Archive for March, 2012


Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Music, News, Newsletter, Publications, Reggae, Short Story, Television, Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by









Be confident. Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses and it’s only when you accept everything you are and aren’t – that you will truly succeed.


Greetings and Welcome to a bumper



Greetings to our new readers in: Mexico, Romania, Australia, Malaysia, Ukraine, Barbados, Moldova, Sweden, India, Italy, Germany, Norway, Netherlands, Iceland, Philipines, Bolivia, Rwanda, Republic of Korea, Peru, Argentina, Netherlands Antilles, Mauritius, Lesotho, Greece, Venezuela, New Zealand, Turkey, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turk & Caicos Islands, Belgium, Chile, Liberia, Ireland, Switzerland, Thailand, Egypt, Serbia, Lithuania, Denmark, Vietnam, Columbia, Finland, Poland, Russian Federation, Singapore, Indonesia, Ecuador, New Caledonia, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Ivory Coast, Georgia, Mauritius, Nigeria.

“Welcome aboard – Rock and come in!”


Welcome to the first of four issues for 2012. Before you get into the literal and historical goodies, make sure you check out the PANTHER NEWSLETTER mother site SAMUDA SMITH PUBLICATIONS featuring its pages: CULTURE CORNER ARCHIVES which will be continuously updated, a great educational resource for you and your children, and your chance to catch up on the best ARTICLES first published in PANTHER NEWSLETTER also constantly updated. So check it out and enjoy the fountain of knowledge. You won’t be disappointed. See you there!

In this issue we have: THE HEART OF OUR COMMUNITY where talent at home and abroad are on show. We pay tribute to our ancestors who built the foundations of New York City in the special FEATURED ARTICLE. My SPECIAL GUEST is a remarkable, courageous and special woman; she’s an inspiration (to me) and I’m sure she’ll inspire you. She’s my cousin who hails from New Jersey, USA. Beresford Callum, me long time bredrin from school days forever a Son of Small Heath Birmingham UK who now currently resides in Richmond, Virginia, tells the tale of his true experience with the paranormal – Xaymacca style in the FEATURED STORY. It was brought to my attention that the MUSICAL COA-COA BASKET published in December’s issue disappeared into cyber-space. “Sorry bout dat, don’t know what happen there!” However, PANTHER NEWSLETTER aims to please so in this issue we have a  MUSICAL COA-COA BASKET (EXTRA) where we celebrate the Reggae Deejays. There’s another thought-provoking subject in NORMSKI’S ARTICLE. We salute one of reggae music’s late great singers who was also a brilliant songwriter and composer in THE MUSICAL COA-COA BASKET; here’s a clue to who it is here… ; and of course we have everybody’s favourite THE CULTURE CORNER.

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





The FA Cup tie between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur on 17 March, 2012 was abandoned in the 41st minute of the game after Trotters midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed in the middle of the pitch. After Muamba’s collapse, referee Howard Webb took the decision of abandoning the game after discussions with Harry Redknapp and Owen Coyle; here…


Fabrice Muamba got out of bed for the first time as he continues to make encouraging progress in his recovery from a cardiac arrest. It is now nine days since the Bolton midfielder collapsed during the FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham; read more here…


There’s no mystery, no silent neglect in schools where white teenagers are dropping behind young African-Caribbeans, Somalis and Bangladeshis. Children from ethnic backgrounds are notching up Magic Fives – the five passes required to be counted a success; read more here… 


THE TRUST set up in memory of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence is running a campaign called 18:18 to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds; more…


BARONESS LOLA Young has said she swapped the House of Lords for teaching a lesson in the classroom during the recently held Teach First Week because of her great respect for teachers; more…


THE LABOUR party love to divide and rule us. Instead of taking a moment to consider what shadow health minister Diane Abbott meant in her tweet ‘White people love to divide and rule’, Labour party leader Ed Miliband decided to gag her and allow MP Chuka Umunna to chastise her publicly; read more here…


I AM sitting here watching the trailers for the new BBC show The Voice. I am steaming. Why oh why do those lazy people who decide who is going to be on our televisions not get off their backsides and do a little more work? Why is it that seemingly every time there is a reality show on terrestrial television and there is a black person on it they come from America? – read more here…





Nelson Mandela has been accused by his former wife of betraying South Africa’s black population. In a savage attack, Winnie Mandela said he had done nothing for the poor and should not have accepted the Nobel peace prize with the man who jailed him, F.W. de Klerk; Read more here… 


During an interview with MSNBC, Rick Santorum’s aid, Alice Stewart, had “a slip of the tongue, while she was explaining controversial comments Santorum made over the weekend about President Obama’s phony theology; watch it here…


After taking office in landslide, Portia Simpson Miller pledges to drop Queen as head of state and restore prosperity; here…


While some white people are tanning to be darker and some black people are bleaching their skin, parents really need to be the ones to teach their children about self love; check out the Jamaican documentary here…


This should make you smile, watch the short clip; here…






From Doo-Wop to Soul to Gospel to Blues, her 50 year career was the mature sound track for several generations; read more here…



Don Cornelius, creator and host of “Soul Train,” which helped demolish the color barrier for black musicians on television over its long run has died; apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 75; here…


King Stitt, a pioneer in rap reggae, died in his Caribbean homeland of Jamaica in February. He was 72; read more here…


