Archive for November, 2010


Posted in Newsletter with tags on November 30, 2010 by

This birthday issue of PANTHER NEWSLETTER is dedicated to:

Meshack Tesfa Bernard Brown

Sunrise: November 13 1986    Sunset:  November 13 2006

His potential was great.  His mannerism, meek and mild.  In his short time as a father, he was second to none.  “Your Princesses are beautiful Meshack, they are doing good, are well-loved and are safe and sound.  We all miss you.”


“POPS” – (Norman Samuda-Smith)

“Happy 24th birthday Meshack.  You were a beautiful angel born on this special day, but sadly and senselessly you were taken away from us on this day too.  You are deeply missed and loved by so many.  You were truly one of a kind, a beautiful handsome decent guy.  Your physical presence may not be here with us, but your spirit is always.  We will always celebrate your special day and your life, Meshack stylee.

Love from your Queen Shereen and your Princesses Shackya and Meshanne.

We love and miss you so much xxx”


Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on November 30, 2010 by

“Anger opens the mouth and shuts the mind.”


Greetings and welcome to PANTHER NEWSLETTER: ISSUE 12


…And a happy first birthday to PANTHER NEWSLETTER.

From its conception to its launch in November 2009, PANTHER NEWSLETTER has recorded just over 16,000 hits in its first year!

May I take this opportunity to thank y’all for your support logging on, reading and making PANTHER NEWSLETTER a success; long may it continue.  I also give thanks to all the ARTISTS  OF THE MONTH, SPECIAL GUESTSmy technical advisor and spiritual guides, for their support and contributions this first year and they are:  Annette Fagon, Bruce Samuda Smith, Candice Smith, Charlie Jordan, Chris Taylor, Denise Anthea, DJ SmudgeJames Pogson, Jasmine Johnson, Jozette Aaron, Karen Mullings, Kokumo, LaTwyne Wise, Leanda ‘Rastarella’ Felade, Marcus Simeon, Moqapi Selassie, Pamela Brooks, Shereen Smith, Stephen A Newton and to you the reader: JAH BLESS

In this issue of PANTHER NEWSLETTER we have THE ARTIST OF THE MONTHTHE FEATURED POEM by my talented daughter Shereen Smith, THE FEATURED STORY by my gifted niece who hails from Philadelphia USA LaTwyne Wise, NORMSKI’S ARTICLE, some classic tunes from the Queens of Studio One in NORMSKI’S MUSICAL COA-COA BASKET and everybody’s favourite THE CULTURE CORNER.

So just chill-lax and enjoy the birthday issue of PANTHER NEWSLETTER.




Gregory Isaacs Sent Home In Style

Reggae legend Gregory Isaacs once again took superstar billing as hundreds of well-wishers, rather than mourners, celebrated his life in unique style in London, more…

‘Thank You Gregory’ Fans Say Goodbye to ‘The Cool Ruler’

In a grand celebratory mood, young and old alike turned up at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Thursday night to celebrate the life of reggae icon, ‘The Cool Ruler’, Gregory Isaacs; read on…

Reggae Star Buju Banton Free On Bail

Reggae star Buju Banton has been granted bail by an immigration court in Florida while he awaits a retrial on drug charges; continued…

Minister Farrakhan Blasts Mike Wallace On 60 Minutes

Check out this video clip where Minister Farrakhan puts Mike Wallace in his place; here…




Sitting Bull and Red Cloud Speak

“The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and were skillful in war…”  1 Chronicles 5 verse 18

The war between the native North American Indians and the United States Cavalry began with the landing on Plymouth Rock in 1620 and ended at the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890.  Within these 200 years, over 77 million Indians were killed to occupy lands and establish Church and State.

“…and they were as swift as the roes (deers) upon the mountains;…”   

 1 Chronicles 12 verse 8

The North American Indians were noted for being swift and elusive runners to the point that the U.S Cavalry ‘recruited’  Apaches/Buffalo Soldiers, etc.) to aid them in capturing many Indian nations, along with the creation of the lethal Gatling Gun which rendered the bows and arrows of the Indians practically useless.

