Archive for May, 2010

GREETINGS & NEWS

Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on May 30, 2010 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

“I don’t have a religion, you know.  This is what I am.  I am a Rastaman; so this is not religion.  This is life.” 

(From the book 60 Visions: A Book of Prophecy by Bob Marley: Book IV; VISION: 46. ISBN: 0971975817 www.tuffgongbooks.com)

GREETINGS

Greetings and welcome to PANTHER NEWSLETTER: ISSUE 7

For the second month in succession PANTHER NEWSLETTER has had a record number of hits pon top of hits!  I give thanks to y’all for logging on, reading, enjoying and spreading the word.  A big shout goes out to more new readers here in the UK and to our new outer-national readers in Trinidad & Tobago, Argentina, France, Belgium and Morocco: “Welcome aboard; rock and come in!”  In this issue we have more or less the usual suspects; a SPECIAL GUEST interview; part two of the FEAUTURED STORYNORMSKIS ARTICLE and everybody’s favourite THE CULTURE CORNER; so…

Sekkle steady, warm ‘n’ easy:  Enjoy PANTHER NEWSLETTER ISSUE 7.

 NEWS

JAMAICA

DUDUS: The man who holds a nation hostage

Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke is not one of those flashy dons who one sees at every dance or nightclub ‘flossing’ with bottles of high-priced liquor and scores of scantily dressed girls in his entourage.  More…

Golding Blames US for Guns

KINGSTON has accused Washington of not doing enough to stem the flow of guns into the island.  Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding made the claim last week, during a two-hour-long presentation in Parliament.  More… 

MP wants State of Emergency extended to St Catherine: (Prime minister says assault will continue against gunmen)

THE Government has agreed to consider a suggestion that the limited State of Emergency in the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew be extended to sections of St Catherine.  Read the full report and the reader’s comments here…

The UK medias take on the situation in Jamaica

Jamaica violence: Security forces strengthen grip on Kingston enclave: Thousands of police and soldiers stormed Tivoli Gardens ghetto in search of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, wanted on drug and gun charges in the US.  Read on…

  Barrier-breaking jazz star Lena Horne dies

Lena Horne, the jazz singer and actress known for her plaintive, signature song “Stormy Weather” and for her triumph over the bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them, has died at the age of 92; read on…

Gang Starrs Guru has died of cancer aged 43.

Guru, real name Keith Elam, passed away April 19 2010 after a year-long battle with the disease.  The rapper, who formed Gang Starr in 1985, had suffered a heart attack on February 28 then slipped into a coma.  More…

Unfortunately we will not see these stories on the evening news or in the national newspapers

Notre Dames first black valedictorian

Katie Washington, biological sciences major from Gary, Indiana, has been named valedictorian of the 2010 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during Commencement exercises May 16 2010 in Notre Dame Stadium.  Continue…

13 Year Old Dominates College

At thirteen years of age, Stephen Stafford is causing quite a stir at Morehouse College. Stafford has a triple major in pre-med, math and computer science. Though he loves playing video games and playing his drum set, he is no typical teenager.  Continue…

HEALTH

Pass the Butter Please

Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys.  When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back.  Read on…

ENTERTAINMENT

The Harder They Come (The Play) is on tour!

With foot-tapping reggae beat in his soul, country boy Ivan arrives in town with dreams of the big time; but the harsh reality of life soon drives him into the fast lane of guns and gangs, ending up torn between love and glory, poverty and fame, life and death.  Check out the tour dates here…

Kokumo appearing at the Rep (Birmingham)

Birmingham based artist Kokumo reflects on his experiences on a recent trip to Brazil with his work: Genesis 9:25.  Check out the dates and details here…

SPECIAL GUEST

Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on May 30, 2010 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

He was one of the original founding members of the Ebony Arts Theatre Group from outta Small Heath in the 1980’s.   A former semi-professional football player who played for six clubs as well as representing St.Kitts & Nevis in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers.  He is currently a UEFA licensed football coach and is an established Deejay for the popular internet radio station from outta Birmingham England; www.STINGDEM.COM

Our SPECIAL GUEST on PANTHER NEWSLETTER this month is Gary Smith AKA DJ Smudge (Son of Small Heath).  We hooked up to talk about him; what it was like for him growing up back in the day and STINGDEM.COM.  Check out his engaging interview…

FEATURED STORY

Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, british dialect, Community, Culture, Education, Fiction, History, Literature, Newsletter, Publications, Short Story, Writing with tags , , , , on May 30, 2010 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

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Rasta Love (part two)

 © 2001 Norman Samuda-Smith

Rasta Love is featured in Britannia’s Children – A Collection of Short Stories by Norman Samuda Smith

Buy your copy @

https://www.feedaread.com/books/Britannias-Children-9781782991656.aspx

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De following Monday, at Small Heath Community Centre yout’ club, Errol was playing table tennis wid Pedro, and him hear de same bredrin ah talk bout Lorraine. He never know de bredda, true seh him was from one nedda area, but him know seh de bwoy have one bad reputation.

          ‘At de end of de night yuh know roots, de gyal gwaan like seh she nuh want to give I nutt’n!’ Errol carry on listen. De bredrin seh it arrogantly, as if it was due to him.

          ‘So what happen den?’ ask one of de roots.

          ‘Cho, she chicken out wid some cheap double talk, man!’ de bredrin seh, bathing in certainty. Errol trow down de table-tennis bat in anger.

          ‘Nah man, yuh nuh fe talk bout de girl like dat, man!’ Errol feel like him face was gwine bruk inna one million likkle piece. He never feel so vex. De bredrin turn round. ‘Den who is you, I-yah?’ he ask.

Errol puff out him chest. ‘Jus a man.  S’pose smaddy talk bout yuh sista like dat?’

Pedro start edge round de table, coz it look like de argument ah go get weh from dem.

De bredrin step forward. ‘Cho, dat different.’

          ‘Why?’

          ‘Yuh mus wah me cut yuh!’ De bredrin reached into his pocket like seh him did have one knife in deh or someting.

Errol cuss after him. ‘Yuh ignorant, man.’

          ‘Is who yuh ah call ignorant I-yah?  Me soon tump yuh inna yuh face!’

‘Come nuh!’

Pedro step between dem, as Errol and de bredrin go fe each other, a crowd gather round.

          ‘No Errol, come we go man. Come.’

          ‘Oh, is you.’ de bredrin seh. ‘Jus coz yuh can chat pon de mic good, yuh feel seh yuh invincible nuh? Go-weh! Yuh ah bwoy!’

          ‘Come we go Rasta!’ Pedro seh, guiding Errol out ah de club.

‘Yeah, run weh bwoy!’ de bredrin shout, laughing wid him bredrin dem.

‘Don’t seh nutt’n Errol! Jus walk, dread.’ Pedro seh.

‘Nah man!’ Errol was huffing and puffing. ‘Him outta order!’

          ‘Yeah, me know him well outta order, but all dis would ah never happen if yuh did mek a move faster, dreadlocks.’

De truth was, Errol found out later dat Lorraine had successfully simmer down dat bredrin’s lusting over her. She did know, deep down, he was meaning to tek advantage of her friendly nature; fe dat reason, she was branded a cock teaser.

          ‘Me nuh care what dem call me, me know ah nuh me dat!’ she tell her two sista, who both inform her, individually, about de rumour dat a spread. ‘Nutt’n never guh suh!’ She was well vex.  Is funny how half a story can be conceived, den believed.

Lorraine steer clear of man after dat incident. She lock herself away fe do her homework, her domestic duties, to watch TV at leisure, only setting herself free fe her school netball team.  Meanwhile, her sista dem come from St Oswald’s dance hall every Friday night…

          ‘Lorraine, Oswald’s was bad, man!’

Oh really?’

‘Yeah man, I mus have been ask fe a dance about fifteen time, and Errol was askin bout yuh.’

‘What for?’

‘Coz he like yuh.’

‘Yeah, and I bet he was one ah dem dat seh I was a cock teaser, now he want to get a use.’

          ‘Don’t be stupid!  In fact, Pedro tell me seh dat Errol was gwine fight fe yuh when him hear all dem man ah talk bout yuh.’

          ‘Really?’

‘Really.’

But why?  I hardly know him.’

‘Well, dat nah stop him from like yuh.  So wha yuh ah seh?  Yuh gwine start come out again?’

‘I dunno, maybe.’

Lorraine continue to stay in fe two months, till she get bored and de temptation of raving entice her back to de dance hall. Errol see her again, same finesse, rocking continually, not allowing de rumours of de past restrict her realism. When him tek a break from de microphone dem dance nice and slow and dem talk.

