Archive for December, 2011


Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Music, News, Newsletter, Television, Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by







The God who make I and I, him create technicolor people.

Bob Marley (1945 – 1981)

From the book: 60 Visions: A Book of Prophecy; Book III: 30


Greetings and Welcome to PANTHER NEWSLETTER ISSUE 21.

…and happy second birthday last month to PANTHER NEWSLETTER

Yes, it’s two years PANTHER NEWSLETTER has been on line and long may it reign. As it’s the end of another year, I want to take this opportunity to thank you the readers for logging on, browsing through PANTHER NEWSLETTER, reading and supporting your on line cultural review. Once again, I give thanks. A special shout goes out to our administrator Candice Smith for solving  the technical woes and to co-researcher Denise Anthea for finding some of the historical gems. I haven’t forgotten the contributors this year. They are: Brotha Chaz Walker; Ras Flako Tafari; Cherri Poet; Rastarella Falade; Chloe Redmond; Claudette E Johnson; Martin Glynn; Bryanna Jones; Denise Anthea; Caroline Bell Foster; Joanne ‘Blackpoet’ Stephen; Judith Jacob; Denise Dunn; Naomi Spencer. Nuff love to my family in the USA, east, west, north and south, in Jamaica, Canada, South Africa and here in the UK; Jah Bless.

The SPECIAL GUEST page returns in 2012. In this issue we have: THE HEART OF OUR COMMUNITY where all our community’s talent are on show; a special FEATURED POEM dedicated to you the reader and to all PANTHER NEWSLETTER contributors, past and present; Denise Dunn takes a trip down memory lane and throws down her debut FEATURED ARTICLE which I’m sure y’all will enjoy reading; NORMSKI’S ARTICLE; and everybody’s favourite THE CULTURE CORNER.

Check out the PANTHER NEWSLETTER mother site SAMUDA SMITH PUBLICATIONS and the launch of its new page: CULTURE CORNER ARCHIVES which will be continuously updated. It is now ready for you to read and will also be a great educational tool for you and your children. So why not check it out and enjoy the fountain of knowledge. You won’t be disappointed. See you there!

So without any further ado, kick back, chillax and enjoy your on line cultural review…






Martin Glynn writer and criminologist from Birmingham UK speaks his truth about the real story behind the August 2011 riots in the UK for the Oxford Symposium; check it out, watch and listen keenly here… and here…


The lead investigator for the police watchdog inquiry into the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan has been forced to admit a “mistake” was made in releasing information that Duggan had fired at officers first; more…


Linda Carty was born on the British Commonwealth island of St Kitts West Indies. She’s awaiting execution in Texas: if she’s killed, she’ll be the first British woman to be executed since Ruth Ellis, over 50 years ago; watch…


A council has called in the police after the body of a former soldier who died in police custody turned up in a mortuary more than a decade after he was believed to have been buried; more…


Manchester United’s full-back Patrice Evra – who had several run-ins during the 1-1 draw at Anfield on October 15 – claimed to French media after the match that he had been racially abused by the Uruguay forward throughout the match; more…





Medro Johnson, 49, says life has been a struggle since his 2008 firing by Sears Home Improvement. “We depleted all our savings, our retirement, our kids’ college fund,” he said. He added that he hopes the jury award “will send a message to Sears” and prompt change; read more…



Some Haitians suspected the announcement was too good to be true: that France would pay their nation $22 billion to make up for forcing the former French colony to pay an equivalent sum in exchange for its independence in the nineteenth century. Well, those who were suspicious were proved right when an elaborate hoax was revealed; here…


A 12-year-old comedian wows the audience at the Apollo; watch…


No doubt, this man is an artistic genius; watch…





Sad news from the world of boxing: Former heavyweight champion boxer Joe Frazier has lost his battle with liver cancer, his family told the Associated Press; read more here…


A Beverly Hills police spokesman said Heavy D died in a Los Angeles hospital after collapsing at his apartment building. Officers were dispatched after receiving a report of an unconscious person laying on the walkway of a building; more…