Here is a piece from the HBO movie BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE,  superbly performed by August Schellenberg as Sitting Bull and Gordon Tootoosis as Red Cloud; here…


What Ever Happened To Tom Funk?

In the 1950’s parents and the establishment were up in arms about “Negro” music.  It was corrupting the moral fibre of their children.  The controversy was over Chubby Checker with his sexually explicit dance called the “TWIST”.  This put Hollywood in a bad position.  How could they make money off Rock and Roll and keep the parents happy?  So they cloned a Chubby Checker “GREAT WHITE HOPE” named Tom Funk.

Fast forward to 2007.  Now those rebellious children of the 1950’s are having seizers about “Black” (The new Buzz -Word) music.  Hip Hop is corrupting the moral fibre of their children.  Now I want y’all to stick with this You Tube video clip I stumbled across and y’all have a good chuckle as you view it.  Watch it here…


Black Past Remembered & Reclaimed

If you are an avid follower of African American History and Global African History, then add this site to your favourites; here…
Opera Singer Shirley Verrett dies at aged 79
American soprano Shirley Verrett, one of the top opera singers of the 1970’s and 1980’s has died at the age of 79.  Verrett made her debut at the New York Met in 1968 as Bizet’s Carmen; read more…
Leslie Nielsen, comic actor and Airplane! Star, Dies
Veteran comic actor Leslie Nielsen, star of Airplane! and The Naked Gun, has died at the age of 84; continued…
In memory of a great legend Cab Calloway
Singer, band leader, dancer.  Born Cabell Calloway III, December 25, 1907,  in Rochester, New York.  A charming vibrant performer Calloway is often associated with the Jazz music of the 1930’s.  Sometimes called the “hi-de-hi-de-ho man,” he perfected the art of scat singing, which uses nonsensical sounds to improve melodies; read on… 


Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on November 30, 2010 by

She is a loud and engaging comic newcomer, making fast progress on the UK comedy circuit.

Growing up as that rare thing in the midlands of the 1980s, the daughter of a Jamaican newsagent mother has clearly left its mark.

Despite years of child drama classes and theatre performances, she frustrated her mother by spending 6 years at university, leaving without a degree, and returning to work there for a further 2 years.

After a variety of odd jobs – Disability Support Worker, Theatre House Manager, Comedy Club Waitress – she took up an odder job, in stand up comedy.

Currently talking loudly about everything from hoodies and mobile phone habits to Beyonce’s mental state, she has made rapid progress, appearing at theatres such as Nottingham Playhouse and comedy clubs such as Jongleurs – on the Upfront Café Tour.

Her early efforts have quickly created a buzz that led to a nomination as Best Newcomer in 2006 and best female 2009 BECA Awards and Midlands Stand-Up Runner-up 2007.  There’s more to come.


TEL/FAX 0121 350 8992. PO BOX 5094  BIRMINGHAM B23 5SW


PANTHER NEWSLETTER proudly presents this issue’s ARTIST OF THE MONTH, Annette FagonI hooked up with Annette to reason with her and about her works.  Check her interview with me here…


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

The Road to Success

 © 2010 Shereen Smith


Throughout my life I’ve loved, I’ve lied, I’ve hurt, I’ve lost, I’ve missed, I’ve trusted, I’ve made mistakes, but most of all I’ve learned…

The road to success is not straight.  There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies and caution lights called Family.

You will have flats called Jobs; but, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith and a driver called God, you will make it to a place called Success.

Jah Bless.


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


Posted in Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Community, Culture, Education, Fiction, History, Literature, Newsletter, Publications, Short Story, Writing with tags , , , on November 30, 2010 by

I Know You


© 2010 LaTwyne Wise


I know you.  Together hand in hand King and Queen we once watched the erection of the pyramids.  Gleaming with pride we breathed love beneath the sentry of the Sphinx.  Together we had overseen the unearthing of treasures, our life’s fortune.  We nestled in the affluence of harmony.  Blessedness.  Our culture reeked of wealth; a sweet scent that was coaxed to the veracity of the treacherous.  Our code of existence was exploited. We found that red warm blood does not suggest humanity.  We lost a lot, too much, but we had each other. We cherished each other.  We knew each other.