          ‘Thanks for stickin up for me.’

‘No problem, I like yuh.’

‘I never know yuh did.  Why yuh never seh someting?’

‘Coz yuh was always busy talkin; never tink yuh would be interested in me anyway.’

‘I was jus bein friendly.  I s’pose I learn me lesson.  Man dem only jus want one ting.’

‘I don’t want one ting.’

‘I didn’t mean you.’

‘Maybe yuh did, maybe yuh didn’t.  Where we go from here?’

‘Jus gimme a while to think, Errol please.  I’m still tryin to figure tings out.

‘Dat cool sista, I’ll be waitin, seen?’

‘Seen.’

As they dance, a strange vibe was in de air, everybody look nervous and uneasy. Lorraine sense it and decide seh she want to leave de dance early. Also, de bredda dat scandalise her name was around and about. She feel seh him might follow her home and give her hassle. Errol walk her home.  When him come back to de dance, him see one ambulance pull up, police was dere in force too. Pure chaos ah gwaan, sistrens running out ah de place screaming, bredrins shouting pushing and shoving to come out. Errol force him way in against de on-comin crowd fe see wha a gwaan.

          ‘Wha appen, Pedro?’

          ‘Bwoy, de same bredda yuh was gwine fight de other day jus cut up a yout’. He was lookin fe you, I-yah. I feel seh yuh bes’ lay low fe a while, seen?’

            ‘Seen.’

De dates between Errol and Lorraine soon come thick and fast. Errol put on him best Cecil Gee tops and tailor-made trouziz.  Him tek Lorraine fe see Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown and Fred Locks.  Dem go to de midnight dance and de Shaka dance, Coxsone, Mafia Tone and Duke Alloy. Nuff entertainment, nuff excitement. But as dem love start fe tek full bloom, Lorrainemother and father find out dat Errol is a dread.

          ‘Lorraine, Mrs Morgan down de road tell me seh she see you and one natty head bwoy ah stan pon street corner more dan once.  Is true?’ her mother seh.

          ‘Yeah, is true.’

‘Jesus Chris’ have mercy!’

‘So what’s wrong wid dat mom?’ Lorraine ask.

‘All dem do is smoke ganja, rob, steal and lay about.’

‘Not my man.’

          ‘Man? What yuh know about man?  Dem deh bwoy no good yuh know Lorraine. Dem have no ambition.’

          ‘He’s got plenty ambition believe me.’

          ‘Plenty ambition nuh?  Before you know it, yuh gwine come in yah wid a belly.  Den what yuh gwine do when him nuh want yuh?’

          ‘He’s not like dat, Mom.’

‘Girl, nuh bodda gimme no back chat!’

Then dem stop her from goin out completely. Wid de help of her sista dem, Errol and Lorraine mek a plan to meet at de corner of her street one Friday night. Errol stan’ up waiting fe her to come.

          ‘Mom, I done me homework, I’m jus goin’ over to de club, all right?’

          ‘Girl, find yuh self back in yah! Me know seh yuh ah try sneak out fe go meet dat deh natty head bwoy! Yu nah go no weh!’

Errol check de time pon him watch, 9.30 p.m. It was bitter cold. He bounce around trying to keep warm, while doing dat, him compose a lyric out loud.

          ‘De night is dark, de weather is cold

           I feel seh she can’t come

           So me ah stand yah alone

           Ah kick rock stone

           I feel seh she can’t come

           How can she leave me inna de street?

           Dress all slick and neat

           When de music out dere is fine

           Wid de treble and bass line

           I feel seh she can’t come . . . CHO!’

Lorraine never turn up. Errol start mek him way home. Him cold. Him vex. Him heart bruk.

          ‘ERROL, WAIT!’

He turn around and see Lorraine sista dem running toward him.

‘Where’s Lorraine?’

‘Mom and Dad won’t let her out.  She seh don’t worry, everyting’s gonna be aright.’

‘So dem ah fight ’gainst de natty.’

‘Seen.’

‘Where you two goin now?’

‘Oswald’s, man.’

‘Oswald’s open back up?  Who ah play?’

‘Your sound, Ital Nyah, Rasta.’

Errol enter de dance hall to see and hear a rebuilt Ital Nyah, entertaining dem biggess crowd fe months. Pedro smile as him hand de mic to a sad Pa-Pa Errol.