Basil D’Oliveira, the England cricket great and worldwide symbol of the fight against sporting apartheid, has died at the age of 80; continued…


According to Earl Morgan, founder of the trio, Llewellyn began complaining of not feeling well and was rushed to the University Hospital in St Andrew Jamaica. He passed away at 3:15 a.m. the day after. No cause was given for his death; more…


Charlie Sheen has paid tribute to the late Patrice O’Neal saying the world lost ‘a brilliant man.’ The Comedian died at the age of 41. His death was the result of complications from a stroke he suffered in October; read more here…


The legendary producer of the label Xterminator Phillip ‘Fatis’ Burrell has died in Kingston Jamaica. He suffered a stroke, was hospitalized and went into a coma; read more here…


Former Brazil World Cup captain Socrates, regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation, has died in hospital at the age of 57; more…


Cesaria Evora always performed without shoes as she sang traditional music of  the West African island nation of Cape Verde. It was a complex, soulful sound with infectious beat; more…




Cesaria Evora; here…

Joe Frazier; here…

Heavy D; here…

Basil D’Oliveira; here…

Barry Llewellyn; here…

Patrice O’Neal; here…

Phillip ‘Fatis’ Burrell; here…

Socrates; here… and here…




Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Music, News, Newsletter, Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by





With Chloe Redmond

For more details of her classes, click on the poster or check out Chloe’s website here…




All your Balloon decorations for Parties, Weddings
and Corporate Events
Check out CANDY
Or give me a call on 0790 480 4419  – 0121 250 4466




Check out and subscribe to Afro-Caribbean Global Voices the on line Directory of all of the African Caribbean (Black) community current affairs centered  mediums across the diaspora; here…





 120 Vyse Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham B18 6NF

The most exciting and rejuvenating Jazz night has kicked off @ The Quartz, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, fortnightly Thursdays. It’s not just Jazz, it’s an experience that will be shared with some of the most talented and exuberating Jazz musicians from far and wide. For more information phone: 0121 638 0113.






For all connoisseurs who revere black history. 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 are searching for a good historical read, why not check out this superb and inspiring book; here…

Or to contact the author and buy from her direct click; here…



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.

Throughout his journey as a writer and criminologist Martin Glynn 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…



Ten Black British Poets from the West Midlands Edited by Eric Doumerc and Roy McFarlane (Birmingham Poet Laureate 2011) 

CELEBRATE WHA? is an anthology of poems about identity and race with a mix of curry goat ‘n’ rice, a reggae rhythm, born out of a blend of dub, grime, performance poetry, politics, anger and laughter.

Ten poets – Dreadlock Alien, Sue Brown, Marcia Calame, Evoke, Martin Glynn, Michelle Hubbard, Kokumo, Roy McFarlane, Chester Morrison and Moqapi Selassie – explore what it means to be black and British and from the West Midlands.

CELEBRATE WHA?  is dedicated to Birmingham’s Black poets – long overdue.

 To buy and read more about the anthology, check it out here…




Birmingham’s Leeanne Stoddart hates writing bio’s about herself but prefers to write poems about people she loves, fantasies she has; her hair and trees.  She is a Facebook addict and a collector of useless trivia and corny jokes – There are no bad jokes in this book though.

Check out her debut book and buy a copy here…




Joanne Stephen is an educator with the New York City Department of Education. She currently resides in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. Joanne has been drawing and writing poetry for the past fifteen years. The inspiration for her poetry comes from everyday life. Insights of Blackpoet is raw emotion that the readers will flow through the author’s every breath. Her poetry will only make you crave for more!!! “Through My Eyes” is a rollercoaster of words that guides you through a world filled with ecstasy, passion, pain and inspirations.  Check out her website and buy her books here…





