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FEATURED STORY

Posted in Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, british dialect, Community, Culture, Education, Fiction, History, Literature, Newsletter, Publications, Short Story, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2018 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

Judess

© 2002 Norman Samuda Smith.

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‘A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret…’

Judess is featured in Britannia’s Children – Volume II – A Collection of Short Stories by Norman Samuda Smith

Buy your copy @

https://www.feedaread.com/books/Britannias-Children-Volume-II-9781788763851.aspx

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          “Hello…”

          “Hello David?”

          “Yes hello Mrs Malcolm, yuh a’right?”

          “Yes dear, I’m fine t’ank you. Yuh good?”

          “Yes I’m good. What can I do for you Mrs M?”

          “Yuh speak to Judy yet?”

          “No, I just come in from work, she s’pose to be comin’ round later.”

          “Well, I don’t t’ink yuh gwine see her t’day yuh nuh.”

          “Why? What’s happened?”

          “Nothing happen. So yuh nuh talk to her?”

          “No.”

          “Ok, I’ll leave it for her to tell yuh den. I’ll get her to phone yuh when I speak to her.”

          “Ok Mrs M.”

          “I will call yuh back later after she talk to yuh, ok?”

          “A’right cool.”

          “Bye f’now.”

          “Bye.”

          ‘Something’s up…’ David thought glaring at the receiver before he placed it in its cradle. He drifted from the living room into the kitchen where he saw an envelope leaning against the fruit bowl on the table. He sat down, picked it up and read, ‘To David,’ before he ripped it open and unfolded the letter enclosed…

          Dear David,

I’m sorry; I know you were expecting me to come around this evening with the three months instalments I owe you for the loan. Please don’t think badly of me, I’m not running away, but I’ve been given an opportunity I haven’t had in over four years. I’ve been fed up of living from hand to mouth, scraping the bottom of the barrel, robbing Peter to pay Paul, so when Dennis offered an all-expense paid two weeks holiday to the Canary Islands, I couldn’t resist. Please don’t be mad, I’ll talk to you when I get back.

          Love you – Judy

          ‘Who d’raas is Dennis?!’ David cussed screwing up the note and flinging it across the kitchen. His relationship with Judy had started to get shaky about six months ago, he sensed it but chose to ignore the warnings and soldiered on. He had been the perfect gentleman, not once did he push the physical side of their relationship beyond the token goodnight kiss, because Judy continually said she wasn’t ready cos she had just come out of an abusive relationship; he respected her wishes. Such restraint was saintly he thought, most man would of run to the hills, and yet without warning Judy was about to board a plane with Dennis – a stranger. Once they reach the Canary Isles and sekkle in, Judy might allow him to do the deed to her in their hotel room. The thought sent rage through him that shook his body.

          ‘Who d’raas is Dennis? What has dis bwoy got that I haven’t? – ‘Is there something lacking in me, or is there some strange mystique that attract Judy to him?’ Whatever it was, there had to be something that explained Judy’s behaviour. The truth of the matter, which deep down he knew, Judy was cool sharing his bed, doing the kissing and cuddling ting, sleeping with him; but terrified, maybe disgusted of the prospect of them engaging in intercourse and the mingling of their bodies, exhibiting their full nakedness, bathing in the flesh of another and drowning in the sea of spiritual emotions – ‘Yeh man sticky sweaty lust we never had, we wasn’t right,’ David thought. ‘I should have trusted my instincts.’ – Yet despite his senses telling him different, the prospect of life without Judy’s companionship right now was agonising. He mistakenly took it for granted that she was the one and most likely would always be by his side, and now, that false hope left his dreams crushed.

          David sighed deeply and glared at the crumpled note he had dashed across the kitchen, he considered reading it again to confirm that what he read was genuine, but what was the point? – This was real, he had to accept it, and he needed a shower. His mom always said, ‘Water is de cleansing soul of life…’ and once under the spray of water he could wash away the confusion of self-guilt, the pain, the disappointment, the anger; figure out how to move on and learn how to be single again after four years of being with Judy.