I know you.  I watched the lash leap upon your back in envious torture. Your stamina that could not be encompassed was sold in substitute.  My heart silently beckoned to be worth more than rectangular paper that seemed to amount to more than a soul.  Our babies were dispersed to the highest bidder: good genes now serving as our adversary.  Yet whether yards, miles, years, states or worlds away, I continue to feel you.  The imagery of our connection is what drives me to fight for the reunion of our minds.  My body mutely ached to be secured within your manly fold.  I know you felt me because you knew me.  We knew each other.

I know you.  I once stared eternally into your eyes at the reflection of your brother dangling from a tree like a lifeless leaf.  The terror of what could come was imminent.  In my eyes, you stood as the epitome of strength, as I watched the fear drape over your shoulders like a weighty cloak.  The strange fruit stained our minds.  Life’s tale grew further incoherent.  We were unable to trust the air, the earth, and our lives for at any moment it could be stolen and claimed by another.  We relied on nothing except each other.  We appreciated each other.  We knew each other.

I know you.  Your art spoke to me in a way only you could.  It bled of our struggle, it whispered inspiration, and spit out conventionality. Your words enunciated my heart in delicate syllables that explained its rhythm, the bounce, the erratic.  I floated in the tunes that you borrowed from the movement of my hips.  It warmed and invigorated me as you blew air of unselfishness into a mechanism that emitted gratuity.  I marvelled in the brush strokes that I saw my reflection in. Your overt symbolism of connectedness won my praise.  I said nothing, yet you knew.  We realized each other.  We knew each other.

I know you.  We stood aside one another in protest for liberation.  Our liberation.  In a haze of uncertainty of much except what was due; where K9 and water once innocent now evil foes; when willed by man. We had nothing to lose but life that had no value when devoid of struggle.  For struggle, we’d become akin to.  We stood for freedom and fell for nothing.  We lived in awe of the magnitude of the feat we faced and the ones we had won.  We embraced ourselves; defects blossomed into love and acceptance.  You affirmed I was beautiful, I believed you.  We understood each other. We knew each other.

Your newfound claim of anonymity disregards our union.  We’ve treaded through the blazes of a human-run hell, marred yet alive. Within your gaze, is that when I became unbeautiful?  I miss the times when my self-love was supported by your ratification.  When your unrelenting respect offset my societal dispraise.  When the sum of your art uplifted my spirit.  Before the reflection of myself within it humiliated me, shamed and dishonored me. Before my radiance, once a glimmer in your heart was reduced to a mere commodity.

How has our connection mutated to a rivalry, where we’re blind to our possession of a magnetic bond enforced by divinity?  When did I become incapable of the partnership for which I was born, for which you’ve now claimed paleness as the pre-requisite?  Together we’ve lived amongst the traumatic realms of degradation.  Is that when you could no longer appreciate me?  When it became taxing to understand me.  When my “attitude” once familiar was marked reproachable.

Once upon a continent, we mutually agreed on life.  When you recognized the power of greatness under your wings intended to carry us both to emancipation.  Before kismet was muffled beneath ignorance.  Then, I knew you. You knew you.  We knew each other.


 *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 LaTwyne Wise.*



Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter with tags , , , on November 30, 2010 by


Human Beings Have Children – Goats Have Kids

© 2010 Norman Samuda-Smith


Collins English Dictionary – Definition:

 KID: ‘The young of a goat or of a related animal such as an antelope…’

 CHILD: ‘A boy or girl between birth and the unborn baby…’


How do you refer to your offspring?  When I last spoke to my children none of them were bleating like goats or sheep.

The word Kid comes from the Middle English word kide of Scandinavian origin; similar to Old Norse kidh, a young goat.  This is something which has been of concern to me recently as used practically all over the world; people referring to children as kids.

It says in all dictionaries, a “kid” is a baby goat and a “child” is human. So when did we start calling our children “kids?”

I’ve done some painstaking research to answer this question and came up with nothing and, apart from the definitions of the word ‘kids’ there is little to suggest how we came to use this term. All I know is; personally, I don’t like it.

I am sure that people who refer to children as “kids” do so because they think that the word “kids” is another word for children and, I assume, as a term of endearment. As far as I’m concerned, the proper way to call children is children. It is time we realise we should not encourage the term “kids” towards our offspring.


Other sources:

Kid: Extended meaning of “child” first recorded as slang 1599, established in formal usage by 1840s.

Kiddo: First recorded 1896.  It applied to skilful young thieves and pugilists since at least 1812.  “Kid stuff” – “something easy” is from 1923.

Suspected to be from the German “kind” meaning child.  Note also the occasional use of German “Wunderkind”.


‘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 November 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. Each month 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.


Did you know…?

The continent of Africa covers nearly 12 million square miles (31 million sq. km). Africa could hold the land occupied by China, India, Europe, Argentina, New Zealand and the continental United States, with room to spare!

Africa is divided into over 40 different countries.

As of 1993, African people used more than 800 languages and regional varieties of a language, or dialects; but only 10 or so of those languages are spoken by cultural groups of more than a million people. In fact, most African languages are used by groups of fewer than 100,000 people.

The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest desert. It extends across Africa from the Atlantic to the eastern Sudan. Historically, the Sahara has hindered contact between the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Kalahari Desert is a large desert in south-western Africa that partially isolates southern Africa from the rest of the continent.

Nok was a western African iron age culture renowned for its artistry, which occupied what is today north-eastern Nigeria from about 900 BC to about 200 AD.

Kush was a wealthy and prosperous kingdom in the upper Nile basin, in some periods dominated and in others was dominated by pharaonic Egypt.

Meroe was the capital city of the ancient Napatan Empire which at one time rivaled Aksum.

Aksum was a powerful Christianised trading state in the Ethiopian highlands.



Red Cloud (Lakota: Maȟpíya Lúta), (1822 – December 10, 1909) was a war leader and the head Chief of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux), his reign was from 1868 to 1909. One of the most capable Native American opponents the United States Army faced, he led a successful conflict in 1866–1868 known as Red Cloud’s War over control of the Powder River Country in northwestern Wyoming and southern Montana. After the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868), he led his people in the important transition to reservation life.

Sitting Bull (1831 – December 15, 1890), also nicknamed Slon-he or “Slow”; was a Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux holy man who led his people as a war chief during years of resistance to United States government policies. Born near the Grand River in Dakota Territory, he was killed by Indian agency police on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation during an attempt to arrest him and prevent him from supporting the Ghost Dance movement.

Khama: The Good King of Bechuanaland (1837-1923). Khama distinguish his reign by being highly regarded as a peace loving ruler with the desire of advancing his country in terms of technological innovations. He instituted scientific cattle feeding techniques which greatly improved his country’s wealth and prestige.  During his reign crimes were known to be as low as zero within his country.

Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960).  Her father was a Baptist preacher, tenant farmer, and carpenter. At age three her family moved to Eatonville Florida, the first incorporated black community in America, of which her father would become mayor. In her writings she would glorify Eatonville as a utopia where black Americans could live independent of the prejudices of white society.

Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975) was an American-born dancer, singer, and actress.  Nicknamed the “Bronze Venus,” the “Black Pearl”, and even the “Créole Goddess” in Anglophone nations, in France, Josephine has always been known simply as “La Baker.” Baker was the first African American to star in a major motion picture, to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer. She is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States (she was offered the unofficial leadership of the movement by Coretta Scott King in 1968 following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, but turned it down), for assisting the French Resistance during World War II and for being the first American-born woman to receive the French military honour, the Croix de guerre.

Yvonne Brewster OBE:  Founder of the Talawa Theatre Company.  Born in Kingston Jamaica, Yvonne Brewster came to the UK to study speech, drama and mime at the Rose Bruford College and the Royal Academy of Music. She was a pupil of Marcel Marceau. Subsequently she returned to Jamaica where she taught drama and produced and presented her own shows on radio and television. 

Here ends your history lesson for this month.


 Log on for more CULTURE CORNER next month and remember…

“The earth has received the embrace of the sun and we shall see the results of that love.”

 Chief Sitting Bull

‘Til next month – Everyting Bless.

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