Jenniece Anderson is an artist, art teacher and art dealer. Born in Jamaica, Jenniece currently lives and works in London. A prolific painter, Jenniece is renowned as a colourist and an expressionist but she also experiments with a range of processes and techniques. Her work conveys a narrative of colours, textures, patterns and the rhythms of the Caribbean vibe. She is committed to celebrating and promoting Caribbean art which was the driving force for establishing “Bingy” Art Gallery for which she was the art director; check out her recently launched website here…


Fluid Space Arts is an art company working with all aspects of the arts by widening and developing new opportunities for children, young people and emerging artists by providing an environment and platform for their skills and talents to be nurtured and expressed. They specialise in organizing and delivering tailor-made events and training programmes which can be adapted to the client group that they work with. Why not check them out and see what they can do for you; here…






Three friends who founded an on line radio station in North London, say they started to fill a gap in their community.  Since the launch of Majestic Radio in July, their African and Caribbean flavoured station has been attracting an audience from a variety of countries and backgrounds; check them out and tune into them here…




Congratulations to Jasmine Johnson, best selling novelist and now playwright from Birmingham UK, who has won the M Visa award for her play Mr Soon Come her adaptation of her novel which she also wrote; watch her interview here…


African American poet Nikky Finney was awarded The National Book Award for poetry November 16 2011. Kick back, listen and watch the best acceptance speech ever; here…



KWANZAA, a celebration of Afrikan Heritage; Strictly An Afrikan Family Occasion is coming to your home town. If you wanna get on the bus and join the celebrations; check out when and where here…


Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Newsletter, Poems, Writing with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by



© 2011 Norman Samuda Smith



When I was a yout’, I never like to comb me hair

Me daddy tek me to barber shop, fe sit in a barber chair

Me baal, me cry, me run out de shop, waving me hands inna de air

After dat me mommy trim me hair to soothe me daddy dispair


Me favourite animal is de Black Panther

I never know it was connected to me roots and culture

Like Marcus Garvey who tell we to look to Africa

It’s there we gonna see the crowned redeemer

And there was Malcolm X, yes the literal warrior

And Martin Luther King our spiritual leader


Me fourteenth birthday was on a Saturday

Had a sprained ankle couldn’t go out to play

Fell asleep, had a dream, and dis is what it say

It say Normski, yuh gonna write a book one day

And nine years later me write a book and couple play

And de title of me book is call Bad Friday


Dis poem is for you the Panther Newsletter reader

I hope it enlightens you about yuh roots and culture

And also world wide black literature

To all de contributors wave yuh hands inna de air

From me

To you



*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 Norman Samuda Smith.*


Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Current Affairs, Music, News, Newsletter, Writing with tags , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by



© 2011 Denise V. Dunn



In celebration of Black History Month, my friend Lorna and I went to see ‘The Story of Lovers Rock’ at the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham.  This feature length documentary by director and producer Menelik Shabazz, tells the story of the “rebel generation” of the UK’s young Afro-Caribbean’s in the late 1970’s and 80’s. I was taken on a journey down musical memory lane and given an informative social and political history lesson my generation was too young to remember or fully comprehend.

Lover’s Rock or ‘romantic reggae’ as it was often dubbed, was a genre of black British reggae music that influenced artists such as Sade, Culture Club, UB40, and The Police. It was here the original ‘girl power’ made famous by the Spice Girls in the 1990’s  was born, when female artists such as the late Louisa Marks (‘Caught You In a Lie‘), Janet Kay (‘Silly Games’), Carol Thompson (I’m So Sorry’), burst onto the scene with songs women could easily identify and relate to.

The documentary also featured archive footage, dance, interviews,  live performances from the late Jean Adebambo (‘Paradise’), Janet Kay, Peter Hunnigale, Sandra Cross, Trevor Walters, Sylvia Tella, Aswad, and Maxi Priest. Comedy sketches were provided by the likes of Angie Le Mar, John Simmit, Eddie Nestor and Robbie Gee, reminiscing about growing up during this era.

