better to teach us then ourselves?

Bought to you by Black History Studies, the Women in Activism Film Festival is a programme of screenings celebrating Black Women in Activism, highlighting the efforts, experiences and excellence of our Melanated Queens around the world and throughout history.

The film festival will feature a mixture of feature films and documentaries, along with presentations and post film discussions with audience members.

The programme of events are as follows:

Mama Africa (15)

Friday May 12, 2017 at 19:00 – 21:00pm. Bernie Arts Grant theatre, Tottenham. Doors open 19:00pm. Film begins 19:30pm.

Mama Africa is the biography of the South African singer Miriam Makeba, who was the first black, African musician to win international stardom. Her music influenced artists across the globe, although her style stayed anchored in her South African roots. She sang for John F. Kennedy and Marlon Brando, performed with Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone and Dizzie Gillespie.

Makeba was also a vocal campaigner against apartheid, and always stood for truth and justice. After her involvement with the 1959 documentary Come Back Africa (one of the first films to expose the harsh realities of apartheid) she was forced into a life in exile from her homeland.

This documentary traces her life and music through more than fifty years of performing. Friends and colleagues, some who knew her from the beginning, in the dance halls of South Africa (remember Pata Pata), together with her grandchildren, allow us to know the remarkable journey of Mama Africa.

Tickets £8 + booking fee. To buy, click here.

NORTH LONDON PREMIERE – BaddDD Sonia Sanchez (15)

Friday May 26, 2017  at 19:00 – 22:30pm. Bernie Arts Grant theatre, Tottenham.  Doors open 19:00pm. Film begins 19:30pm.

Deemed “a lion in literature’s forest” by poet Maya Angelou and winner of major literary awards including the American Book Award, 81 year old Sonia Sanchez is best known for 17 books of poetry that explore a wide range of global and humanist themes, particularly the struggles and triumphs of women and people of color.
In BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, Sanchez’s life unfolds in a documentary rich with readings and jazz-accompanied performances of her work. With appearances by Questlove, Talib Kweli, Ursula Rucker, Amiri Baraka, Haki Madhubuti, Jessica Care Moore, Ruby Dee, Yasiin Bey, Ayana Mathis, Imani Uzuri and Bryonn Bain, the documentary examines Sanchez’s contribution to the world of poetry, her singular place in the Black Arts Movement and her leadership role in African American culture over the last half century.
According to the Eventbrite page, sales have ‘ended’ but try, contacting BlackHistoryStudies for info regarding DVD availability.
NORTH LONDON PREMIERE – The Amazing Nina Simone (15)

Unfortunately this one is SOLD OUT, but try contacting BlackHistoryStudies for info regarding DVD availability.

 

For more info about upcoming events see the Black History Studies website.

Follow Black History Studies on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, google+,YouTube and Instagram.

Seek, learn, teach!

To see what else is going on in the Black community, see our Black Events page.

Full List of Scolarships for Nigerians 2017 and 2018

Having come across this via a conscious WhatsApp group, we thought this would be useful to share! The following information is originally from the World Scholarship Forum (WSF) Team.
15. SEE ALL OTHER SCHOLARSHIPS FOR NIGERIAN UNDERGRADUATE AND POSTGRADUATES HERE
GOODLUCK!

New Beacon Books Event

 

pic: instagram

If you didn’t already know, New Beacon Books was founded by John La Rose and Sarah White in 1966,  and it became the first independent publisher of African and Caribbean books, before becoming a book shop. Today, having recently faced a closure scare, it needs your help to remain open and to give back to the local black community in Finsbury park, north London.

The mini market will give a select number of entrepreneurs and small business owners, a platform to sell their goods and services, and to network with the community! If you have a business in arts, crafts, jewellery, fashion, skincare, haircare, DVD’s or toys,  get in touch and register with New Beacon Books! If you know someone who owns a business in these areas, tell them too! We must get in formation and keep the UK’s first black book shop open for business!

The bookstore is in desperate need of a make-over. With our help, the faded appearance and leaky roof can be transformed, a children’s book corner can be created, and a space for book signings too! Let’s make some noise with coins and make this beacon shine bright like a diamond!

