Archive for May, 2011

GREETINGS & NEWS

Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, News, Newsletter with tags , , , , on May 31, 2011 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

“You never miss the water till the well run dry.”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

PANTHER NEWSLETTER VOLUME TWO: ISSUE 17

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

“This is for all the individuals who instead of bigging up people’s achievements, choose to chant them down.  We were all taught from young; ‘you reap what you sow’ and ‘what goes around comes around.’  So when you send out negative vibes and those negative vibes come back to haunt you; who’s to blame?  This classic 1970s tune by The Meditations is dedicated to those who think negatively of others.”  Check out the rhythm and study the lyrics here…

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

Greetings and Welcome to PANTHER NEWSLETTER: ISSUE 17.

In this month’s issue we have the usual suspects.  An insightful interview with our SPECIAL GUEST, the FEATURED  STORY from a young sistren who hails from Yeadon Pennsylvania, THE MUSICAL COA-COA BASKET, Denise Anthea returns with her third FEATURED ARTICLE which is thought provoking and I’m sure will encourage plenty debates, and last but by no means least, everybody’s favourite THE CULTURE CORNER.  Enjoy ISSUE 17. 

 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

NEWS (UK)

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

STEPHEN LAWRENCE’S MOTHER DOREEN ‘PLEASED’ WITH APPEAL COURT JUDGEMENT

Two men are to stand trial over the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993; Doreen speaks here…

STEPHEN LAWRENCE PAIR FACE MURDER TRIAL

Two men are to stand trial for the murder of Stephen Lawrence.  Gary Dobson, 35, and David Norris, 34, are accused of killing the black teenager at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London, on 22 April 1993; continued here…

THE STEPHEN LAWRENCE PROFILE

Two men are to stand trial over the murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993.  But who was Stephen Lawrence? – Find out here…

MILTON KEYNES SHOOTINGS: FAMILIES PAY TRIBUTE

The families of two men who were shot dead in Milton Keynes have paid tribute to them; here…

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

ELSEWHERE

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

SOUTH AFRICA’S FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS FOR CEASEFIRE IN LIBYA

South Africa’s Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane called for a ceasefire in Libya; read the report here…

CHINA DENOUNCES AMERICA’S TREATMENT OF AFRO-DESCENDANTS

In a scathing report issued by China’s Information Office of the State Council, China condemned America’s treatment of its Afro-descendants and other minorities and cited America’s numerous human rights violations against its minorities; continued here…

MINISTER FARRAKHAN’S PROPHETIC WARNING TO WYCLEF JEAN ON LEADING HAITI

Watch it here…

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

THE HEART OF OUR COMMUNITY

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

THE MAN BEHIND THE PANTHER

Norman Samuda Smith editor/publisher of PANTHER NEWSLETTER speaks to the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and explains how he came to set up his monthly on-line cultural review; read the article here… 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

NOTTINGHAM ARTICLES: CULTURAL VIBRATIONS INTERVIEWED BY – LEFTLION.CO.UK

Paul Klotschkow put some questions to Rastarella Falade from Cultural Vibrations; read the interview here…

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CONGRATULATIONS TO JASMINE JOHNSON

Congratulations to Birmingham novelist Jasmine Johnson who adapted her novel Mr Soon Come for the stage.  The performances at The Drum, on May 19, 20 and 21st respectively were sold out and a great theatre experience was had by all who were privileged to see the play.  Nuff respect too, to the cast who did Jasmine and the script proud.  Well done JJ for manifesting your dream and getting it done, you are a star!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

NEW EGYPTIAN BELLY DANCE CLASSES WITH Chloe Redmond

Prepare your body for summer; lose that winter weight now and Bellydance your way to fitness!