          The phone began to ring before he had the chance to enter his bedroom and step out of his work clothes. David didn’t want to answer it; in fact he didn’t want to speak to anybody at all, but his higher-self told him to pick up the receiver, the call might be important.

          “Hello…”

          “Hello David it’s me…”

His heart skipped a beat when he heard Judy’s voice and his mind was immediately tossed into a confusion mix up, should he hang up, cuss her or just be calm? His dad’s favourite saying was, ‘There’s a time to be humble and a time to fuss and cuss…’ and remembering that quote, he realised there were more important issues to deal with right yah now, rather than pacifying his ego by being disrespectful.

          “Wha appm Judy, where are you?” David asked after taking a breath.

          “I’m at the airport.”

          “Which one?”

          “Birmingham.”

          “Oh, ok.”

          “Are you alright?”

          “Yeh man, me cool,” he lied.

          “Oh, I was gonna say you sound calm. I thought you’d be vex wid me.”

          “I kinna am, but there’s nothin’ I can do ‘bout it now. So where’s the money to pay the loan, yuh spend it?”

          “No, it’s in the bank; I’ll give it to you when I get back.”

          “Dat’s no good to me Judy. Payment is due inna couple of days. What am I s’pose to tell dem?

          “Just tell ‘em that you’re a bit short and you’ll sort ‘em out in a couple of weeks.”

          “As simple as dat huh? – Ok.”

          “I’ll make it up to you when I get back babes, I promise.”

          “Ok.”

          “Gotta go, they’re callin’ us to board the plane; I left my car round the back at yours, the keys are in y’bedroom and the key to my flat, so could yah look after it and make sure my flat’s ok?”

          “Yeh, yeh no problem.”

          “Thank you babes, you’re a star, see you inna couple of weeks, bye!”

          “Aaahhh…!” David screamed as he slammed down the receiver. He filled the air with curses as he entered his bedroom. There, sprawled out on the bedside cabinet, were the keys for her car and her flat. He stepped out of his work clothes and into the shower where the gush of water saturated his body. It was true what his mother said; ‘Water is de cleansing soul of life…’ Her words made him smile for the first time that evening. He knew what he was gonna do.

          He pulled up outside Judy’s flat in her silver coloured Ford Mondeo. This was the last favour he was gonna do for her. He let himself into her flat, checked every room making sure all the wall plugs and electrical appliances were switched off. In the corner of her living room a CD rack stood beside the black Aiwa hi-fi system, he strolled over to it and collected all the CD’s that were his, throwing them into a plastic bag. Then he disconnected the speakers, unplugged the main body of the hi-fi from the wall. In two trips to the car, he placed them on the back seat and drove home. By the time he finished setting up the Hi-Fi in his living room, his phone began to ring. David strolled over and picked up the receiver expecting to hear Judy’s mom’s voice.

          “Hello.”

          “Hi David.” Maureen, Judy’s elder sister sounded solemn.

          “Oh, wha appm Maureen, yuh good?”

          “Yeh, I’m fine thanks, more importantly, how are you?”

          “I’m good yuh know Maureen.”

          “Yuh sure?”

          “Well, I’m a bit battered, but I’ll survive.”

          “Aww, mom was so embarrassed what Judy do to you, she ask me to phone you ‘n’ check in.”

          “Thank you, and no need for her to be shame; she nuh do nuttn wrong.”

          “Well we’re all embarrassed; friends don’t do that to each other y’know.”

          “Well, dat’s not all she’s done Maureen, trust me.”

          “Oh my god, what else she do? Don’t hide nuttn David, tell me…”

          “Are yuh sittin’ down?”

          “Yes I am…”

          “Well let me reveal a few tings bout yuh sister…”

          Surprisingly to David, during the days while Judy was away sunning it up with Dennis in the Canaries, he slept well, reported into work on time, and completed the briefs that were set; the only thing was when he reached home; he had too much time to think about Judy. She was like forbidden fruit, almost sterile, like being placed on a page of an ancient photo album that could be viewed but not touched. He had finally admitted to himself that their relationship was done, there was no going back. He was just a prop, something to dangle from her arm when they went out socially, and in secret, she used her prettiness to flirt with other men to get what she wanted. He had been used, he knew it, and her sister Maureen confirmed it in their many telephone conversations. Yet Judy was like no other woman he had met before, stunning, regal, always stared at when they were out together and continually given verbal accolades by both men and women, but that was the thing, she just had the looks that masked what was really inside.