Whitney Houston died in Los Angeles aged 48. Sources say a member of the singer’s entourage found her in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton and called hotel security, who called for an ambulance. Paramedics tried CPR, but Whitney was pronounced dead at 3.55pm; read more here…












Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Community, Culture, Education, Fiction, Music, News, Newsletter, Poems, Publications, Reggae, Short Story, Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by



From its conception to its launch in November 2009PANTHER NEWSLETTER has grown from strength to strength. In 2010 it recorded 17,000 hits. PANTHER NEWSLETTER was viewed 25,00 times in 2011, a rise of 8,000 readers from the previous year. Thanks for your support and you are most welcome to read the detailed Annual Review for 2011 here…





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…





 SHADOW PEOPLE                                                                                














My Sparkle and I Can Youth Project are looking for unique talented young people ages 11-18 to perform at The AMAZING Young People Awards in June; for further details click 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…







For all connoisseurs who prefer less chat and more music: Tune into Majestic Radio launched on the earthstrong of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie July 23 2011; here…





My SPECIAL GUEST in July 2011, JOANNE ‘BLACKPOET’ STEPHEN shares her new video with you and thanks y’all for your continued support. Tune in  here…

Friday 10th August 2012 @ The Rainbow Warehouse ONEDUB & Dubwisefesitval bring you the mighty son of JAH SHAKA in Birmingham for the very first time with his full sound system for heavyweight dub vibrations! – Catch the details here…


Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, News, Newsletter, Publications, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by

A Tribute to our ancestors who built New York…





The Symbol above is one of many tribal emblems that represent West African Wisdom: Adinkra Symbols & Meanings: SANKOFA

“Return and get it”

A symbol of importance of learning from the past


A burial ground for African slaves, which had been forgotten for almost two centuries, was opened to the public in New York, October 5th 2007. Those who attended a dedication ceremony for the monument site were New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Maya Angelou. The late 17th Century burial site was gradually built over as New York expanded, but was rediscovered during an excavation in 1991. Some 400 remains, many of children, were found during excavations. Half of the remains found at the burial site were of children under the age of 12. The entire project cost more than $50 million (£24 million) to complete. The burial site in Manhattan was rediscovered during excavations for a federal building.


A 25 feet (7.6 metre) granite monument marks the site. It was designed by Rodney Leon and is made out of stone from South Africa and from North America to symbolise the two worlds coming together. The entry to the monument is called ‘The Door of Return’ – a nod to the name given to the departure points from which slaves were shipped from Africa to North America. The tragedy is that for so many years, in fact centuries, people passing by this site did not know about the sacrifices the slaves had made. This monument is an opportunity to right some of the wrongs of the past.



They worked in the docks and as labourers building the fortification known as Wall Street, which protected the city against attack from Native Americans. The excavations had revealed one of the most uncomfortable and tragic truths in New York City’s history. For two centuries, slavery was widespread in New York.



The remains of 20,000 Africans are said to be buried under New York


The remains of 20,000 African men, women and children have lain beneath the busy streets of New York for 300 years, waiting to tell their stories on the extent of slavery in the city. In March 1992, leading African-American archaeologist Michael Blakey arrived at the burial ground in downtown Manhattan. He had read about these people documented as chattel and was now going to learn about these Africans in New York as human beings.

A haunting sight greeted him. Being winter, work was taking place under a translucent plastic tent. He had never seen an excavation like that before as there were mini excavators working and kerosene heaters were going. By the time he got there, about a dozen burials were in the process of being exposed. He could see very clearly by their positions, that they were meant to be put at peace when they were buried. Many had their arms crossed. One female skeleton had tiny bones by her side, suggesting a woman cradling a new born child.


They had devastating secrets to share, information that would reveal the extent of slavery in New York. A skull and thorax of an individual were found with filed or culturally modified teeth – and that stunned everyone because that was very rare. There are only about nine skeletons in the whole of the Americas that have been discovered with filed teeth. In this African burial ground they found at least 27 individuals with filed teeth. This suggested these people had come to New York directly from Africa before importation was banned in 1808 and American slaveholders started “breeding” slaves on the plantations in the South. These kinds of irreversible identifiers put people at risk who might have wanted to escape. Runaway adverts in newspapers seeking to re-capture the many escaped enslaved Africans often mentioned dental modification, so no one would choose to have that kind of marker.


These enslaved Africans helped create the city of New York. They worked as stevedores in the docks and as labourers building the fortification known as Wall Street, which protected the city against attack from Native Americans. Evidence from the burial site revealed, for the first time, the enormous human cost of such work. Half of the remains were of children under the age of 12. Women were usually dead by 40. It seems that it was cost effective for slave traders to work people to death and then simply to replace them, so they sought to get Africans who were as young as possible, but ready to work.


The woman designated “Burial 340” was a very intriguing person. She was in her 40s – and for the burial ground population that made her kind of old. Around her waist the woman wore a belt of over 100 beads and cowrie shells. In some parts of Africa in the 1700s, it’s illegal for people who are not members of royal families to own even one of these beads – and she had over 100 buried with her. Such treasures are known to belong to Akan-speaking people. The questions are:

Had this woman been born into royalty in Ghana and died a slave in New York City?

And who chose to bury her with the waist belt of beads?