Chloe has been studying Egyptian Bellydance for 9 years.  From the age of 4 she began Ballet dancing, despite being the plumpest of this group of  “little princesses”, she continued this dance form for 8 years.  Chloe went on to develop techniques in a variety of dance styles from Salsa and Street dance to Brazilian and West African before graduating with a BA in Visual Communication & Film, at Birmingham City University’s Institute of Art & Design Campus.  Chloe lived in Cairo for 3 months training privately with some of Egypt’s most eminent Belly dance instructors.  For more information about her classes, contact Chloe here…

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

KING OF KINGS: NGUSA NAGAST by CLAUDETTE. E. JOHNSON

King of Kings is an important revelation, presenting breakthrough facts on biblical history and the Rastafarian Movement.  King of Kings offers insight into uncovering the truth regarding boodlines of King Solomon and The Queen of Sheba, King David, Jesus Christ as well as The Ark of the Covenant, proven through geneology and made popular by movies “RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK” and “THE DA VINCI CODE”.  If you’re searching for a good historical read, why not check out this superb and inspiring book; here…

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 SANKOFA ASSOCIATES in collaboration with PANTHER NEWSLETTER

PRESENTS

A free E-Book publication

Real Talk

Shadow People speak out …

by Martin Glynn

 

Real Talk…

Shadow People speak out: is a collection of monologues which has been a long time in the making.  For many years Martin Glynn has worked in prisons, engaged with the disaffected sections of the community, and has been through his own rite of passage. Throughout his journey as a writer and criminologist he has encountered many amazing people whose stories have gone with them to their grave, have not been told, been ignored, or have been too uncomfortable for many to hear.

Download your free e-book of Real Talk: Shadow People Speak Out here…

Also check out Sankofa Associates Goods & Services here…

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

THEATRE AT THE DRUM; BIRMINGHAM

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PUNCH RECORDS

“THE SPIRAL”

Friday 17 June 2011, 7.30pm

£8 (£6)  –  Auditorium

An inward spiral decays and dies,
An outward spiral grows and thrives!

This gripping piece of spoken word theatre dramatises a life-changing meeting between Glitzy – an emerging grime artist from North Birmingham, funded to study on a 6-month ‘community arts placement’, and their newly appointed ‘development mentor’, veteran dub poet and radical cultural activist Leroy ‘Steppin-Razor’ Ujima.  The initial contradictions – literary and ideological – in their relationship are played out through a startling, intense poetic dialogue that will challenge and eventually change the assumptions and worldviews of both wordsmiths; directed by Martin Glynn, starring Moqapi Selassie and Deci4life.  Check out the trailer here… and DON’T MISS IT!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

KETCH DIS!

I bumped into my bredrin Stevie Ranks the other day in downtown Birmingham and he informed me about the internet radio station he’s very much involved with.  So if you wanna listen to a radio station wid a twis’, this is for you connoisseurs of music; Ketchdis.com here…

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

OBITUARY

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Gil Scott Heron, Poet, songwriter and musician hailed as “The Godfather of Rap”, has died at the age of 62; read more here…

Advertisements

SPECIAL GUEST

Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, News, Newsletter with tags , , , , on May 31, 2011 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

Originally born in Nottingham and has been based in Birmingham England for a number of years, he has spent a vast amount of time working with Education and Arts establishments in North America, the Caribbean, Europe and extensively in the UK.  As a writer, he has gained a national and international reputation for his commissioned work in radio drama, live performance and poetry.  In the 1990s he produced and directed plays and performed for his theatre company Shomari Productions, as well as pursuing an active career as  a screenplay writer, of which he has written two episodes for Casualty (BBC TV).  A Founder and Director of Sankofa Associates, he has a Masters degree in Criminal Justice Policy and Practice, and a Cert.Ed in Design and Technology.

Our SPECIAL GUEST in PANTHER NEWSLETTER this month is me long time bredrin and Birmingham’s premier writer, Martin Glynn.  I recently hooked up with Martin to reason with him and talk about his works.  Check out his insightful interview with me here…

FEATURED STORY

Posted in Black History, Newsletter, Short Story with tags , , on May 31, 2011 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

FREEDOM THROUGH DANCE

© 2010 Bryanna Jones

(From: Yeadon, Pennsylvania)

 

I believe I found my freedom through dance.  The way you twist, turn, and stretch your body is like you’re a big open book.  Showing what you have been through and what your about to go through is all shown through movement.  Dance to me is a way to get out of this drug infused, violence filled, confined world.  For me I always had something to tell people but my way of telling is through dance.

This belief became a reality at a very young age; it was in Disney World where my family would travel to almost every year.  Until this one year the dancers in the Disney Parade needed some kids to come to the street to learn a dance.  I ran my little legs out there and learned the dance.  Tweedel Dee and Tweedel Dum taught it to me.  Just that little dance made me feel like I was a super star in front of millions of fans.

When I returned to the room I could not stop dancing.  My feet and arms kept on moving and never stopped until my mom asked a life changing question.