The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution is a 1938 book by Afro-Trinidadian historian C.L.James, a history of the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804. In 1789 the West Indian colony of San Domingo supplied two-thirds of the overseas trade of France. The entire structure of what was arguably the most profitable colony in the world rested on the labour of half a million slaves. In 1791 the waves of unrest inspired by the French Revolution reached across the Atlantic dividing the loyalties of the white population of the island. The brutally treated slaves of Saint Domingo seized at this confusion and rose up in rebellion against masters. In this classic work, CLR James chronicles the only successful slave revolt in history and provides a critical portrait of their leader, Toussaint L'Ouverture, 'one of the most remarkable men of a period rich in remarkable men. 📚 Available in store now! Come and have a browse! 📚 Please note our new, reduced opening hours: Wednesdays to Saturdays 1.30pm – 6pm 📚 Please encourage your friends and family to like and follow us on Facebook and instagram @newbeaconbooks 📚 Help keep this iconic resource going by donation to our crowd fund page. Link in bio above. #CirculateTheBlackPound #Knowledge 📚 New Beacon Books – Continuing 50 years of history…….. 📚 #newbeaconbooks #Continuing50yearsofhistory #BlackActivist #JohnLaRose #Trinidad #AfricanBooks #CaribbeanBooks #bookshop #BlackBooks #PanAfrica #BlackHistory #AfricanPeople #SupportBlackBusinesses #Culture #StolenFromAfrica #MoreThanSlaves #caribbeanhistory #Africanhistory #Political #GeorgePadmoreInstitute #GeorgePadmore #50years #london #uksfirstblackbookshop #clrjames #toussaintlouverture #haitianrevolution #slavery

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Here are the details for the event:

Saturday 8 April, 2017. 11am – 6pm.  Free event! Registration required – click here

New Beacon Books

76 Stroud Green Road

Finsbury Park

London

N4 3EN

 

To donate, click here.

To volunteer in helping to renovate New Beacon Books click here.

Don’t forget to follow New Beacon Books on instagram and twitter!

 

Eunice

       

Wrap it Up

Wrap it up
Diseases are real
I know you like the feel
Feasting well like your last meal
I know the deal
Lets just keep things safe
I know you are looking for fun
But don’t be dumb
Many people need to be careful
And more fearful
Save your life from being a tearful
To have a life of taking pills
Because you wanted a few minutes of pleasure
But was that the ultimate treasure?
Always remember pleasure doesn’t last
And pain is infinite
Don’t forsake your health
Which could last you a lifetime of wealth
Remember strength is needed for stealth
Your life is worth more than being reckless
So remember to care and not be reckless
Protection is better than temporary affection
Protection is better than a lifetime of rejection
Wrap it up and spread awareness
In all fairness
HIV/AIDS needs to drop
So let us help put an end to it, full stop.
Ogechi ©

Little Queens With Royal Dreams

Following a recent trip to Ghana, the team behind Nana Dolls visited Cape Coast Elmina castle. The team were touched by the heart breaking and traumatic stories they learnt about the north-Atlantic slave trade, and how brave women fought for black freedom.  This inspired the creation of Nana Dolls, which strives to teach and educate our children and future generations to come, about these beautiful and powerful women in our history – a history which western schools will not bother to teach.

‘Nana’, from the Akan language spoken by the Akan people of Ghana, means ‘Queen’, and what better way to represent the ancestral characters these dolls represent. There are countless historical women – and men of course, all over the continent who helped to fight for freedom, who we should never forget. Amongst those are four who have inspired Nana dolls. Yaa Asantewaa from Ghana, Mbuya Nehanda from Zimbabwe, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti from Nigeria and Miriam Makeba from South Africa.

Nall Dolls said: “We want to teach the younger generation the important history in a fun way”

Take your children on this exciting journey as they learn about their ancestors and their ultimate bravery. Knowledge is power, so empower your children with the knowledge of self.

To buy a Nana Doll, see: http://www.hellonanadolls.com/

67 reasons (and counting), why there should be a White History Month

Originally found on Instagram, we thought this was definitely worth sharing, because this is the white history everyone should know.  These are histories that have undeniably sought to destroy black people, yet we are told to ‘get over slavery’, when our ancestors were still subjected after this, to endless violent population control, spiritually, genetically, psychologically, economically and emotionally speaking.

Instead the UK education system only seeks to pay attention to the Tudors, Suffragettes, WW1 & WW2, Hitler, Holocaust etc.,. Well, pay attention to the 67 truths of white history, the white world doesn’t want you to know.