When Lover’s Rock emerged in the late 70’s, I was only seven years old; way too young to follow any sound system, however my parents were not. My mother remembers following sound systems, recalling how people followed good sound systems because they knew they would hear good music. She fondly recalls various day trips, including a trip to Liverpool and dancing to lover’s rock on a ferry sailing around the Liverpool dock. My dad remembers King Size Sound, Lloydie Coxsone’s sound system. The best parties, mom says during this era, were when the London and Birmingham sound systems would compete against each other as to who had the newest and best music. “Two sound systems competing against each other was always a good night.” However the downside to two sound systems competing against each other were the fights that would occasionally break out. She recalls attending a party in Digbeth where a fight broke out at the front where the sound systems were playing. Someone turned off the lights and everyone ran to get out, whilst everybody was trying to get out, someone started to steal coats from the cloakroom. On that particular night she lost her beige mac and a man had his brand new leather jacket stolen.

Although I was too young to follow the various sound systems, I did however love the music (and still do). Those participating in the documentary talked about the specialised record shops in London selling Lover’s Rock, in Birmingham Don Christie’s on the Ladypool Road was the place to go to for all the latest Lover’s Rock releases. Summit and Bailey’s would later join Don Christie as being the other specialist record shops to sell Lover’s Rock and reggae music. I recall the many times as a child accompanying my dad to Don Christie’s on Saturday‘s. I can still remember being inside the shop seeing the big wooden speaker boxes and feeling the heavy bass vibrating through the floor and through my entire body.

As well as talking about the music, the documentary highlighted the dancing during this genre. Watching the dancers, dance to Lover’s Rock and hearing those featured in the documentary talk about their experiences of ‘scrubbing’ as the dance was called, as a child I never realised how intimate and sexy ‘scrubbing’ actually was. I remember seeing couples dancing in this way at family parties. Little did I realise the couples I saw ‘scrubbing’ weren’t always actually husband and wife, or even boyfriend and girlfriend, just two people dancing in the dark to romantic reggae music.  Victor Romeo Evans, who I remember fondly as Bellamy in ‘No Problem’, and Angie Le Mar both said in their interviews sometimes the person you were ‘scrubbing’ with were sometimes ugly.  Angie Le Mar recalls dancing with a man in the dark and when the lights came on he was really ugly and kept following her around the party. She provided the funniest comment in the documentary “He found love, and you found the light.”

Listening to Lover’s Rock as a child, I was oblivious to the fact this genre of music provided a coping mechanism against a backdrop of racial tension including the ‘Sus Law’ – a law allowing police officers to stop, search and arrest anyone as a crime prevention tactic. Many police officers abused this law to harass young black men. Linton Kwesi Johnson and others in the documentary discussed the racial tension that was taking place during 80‘s and the racism they encountered. However, I do recall seeing news coverage of the Brixton riots on television.

As the 90’s approached Lover’s Rock began to wane in the UK, during the documentary the audience laughed when they heard Lover’s Rock has gained a new lease of life in Japan.  This was no surprise to me as I visited the country in 2010.  Rankin Taxi, is Japan’s biggest reggae star. Taxi went to Jamaica in the early 80’s, whilst there, his Jamaican friends introduced him to reggae, he loved it so much he took it back to Japan. Janet Kay is big in Japan. One thing that surprised me watching the documentary was that she never signed a record deal until she signed with Sony Music Japan in the 90’s. Janet has recorded seven albums that were released in Japan only. Japanese artists such as Sandeii, Iria and Machaco whose love of Jamaica is conveyed in her music, confirming her status as one of Japan’s most successful female vocalist in the history of Japanese reggae. As well as Japan, Lover’s Rock is also popular in Venezuela, Australia and New Zealand. In the UK, artists such as Ava Leigh are bringing Lover’s Rock back.