They are very valuable items. It implies that whoever buried her could have chosen to sell those items to feed themselves – but they made the choice to bury them with her. Perhaps it was a tradition, a rite, or an act of defiance against those who had enslaved a woman of noble birth.

The skeletons of 18th Century slaves have spoken to those living free today to remind us that New York – one of the world’s great immigrant cities – destroyed as well as created destinies.

So Kings and Queens of Jah Kingdom. Whenever you get the chance to visit New York City, make a date in your calendar to check out New York’s AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND and pay tribute to our ancestors.





  • Read more about NEW YORK’S SLAVE BURIAL SITE; here…



Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Fiction, Health, News, Newsletter, Publications, Short Story, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by

Over the course of three decades, she has built a career using professional communications to help people, organizations and communities bridge differences and create new opportunities. A graduate of Princeton University, she began her professional career as a writer and lay counsellor for the Cancer Information Service at the Fox Chase Cancer Center and has also developed a freelance magazine writing career that would lead to by-lines in Black CollegianBlack Enterprise, Newsday, The Crisis, The Revealer, The Princeton Independent, Princeton Alumni Weekly, Quarterly Black Review of Books and Emerge. My SPECIAL GUEST in PANTHER NEWSLETTER this issue is my cousin Professor Kim Pearson.

I hooked up with Kim to have a chat with her about her and her work. Check out her inspiring interview with me here…


Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Fiction, News, Newsletter, Publications, Short Story, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by



© 2012 Beresford Callum

Ghosts or spirits are more popularly known in West Indian folklore as duppies. The belief in duppies is anchored in the theory of survival after death. Or, that there is no death. Those who pass just move from one form of existence to another. Most importantly, in the eyes of the believers, duppies are all powerful shadows of dead people. They are hugely feared. Demonstrative of their power are the beliefs that duppies regularly harm people. A duppy’s breath can make you sick, its touch can cause seizures. Duppy-induced injuries are often cited as an excuse to miss work. Duppy boxing (being slapped in the face by a duppy) is commonplace amongst all ages, with many people developing palsies and disfigurements after being attacked in this way.

Jamaicans, especially those of the rural proletariat and peasantry, are highly suspicious and fearful of these evil spirits, and are generally indirectly or directly armed via folklore with what can be considered to be a toolkit or bag of tricks to protect themselves not just from the arbitrary duppy encounter, but also from obeah, where a spirit is conjured up using a variety of lures to do evil.

Duppy protection rituals vary from parish to parish. Typical would be the use of nails. In St. Thomas, nails are used to pin the deceased (i.e. driven as close as possible through clothing into the coffin itself). In Cockpit Country, the nails are driven through the soles of the deceased feet (i.e. into the phalanges). Throughout the island, the blood of white chickens is often spread inside homes to ward off duppies. It not unusual to hear that individuals have a clove of garlic or nutmeg concealed somewhere on their person as a preventative measure. Both are supposed to keep the spirits away.

I personally have had three memorable duppy encounters! The circumstances which validate my experiences differ considerably but are all indirectly connected to ignorance. My formative years were spent in Birmingham (UK), I was not only unprepared, never giving an ear to the local old wives tales, I was always somewhat of a sceptic. The following is a true and accurate account of my second encounter with the paranormal.

In the summer of 1992, I began working as an archaeologist with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. By all accounts, this was a great job. The Trust owned historic buildings and properties island-wide. These properties’ buildings had to be serviced, hence; I got to travel throughout the country, gaining an intimate knowledge of the island’s geography, nuances in cuisine, and communication routes. I considered myself very fortunate to have landed the position. It was around this same period that the Trust began giving a facelift to their Seville Plantation House, polishing exhibits and organizing decent presentations to visitors.

 Photographs of Seville Plantation House. A front view showing its formal entrance (above) taken from a northerly direction. The picture below is taken from the rear in a southwesterly direction to illustrate the patio (Veranda’s) view of the sea. 

Despite my constant debate expressing how much of a waste of time it would be going back to Port Royal (60 miles from Seville Plantation) that night only to return first thing in the morning, my crew members insisted on going home. As dusk drew, they quickly cleaned up and embarked on what I considered a tiresome trek back to Kingston. I would stay. I had travelled from Kingston and was prepared to stay the night. I was perfectly comfortable with my surroundings. I had slept in the house many times before, accompanied by students of Syracuse University during their field school. I didn’t see why things were any different this time around. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be alone. Mr Percy was there too.

Mr Percy was another good reason to stay. Impressed with how much I had travelled throughout the island, he had taken a liking to me and we had become close friends. I guess I reminded him of himself, 40 years earlier. He had left home as a young man in the early 1960s and travelled throughout Jamaica working at various odd jobs until finally being employed by the Trust as a general laborer. After many years, he was promoted to caretaker of the Seville Plantation House. He occupied two rooms to the rear, attached to but adjacent to the main building. Before turning in for bed, Mr Percy and I had dinner and joked around. Mr Percy had worked with many notable archaeologists. He reminisced about their peculiarities. I listened in awe.

I slept in one of the front rooms with the window open so I could enjoy the famous sea breeze for which the northern coast of Jamaica is famous. I woke up around midnight and couldn’t believe my eyes. Standing naked over me, was a beautiful black woman. Quickly scanning her person, I asked, “Who are you? Where are you from? Why are you here naked?” Starring at me, she gave no replies.

Until this day I have no idea what made me say what came from my mouth next. I said to her, “Well it’s too late for you to go home now!! Put your clothes on, you can sleep beside me tonight, but tomorrow morning as early as possible, run on home to your mother as now she must be very worried.” Turning my head in the opposite direction, I adjusted my position from the center of the bed to the far left. I didn’t see her put her clothes on. I felt the mattress shift from the added weight as she lay on the bed. Without looking I gave her the sheet to cover herself. I remember thinking that I couldn’t understand why this young lady wouldn’t speak to me.  As I fell back to sleep, saying to myself whatever the problem was we could clear it up in the morning.

The next morning I was awakened by the housekeeper, Ms. Dottie. Looking somewhat puzzled she said “Mr. Callum!!! A Big! Big!!! Man like you don’t know how to sleep on a bed? Why have you left most of the bed empty? ”

Somewhat perturbed by her jumping to conclusions “Yes!!” Then beginning to offer an explanation regarding my positioning, I asked, “Has that young lady left? There was a young lady here last night.”

Her eyes popped open, and with a sudden burst of excitement and urgency, Ms Dottie said, “STOP!!!!!!” Running to the rear she shouted, “ Mr Percy come listen to this!” Running to the veranda in the front, she shouted to the grounds workers (all of whom were locals), “Stop working come listen to this!”

I immediately knew something was wrong. As I relayed my story, my audience laughed so hard they could hardly stand. To date, other than that she is of African descent, very little is known about the young lady’s origins. Always naked, there is nothing diagnostic to establish her provenance. Both the Spanish and English had slaves and the property through which she traverses has had a long history of African habitation, as slaves and free people. Seville Plantation was established on the site of Columbus’ initial landing in 1494. Between 1509 and the establishment of Spanish Town in1534, as a hacienda, the house and its then formal gardens overlooked Jamaica’s first capital, New Seville.  With the shift of the capital, the area’s popularity declined and the old capital fell into disrepair. Later with the capture of Jamaica by Cromwell’s forces, New Seville was abandoned. To establish their presence and prevent recapture by the Spanish, all lands on the northern side of the island were divided in varying quantities and allotted to English officers and soldiers. It was through this allotment that the ruined city of New Seville and surrounding lands became the property of English officer Captain Hemming. It remained in the Hemming family as a sugar plantation until well into the second half of the twentieth century when the property was deeded by the surviving heirs as a gift to the Jamaican people. The current house was built in 1745 by Hemming’s grandson.

Now it all made sense. Turns out this young lady had been haunting the property for decades and caused many young men working for the Trust to run out of their beds. Her last “victim” was the department’s graphic artist who jumped through a closed window, sustaining numerous cuts and bruises. The property was also used as a shortcut from the town of St. Anne’s Bay to a few of the surrounding hamlets. Fearful of being chased or followed home, very few young men will chance walking the property roads and footpaths alone at night. My crew, all of whom had been working for the Trust for years prior to me, were well acquainted with the rumors and history of her lying in wait for a lone, unsuspecting male. In fact, it had been less than three years since she walked in on the company’s graphic artist.





*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 Beresford Callum.*



Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Music, News, Newsletter, Publications, Reggae, Television, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by


“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.




Definition: In reggae, dancehall, and other modern genres of Jamaican music, a deejay refers to an entertainer who toasts over a riddim (rhythm), or in less cryptic terms, a rapper. Deejays generally toast over pre-selected riddims, usually instrumental versions of hit songs that they did not choose themselves. If they do happen to choose the riddims themselves they are known as “selectors” rather than deejays. Jamaican deejays such as DJ Kool Herc brought this style to New york City in the early 1970s, starting the fast-paced evolution of what would soon become rap music.


A deejay is a person who “raps” or chants over a rhythm. The style originated on Sound Systems where the deejays used to chat between tracks or insert catch phrases over the track. The whole style got its influence from the American R&B radio disc jockeys who used to have highly entertaining chatting in between the songs they played. This is also where the name deejay comes from. Deejaying was created before reggae as the music of the times was Ska. Amongst the first DJ’s to have records released include Sir Lord Comic, Count Machuki, Jeff Barnes and King Stitt. At this point the deejays where still primarily a dancehall phenomenon, on which they mainly promoted their sounds and coming dances. It was the Coxsone-affiliated deejay King Stitt who was first to be recorded on a more regular basis.

U-Roy, though he wasn’t the first, is often referred to as the originator, mainly due to how influential his deejaying style has been on the next generation of deejays. In 1969 he released a series of both chart topping and groundbreaking singles for Duke Reid toasting over old Treasure Isle Rocksteady rhythms, the most known perhaps being the stellar Wake the Town (…and tell the people!). As a result he propelled the art of deejaying to the centre of the Reggae industry.

Back in the day only one deejay was of comparable success and it was Dennis Alcapone. Big Youth also released his debut record in 1972 (produced by Gussie Clarke) and was regarded as the most important and innovative deejay since U-Roy first started.

With the advent of the Dancehall style in the late 70’s the position of the deejay became even more central to Reggae music. One of the most prominent deejays of the late 70’s was General Echo who had a very unique and influential style he was also partially responsible for the renaissance of slackness in reggae.

During the 80’s more styles followed and the whole deejay phenomenon expanded and evolved tremendously. A deejay such as Yellowman was at this time so big that his popularity only could be matched by Bob Marley in his prime. In 1982 on of the more popular topics among deejays in the dance hall were the Connection Lyrics. One of the more important changes happened in 1982 when Peter King originated the fast chat style, which was the first main contribution the UK deejays made to the Jamaican music climate. The fast chat style broke big in Jamaica with Papa Levi’s song Mi God, Mi King that was the first non-Jamaican reggae song to top the Jamaican charts (when released on Sly & Robbie’s Taxi-imprint in 1984).

The birth of Ragga had the deejaying going from strength to strength even becoming more dominant than it was already with the dance hall style.






The first deejays to record together, either  collaboratory or clashing, started to come to the fore in the early 70’s. They were often two deejays that joined forces on a release or sometimes even multiple releases. Notable artists were Dennis Alcapone & Lizzy, Carey Johnson & Lloyd Young (perhaps most known for their deejay version of the Maytals Pomps & Pride), Big Youth & U-Roy and Lone Ranger & Welton Irie. It was however a first that two deejays always performed as a duo when Michigan & Smiley arrived in the late 70’s. Their first release being Rub A Dub Style in ’78. They immediately were a major success and set the deejay duo style to a major trend. Soon enough a slew deejay duos appeared such as Peter Ranking & General Lucky, Papa Finnigan and Junior Ranking, Roy Rankin and Raymond Naphtali, Joe Tex & U-Black, Nigger Kojak & Mama Lisa. At Studio One there was also the joined effort of Rappa Robert & Jim Brown. Greensleeves found major success with the pairing of Clint Eastwood & General Saint. They debuted with the single Tribute to General Echo that was produced by Junjo and topped the UK Reggae Charts, the follow-up; Another One Bites the Dust made national pop listings.

Even though the trend of two deejays chatting together was coming to a halt in the late 80’s there was still excellent releases by artists such as Tippa Lee & Rappa Robert and also Superman & Spiderman. The new trend in the dancehall was to be a deejay paired with a singer reaching international success with such artists such as Chaka Demus and Pliers.

OTHER POPULAR DEEJAYS: Jah Whoosh – African People; Tapa Zukie – MPLA; Prince Jazzbo – Step Forward Youth; Trinity – Three Piece Suit; Jah Stitch – Baby My Love; Prince Fari – I & I Are The Chosen; Ranking Joe – Mash Up Love Life.




Sister Carol


The late 1970s into the ’80s to the present day saw the emergence of the female deejays in the recording studio and on sound systems. Our sisters began to give their spin on thoughts, topics and opinions about current affairs, politics, family, children and relationships; earning their right as equals alongside their male artists.

THE SISTERS:Althea & Donna – Up Town Top Ranking; Althea & Donna – Make A Truce; Sister Carol – Murdee & Stylee; Sister Carol – Wild Thing; Sister Carol – Dread Natty Congo; Lady Ann – Informer; Sister Nancy – Bam Bam; Sister Nancy – Bang Belly; Shelley Thunder – Kuff; Lady G – Breeze Off; Lady G – Nuff Respect; Patra – Romantic Call; Patra – Worker Man; Cherri Poet – Gets NoneQueen Ifrica – Lioness On The Rise; Queen Ifrica – Times Like These.




Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Fiction, News, Newsletter, Publications, Television, Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by



© 2012 Norman Samuda Smith



During the winter festivities, I began to realise my mounting frustration with UK television’s viewing agenda. Not one of the Christmas programmes scheduled was there a black face. I became even more disillusioned when I happened to be watching Master Chef with my partner hosted by John Torode and Greg Wallace. During the second and third episodes of the series’ qualifying rounds, I noticed a pattern. The ‘ethnic’ representation of the culinary competitor’s origins were from Japan, China, India and Sri Lanka. Nothing wrong with that, but I posed these questions; Where are the Africans and West Indians? Are the Television producers trying to tell me that we can’t cook? Or Did our brothers and sisters decline to enter The Master Chef competition because they felt the programme is not for them to show off  their gastronomy skills?

The only black characters portrayed on UK television week in, week out, are those we see in the soap opera’s, or, from time to time a British ‘urban’ drama. So I began to analyse how they depict us: A black guy moves into a neighbourhood, he’s smart, good-looking, articulate, a good sense of humour, all the girls like him, he has the world at his feet. As the weeks go by the script begins to peel off the layers of this character. He has a world of issues. His mother is the long-suffering matriarch who has tried to hold the family together, while her husband and father of their children either batters her physically or verbally through the years. Either he does that or he is in prison for some crime that went horribly wrong. So now the populace begins to see this smart, good-looking, articulate black guy for what he really is, battling not to be like his father, but the majority of the time, he fails.

The young black woman, is usually portrayed as the single mother who mirrors her elder matriarch, the long-suffering heroine. Usually these characters are introduced to a soap opera for argument’s sake in January, by March or April, they are gone. When it comes to British ‘urban’ drama, where black people are predominately in the starring roles, the setting is always dominantly an inner-city housing estate, where gang culture rules, drugs are rampant, the life of crime is the order of the day and in every household there is a dysfunctional family. In my experience, I can’t recall off the top of my head ever seeing a successful positive black functional family being portrayed on UK television; and trust me, we have a trailer load of positive successful functional black families, in the inner-cities and the suburbs. So why should we accept always being exposed as dysfunctional, arrogant, criminals, got rhythm and lazy? – The highest form of stereotypes.

I have come to the conclusion there are not that many roles for commanding, strong, black characters in the UK. It’s a fact that those characters are not written. Recently we have seen the exodus of our black talent to the USA, such as the acclaimed Birmingham-born actor David Harewood who has starred recently in ‘Homeland’, as well as Idris Elba and Adrian Lester. What concerns me the most is: What kind of subliminal messages are our children receiving when they watch such negative character dramas? That nothing great is expected of them? That they will remain in their run down inner-city housing estates fighting postcode gang wars? Defending their ‘ends’ and selling drugs, shooting and stabbing one another? The more we accept this kind of negative broadcasting and buy into it and say this is the status quo, the more we will think little of ourselves and it’s not acceptable. We are not a minority. Brown eyed people happen to be the majority population on this planet. We need to wake up and say enough is enough of watching a world of negative black people flickering across our screens to the irritation of many viewers. We should boycott watching negative drama, unite and lobby the UK television stations and demand more positive drama written by talented black writers who are out there yearning for the break. Balance is the order of the day.


‘Til the next issue June 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, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Music, News, Newsletter, Publications, Reggae, Television, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by


“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.





Prince Lincoln Thompson, affectionately called ‘Socks’ (‘Sax’ in Jamaican patois) due to his fondness for red socks, began his career in the mid ’60’s as a member of  The Tartans, a rocksteady vocal group which consisted of Cedric Myton, Devon Russell and then Burke Lewis. After their biggest hit “Dance All Night” – released in 1967 on the Federal Records imprint – the group disbanded.

In the early seventies Lincoln Thompson went on to record three solo singles for producer Coxsone Dodd at Studio One: “True Experience”, “Live Up To Your Name” and “Daughters Of Zion”. Many fans back then hoped for an entire album of Studio One recorded songs when Lincoln’s teamed up with Dodd, but it never did happen. However, at that time Prince Lincoln was one of the first Jamaican singer/songwriters to embody the Rastafarian faith in his music. It was the forming of the Royal Rasses in 1975 (consisting of various harmony singers including Cedric Myton, Keith Peterkin and Clinton ‘Johnny Kool’ Hall and the founding of his own “God Sent” label on which he issued “Love The Way It Should Be” and then “Kingston 11” – two of the finest expressions of Rastafarian consciousness ever released – that put the name of Prince Lincoln & The Royal Rasses up where it belonged.

A Master songwriter and arranger, he was also blessed with a remarkable lead vocal voice and his style was evident. “Old Time Friends” and “San Salvador” were further testimony to his talent. Together with Junior Murvin’s “Police And Thieves”, “San Salvador” and “Humanity” were some of the most played reggae records of 1976. The owner of Ballistic Records in London actually flew out to Jamaica in 1979; he was so impressed with the sound of Prince Lincoln. He signed him to his label and as a part of the “United Artists” deal they sunk a lot of money into promoting the band. The “Humanity” album came out, then a massive European tour in 1979 followed by the launch of the “Experience” single, then the release of the albums “Experience” and “Ride With The Rasses”. In 1980 Prince Lincoln embarked upon an experiment that was to have far reaching effects for him and his group. Ballistic Records suggested that he should record part of the new album with singer/songwriter Joe Jackson, who had emerged during the new-wave boom of the late 70s and who confessed a strong interest in reggae. The result was the album “Natural Wild” aka “Roots Man Blues”. The cost of these admirable ventures was borne by Ballistic Records, who went out of business in the process.

Unfortunately all these efforts failed to bring the desired crossover success and Prince Lincoln retreated from the recording business and essentially returned to Jamaica in 1981. Perhaps his shy and assuming ways weren’t suited to the part of stardom. He eventually did return to England and set up the Rasses Fish & Grocery Store in North London; a co-operative venture run on strictly “ital.” lines. It was with his 1996 released “21st Century” album that he made his anticipated comeback reminding the reggae audience that artists of vision and breath-taking originality can never be overlooked for long.

Prince Lincoln died in 1999 of lung cancer. His tragic passing was completely unexpected. The doctors who examined his state of health diagnosed Lincoln had lung cancer and within a matter of days he was gone.

Although Prince Lincoln is sadly missed his peerless roots music will live forever!


  • HUMANITY (Ballistic 1979)
  • EXPERIENCE (Ballistic 1980)
  • RIDE WITH THE RASSES (God Sent 1981)
  • NATURAL WILD with Joe Jackson (Ballistic 1981)
  • HARDER NA RASS (Dub of Natural Wild) (Ballistic 1981)
  • 21st CENTURY (1-5 South Records 1996) 


Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Music, News, Newsletter, Poem, Poems, Publications, Short Story, Television, Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 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.


“It is only when man becomes master of his fate – able to determine his destiny – that he can be free  from fears and inferiority…”

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I: July 2, 1963


Blacks in Britain (Part ten) 

Not widely known – But true…


1960 – Birmingham Immigration Control Association – a fascist far right-wing political cell was created. Its inception was heralded in the British press and the group lobbied MP’s who were against further black immigration.

1961 – The British government began to keep official statistics on Commonwealth immigration.

1962 – Britain passed the Commonwealth Immigrants Act to restrict the entry of non-white Commonwealth citizens to Great Britain

1963-1966 – Due to the Commonwealth Immigration Act, the numbers of West Indian immigrants fell to an average of less than 14,000 a year; by the 1970s, the number would further decrease to less than 3,000 a year. In 1963, the Black West Indian Association complained that although brutal attacks by the police had escalated after the Act had passed, few people had paid attention. Brixton (London) police in particular, plagued blacks with a series of attacks they termed “nigger-hunting”. In 1966, Joseph A Hunte published Nigger Hunting in England?; (read more here…), issued to the West Indian Standing Conference on police brutality. The general public paid little attention to the book.

1970s – By the 1970s a generation of Britons of African heritage existed: two-fifths of the blacks in Britain were second generation.

1971 – Leeds police officers were acquitted of manslaughter charges against David Oluwale; (read about it here…), a Nigerian vagrant. Police Sergeant Kenneth Kitching received a prison sentence of 27 months, and Geoffrey Ellerker, former police inspector, was sentenced for three years. According to witnesses, the two officers: “the guardians of law and order” kicked and beat Oluwale; Sergeant Kitching then urinated on him while he lay dying.

1972 – The West Indian Standing Conference delivered a memorandum to Parliament’s committee on relations between blacks and police. Upon delineating racist police attacks against the black community, the parliamentary committee was stunned, almost to “disbelief”. The committee’s chairman told the West Indian Conference that “The memorandum which you have submitted to us does present a case almost akin to civil war between West Indians and the police.”

1971 – 1973 – Emigrating West Indians outnumbered new immigrants: only 9,000 West Indians entered Britain, while 14,000 left. Selective Commonwealth immigration policies resulted in larger numbers of white-collar workers and their families migrating to Great Britain.





Norman Washington Manley was born at Roxborough, Manchester Jamaica on July 4, 1893. He was a brilliant scholar and athlete, soldier (First World War) and lawyer. He identified himself with the cause of the workers at the time of the labour troubles of 1938 and donated time and advocacy to the cause.

In September 1938, Manley founded the People’s National Party (PNP) and was elected its President annually until his retirement in 1969, 31 years later.

Manley and the PNP supported the trade union movement, then led by Alexander Bustamante, while leading the demand for Universal Adult Suffrage. When Suffrage came, Manley had to wait ten years and two terms before his party was elected to office.

He was a strong advocate of the Federation of the West Indies, established in 1958, but when Sir Alexander Bustamante declared that the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), would take Jamaica out of the Federation, Norman Manley, already renowned for his integrity and commitment to democracy, called a Referendum, unprecedented in Jamaica, to let the people decide.

The vote was decisively against Jamaica’s continued membership of the Federation. Norman Manley, after arranging Jamaica’s orderly withdrawal from the union, set up a joint committee to decide on a constitution for separate Independence for Jamaica.

He himself chaired the committee with great distinction and then led the team that negotiated the island’s Independence from Britain. The issue settled, Manley again went to the people. He lost the ensuing election to the JLP and gave his last years of service as Leader of the Opposition, establishing definitively the role of the Parliamentary Opposition in a developing nation.

In his last public address to an annual conference of the PNP, he said: “I say that the mission of my generation was to win self-government for Jamaica, to win political power which is the final power for the black masses of my country from which I spring. I am proud to stand here today and say to you who fought that fight with me, say it with gladness and pride, mission accomplished for my generation; and what is the mission of this generation?  It is reconstructing the social and economic society and life of Jamaica”.

Norman Manley died on September 2. 1969.

Read more about the man, his mission and his political party here…



As early as the 1900’s the game of cricket had become a part of the West Indian people and was commonly played throughout the region. With the game taking its permanent root in territorial soil it began to bear a crop of young players who brought their own homespun skill and flair to the field of play. Since achieving Test status in 1928 the West Indies have become known for their unique flair eventually being dubbed the “Calypso Cricketers” and have captured the imagination of the cricketing world. The region is small but produced great cricketing stars such as those from Barbados: Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge, Wes Hall, Desmond Haynes, Malcolm Marshall, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Frank Worrell, Conrad Hunte. From the Combined Islands: Curtly Ambrose, Sir Vivian Richards, Richie Richardson, Andy Roberts, Ridley Jacobs. From Guyana: Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Lance Gibbs, Carl Hooper, Alvin Kallicharran, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Roy Fredericks. From Jamaica: Jeff Dujon, George Headley, Michael Holding, Lawrence Rowe, Courtney Walsh, Alf Valentine. From Trinidad & Tobago: Ian Bishop, Sir Learie Constantine, Larry Gomes, Brian Lara, Sonny Ramadhin, Deryck Murray.

Through the years from the eras of Learie Constantine and George Headley, the 3 W’S era (Weekes, Worrell and Walcott), the Garry Sobers era, the Clive Lloyd era to the Brian Lara era, the West Indies have always been a force to be reckoned with, dominating the world stage for many years.

An undisputed fact: From February 1980 to March 1995, the West Indies did not lose an international test series at home and abroad. They were unbeaten for 15 years! No other sporting team in any discipline anywhere in the world have dominated their sport for 15 years nor will it be equalled or surpassed and we should be well proud of that.