“Do you want to go to dance school?” She asked me with a pinch of frustration in her voice.

“Yes I do, can I.”  I asked jumping up and down.

I never thought that an 8 word question could make me feel like I won a million dollars.  When I returned home later that week my mom signed me up at a dance company.  I went to dance every Saturday in my pink ballet slippers, pink stockings, pink tutu, pink body suit, and pink sweater.  I took ballet, jazz, and tap.  Then something inside of my tiny body told me that this was like a home away from home for me.  Everyone there was passionate about the same thing I was passionate about.

As I got older I began to realize all of my worries went away.  Then when someone put me on stage I was going to show the world me.  When I was on stage, I was free my body would do things I did not even practice and when you’re free that is what‘s supposed to happen.  Freedom is supposed to make you feel removed from this drug infused, violence filled, confined world.  When I dance a portal to another world opens and I dance right into that portal.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 *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 Bryanna Jones.*

THE MUSICAL COA-COA BASKET

Posted in Articles, Black History, News, Newsletter with tags , , , on May 31, 2011 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

________________________________________________________________

“One good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain.”

Bob Marley (1945 – 1981)

Music has always played an important role in all our lives, especially Reggae, the music genre first developed in Jamaica, strongly influenced by traditional African, American jazz and old-time rhythm and blues. Reggae owes its direct origins to the progressive development of Ska and Rocksteady in 1960s Jamaica.  Each month, THE MUSICAL COA-COA BASKET will salute the legendary artists and recording studios from out of Jamaica that have placed reggae on the musical global map.

________________________________________________________________

 For my sister Muriel inna Philadelphia, USA. “Happy Birthday Sis’!”

________________________________________________________________

LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY

(THE UPSETTER)

LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY, in addition to being one of the most innovative musicians was one of the original independent producers in Jamaica who emerged in the late 1950s andearly 1960s. He worked initially at Sir Coxone Dodd’s Studio One but left in 1967 to join Joe Gibbs for a short spell.  By the next year he had set up his own Upsetter label.

Although much of his early work was uncredited, he developed a reputation for using unusual and ear catching sound effects.  The latter part of the decade of the 1960s saw his seminal work with the (Wailin’) Wailers – Bunny Wailer, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh – resulting from intuitive understanding for the need to allow their vocal harmonies to stand out from the rhythmic arrangements. To achieve this goal his decision to record them with The Upsetters’ Carlton and Aston Barrett was inspired. The results were, arguably, two of the best albums recorded throughout the career of Bob Marley in “Soul Rebels” and “African Herbsman”.

As he moved into the 1970s, he used his Black Ark Studio to embrace not only the emerging dub style but also that of on of its greatest exponents in King Tubby.  Other artists to record at his studio included Big Youth, U Roy, The Meditations, The Congo’s and Junior Murvin.

Lee Perry never compromised his unique approach to recording and has gained a reputation as an unpredictable (to put it mildly) individual. Without doubt his contribution to the development of reggae, in all its forms, for more than forty years can hardly be challenged.

So kick back, click on the tracks below and enjoy some of the best music LEE SCRATCH PERRY has ever produced.

Return of the Django – The Upsetters; Enter the Dragon – Lee Perry; Exit the Dragon – Lee Perry; Curly Locks – Junior Byles; Curly Dub – The UpsettersDo It Baby (Nice n Easy) – Susan Cadogan; Hurt So Good – Susan CadoganFever – Susan Cadogan; Love Of My Life – Susan Cadogan; Kung Fu Man – Lee Perry & The Upsetters; The Dragon Enters – Lee Perry; Croaking Lizard – Lee Perry; Come Along – Lee Perry & Black Arks; Fisherman – The Congo’s; Life Is Not Easy – The Meditations & The Upsetters; One Step Forward – Max Romeo; Norman – Max Romeo; Police and Thieves – Junior Murvin; False Teaching – Junior Murvin; Tedious -Junior Murvin; Roast Fish and Cornbread – Lee Perry; Mash Down – The Roots; Sons of Slaves – Junior Delgado; Garden of Life – Leroy Sibbles;

‘TIL NEXT MONTH – EVERYTING –  BLESS

FEATURED ARTICLE

Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, News, Newsletter with tags , , , , on May 31, 2011 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

************************************************************************************

A MODERN DAY LYNCHING?