          David’s trail of thought was interrupted by a knock on the door; he took a deep breath and strolled through the hallway to open it. Judy stood smiling, her pearling white teeth shone amidst the background of her sun-kissed skin.

          “Hi-yah babes, did yuh miss me?” She motioned to enter, arms spread wide as though she was expecting to walk into David’s welcoming hug. David took a step back and blocked her way in. Immediately, her smile dissolved into a frown.

          “What’s wrong?”

          “You are wrong; we are wrong!” David chuckled sarcastically.

          “I had to take a break and nothing happened between me and Dennis if that’s what you’re thinkin’.”

          “I really don’t care what happened between you and Dennis to be honest. Oh, by the way, here’s the key to yuh yard.”

          “What about the car key?”

          “The car is mine. You ain’t paid nuttn toward the loan payment. Yuh always makin’ excuses dat yuh bruk, so step away from me door.”

          “How am I gonna get home?”

          “I call a taxi fe yuh.” David dipped into his pocket and slapped a ten-pound note in her hand. “It should be here in five minutes, you can wait outside fe it; and another ting, I take the stereo from yuh yard, keep the three instalments yuh was gonna give me before yuh run off wid Dennis; yuh sister sort me out to pay off de loan. So you ‘n’ me is done.”

          “Yuh told me mom and sister bout the loan?”

          “Yep, and Maureen send me a cheque to pay it off one time.”

          “You bastard!” Judy swung a kick at him, David stepped back to avoid her foot connecting with his ‘crown jewels.’

          “Don’t do dat Judess!”

He gently pushed her away from his doorway.

          “Judess? – Why yuh callin’ me that?”

          “You figure it out, yuh not stupid! Yuh taxi a wait fe yuh – Bye.” David slammed the door in her face and leaned against it pumping his fists. “YESSS!”

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*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 Norman Samuda-Smith.*

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BRITANNIA’S CHILDREN – Volume II

Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, british dialect, Community, Culture, Education, Fiction, History, Literature, News, Newsletter, Publications, Short Story, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2018 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

BRITANNIA’S CHILDREN – Volume II

A Collection of Short Stories that grapple with the issues of depression, love, hope and remembrance of departed ones is now published!! 

More details where to buy the book click on the link below

https://www.linkedin.com/embed/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6417477603698966528

BRITANNIA’S CHILDREN – VOLUME II

Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, british dialect, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Fiction, Literature, News, Newsletter, Publications, Short Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2018 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

 

AN EXCITING

NEW BOOK

COMING SOON

IN 2018

Watch the book trailer here…

CELEBRATING BRITISH WRITERS OF COLOUR

Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, History, Literature, News, Newsletter, Poem, Poems, Publications, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2017 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

Subscribe in a reader

Read the new Breaking Ground: Celebrating Writers of Colour booklet

SPEAKING VOLUMES has begun the next chapter of the Breaking Ground project with the launch of a new booklet celebrating writers of colour. We hope that the booklet will be a valuable resource both at home and overseas, demonstrating the wide and varied literature of the UK whilst raising the profile and giving a platform to 200 contemporary British BAME authors.

Read the brochure in full by clicking on the link below

http://www.speaking-volumes.org.uk/projects/breaking-ground-book/

NORMAN SAMUDA SMITH SOUNDS BEAUTIFUL

Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Fiction, History, Literature, Music, News, Newsletter, Poem, Poems, Publications, Reggae, Short Story, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2016 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

300x300-512x512+55+47_11234323Norman Samuda Smith is a talented Author and former playwright. He is the first black British born novelist to be published in the UK, what an accolade to have under your belt. He has achieved so much and is so understated, but has done a plethora of work in which opened the doors through his writing of what it was like growing up as a black person in the UK.