  1. Cherokee Trail of Tears
  2. Japanese American Internment
  3. Phillipine-American war
  4. Jim Crow
  5. The Genocide of Native Americans
  6. The Trans-atlantic slave trade
  7. The Middle Passage
  8. The history of white American racism
  9. Black Codes
  10. Slave patrols
  11. Klu Klax Klan
  12. The war on drugs
  13. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
  14. How white racism grew out of slavery and genocide
  15. How white people still benefit from slavery and genocide
  16. White anti-racism
  17. The southern strategy
  18. The rape of enslaved black women
  19. Madison Grant
  20. the Indian wars
  21. human zoos
  22. how the Jews became white
  23. white flight
  24. Red lining
  25. Proposition 14
  26. Homestead act
  27. Tulsa Riots
  28. Rosewood massacre
  29. Tuskegee experiment
  30. Lynching
  31. Hollywood stereotypes
  32. Indian appropriation acts
  33. Immigration act 1924
  34. Sundown towns
  35. Chineese exclusion act
  36. Emmet Till
  37. Vincent Chin
  38. Islamaphobia
  39. Indian boarding schools
  40. King Phillip’s war
  41. Bacon’s Rebellion
  42. American slavery compared to Arab, Roman and Latin American slavery
  43. History of the gun
  44. History of the police
  45. history of prisons
  46. history of white suburbia
  47. Lincoln’s racism and anti-racism
  48. George Wallace Governor of Alabama
  49. Cointelpro
  50. Real estate steering
  51. School tracking
  52. Mass incarceration of Black men
  53. Boston school riots
  54. Man-made Ebola and AIDs
  55. Church bombs and fires in deep south to Blacks
  56. Church shootings
  57. How the Irish and Italians became white
  58. The perpetuation of the idea of the ‘model minority’
  59. Housing discrimination
  60. Systemeatic placement of highways and building projects to create ghettoes
  61. Medical experimentation on poor, especially Blacks including surgical and genealogical experimentation
  62. History of planned parenthood
  63. Forced Sterilization
  64. Cutting children out of pregnant Black mothers as part of lynching
  65. Eurocentric beauty standard falsification
  66. Erasure and eradication of all achievements of Ancient Africa and Kemet
  67. White washing of history and cultural practices

Patrice Lumumba – did they teach you about him?

 

No, ‘they’ being the educational system, did not teach me about Patrice, like they didn’t teach me about the Warrior Queen, Nzinga of Angola who fought against the invading Portuguse or Queen Nanny of the Maroons, who lead a resistance against slavery. There’s so much more they didn’t teach you and I, it’s a mis-carriage of education. No wonder why so many of us grow up thinking all our ancestors were subjected to nothing but slavery and colonialism. Yes these inhumane events occurred – which we must never forget, no matter how profound or traumatic it is, but our ancestors were Kings and Queens before this time period, and when this period was taken over by the Europeans, our ancestors fought for their survival. They fought for their freedom. They fought to preserve their spiritual and cultural customs and traditions. They fought for the next generations to come – me and you, they fought to pave the way for the next generations to have a chance to uplift a nation, and a continent. They fought to protect their rich, natural resources the Europeans so greedily wanted. So, let us remember what they did. Let us learn for ourselves about the bravery and sacrifices our people endured. Let us know about Patrice Lumuba.

Today marks 55 years since Patrice Lumumba was assassinated. Until today I had not known of this brother. It was via Dynamic Africa’s tweet that I came to discover who he was. Patrice Emery Lumumba (2nd July 1925 – 17th January, 1961), was born, Élias Okit’Asombo in the Kasai province of Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), in the village of Onalua. Lumumba was a leader of Congolese Independence, who stood for the unity of his people and his continent. He became the first democratically elected leader of the Congo in 1960, the same year his country were declared independent from Belgium. What struck me whilst doing my research, was seeing the words ‘Congo’ and ‘Belgium’ in the same sentence. A shiver wet down my spine. Just last year I had learnt about Belguim’s King Leopold II and how he ruled over the Congo with unmeasurable horror. Up to 10 million Congolese people are said to have died under his inhumane regime. Murder, poor living & working conditions, death by disease or lack of food led to the inevitable deaths of these innocent people, who were brutally worked on rubber plantations to feed the greed of European colonialists. This was the scramble for Africa at it’s disturbing extreme.

It was at the Berlin Conference 1884-5 where King Leopold II secured his claim to the Congo on the basis that his aim was to ‘protect the natives from Arab slaves, and to open the heart of Africa to Christian missionaries’. This sick and twisted lie allowed this evil man to torment the Congo until 1908, when his horrors finally became clear to the international world. Leopold had wanted the Congo for its rich abundance of raw materials the very same reason why Europe did not want to leave the Congo in Lumumba’s control. During the official Independence Day celebrations, Lumumba publicly denounced Belgium for it’s brutal colonial grip over the Congo. Lumumba wanted to free his country from it’s colonial shackles. He wanted to unite the divided ethnic groups again and take control of Congo’s resources, so he could use them to improve the quality of life for his own people.