© 2011 Denise Anthea

 ************************************************************************************

In the mid 1990’s I became aware of an interesting occurrence in the media. A black British athlete by the name of Linford Christie was a sprinter in the 100 metres. He went on to win Olympic gold.

The media started to focus on his running kit. His shorts to be precise. They then made constant references to his “lunch box”.  Interesting, he had achieved so much and was a great ambassador for athletics, his country and, of course someone for young people to look up to. But in the media’s eyes, this seemed to be irrelevant. It was all about his “lunch box.”

A couple of years before that, Mike Tyson made headlines worldwide when he was accused of rape and subsequently imprisoned.

Then there were the allegations of child abuse levelled at Michael Jackson. This case sent the media into a frenzy and was long and drawn out. Very long and drawn out.

Kobe Bryant (NBA basketball player) also made headlines for an alleged sexual misdemeanour a few years back. More recently it was Tiger Woods.

All of these cases have a common theme. All of those men reached the higher heights and were then brought down spectacularly.  All tried by genitalia i.e. rape and sexual infidelity. Of course, some make it back.  Kobe Bryant’s star is once more in the ascendant.

After seeing our heroes knocked back again and again it occurs to me that it’s not so much a case of whether they were guilty or not.  It seems to be more about  “making the mud stick”.

How many of us now, when we see or hear of any of the above mentioned (and, there’s more we could add), do we remember the negative publicity or do we think instantly of their amazing achievements? We’re talking about world class in their field. No mean feat. Their names have gone down in history, a place they’ve rightfully earned. But, they’ve all been attacked by the same means.

It seems very little has changed for the black man in the West in the 21St Century. Is it a modern day lynching?

Compared to many decades ago, in the USA, if today your talent is discovered (especially in the fields of sport and music), – ‘cos, you know, entertaining people is what we do’ – the potential to earn is huge.  Earnings combined with sponsorship deals all seem to make the successful black man an easy target, sexually and financially.

It has all become rather contrived. It’s very sad. Make no mistake; if crimes have been committed then of course you should be answerable to those crimes. But when we, as a people see our great hopes being slammed down time and again it affects us negatively and we’re probably not even aware of the effect this drip, drip feeding over many years has on us.

It‘s psychological warfare. If you are told something constantly over a long period of time, you soon believe it. You even accept it as the norm.

Children may no longer feel they have role models they can trust. Brothers may judge them, saying if they had what these stars had, they wouldn’t have messed things up. Our elders may feel saddened and let down and Sisters may feel that indeed black men can’t be trusted to “keep it zipped up.” So instead of our support they are instead judged harshly.

It’s not what we read in the media but how we interpret it.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

*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 Denise Anthea.*

THE CULTURE CORNER

Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, News, Newsletter with tags , , , , on May 31, 2011 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

________________________________________________________________

“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.

________________________________________________________________

Blacks in Britain (Part Five) 

Not widely known – But true…

 

The 1750’s – While Liverpool was to become the “King” of Britain’s slave trade seaports, even surpassing Bristol, London’s contibution to the trade cannot be ignored. By the 1750’s, London had become a critical partner in the slave trade: It was the London Commission Agents that greased the wheels by financing the entire system. By 1750, London merchants were handling almost three-quarters of the sugar imported into England. They had become money-lenders of a highly specialised kind. ‘Acting in the dual capacity of broker and banker,’ they ‘reaped lucrative commissions and interest for accommodating the peculiar needs of planters and slave merchants.’

In 1752 Liverpool’s ships carried 25,820 Africans crammed into holds ‘like books on a shelf,’ with each person allowed less than half the space granted, in the same period, to a transported convict.  The business of trafficking lives proved profitable. The estimate of the profits Britain gleaned from the African slave trade was £12,000,000, based upon the transportation of 2,500,000 slaves, with perhaps half of the estimate collected between 1750 and 1790. Fully one-quarter of Liverpool’s shipping consisted of the slave trade, and Britain relied on the sea port to account for 60% of its trade, and the monies brought from Britain’s slave trade accounted for 40% of Europe’s economy.