Errol him look pon Lorraine sista dem, wishing dat she was dere wid dem, laughing, dancing and joking. Den him realize seh he might not see her again. Him start chant…

          ‘When I say black people, nuff respect to Selecta Robbo, de greatest selecta inna de world, Jah know! So de man play, so de king sound say. Well black people, I don’t mean to brag and I don’t mean to boast, coz is you me love de most from pillar to post yuh know. Now here come one hit bound sound to really and truly trow yuh down, de man call Junior Delgado, Danger in your eyes ..’

De music start to play, de crowd start rock.

‘AH WHO SEH?!’ Errol ask.

‘GU DEH!’ de crowd reply.

          ‘Well I play it from de top to de very las’ drop. Sound call Ital Nyah, de greatest sound inna de world man.  Ital Nyah don’t run competition yuh know, we nuh look nex’ sound who ah look name offa we . . .

           Dem ah labba labba labba

          But dem cyaan test Ital Nyah

          Dem ah run up dem mout’, but dem cyaan test Pa-Pa Errol yuh know why?

          Coz when it come to lyrics me Pa-Pa Errol well great

          Me mek forty-five sound like dub plate

          Me mek crowd of people tear down dance gate

          Labba labba labba, but dem cyaan test Ital Nyah . . .Yes crowd ah people! Ital Nyah and me Pa-Pa Errol is back! And we gwine play nuff musical tracks from our record racks. Hear my lyrics when I tell yuh…

           Inna me, lyrics inna me

          Me seh lyrics inna me coz me well vex yuh see!

          Her momma lock de door

          Her poppa keep de key,

          Dat’s what stop her from lovin me!’

‘WHOY!’

‘GU INNA IT ERROL!’

Errol tek a deep breath and decide seh him nah go bawl. He look pon de crowd and see how dem ah smile after him, like dem love him off. Him smile back.

          ‘Yeah man, I-man remember sweet Lorraine.’

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

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NORMSKI’S ARTICLE

Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on May 30, 2010 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

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Is a Hung Parliament Damaging for the UK?

© 2010 Norman Samuda-Smith

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So Britain’s election is over. The general public’s votes reflected their indecision as to who they wanted to run the country; Gordon Brown (Labour), David Cameron (Conservative) or Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats). The TV Political Pundits predicted it, the talk on the street, in many work places and family households were unsure as to who was the best man to take the country forward in these trying times. The message is clear to Britain’s politicians; the people want change from the two party politics that has dominated Britain for the past sixty plus years. So for the first time in a long time, the result was a ‘Hung Parliament’. What is a ‘Hung Parliament’? Some of you may ask.  After reading an article on the BBC News website, this paragraph explains…

‘A ‘Hung Parliament’ is when no party has an overall majority, which means no party has more than half of its Members of Parliament (MP’s) in the House of Commons. It means that whichever party ends up in power will not be able to win votes to pass laws without the support of members of other parties. That support may come in the form of a formal coalition with smaller parties, or the governing party may have to negotiate with other parties to get laws passed. In the simplest terms, to get an absolute majority, a party would have needed to win 326 seats…’ 

Makes sense doesn’t it? So let’s look at the result and later what the men in suits have decided…

The Conservative Party led by David Cameron won 306 seats. The Labour Party led by Gordon Brown won 258 seats. The Liberal Democrats led by Nick Clegg won 57 seats and the other minor parties won 26 seats shared between them. No one gained a majority. The result, a ‘Hung Parliament’. The outcome meant Gordon Brown remained as Prime Minister; however, his party didn’t win the most seats which left him with the predicament of having to negotiate with David Cameron and Nick Clegg to form a coalition government. So now we have party political differences, and that isn’t good news, especially here in Britain.

A good example of a coalition government as I understand it from my history lessons in school goes something like this…

When Neville Chamberlain (Liberal) decided to resign as Prime Minister in 1940, due to no confidence in his policies of dealing with Nazi Germany, King George VI appointed Winston Churchill to the helm on May 10th 1940. Churchill, leader of the Conservative Party, quickly formed a coalition government and placed leaders of the Labour Party such as Clement Attlee, Ernest Bevin and some other of their colleagues in key positions. He also brought in another long-time opponent of Chamberlain, Anthony Eden, as his secretary of state for war. So party political differences were pushed aside as all politicians united and focussed on one aim, to lead Britain and its allies to victory. Fast forward seventy years to May 2010, Britain faces a different problem, social and economic melt-down which is affecting the lives of everyday people.

David Cameron just wanted to move into Number 10 Downing Street and be Prime Minister.  Gordon Brown, who succeeded Tony Blair, was always up against the press and public opinion as being a Prime Minister who was not voted in by the electorate, as well as lacking charisma. Nick Clegg has always championed change, fairness and Proportional Representation.  Proportional Representation; what is it?  Again the BBC News website explains…

‘If, for example, an election ends in a 33% vote for the Labour Party, a 30% vote for the Conservative Party and a 37% vote for the Liberal Democrats and there were 100 seats in the government, 33 would go to Labour, 30 to the Conservative Party and 37 to the Liberal Democrats and so on. The goal of proportional representation is to accurately reflect the political preference of the population. This system dates back to the late 1800s and is used by governments around the world. One of the big advantages to proportional representation is that minority parties get a say. The Green Party in the United States, for example, has almost no presence at national level, while it is a powerful force in Germany, thanks to proportional representation. This system also encourages the formation of coalition governments, fostering co-operation between political parties in order to accomplish goals…’

Although Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats only gained 57 seats in the House of Commons, it was he who held the Ace Card, before the election he did say he would support the party who won the most parliamentary seats.  He was in a position to either support Gordon Brown and keep him in office as Prime Minister, or support David Cameron and elevate him and his Conservative Party into Number 10. It all depended on what Gordon Brown and David Cameron was prepared to throw down on the table.  Gordon Brown offered Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats a referendum for proportional representation; simply, he was offering the people of Britain the opportunity to vote if they want proportional representation or not, whereas David Cameron and his Conservative Party stressed, no way, no how will they consider it; and so the negotiations started, back and forth for five days. Of course there were other issues to negotiate; a cap on immigration, whether to raise taxes, extra taxes on banks, cut public spending and whether we should have ID cards or not, etc, etc…

I’m not sure if the British people support the idea of proportional representation, something that is commonly practised across mainland Europe. I think they would prefer to see their politicians step up to the plate and sort out their differences.  Anyway, most things that involve mainland Europe, a large amount of Britons are sceptical of them. It doesn’t seem as though Gordon Brown offered anything else on the table for Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats to grab hold of, because even after Nick Clegg tried to persuade Gordon Brown to remain a little longer as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown ignored his plea and announced his resignation as Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party. He then immediately went to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queens permission for the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats to form a new government.

David Cameron must have thrown everything plus the kitchen sink at Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats to get into Number 10; did Nick Clegg compromise or sell out?  Whatever happened in those meetings, nobody saw it coming that Nick Clegg would end up being Deputy Prime Minister alongside six of his party members sitting on the cabinet of government making decisions which affect the electorate. The British press are saying the agreement between Cameron and Clegg won’t last, they say we will have another general election in six months.  Cameron and Clegg say their government will last five years. What do you think?

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Til next month – Everyting Bless

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*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.*

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THE CULTURE CORNER

Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on May 30, 2010 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

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“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.

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Not widely known but true…

Did you know…?

Through out history, African Americans have invented some important and fun devices? Here are three examples…

Otis Boykin

Otis Boykin (1920–1982) invented the electronic control devices for guided missiles, IBM computers, and the pacemaker.

Fact: Boykin invented 28 different electronic devices.

Dr. Patricia E. Bath

  Dr. Patricia. E. Bath (1949–) invented a method of eye surgery that has helped many blind people to see.

Fact: Dr. Bath has been nominated to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Lonnie G. Johnson

Lonnie G. Johnson (1949–) invented the world-famous watergun, the Supersoaker.

Fact: Johnson’s company just came out with a new Nerf ball toy gun.