 Check out the trailer of ‘THE STORY OF LOVER’S ROCK’ here…


*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 V. Dunn.*


Posted in Articles, Black British Literature, Black History, Current Affairs, News, Newsletter, Writing with tags , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by



© 2011 Norman Samuda Smith



During the past few months I have been sitting, watching and listening with interest of the European Union’s economic crisis; Greece’s financial melt down, now Italy’s not forgetting Spain and the UK who are also vulnerable and could melt down same way. While the European leaders and their advisers meet almost every day to try and figure a way out of their predicament, it’s been hard for me to resist writing about it and point out the connection of an ancient King’s dream which predicted that this current world situation would happen.

One of my favourite lessons at school was Religious Education. I became fascinated with the biblical tales and adventures of the prophets of old. Stories like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Daniel in the lion’s den and the fate of John the Baptist. One of the parables which always stands out for me is Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue made of Gold, Sliver, Brass, Iron and Clay. While our class was studying his vision, we went on a trip to the London museum to see the treasures of Tutankhamun and a model statue which represented King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.


(Daniel 2: 31-35)


We stood in front of this structure (which was approximately twelve feet tall, its width was roughly four feet), as the curator explained to us the interpretation of the statue translated by the prophet Daniel to King Nebuchadnezzar.

The head of gold represented Babylon, the empire responsible for destroying the Jewish temple and for taking the Jews into captivity. The Babylonians were known for their gold wealth.  Babylon was called the Golden City.

The chest and arms of silver, the second empire following Babylon was Media-Persia. It was the Media-Persian Empire that allowed the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild their homes and the temple. Silver was an important metal to the Persians since their taxes were to be paid in silver. It is said that the Persians also placed silver harnesses on their horses.

The thigh of brass was the third empire which was Greece, under the command of Alexander the Great. The Grecian armies used brass helmets and weaponry in their conflicts. It was the Grecian ruler Antiochus Epiphanes who defiled the Jewish temple, filling it with pagan idols, placing a Hellenistic priest in the temple and requiring the sacrifice of pigs on the altar.

The legs of iron represented the Roman Empire who followed the Grecians. The iron represented two things. It was a metal the Romans mastered for use in their chariots and weapons. Secondly, it was used for war and fighting which was the central feature when the Romans set out to conquer new territory. The legs of iron also predicted a split in the Roman Empire and it began in AD 395 when the empire was divided between east (one leg) and west (the other leg). In AD 476, the west (Rome) fell to the Germanic tribes, but the eastern leg became the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines ruled out of Constantinople (Turkey) and built churches in Palestine honouring many of the Christian holy sites.

While the Roman church maintained dominion through much of Western Europe through the influence of the Pope and Cardinals, the Byzantines exercised influence over much of the east, including Palestine and Jerusalem for a period of a thousand years.  Eventually, the eastern branch of the leg fell into the hands of Muslim Turks in 1453. An Islamic empire called the Ottoman Empire ruled from Palestine from 1517 to 1917.

During the peak of its authority, the Roman Empire stretched over three continents and housed twenty-nine provinces, if you like, the first European Union of sorts, despite the fact that most of the provinces were conquered forcibly. From when it split into two in AD 395, many empires in the west have risen and fallen. The Spanish have risen, the French Empire under Napoleon, the British Empire, right up to Nazi Germany’s Third Reich under Hitler’s rule. Then after World War II, we’ve had the Russians and the Americans scrambling for power during the cold war years. All this represents the feet of iron and clay on the statue, where nations are fighting for ultimate power but nobody can secure a firm hold.

The Common Market, The European Economic Community (EEC), later renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993 is now known as the European Union (EU) by stealth mode, was formed in 1957, as an international organisation with a view to bringing about economic integration, including a single market among the ‘Inner Six’ which were Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The UK joined in 1973. In 2011, the European Union’s membership is at present twenty-seven provinces, two short of the Roman Empire’s total at its peak.  No doubt, it was Europe’s way of creating peace, stability and unity in a region which for centuries since AD 395 to 1945 was plagued with continuous tribal wars; and now, the economic meltdown is threatening the union.