In 1759, two Africans, one a Prince, recently rescued from slavery attended the May 9, 1759 showing of the play Oroonoko, adapted from Behn’s 1688 book. The Prince, William Ansah Sessarakoo from Annamaboe (modern-day Ghana), had been sent to England to receive an education by his father. While in transit to England, the captain of the ship captured Sessarakoo and sold him into slavery, but was later rescued by the English for obvious diplomatic reasons. The English public was enraged by the unjust enslavement of a member of Africa’s “exotic nobility,” but except for those within the anti-slavery community, general indignation did not extend to the legions of lesser enslaved Africans, nor to those who would soon face enslavement.

In 1783, black North American soldiers, who fought along side British soldiers against the colonies in the American Revolutionary War, arrived in London to reap the “Freedom” they were promised for their service. But what they received was immediate access into British poverty.  In 1731, the Lord Mayor of London had proclaimed that no blacks could be taught trades, and neither black slaves nor servants were entitled to poor law relief or wages. Homelessness and starvation, or kidnapping and re-enslavement became new harsh realities. Some blacks found their way in St. Giles or other areas along the Wapping River. There, they lived alongside poor whites in abject poverty and misery.

________________________________________________________________

FAMOUS BLACK PEOPLE PAST AND PRESENT

  • AESOP  –  World renowned story teller.
  • SOCRATES  –  One of the greatest  thinkers in western civilization.
  • COUNT BERNADOTTE  – Sweden’s FIRST KING called the Negro Monarch of Sweden.
  • PIETRO OLONZO NINO  –  Captain of Adirante Colon’s flagship the SANTA MARIA.
  • FRANCESCO BUWATO  –  Founder of the City of Brooklyn (New York City).
  • HENRI POINT DU SABLE  –  Founder of the City of Chicago, Illionois.
  • SAMUEL FRANCUS  –  Saved the “FATHER OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”  –  George Washington from being poisoned by Thomas Hickey, an agent of the British army.
  • GIBRAL TARIKH  –  The Rock of Gibraltar is named after him.
  • ROBERT BROWNING  –  World renowned poet and writer.

________________________________________________________________

TRIBUTE TO OUR S/HEROES

Fanny Eaton (1835 – ?) – Fanny Antwistle was born in Jamaica and is described as of ‘mixed race’. By the mid-1850s she was living in London, married to James Eaton, who dove cabs and carts, and mother of their first two children, James Mark and Fanny Matilda, born in St Pancras in 1855 and 1858. In the 1861 census the family were living just south of Kings Cross in a small crowded house and Fanny’s occupation is given as ‘charwoman’ or daily cleaner. However, she also had intermittent employment as artist’s model.  She sat to A.F Sandys, Rebecca and Simeon Solomon, and Albert Moore in 1859-60, to Joanna Wells in 1860-61, to D.G Rossetti in 1865 and to J.E Millias in 1864 and 1867, amongst others.  Thought not a full-time career, modelling augmented other earnings.

Sarah Forbes Bonetta – (1842 – 1880) – Sarah Forbes Bonetta a West African of royal blood of the Egbado Omoba (a clan of the Yoruba people). She was orphaned in inter-tribal warfare at the age of eight.  Intended to be a human sacrifice, she was rescued by Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy, who convinced King Ghezo of Dahomey (Republic of Benin) to give her to Queen Victoria, “She would be a present from the King of the blacks to the Queen of the Whites,” Forbes wrote later.  He named her Sara Forbes Bonetta.  While her hair was ‘strongly indicative of her African birth, her features are pleasing and handsome and her manners and conduct most most mild and affectionate’ (The Times, 18 November 1850). Victoria was impressed by the girl’s exceptional intelligence, and had Sarah raised as her goddaughter in the British middle class. In 1851 she gained a long lasting cough that was caused by the climate transferring from Africa to Great Britain. She was sent to school in Africa and later then returned to England when she became 20.  Sarah was sanctioned by Victoria to marry James Davies at Nicholas Church in Brighton in August, 1862. Davies was a Yoruba businessman of considerable wealth for the period, and the couple moved back to their native Africa after their wedding.  Sarah was baptised at a church in the town of Badagry, a former slave port. She died at the age of 37 in 1880 of tuberculosis. James Davies was concerned about Sara because she had a bad cough that would not go away; she was eventually diagnosed with the consumption.

