Archive for June, 2010


Posted in Black History, Newsletter with tags , on June 30, 2010 by

Greetings and welcome to PANTHER NEWSLETTER ISSUE 8.

There’s been a lot of interesting news this month; in this section we’ll concentrate on the most fascinating highlights.  A big shout goes out to our new readers in Belize, Bermuda, Holland, Nigeria and Ethiopia; welcome aboard; “Rock and come in!”  In this issue we have more or less the usual suspects, another SPECIAL GUEST, FEATURED POEMS, NORMSKIS ARTICLE and everybody’s favourite THE CULTURE CORNER.

Check out NORMSKIS MUSICAL COA-COA BASKET and NORMSKIS MUSICAL LEGENDS on the right hand side of this main page.  Every month you’ll hear the best Reggae revive 45’s that’ll make you dance and jive and come alive! and the very best of our Musical Legends.

So: “Wake the town and tell the people to enjoy ISSUE 8 of PANTHER NEWSLETTER.” – Bless…


First Black Female MP Diane Abbott Bids for Britains Labour Party Leadership

After the withdrawal of John Mc Donnell, Diane Abbott secured the 33 nominations needed to secure a spot on the ballot in the leadership elections this fall. News reports and blog reactions here…

Lady Foella Benjamin takes her seat in the House of Lords

Children’s TV presenter Floella Benjamin has taken her seat in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat peer.  Continued…

Henrietta Lacks: the mother of modern medicine

How did cells taken from a poor black woman in 1951 come to unlock some of the biggest advances in science?  More…

Whats gone wrong with Jamaica?

Birmingham’s concerned Jamaican community are worried about the long-term image of the Caribbean island.  Read on…


In light of what’s currently going on in Jamiaca, this interesting article flew my way, its content gives us a different insight to what’s happening.  Please read…

Buju Banton arrested on cocaine charge in Florida

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration have confirmed that reggae artiste Buju Banton is now in a Florida lock-up after being charged with intent to distribute cocaine;  more…

Malcolm X gunman Thomas Hagan freed

The last man serving time for the 1965 murder of civil rights leader Malcolm X has been released on parole.  Continued…

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


Black Man Buys Gatwick Airport

The mainstream media kept this so very, very quiet, not even the BBC covered this story, or any of the other major news networks including CNN!  “What’s that all about?”  Click away…

Old news but still A Beautiful sight to See



Siphiwo Desmond Ntshebe the South African opera singer chosen by Nelson Mandela to perform at the opening ceremony of the World Cup died of acute meningitis on Tuesday 25 May 2010 at Livingston Hospital in Port Elizabeth.  The shock of Ntshebe’s tragic death has left his fellow countrymen and women, and all who knew him, completely devastated, by the loss of a truly great man. Read more here…

Gary Coleman star of Diff’rent Strokes dies at 42.  More…

Temptations singer Allie-Ollie Woodson who led the group in the 80’s and 90’s has died of cancer aged 58.  Here…

Marvin Isley, bass player and youngest member of the Isely Brothers dies at 56.  Continued…


Posted in Articles, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , on June 30, 2010 by

He is an accomplished business leader who has spent close to a decade working in the online space, where he has been responsible for successfully and profitably growing and leading top on-line companies.  A native of Philadelphia, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and his JD from Loyola School of Law in Los Angeles.  He speaks conversational Spanish, functional French and is currently learning Portuguese.

PANTHER NEWSLETTER proudly presents our SPECIAL GUEST this month, my nephew Stephen Armond Newton.  I hooked up with Stephen, to talk about him, family and his interesting line of work.  Check out his inspiring interview with me here…


Posted in Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter, Poems with tags , , , on June 30, 2010 by


© 1987 Norman Samuda-Smith


Children say a likkle prayer, every night before you go to sleep.

Coz tomorrow is promised to no one, even when you think there’s peace and safety…

               This poem is a prayer…

We hear about Miracles that happen every day.  Yet nuff people complain that they don’t come their way.  But if they touched me, like how dreams touch you in the night.  I can see nuff miracles needed to make our world right.

A cure for all diseases, pray to H.I.M, the most high.  Fling weh nuclear weapons and throw love inna de sky.  Send scientific experts to Africa, to help irrigate the land.  Put an end to war, and show all races they should walk hand in hand.

We prayed for President Botha to flee; and for his regime to set Nelson Mandela free.  After all, we knew our brothers and sisters in South Africa, deserved respect and dignity.