Read and watch more about the history of the great West Indies Cricket team; here…



Deep in the jungles of Gujarat state in western India, a forgotten tribe of Africans has quietly lived for the past 1,000 years. Little is known about their origins and many now fear their unique heritage may already be lost; watch this clip here…



This video is dedicated to Mexicans with African ancestry. Mexicans who are black account for less than 1% of the country’s population, yet those with African ancestry account for no more than 3% of the population because Mexico is populated mostly by mestizos; catch the video here…



A pale skin resembles beauty in Japan, but that no longer doesn’t count for everyone. Hina lives her life according to the ‘B-style’, or the ‘black lifestyle’. This includes going to the tanning salon regularly to become as dark as American hip hop artists; click here…



Dr. Claud Anderson speaks about Racism Based Profits on Wall Street and Unearned Income … Powernomics; check it out here…



BBC Midlands interviews film maker Steve Page on 40th Anniversary of Malcolm X visit to Smethwick, UK. Malcolm was assassinated 9 days later in New York; watch it here… and check out THE VOICE report about his visit to Smethwick, Birmingham here…



Amanirena (Warrior Queen of the Kingdom of Kush) – Ameniras challenged the Romans who took over Egypt after the passing of Cleopatra VII. She reigned from about 40 BCE to 10 BCE. She is one of the most famous kandakes, because of her role leading Kushites armies against the Romans from in a war that lasted five years, from 27 BCE to 22 BCE. After an initial victory when she attacked Roman Egypt, Amanirenas was defeated at Qasr Ibrim by Petronius. She succeeded in negotiating a peace treaty on favourable terms. Amanirenas was described as brave, and blind in one eye; read more about her here…

Queen Califa – Black Madonnas or dark goddesses like Queen Califa are often central Carnival figures associated with feminine wisdom and powers of the earth, moon and water. Near the beginning of Brazil’s Carnival season are many Iemanja (ee-mon-jah) festivals where flowers are cast into the sea, the most popular icon in Latin America is the Lady of Guadeloupe whose miraculous first appearances were upon the ruins of the temple to the Aztec Earth goddess. Historically, many great stars have played this enchanting role from the bible’s Mary Magdalene through art’s Frida Kahlo and of course the chameleon pop singer Madonna whose most memorable moments often relied on the hidden power of this timely archetype; read more here…

Zawditu (Empress of Ethiopia) – Ras Tafari remained as the right hand man of Empress Zewditu. Empress Zawditu was the daughter of Menelik II and co-ruled with Ras Tafari, later Emperor Haile Selassie. She is usually presented as a conservative as opposed to her modernizing father, Menelik II. During the last two years of her reign, therefore, Zawditu turned inward, and became a mystic. When her husband, Gugsa, died on March 31, 1930, in a battle with imperial forces, after he had attempted to depose Tafari, Zawditu appears to have had a nervous and physical breakdown.

Claudia Jones (1915-1964) – Born in Belmont, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, she emigrated with her family in 1924 at the age of eight to the USA, where poverty and racism led her to develop a race and class consciousness which, in turn, inspired her lifelong dedication to the progress of socialism and the liberation of black people. Like Queen Mother Moore, she joined the movement to free the Scottsboro Boys and while working with the Scottsboro Defence Committee, became associated with the Communist Party, which she readily joined; read more about her here…

John William “Blind” Boone (1864 – 1927) was a famous classical pianist known all over the U.S., Canada & Mexico who also reportedly played in Europe. He became known as the “pioneer of ragtime” because he brought in ragtime music to the concert stage as an encore or when the audience became restless, saying “Let’s put the cookies on the bottom shelf where everybody can reach them.”. His motto was “Merit, not sympathy, wins.” Read more about him here…

Rafael Trujillo (1891 – 1961), led a military revolt in 1930 that led to his assuming power for 31 years in the Dominican Republic; either as President or as the power behind the Presidency. He bought stability to his country but lost power to the army due to economic problems. He was assassinated by army elements in 1961. Read more about him here…

Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier (1907 – 1971), was a trained physician and he entered politics in the 1930s as champion of poor blacks against the Mulatto Elites in Haiti. In 1957, Duvalier became President of Haiti and he began building a dictatorship marked by corruption and terror. He died in 1971 and was succeeded by his son. Read more about him here…

Dr. Herman Branson – Born: August 14, 1914 – Died: June 7, 1995. His birthplace was Pocahontas, Virginia U.S.A. In 1947, Dr. Branson was named the Directory of the Office of Naval Research and Atomic Energy Commission Projects in Physics at Howard University. He was named Director of the Research Corporation Project at Howard University 1946 to 1950. In 1944 he became a full professor of Physics and was made Chairman of the Physics Department of Howard University (1941 – 1968). Central State University selected his as President (1968 – 1970). In 1970 he became the President of Lincoln University and served until his retirement in 1985. He wrote extensively on physical-chemical studies of sickled anemic red blood cells; read more about him here…

Here ends your history lesson for this issue.


Check out CULTURE CORNER ARCHIVES which is constantly updated here…


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

“Obviously war is one of the major problems which bring disaster on the life of mankind. Inspite of the differences of color, race, creed or religion between women in this world, they all hate war, because the fruit of wars is nothing but disaster. War exterminates their beloved husbands, their brothers and their children. It destroys and eliminates their families. We would like to bring to the attention of all women of the world that it is their duty to voice and express solidarity against such acts.

Empress Menen

Sunrise: 25 March 1883 Ethiopian Calendar, 3 April 1891 Gregorian Calendar – Sunset: 15 February 1962

‘Til June 2012 – Everyting – Bless

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