Empress Menen – (25 March 1889 – 15 February 1962) – (Baptismal name Wolete Giyorgis) was the wife and consort of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.  Empress Menen was the daughter of Asfaw, Jantirar of Ambassel.  He was a direct descendant of Emperor Lebna Dengel, through Emperor Gelawdewos of Ethiopia and his daughter Princess Enkulal Gelawdewos. The title of Jantirar has traditionally belonged to the head of the family holding the mountain fortress of Ambassel, and Jantirar Asfaw was one of them.  Her mother was Woizero Sehin Mikael, half-sister of Lij Iyasu (Iyasu V), and daughter of Negus Mikael of Wollo.  Woizero Sehin’s mother, Woizero Fantaye Gebru, was a direct descendant of Emperor Susenyos in the “Seyfe Melekot” line. Empress Menen and Emperor Haile Selassie were the parents of six children: Princess Tenagnework, Prince Asfaw Wossen (Emperor-in-Exile Amha Selassie I), Princess Tsehai, Princess Zenebework, Prince Makonnen Duke of Harrar, and Prince Sahle Selassie.

Alice Walker – One of the most important writers of the 1980s was Alice Walker. Her stunning novel ‘The Colour Purple’, was made into a major motion picture and she was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Askia Muhammad Toure (1493 -1529) – Askia Muhammad Toure united the entire central region of the Western Sudan, and established a governmental machine that is still revered today for its detail and efficiency. He divided his country into provinces, each with a professional administrator as governor, and ruled each fairly and uniformly through a staff of distinguished legal experts and judges.

Idris Alooma (Sultan of Bornu – 1580 – 1617) – For two centuries before Idris Alooma become Mai (Sultan) of Bornu, Kanem was a separate land whose people had been driven out by their nomadic cousins, the Bulala. It took one of Africa’s most extraordinary rulers to reunite the two kingdoms located mainly in Chad and Nigeria. Idris Alooma was a devout Moslem. He replaced tribal law with Moslem law, and early in his reign, he made a pilgrimage to Mecca.  But the trip had as much military as religious significance, for he returned with Turkish firearms and later commanded an incredibly strong army. They marched swiftly and attacked suddenly, crushing hostile tribes in annual campaigns. Finally Idris conquered the Bulala, establishing dominion over the Kanem-Bornu Empire and a peace lasting half a century.

Moshoeshoe (King of Bassutoland – 1786 – 1868) – For half a century, the Basotho people were ruled by the founder of their nation. Moshoeshoe was a wise and just king who was as brilliant in diplomacy as he was in battle.  He united many diverse groups, uprooted by war, into a stable society where law and order prevailed and the people could raise their crops and cattle in peace. He knew that peace made prosperity possible, and he often avoided conflict through skilful negotiations.  Moshoeshoe solidified Basotho defences at Thaba Bosiu, their impregnable mountain capital. From this stronghold he engineered a number of major victories over superior forces.

Samory Toure  (The Black Napoleon of the Sudan – 1830 – 1900) – The ascendance of Samory Toure began when his native Bissandugu was attacked and his mother taken captive. After a persuasive appeal, Samory was allowed to take her place, but  later escaped and joined the army of King Bitike Souane of Torona.  Following a quick rise through the ranks of Bitike’s army, Samory returned to Bissandugu where he was soon installed as king and defied French expansionism in Africa by launching a conquest to unify West Africa into a single state. During the eighteen-year conflict with France, Samory continually frustrated the Europeans with his military strategy and tactics. This astute military prowess prompted some of France’s greatest commanders to entitle the African monarch, “The Black Napoleon of the Sudan”.

Gil Heron (9 April 1922 – 27 November 2008) – The father of Gil Scott Heron, was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He had been playing professional football in the United States and was invited to Scotland and took part in a public trial for Celtic at Celtic Park on August 4, 1951, scoring twice in the game.  It was enough to impress the club who signed him and he made his debut on August 18, 1951 in a League Cup tie against Morton at Celtic Park.  He scored once in the 2-0 victory. He was the first black player to play for the Scottish club. Heron only played five first-team matches in all, scoring twice. He was released by the club the next year and joined Third Lanark A.C where he played in seven League Cup matches, scoring five goals but did not appear in the League. Next he went to English club Kidderminster Harriers before moving back to Detroit Corinthians. At Celtic he earned the nicknames ‘The Black Arrow’ and ‘The Black Flash.’

Here ends your history lesson for this month.

________________________________________________________________

Log on for more CULTURE CORNER next month and remember…

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I

‘Til next month – Everyting – Bless

%d bloggers like this: