Archive for March, 2010


Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on March 28, 2010 by

Greetings and welcome to Issue 5 of  PANTHER NEWSLETTER.  A big shout goes out to our new readers in Canada and the United States, welcome aboard and thank you for your emails expressing your enjoyment of reading PANTHER NEWSLETTER; give thanks; and to those of you who personally phoned me and expressed the same thoughts; bless…

This month we have the usual suspects ARTIST OF THE MONTH, a special FEATURED POEMS, an extra special NORMSKI’S ARTICLE and everybody’s favourite, THE CULTURE CORNER.  So sekkle steady, warm and easy and put on some sweet music to make you rock and jive; cos PANTHER NEWSLETTER lyrics gonna make you come alive!


Macclesfield Manager Keith Alexander Dies

Earlier this month, Macclesfield Town Football Club announced that their manager Keith Alexander died at the age of just 53.  Alexander, who suffered a brain aneurysm in November 2003, passed away on Wednesday March 3rd after arriving home from the League Two match at Notts County.  He had recently returned to work after taking time out because of illness…Read more here.

The Casting of a White Actor to Play Dumas Draws Anger

In Issue 1 of PANTHER NEWSLETTER, I featured one of our heroes Alexandre Dumas in THE CULTURE CORNERThere is growing objection by African/Americans and black critics in France to the French film ‘L ‘ Autre Dumas’ directed by Safy Nebbou; who has chosen Gerard Depardieu, a white actor with blue eyes and blond hair to play Dumas; read more about it here…

BLACKHEART MAN goes on tour

At The Y Theatre YMCA 7 East Street LE1 6EY (3 minutes from Leicester Train Station) LEICESTER. 
Contact Name: Box Office
Tel: 0116 255 7066

If you missed his opening performance at The Drum in Birmingham in November 2009, then try not to miss this forthcoming tour.  Blackheart Man written and performed by International performance poet Moqapi Selassie , produced and directed by James Pogson is a compelling live performance about being Black and British; as told by a Rastafarian born in England to Caribbean parents.  Stay tuned for more dates.


Finally; my sister Jozette Araron (Author/Freelance writer & Editor in Chief) who lives in Canada, has put me in the spotlight of her on line monthly newsletter DE SILVA’S NEWS (March issue).  Check out and subscribe to her newsletter and read my interview with her.



Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on March 28, 2010 by

He’s a qualified Youth Worker/Adviser/Counsellor.  A functioning member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  He first started his musical career following the legendary JAH REVELATION MUZIC.  After their demise in 1992, he became one of the official DJ’s on the TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL SOUND SYSTEM along side The Ambassador, Cronical Dan, and Legal Wolf.

PANTHER NEWSLETTER ARTIST OF THE MONTH is Marcus Simeon (Son of Small Heath).  I hooked up with Marcus to talk about him and his works.  Here’s his story…


Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter, Poems with tags , , , , on March 28, 2010 by

Sunday March 14 2010 was Mother’s Day.  I trust all you mothers received your cards and flowers, were spoilt and you were told to put your feet up while your tribe cooked the Sunday dinner.  So in keeping with the celebration of our mothers, here are a couple of poems specially dedicated to you…



© 2009 Norman Samuda-Smith


If we could give you diamonds for each tear you cried for us

If we could give you sapphires for each truth you’ve helped us see

If we could give you rubies for the heartache that you’ve known

If we could give you pearls for the wisdom that you’ve shown

Then you’ll have a treasure Mom that would mount up to the skies

They would almost match the sparkle in your kind and loving eyes

But we have no pearls, no diamonds, as we’re sure you’re well aware

So we’ll give you gifts more precious

Our devotion, love and care



© 2009 Norman Samuda-Smith


 My Mother kept a garden
a garden of the heart.
She planted all the good things
that gave my life its start.
She turned me to the sunshine
and encouraged me to dream
always fostering and nurturing
the seeds of self-esteem…

And when the winds and rains came
she protected me nuff, but not too much
cos she knew I needed to stand up strong and tough.
Her constant good example
always taught me right from wrong
markers for my pathway
that lasts a lifetime long.

I am my Mother’s garden.
I am her legacy.
And I know today she feels the love
reflected back from me


Blessings go out to each and every mother all over the world.

Jah Bless 

*All rights reserved.  No part of these poems may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the writer Norman Samuda-Smith.*


Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on March 28, 2010 by



©2010 Norman Samuda-Smith


 (Briefly – The part the West played in creating Haiti’s poverty)

(Aiming to keep Haiti in your hearts and minds)


Haiti was once the richest Caribbean island but is now the poorest country in the Americas because since it over-threw slavery known as the great Haitian Revolution (1791 – 1804), it has been deliberately kept in poverty.

Pre-revolutionary France benefitted the most and prospered financially from the ownership of Haiti/San Domingo, the greatest slave society of the day. The Haitians fought for their freedom and won a ten-year war, the bloodiest in modern history. They defeated the most powerful armies of that era, the Spanish, the French and the British. On January 1st 1804, African/Haitians declared their independence.

Haiti was a country based on freedom unlike the other countries in the Americas which were based on slavery. In Haiti’s 1805 independence constitution it stated: “Any person of African descent who arrives on its shores would be declared free and a citizen of the republic.”  So for the first time since western slavery began, black people were subjects of freedom and citizenship in a nation.

The French refused to recognise Haiti’s independence. The Americans, the British and other nations of the western world sided with France. Therefore Haiti was unable to thrive and grow as a nation. France then immediately demanded that African/Haitians pay compensation for French and other slave masters loss of earnings in the amount of 150 million French Francs. They backed this up with a naval blockade, preventing countries from trading with Haiti, and France finally threatened military re-occupation; Haiti refused to pay and held on.

In 1825, the republic was celebrating its 21st anniversary, there was joy on the streets of Port-au-Prince, but behind the scenes, due to the West blocking trade with Haiti, the economy was in trouble and the political leadership was isolated.  The country had to find a way to be accepted back into the world economy. Haitian President Boyer then made a serious error of judgement. He gave in to growing pressure and agreed to pay the money, while pleading poverty.

The French immediately jumped into action. They got banks, led by Rothschild, to raise a loan. One fifth of the money was retained by the banks as a fee for raising the loan in addition to enforcing high interest while complicating this for late payment. This French extortion bankrupted Haiti and it took the Haitians 100 years to pay off the loan. The money had to be taken from poor Haitians which led to Euro-Americans supporting the class inside Haiti whose role was to exploit the peasants, keep part of the spoils and pass the remainder to the white world; a new ‘slavery’.

Haiti was deliberately and unlawfully destroyed by this debt which led to its descent into financial and social chaos. The dream that was Haiti was destroyed by two of the most powerful nations on earth who couldn’t face up to the fact that Africans defeated them on the battlefield in their quest for the basic human right; freedom. The western media have appropriately decided that Haiti’s current crisis is no longer the flavour of the month and have failed to mention that a number of African countries have donated significant amounts of money to the earthquake appeal. Senegal have also said that any Haitian who wants to repatriate to Momma Africa, they will be welcome home and will be given land on top of that. They have also failed to mention that black organisations around the world are this minute continually working hard and campaigning that France should pay back Haiti the money they unlawfully took from them from 1825 to 1925. The value of that money in today’s figures amounts to 21 billion US Dollars. One doesn’t need to imagine how that money can help rebuild Haiti’s infrastructure, hospitals, medical care, welfare and education.

So now you get what you want: do you want more?




  • If you want to know more about: The Reparations: Haiti First Haiti Now! Campaign
    Log on to: and find out more.

To make a donation to the Haiti earthquake appeal check out United Haitians in the United Kingdom 


Til next month – Everyting Bless


*All rights reserved.  No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the writer Norman Samuda-Smith.*



Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on March 28, 2010 by


“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture, is like a tree without roots.”

 Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887 – 1940)

Every year in October we celebrate BLACK HISTORY MONTH. Black history is with us every second, minute, hour, week, month and year. PANTHER NEWSLETTER’S CULTURE CORNER will attempt to enlighten you with what they never told you in your history class. Our story will be told right here – So enjoy the journey of clarification.



Not widely known but true…

Did you know?