The bankers, corporate investors and the world markets are biting their nails, nervously speculating what the Europeans are going to do; whether they are going to stay together, split up or cancel the Euro currency. In the UK meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron is busy fighting the rebels in his Conservative Party. These rebels want a referendum that will give the British people the opportunity to vote to leave the European Union. While all this is happening, the media communicates to the earth’s populace all the respected world governments’ policies and prophecy of austerity and economic global doom and gloom in the newspapers and on the television which is likely to last for years to come. The current world economic slow down is not the fault of the everyday people, who rise each morning and go to work to put food on the table, clothe their children and pay their bills, nor is it the fault of the unemployed who are even more convinced they have no foreseeable future of bettering themselves or getting a job. It is the failure of certain individual world bankers who invested and mismanaged the people’s money, yet with all the cutbacks to public services, the police etc, it is the poor and needy who are suffering for the incompetence and corruption of those in charge of their respected nations’ purse strings.

While the politicians’ try to figure out all the mess, the everyday people in the UK will continue to go to their work amidst the backdrop of wage freezes, and the unemployed will do their best to survive, visit the growing number of food banks and try to avoid becoming homeless. There are trying times ahead of us, this is a time for each and everyone to look within, examine and know your worth.

In this age of iron and clay, the big question is, will the European Union remain united and soldier on through the bad times? More importantly, will the UK have a referendum and vote to leave the European Union? Only time will tell.

‘Til the next issue March 2012 – 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, News, Newsletter with tags , , , , on December 19, 2011 by





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

Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887 – 1940)

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


Many people wonder why Republican legislators are so hard on President Obama. Frederick Douglass gave us the answer many years ago. Brothers all over the world who reside in a populace where they are the minority, will recognise and relate to his immortal statement.

Frederick Douglass (1818 – 1895)

“Though the colored man is no longer subject to barter and sale, he is surrounded by an adverse settlement which fetters all his movements. In his downward course he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is resented and resisted at every step of his progress. If he comes in ignorance, rags and wretchedness he conforms to the popular belief of his character, and in that character he is welcome; but if he shall come as a gentleman, a scholar and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impudence. In one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the other he is an affront to pride and provokes malice.”

Frederick Douglass – September 25, 1883


Blacks in Britain (Part nine) 

Not widely known – But true…


1951 – 1954 – Britain’s labour shortages increase the numbers of West Indian nursing and labour recruits from pre –1951 figures of less than 1,000 persons per year to 2,000 per year in 1952 and 1953, and 10,000 per year in 1954.

1951 – 1959 – Several remains of Roman-era (third-century AD) African soldiers were exhumed in an archeological dig at York in 1951. While the early 1950s saw increased demands in both British society and government for restrictions on black immigrants, also in 1951 the Society of Friends met at Toynbee Hall to discuss promoting racial harmony through increased welfare programs and changing the restriction policies used by British labour unions.

1952 – The Wales Establishment Office, responsible for providing British-owned ships with labourers, reported that black males could only find employment on foreign-owned ships, and that black women had been forced from jobs as domestics and shop girls, relegated to working for “mainly rag and bone merchants in the docklands area.” In a memorandum to the Trade Union Congress, written by the British Ministry of Labour Staff Association (a group which represented employment exchange workers), only half of the 152,000 job vacancies for that year would be open to black men. The reasons given reveal the depth of anti-black immigration sentiments voiced during the era: black males were to be barred from jobs where white women also worked; many employers objected to hiring blacks; the existence of job quotas; a perceived “lack of skill” among black workers; and other racist stereotypes.

1955 – 1962 – The number of West Indian nursing and labour migrants increased to an average of 32,850 per year.

1956 – As the need for workers fell, a substantial number of West Indian migrants returned home.