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The Black Wall Street

89 years ago; the date was June 1, 1921 when “BLACK WALL STREET”, the name fittingly given to one of the most affluent all-BLACK communities in America, was bombed from the air and burned to the ground by mobs of envious whites.  In a period spanning fewer than 12 hours, a once thriving Black business district in northern Tulsa lay smouldering, a model community destroyed and a major African-American economic movement resoundingly defused.  Read on…

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A Lesson in History

The island of Jamaica is about 50 miles wide and 150 miles long. Its north coast is about 100 miles south of Cuba and 100 miles west of Haiti. Jamaica was a British colony from 1655 until 1958; it became a fully independent state in 1962. A steam rail road that opened in 1845 between its capital, Kingston, and Spanish Town was one of the first rail roads in the Americas, preceded only by lines in the U.S, Canada and Cuba. Continue…

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More tributes to our S/Heroes

William Cuffay (1788 – 1870) was born in Chatham, his father, a freed slave from St. Kitts, was a cook on a warship. Cuffay, became a travelling tailor in his late teens and stayed in that trade his whole life. His political life began when he came out on strike in support of his fellow tailors in 1839.  As a result, he lost his job, and joined the movement in support of the People’s Charter. The Chartist movement, the forerunner to the Labour Party, was the first mass political movement of the British working class. Before long Cuffay emerged as one of the prominent leaders of the Chartist movement.

John Richard Archer (1863 – 1932) – The first black mayor in UKwas the first person of African descent to hold civic office.  He became a councilor and later Mayor in Battersea in London. He was also the first British black person to represent his country at an international conference abroad, and the first black person to become an election agent for a Labour Party constituency. Archer was born to Richard Archer, from Barbados, and Mary Teresa Burns, from Ireland, in Liverpool. He travelled the world as a seaman, living in the USA and Canada, and then settled in Battersea with his wife, Bertha, a black Canadian. He ran a small photographic studio at a time when photography was in its infancy.

Arthur Wharton (1865 – 1930) was Britain’s first black footballer. He was born in Ghana; his father was half Grenadian and half Scottish, his mother was from Ghanaian royalty. In 1882 Wharton moved to England to train as a missionary, but left school to pursue a sporting career. A talented athlete, he set a new world record for the 100 yard dash (10 seconds) at Stamford Bridge in 1886.  He was first signed as a semi professional football player with Preston North End in 1886, as a goalkeeper. He turned fully professional in 1889, when he signed for Rotherham United, and in 1894, Sheffield United poached him. He retired from football in 1902.

Audrey Layne Jeffers CM, OBE (1898 – 1968) was born in Port of Spain Trinidad.  She was a social worker and the first female member of the Legislative Council of Trinidad and Tobago. Although born to an upper middle class family, Jeffers was moved from an early age by the sufferings of the poor and dispossessed. Jeffers established the Coterie of Social Workers which provided free lunches to poor school children.

Leslie Arthur Julien Hutchinson (1900 – 1969), known as “Hutch” was born in Gouyave, Grenada and was one of the biggest cabaret stars in the world during the 1920s and 1930s. “Hutch” was rumored to have had relationships with Ivor Novello, Merle Oberon, and actress Tallulah Bankhead.  The rumors include affairs with Edwina Mountbatten and members of the British Royal Family which supposedly led to his social ostracism and the destruction of his professional career.

Dame Hilda Louise Gibbs Bynoe, DBE was born in Crochu, Grenada, West Indies in 1921. A former doctor and Hospital Administrator, she was governor of Grenada, Cariacou and Petit Martinique (British Dependency) between 1967 – 1972.  Hilda Bynoe was the first woman Governor of a Commonwealth of Nations country.  She is so far the only woman to have been governor of one of the British Dependencies.

Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman elected to the United States Congress. In 1964, Shirley was elected to the New York State Assembly and during her four years in the State House, nine of her own bills were passed by the assembly and four signed into law.

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne Hayton (1917 – 2010), lovingly known as Lena Horne; Africa/American singer, actress, civil rights activist and dancer. Horne joined the mike chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of sixteen and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood, where she had small parts in numerous movies, and more substantial parts in the films Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather. Due to the Red Scare and her left-leaning political views, Horne found herself blacklisted and unable to get work in Hollywood.

Returning to her roots as a nightclub performer, Horne took part in the March on Washington in August 1963, and continued to work as a performer, both in nightclubs and on television, while releasing well-received record albums. She announced her retirement in March 1980, but the next year starred in a one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for more than three hundred performances on Broadway and earned her numerous awards and accolades. She continued recording and performing sporadically into the 1990s, disappearing from the public eye in 2000.

Here ends your history lesson for this month.

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 Log on for more CULTURE CORNER next month and remember…

“You have to be taught to be second class; you’re not born that way.”

 Lena Horne (1917 – 2010)

‘Til next month – Everyting Bless.

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