What this world needs is for all Jah-Jah’s children to be wise and strong, reasoning before they leap, living long.

Now some of these things were once foretold, by the man, Isaiah, first prophet of old…

So yuh nuh…

We hear about Miracles that happen every day.  Still, nuff people complain that they don’t come their way.  But if they touched me, like how dreams touch you in the night.  I can see many many miracles needed to make our world right.



I’m Begging You

© 2006 Norman Samuda-Smith


Please don’t sacrifice a glance and then turn away, or look at me from head to toe and shake your head in dismay.  All I’m asking for is some spare change, nothing more, nothing less to alleviate me from this situation of helplessness.

I’m not here by choice; which is why, when you see me, I want you to please remember that I’m human too.  I smile, I cry, I have feelings just like you.  This is why it hurts deep down; that when you see my outstretched hand, so withered and frail, you still view me as though I’m either frightening or strange.

But please try to understand that I mean no harm.  It’s not my intention to encourage pity, disgust or alarm.  I have no exit from this vicious cycle…without a job, no home…without a home, no job…and so it goes on.  The street is my home.  Sometimes I too am scared and lonely.  So, passer-by, I’m begging you, I’m asking you…well, it’s hard to explain…

I’ll continually pray that one day, some day, my God will provide the answer of how I can put an end to this predicament I’m in.  I must keep believing, I HAVE to keep believing that there is hope, a light at the end of this dark tunnel of life.  Cos if I stop believing, then I have nothing to hold on to; nothing to exist for.  My worldly possessions are the shreds of clothing I’m wearing and the strength in my soul has such essence…

This my friend is why I’m begging you, not merely to throw a penny or two my way and then scurry away; but at the very least to try to understand just what it is that I’m begging you to do.


Life’s A Game

© 2006 Norman Samuda-Smith


I’m living in the inner-city everyday

Earning a meagre income the 9 to 5 way

I got my hands in my pockets, there’s no money to spend

That’s when you know, you got no friends

I’m holding onto my job to pay my rent

Am I living in the land of the heaven sent?


I’m being cool, trying to stay sane

Don’t yah know, that life’s a game

Life’s a game y’all


My long time relationship, has reached its end

My woman, she run off with my so-call friend

I knew she was acting strange and funny

She kept going on and on about money

In everything I do, I try to be correct

Maybe I’m being too select


But I’m being cool, trying to stay sane

Hey, don’t yah know, that life’s a game

Life’s a game y’all


Now listen…

The moral of this story has to be told

All that glitters, isn’t gold

When a man is down and out of luck

Stretch forth your hand and pick him up

Tables turn and this is true

You may find out, it could be you

Trying to be cool, trying to stay sane

Let me tell unnu, don’t yah know, that life’s a game

Life’s a game y’all

I’m outta here!


*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 June 30, 2010 by



 (Introduction by Norman Samuda-Smith)


For those of you who have children, trust me, there will be a time when they will ask you this question: “Mom, Dad? What was it like for you growing up in the ‘olden days’ when you were young?”

I have answered that question numerous times, stopping short of sounding like a moaning old man campaigning to bring back the good old days.  If you haven’t had that question thrown at you yet, maybe this forthcoming piece will help to prepare you.   I  received this ‘round robin’ email which portrays the said subject. Some of you may or may not have read it already; if you have, it doesn’t matter cos that’s what PANTHER NEWSLETTER is all about, sharing and spreading the word, so enjoy…


 “And we never had a whole Mars bar until 1993!!!”

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930’s 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no child proof  lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitch-hiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonald’s, KFC, Subway or Nandos.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn’t open on the weekends, somehow we didn’t starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because…


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day.  And we were OK.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii, X-boxes, and no video games at all, nor 999 channels on SKY, no video nor DVD films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms…WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears!

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time…

We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays.  We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mom didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

RUGBY and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team.  Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.  Imagine that!!  Getting into the team was based on MERIT.

Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and bully’s always ruled the playground at school.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.

They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn’t invent stupid names for their children like ‘Kiora’ and ‘Blade’ and ‘Ridge’ and ‘Vanilla’

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

And YOU are one of them!


You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as children, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, forward it to your children so they will know how brave their parents were.

 Til next month – Everyting bless


Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on June 30, 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 NEWSLETTERS 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…?

The Punic (PHOENECIAN) Mausoleum of the Numidian Chief Ateban at Dougga (Ancient Thugga) Tunisia; 200 B.C., is one of the monuments in Tunisia that tells us of African History? A monument that brings back the history of the Punic Wars between 264 – 241 B.C and 218 – 201 B.C. This conflict was fought between Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Carthage which fell in 146 B.C.