1958 – Racial clashes between whites and black West Indians occurred in August in Nottingham in the Midlands, and also at Notting Hill in London. The Conservative Macmillan government, strong on law and order, found any direct governmental response to the riots difficult, outside of supporting police, punishing offenders, and reassuring West Indian officials of their continued concerns. Civil liberty groups denounced the atmosphere of violence encountered by black people, “threatened to divide and disrupt the democratic life of this country.” Politicization of black immigration issues and the escalating violence against black people eventually aided Conservative restrictionists in their fight for immigration controls. By this year, the segregation of blacks into manual jobs had given these occupations the “taint” of racial inferiority. In a Ministry of Labour brief presented to the House of Commons, it was revealed that “white unemployed people are ‘not suitable for the kind of jobs held by the coloured people.’ “

1959 – Rumoured pending restrictions to immigration laws result in a dramatic increase in West Indian migration. The stabbing to death of Kelso Cochrane, a West Indian, by a white assailant, magnified concerns in the black community in Notting Hill that the police were still far from racially impartial. Although no police were at the scene when the crime was committed, “a police sergeant was authoritatively reported to have said ‘a nigger was stabbed to death by a white man.’ “




George Jackson (Soledad Brother)

George Jackson was born in 1941. When he was eighteen Jackson was found guilty of stealing 70 dollars from a gas station and sentenced to “one year to life” in prison! – He spent seven and a half years in solitary confinement.

While in California’s Soledad Prison Jackson and W. L. Nolen, established a chapter of the Black Panthers. On 13th January 1970, Nolen and two other black prisoners were killed by a prison guard.  A few days later the Monterey County Grand Jury ruled that the guard had committed “justifiable homicide.”

When a guard was later found murdered, Jackson and two other prisoners, John Cluchette and Fleeta Drumgo, were indicted for his murder. It was claimed that Jackson had sought revenge for the killing of his friend, W. L. Nolen.

On 7th August, 1970, George Jackson’s seventeen year old brother, Jonathan, single-handedly burst into San Rafael courthouse in Marin County with a satchel filled with handguns, an assault rifle and a machine-gun hidden under his raincoat.  After taking Judge Harold Haley and four others hostage, he demanded: “FREE THE SOLEDAD BROTHERS!”, George Jackson, John Cluchette and Fleeta Drumgo to be released from prison. Jonathan Jackson was shot and killed while he was driving away from the courthouse.

Jackson published his book, Soledad Brother:Letters from Prison (1970). On 21st August, 1971, Jackson was gunned down in the prison yard at San Quentin. He was carrying a 9mm automatic pistol and officials argued he was trying to escape from prison. It was also claimed that the gun had been smuggled into the prison by Angela Davis. However, at her trial she was acquitted of all charges.

Read more about George Jackson; here…



During your festive celebrations when you will be enjoying your family, opening presents and saying prayers for peace, love and good will to all. Spare a thought and say a likkle prayer for the ‘Angola 3’. Who are they? – In 1972 three black men in a Louisiana prison were placed in solitary confinement after a prison guard was murdered. Two of them are still there – even though many believe they are innocent; read more about them here… and watch the brief film clip about the Angola 3 here…



Lena Doolin Mason (1864 – ?) was born in Quincy, Illinois. She attended High School in Hannibal, Missouri and later went to school in Chicago, Illinois. Around 1887, she entered into the ministry and was affliated with the Coloured Conference of the Methodist Church. She was a strong evangelist who travelled frequently though out the United States. She would preach to mainly white but later on to racially mixed congregations. She has two known surviving poems: ‘The Negro and Education’ and ‘ANegro In It’; read her poem ‘A Negro In It’ here…

Dr. Matilda Evans (May 13, 1872 – 1935) was the first  African American woman licensed to practice medicine in South Carolina.  She was born in 1872 to Anderson and Harriet Evans in Aiken, South Carolina, where she attended the Schofield Industrial School. Encouraged by Martha Schofield, the school’s founder, Evans enrolled in Oberlin College in Ohio, attended on scholarship for almost four years, and left before graduating, in 1891, to pursue a medical career. Evans’s survey of black school children’s health in Columbia, South Carolina, served as the basis for a permanent examination program within the South Carolina public school system. She also founded the Columbia Clinic Association, which provided health services and health education to families. She extended the program when she established the Negro Health Association of South Carolina, to educate families throughout the state on proper health care procedures; read more about her here…

Lovie Yancey (January 3, 1912 – January 26, 2008) was the American founder of the Fatburger restaurant chain. She originally owned a small restaurant in Tucson. In 1947 she founded Fatburger under its original name Mr. Fatburger. In 1952, Yancey shed both her business partners and the “Mr.” from the name of the hamburger stand, and Fatburger was officially born. Yancey sold her Fatburger company to an investment group in 1990 but retained control of the original property on Western Avenue. She established a $1.7-million endowment at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte in 1986 for research into sickle-cell anemia. This was in fulfillment of a promise to her 22-year-old grandson, Duran Farrell, who had died of the disease three years earlier; read more here…

Viola Davis Desmond (July 6, 1914 – February 7, 1965) was an African-Nova Scotian who bought her own beauty parlour and beauty college in Halifax. Desmond’s story was one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Nova Scotian and Canadian history. On November 8, 1946, Viola Desmond refused to sit in the balcony designated exclusively for blacks in the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow but, instead, she took her seat on the ground floor where only white people were allowed to sit. After being forcibly removed from the theatre and arrested, Desmond was eventually found guilty of not paying the one-cent difference in tax on the balcony ticket from the main floor theatre ticket. She was fined$20 ($251.30 in 2010) and court costs ($6). She paid the fine but decided to fight the charge in court. After the trial, Desmond closed her business and then moved to Montreal where she could enroll in a business college. She eventually settled in New York where died on February 7, 1965 at the age of 50; read more about her here…

Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther (1809 – 31 December 1891) was the first black on record to be ordained as a Bishop of The United Church of Great Britain and Ireland. Born in Nigeria West Africa, Ajayi was an explorer and educator. He fought against the slave trade in his time. In 1838, he saw slavery and slave trading formally abolished.

Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks (November 30 1912 – March 7 2006) was a groundbreaking African American photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist, and film director.  He is best remembered for his photo essays for Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film Shaft. At the age of 25, Parks was struck by photographs of migrant workers in a magazine and bought his first camera, a Voigtländer Brilliant, for $12.50 at a pawnshop. The photo clerks who developed Parks’ first roll of film, applauded his work and prompted him to get a fashion assignment at Frank Murphy’s women’s clothing store in St. Paul. Those photos caught the eye of Marva Louis, heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis’ elegant wife. She encouraged Parks to move to Chicago in 1940, where he began a portrait business for society women; read more about him here…

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (December 1912 – January 15, 1966) was the first Prime Minister of Nigeria in 1960, the year it got its independence from Britain. Following the growing climate of political disruption in Nigeria, a coup was staged and Balewa died, believed to have suffered a heart attack after his arrest. He contributed to the fight for liberation of Nigeria.

Thelonious Sphere Monk (October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) was a noted Jazz pianist and composer. He was an innovative force in Jazz music in the 1940s. Born in North Carolina USA, his music in the ‘Swing’ era helped boost modern Jazz and his tunes include classics like ‘Round Midnight’ and ‘Straight No Chaser’.

Here ends your history lesson for this issue.


I trust each and every one of you will enjoy your festive holidays, wherever you are. For those of you celebrating Kwanzaa; Happy Kwanzaa and I pray your affirmations of the Nguzo Saba, (The Seven Principles) guides you to a happy and prosperous New Year…

…And as it’s the season of Peace, Love and Goodwill to one and all, here’s a special treat. PANTHER NEWSLETTER proudly presents KOKUMO singing and strumming his tune ONE LOVE; here…

Jah Bless.


Log on for more CULTURE CORNER in March 2012 and remember…

“Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens in a zoo – obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other.”

Angela Davis

(Born January 26 1944)

Happy New Year!

‘Til March 2012 – Everyting – Bless

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