The Belgians did not like to hear Lumumba denounce them because his words were the truth. They saw Lumumba as a threat. A threat. Since what right did a European have to invade, steal and control something that clearly does not belong to them? A threat – yes, to European greed and control, something that hasn’t changed at all, yet society chooses to sweep it under the carpet like it’s all ‘in the past’. It’s not, when white people are still benefiting from this greed whether they care to acknowledge it or not, and my melanated brothers and sisters are still reaping the scars.

Despite independence, Belgian officers were still in charge. The Congolese army revolted against them in the mineral rich region of Katanga. This became known as the Katanga crisis which turned into a civil war. What makes this crisis twisted is the fact that the involvement of the two super powers at the time – USA & the Soviet Union came about not only because of the on-going Cold War tensions, but because of Congo’s resources. As well as the UN, Lumumba called for military support from the Soviet Union, which the US saw as an excuse to claim the Congo was going communist. What they were really ‘concerned’ about was the Russians getting their hands on the rich minerals of the country and Africa in general, (it is said that the uranium from the atomic bombs the US dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was taken from the Congo). To prevent Russian advancement, the US installed the puppet-sell-out army chief, Joseph-Desire Mobutu.

America’s devious ways of control hindered Lumumba’s dreams and inevitably lead to his murder. This is what happens when a melanated being stands up to the greedy, twisted and corrupted west. The legacy of his death had damaging reverberations for the Congo. Look at the person who replaced him – Mobutu, who morphed into a military dictator, a manifestation of the greed and corruption of colonial Europe.

Lumumba died a martyr. He stood up to colonial Europe and the west for what they did to his country and continent. He stood up for himself and his people. He should be known to us all, as of all the histories of Congo before and after colonisation. For today, let us know Patrice Lumumba.

 

Eunice


Resources on Patrice Lumumba:

  • May our People Triumph: Poem, Speeches & Interviews, by Patrice Lumumba 
  • Death in the Congo: Murdering Patrice Lumumba, by Emmanuel Gerard and Bruce Kuklick
  • The Assassination of Lumumba, by Ludo De Whitte
  • MI6 and the death of Patrice Lumumba – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22006446

Resources on King Leopold:

The Black Cultural Archives Museum

As a platform for black voices, this is a place to be celebrated. It is the only museum of it’s kind in place and see for yourselves the untold story of  our people.

Location: Windrush Square, Brixton, London, SW2 1EF

Website:  http://bcaheritage.org.uk/

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Here are the photos we took of the archive! This museum has a library which can be accessed at certain times – check the website for more details.  It also has a shop and a café. Me and Ogechi spent hours in deep discussion with a man working in the café who happened to be reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Soon others were drawn into our conversations and we pretty much ended up being kicked out at the closing hour…P.S to the lovely brothers enlightening us, we shall meet again muhahaha!

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So, come along and re-discover a lost history. Seek, learn  and teach!

– Eunice and Ogechi –

Africa is not a country, it’s a continent.

Afrikaa

There are 54 countries in Africa (islands included) so why does the media continue to portray it like a country? The generalisation of Africa needs to stop. Why? Because it’s creating a misleading representation of Africa and African people which is being accepted by the public audience who watch read or listen to the news. Generalising Africa undermines the essence of its cultural identity – an identity met with little or ignorant understanding.

A woman working in a Catholic school returned from her missionary duties in Kenya. She returned to find angry parents who didn’t want her to teach at the school anymore. Why? Ebola.

As we now know, Liberia is Ebola free. Sierra Leone will be free in ‘a matter of weeks’, according to the UN Ebola chief.  Cases have fallen dramatically it’s barely in the news but, let’s remind ourselves that the three countries heavily affected by this virus were Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. All are situated in WESTERN Africa. And Kenya? EASTERN Africa. In fact it’s 5900km (3474 miles) away. To put that into perspective that’s further than the distance between England and where I’m from – Ghana.

The distance between Ghana and England? 4994km (3072 miles). See how VAST the continent is? Why could those parents not see this vastness? Pure ignorance. It’s clear they perceive the entire continent to be a place of death and disease. Think about what you see or what you have seen on TV. Is it the same old images of a poor, defenceless, hunger struck Africa, where everyone lives in mud huts?

What about the other side of Africa – its natural beauty, its rich and diverse culture, its buzzing nightlife – yes there are bars, restaurants and clubs in African countries. I don’t deny that there’s famine or disease but this is not the case for all 54 countries in the continent. So why should the media make it seem so?

The so called ‘lazy labelling’ of Africa by the media is a deliberate way of misleading people into perceiving the continent in a negative light. What is so difficult about specifying the African country of the continent you are reporting about? You might be thinking so what? What’s the big deal? When you combine the fixated images of poor, starving and diseased Africans with little attention paid to specifying the country or countries affected, you at the receiving end, begin to form a biased view of Africa.