The Lion of Judah in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is a national symbol which traces its history and royal lineage to the reign of the Queen of Sheba. Centuries ago, King Solomon said: “None but the Queen’s son Menelikand his successors should rule over Ethiopia…”  and even today this is still a belief among many Ethiopians.

The Friday Mosque of Quayrawan in Tunisia, North Africa, was founded in 670 and rebuilt by Ziyadar Allah in 836. A notable result of the Arabs’ sudden attack on Africa. Arabs were major contributors to the spread of Islam to Africa in the year 1200. They came in through Egypt and forced people to convert to Islam.

What determines if a person is black or of African descent? In the 19th and 20th centuries, the standard for determining ones race was, one drop of black blood made you black, socially and in the eyes of the law. So by that standard, it would appear some US presidents would have been considered black or mulatto: Check out The six black Presidents

Get a history teacher to try and explain this:  A lesson in History



CandaceEmpress of Ethiopia (332 B.C.) When Alexander the Great was receiving world fame for his unbroken chain of victories; he reached Kemet (Ancient Egypt) in 332 B.C. But one of the greatest generals of the ancient world was also the Empress of Ethiopia. This formidable black Queen Candace was world-famous as a military tactician and field commander. Legend has it that Alexander could not entertain even the possibility of having his rampaging conquests marred by risking a defeat, at least, by a woman. He halted his armies at the borders of Ethiopia and did not invade to meet the waiting black armies with their Queen in personal command. 

Queen Dahlia Al Kahina;  she fought against the Arab invasion in North Africa where under her leadership Africans fought back fiercely and drove the Arab army northward into Tripolitania.  Queen Kahina was of the Hebrew faith; her opposition to the Arab invasion was purely nationalistic since she favoured neither Christians nor Moslems.  Her death in 705 AD by Hassen – Ben – Numam ended one of the most violent attempts to save Africa for Africans. She prevented Islam’s southward spread into western Sudan. After the death of Queen Kahina, the resistance to the southward spread of Islam was so great in some areas that some of the wives of African Kings committed suicide to avoid falling into the hands of the Arabs who showed no mercy to the people who would not be converted to Islam.

Yaa Asantewa – Warrior Queen of Ghana (1840 – 1921) (pronounced YAA ah-SAN-te-wah) was appointed Queen Mother of Ejisu (Asante Confederacy), now part of modern-day Ghana, by her brother Nana Akwasi Afrane Okpese, the Ejisuhene (ruler of Ejisu). In 1900 she led the Ashanti rebellion known as the War of the Golden Stool against British colonialism.

Annie Turnbo Malone (1869-1957) was an African-American businesswoman, inventor and philanthropist who in the first three decades of the 20th century, built a large and prominent commercial and educational enterprise centered around cosmetics for African-American women and, subsequently, training and poise for both genders.  At the beginning of the 1900s, Annie Malone had pioneered and revolutionized hair care methods for all African-Americans. She created a variety of hair care treatments, including the first patented hot comb, which preceded the one popularized by an early employee of hers, Madam C.J. Walker.

Charles Richard Drew (1904 – April 1950) was an African-American physician, surgeon and medical researcher. He researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives. In 1943, Drew’s distinction in his profession was recognized when he became the first black surgeon selected to serve as an examiner on the American Board of Surgery.

Robert Leroy Johnson (1911 – 1938) King of Delta Blues. This American blues singer and musician has influenced generations of musicians such as Eric Clapton who has called Johnson “the most important blues singer that ever lived…” Johnson’s shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend, including a Faustian myth. He was ranked fifth in Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

Julius Kambarage Nyerere (1922 – 1999), served as the first President of Tanzania and previously Tanganyika, from the country’s founding in 1961 until his retirement in 1985. Nyerere was known by the Swahili name Mwalimu or ‘teacher’, his profession prior to politics. He was also referred to as Baba wa Taifa (Father of the Nation).


A moment in history:  This, you would have thought, would have been the most unlikely duet.  Watch it here…


Here ends your history lesson for this month.

 Log on for more CULTURE CORNER next month and remember…

“It [prejudice] is such a waste.  It makes you sluggish and half-alive.  It gives you nothing.  It takes away.”

Dorothy Dandrige  – (1922 – 1965)


‘Til next month – Everyting Bless.

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