  • Bakra (Back – rah); means white slave master, or member of the ruling class in colonial days. There is a word, mbaraka, meaning “white man, he who surrounds or governs” in the Ibo and Efik languages of Nigeria. Bakra may stem from the Bantu Duala language of the Cameroons, mbakara.
  • Patu (Pa – too); means owl, which derives from the Twi language of Ghana.
  • Ras: A title used by Rastafarians, from Amharic (Ethiopia) meaning  “Prince” “lord” or “head”.



  • Jamaica has the most churches per square mile of any country in the world. Over 1,600 churches all over Jamaica. That number is growing.
  • Jamaica was the first country in the Western world to construct a railway, even before the United States and this was only 18 years after Britain.
  • Jamaica is the first Caribbean country to gain independence.
  • Jamaica was the first commercial producer of bananas in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Jamaica also was the first island in the Caribbean to produce rum on a commercial basis.
  • Apart from the United States, Jamaica has won the most world and Olympic medals.



Shaka (1787 – 1829); The Warrior-King of Zululand, revolutionised the Zulu army’s weapons and its military tactics. To maintain his Royal Army, Shaka unified many tribes of the South African region.  He saved the region from being dominated by Europe.

Sojourner Truth (1797 -1883); was the self-given name from 1843 of an African-American abolitionist born into slavery. A God-fearing woman who was the first black woman to speak out in public against slavery and for women’s rights in America. She spent forty years of her life travelling all over America speaking the truth about slavery and women’s rights. She helped to shake off the chains of slavery.

Harriet Tubman (1822 – 1913); also known as “Black Moses”, “Grandma Moses”, or “Moses of Her People”. Was an African-American abolitionist.  An escaped slave, she worked as a lumberjack, laundress, nurse and cook. As an abolitionist, she acted as intelligence gatherer, refugee organiser, raid leader, nurse and fundraiser.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823 – 1893); was the first black newspaper woman in northern America.  She published “The Provincial Freeman”, Canada’s first anti-slavery newspaper. Mary kept black people informed about true conditions in Canada. She was nick-named “The Rebel” for denouncing the evils of the day, especially slavery.

Bessie Coleman (1893 – 1926); was born with a driving ambition to learn and to better her position.  She met with obstacles in her quest to obtain flying instruction in America for two reasons: Race and Sex. She over-came this and went on to become the first black woman pilot in 1922.

Claudia Jones (1915 – 1962); was born in Trinidad and grew up in Harlem, America where she joined the Communist Party. As a black activist, she was jailed four times during the repressive McCarthy era and on her final release she came to England where she founded the “West Indian Gazette”.  When she died in 1962, she was buried next to Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery, North London.

Malcolm X (1925 – 1965); no one expressed the anger that many black Americans felt during the 1950’s and 1960’s more vividly than Malcolm X.  He lashed out at society’s unfair treatment of his people. Following a trip to Mecca, Malcolm, already a devout Moslem, changed his name to El Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz.  His fight for freedom continued until he was assassinated on February 21 1965.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968); led the bus boycott that ended segregated seating on Montgomery public buses. The son of a minister, Martin headed a long struggle for equal rights in America. He helped win many rights that all Americans now enjoy. In 1963 he led the historic ‘march in Washington’ where he gave his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech. A year later, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1986, a national holiday was declared to honour him. He was assassinated on April 4 1968. He was only 39 years of age.

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.  January 17 1942 was crowned “Sportsman of the Century” in 1999 by Sports Illustrated. He is widely regarded to be the greatest heavyweight boxing champion of all time. Standing at 6 feet 3 inches (1.93 m), Ali had a highly unorthodox style for a heavyweight boxer. He carried his hands at his sides, rather than normal boxing style of carrying the hands high to defend the face.  He relied on his ability to avoid a punch. In the ring, he would “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.” He won the world heavyweight title three times before he retired.

Bob Marley (1945 – 1981); was born February 15 in Jamaica.  A Rastafarian, a faith that inspired his writing and music. He cut his first record at the legendary Sir Clement (Coxsone) Dodd studio (Studio One) in 1961; but it wasn’t until 1964 when success came when, together with Bunny Wailer and the late Peter Tosh they formed The Wailing Wailers. He later went solo to release strings of hits. He died of cancer May 11 1981.


Here ends your history lesson for this month.


Log on for more CULTURE CORNER next month and remember…

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”

W.E.B (William Edward Burghardt) Dubois

‘Til next month – Everyting Bless.

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