A few months ago, Ogechi told me that during her biology lecture, her class were looking at cystic fibrosis, and the lecturer asked, “What environment factors contribute to disease?” One student answered, “Africa, because it has a lot of bacteria….” This is exactly the ignorant perspective of Africa too many people in society have today. How so? Well for starters, cystic fibrosis is a common autosomal recessive disorder usually found in populations of white Caucasian descent, such as those of Europe, North America and Australasia.[1] In other words, it is predominantly a European disease, not African. Ogechi insisted the lecturer made this clear, yet the student still answered with Africa. Why? Because of the same degrading images she sees via the media. This is how she sees Africa. Instead of thinking according to biological fact, she answered based upon the media’s perception of the continent which has then influenced her perception. This is the power the media has over the mind.

Cast your minds back to the Band AID 30 Ebola single. How dare Bob Geldof write such lyrics – ‘There is no peace and joy in west Africa this Christmas’. Excuse me? Again, throughout the crisis there were only THREE countries since February 2014 that were affected. Aside from the eight cases in Nigeria, six in Mali and one in Senegal, the rest of Africa was EBOLA FREE. Now, as we know these countries are clear of the virus.

So why did Geldof write ‘West Africa’? Is the region of West Africa made of three countries? No. Ghana is well within the western region yet it has always been Ebola free, exactly like its neighbors, Ivory Coast, Togo and Burkina Faso as well as the other nine countries in the region. Geldof could have written, ‘There will be no peace with Ebola this Christmas’. Simples. I thought of that in 10 seconds flat. Don’t see why he couldn’t. For someone who has always wanted to help the suffering, I’m (still) surprised and disappointed to see that he doesn’t truly understand Africa for what it is. Even he has fallen into the trap of generalization.

Fuse ODG, real name Nana Richard Abiona – a key Afro-beats artist who has bought Ghanaian flavors to the British music scene, turned down the opportunity to sing as part of the charity single. He said,

“I pointed out to Geldof the lyrics I did not agree with, such as the [line]… ‘There is no peace and joy in west Africa this Christmas”…. “For the past four years I have gone to Ghana at Christmas for the sole purpose of peace and joy. So for me to sing these lyrics would simply be a lie.”[2]

Fuse’s answer is the perfect example between the African and the non-African British public being misled by the media. Fuse has been to Ghana, the majority of British non-Africans have not. Perhaps they should go and set foot on African soil, feel the African sun beating down, help themselves to mangoes growing on trees and go SEE for themselves what the media never tries to show them.

“That image of poverty and famine is extremely powerful psychologically” Fuse explained.

“With decades of such imagery being pumped out, the average westerner is likely to donate £2 a month or buy a charity single that gives them a nice warm fuzzy feeling; but they are much less likely to want to go on holiday to, or invest in, Africa. If you are reading this and haven’t been to Africa, ask yourself why.”[3]

Fuse was spot on. What some African countries need is investment not charity. It’s as simple as that. Why is the British public content with donating when they could be investing so maybe one day, they wouldn’t need to donate anymore? Think about it.

It seems to me that we are living in a world where it is choosing to halt Africa from thriving economically and even visually. Look at the video Geldof released with the single. It had a West African woman – again no country specified and she was suffering. She was on her deathbed yet she was still being filmed. If this was England no such thing would occur. When the first white American/British victims (I say white, not to pull out the race card, but to show you the unfair representation between white American/British aid workers and black Africans infected by the virus), were diagnosed with Ebola did you see them on their death beds? No. You saw them all being whisked away in an ambulance and being placed on the first plane back to America or the UK. See the difference?

You might say Geldof allowed for such images to be shown to the public to create sympathy for the victims so they are more likely to donate. What is more important, a person’s dignity and the right to die in dignity or to gain sympathy votes? This was a dying woman not a dying animal. Why is it that they abandoned respect for her but not for the Americans and British who were infected with the virus?

Ask yourself this question. Why is the media trying to influence your thinking of Africa in the ways I have shown you? Why? Don’t be fooled by what you see, for George Orwell once wrote, ‘the people will believe what the media tells them they believe.’

So what do you think? Is society’s perception of Africa and its people influenced by the media?

– Eunice –


Sources:

[1] http://www.who.int/genomics/publications/en/HGN_WB_04.02_report.pdf

[2] http://www.capitalxtra.com/artists/fuse-odg/news/why-he-chose-not-to-sing-in-band-aid-30/?23

[3] Ibid