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In 2013, Norman self-published three of his books, Britannia’s Children, Freedom Street, and in celebration of its 30th Anniversary, his ground-breaking novel Bad Friday; which was first published in 1982 and republished in 1985. In a rare appearance, we at Sounds Beautiful Radio hosted a two part thoughtful and personal interview with him by our very own presenter ‘Westfield John’. It was a pleasure having Norman come into the studio for this interview. So sit back and listen to the full account of his surprising stories.

Listen to part 1 of the interview here…

Listen to part 2 of the interview here…

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AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

UK READERS GO TO: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B001KMCRD0 

US READERS VISIT: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KMCRD0

ALSO AVAILAIBLE @ https://www.feedaread.com/profiles/2025/

BAD FRIDAY BOOK REVIEW

Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Fiction, History, Literature, Music, News, Newsletter, Publications, Reggae, Short Story, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2015 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

Bad Friday (Front Cover)

Bad Friday by Norman Samuda Smith

Rating: 5 of 5 stars

What the readers are saying about it…

‘When Norman Samuda Smith wrote Bad Friday, he became our first Black British born Novelist – he became a pioneer who spoke for a generation whose voice had yet to be heard in the long narrative form. Norman Samuda Smith and Bad Friday were born and made in Britain, where he put pen to paper.’

James Pogson (Writer) February 2013

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‘I read Bad Friday before I met Norman and felt it was good then: a novel about school leavers set in inner-city Small Heath Birmingham (UK) among the Afro-Caribbean community in the 1970s. It uses the dialogue of the community skilfully to tell an affecting story. What’s amazing (to me) about it is the author’s youth when he wrote it – He was only 17, and in his early twenties when it was first published, but he shows a mastery of narrative…’

Alan Beard (Author); January, 2001

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‘Around 16 years ago, when I was starting to write my first novel, I was eager to find past examples, or ‘blueprints’, which would provide inspiration for what I was about to do. Although I found many noteworthy stories from across the African Diaspora, I was looking for something set in Britain. And then I was gifted Bad Friday – a novel I have to this day. It was instrumental in letting me know that what I envisioned was achievable, and that a rich, Black British AND working class literary culture had been realised by others before me. It was liberating to read, and I’m heartened to know this book will be made available for others. It’s a long unsung milestone, and I hope that, with this reprint, that will change.’

Courttia Newland (Author/Screenwriter/Playwright) October 2013

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‘Excellent book!!! The final paragraph on the back cover gives definition to the struggles we faced in our youth. There are very few credible books that speak to an almost forgotten group – Black British people growing up in the 1970s. Great context and real characters who make this a page turning read.’

Winifred V. Williams (A satisfied reader – Washington D.C) November 2015

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‘Norman wrote Bad Friday when he was only 17. The book has a great depth to it from innocence to the harsh realities of life. The characters are all well-defined, a mixture of emotions; joy, sorrow, dreams, love and the escape through music via ‘Sound Systems’ – Norman has a real talent.’

John Miller (A satisfied reader – Birmingham, UK) December 2015

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Read what they said about Bad Friday back in the day here…

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 ISBN: 9781784071110  –  Total Pages: 237  Published: 29 October 2013

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

UK READERS GO TO: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Friday-Norman-Samuda-Smith/dp/1784071110/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

US READERS VISIT: http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Friday-Norman-Samuda-Smith/dp/1784071110/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

ALSO AVAILAIBLE @ http://www.feedaread.com/books/Bad-Friday-9781784071110.aspx

Watch the Bad Friday book trailer here…

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BLITZ CITIES

Posted in Articles, Arts, Black British Literature, Black History, Books, Community, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Fiction, History, Literature, Music, News, Newsletter, Poem, Poems, Publications, Reggae, Short Story, Television, Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2015 by https://panthernewsletter1.wordpress.com

The aftermath of the German bombing blitz of Birmingham 1940

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Former Son of Small Heath now Hollywood actor David Harewood travels back to his native Birmingham, UK to look at his city’s Blitz story. During the second world war, Birmingham’s factories were crucial to war production, and although the city was heavily bombed, much of the destruction was kept secret. David uncovers this story and talks to victims of the Blitz. He also goes up in a small plane to recreate the German bombing raids – from the sky he is able to see that the house where he grew up in on Oldknow Road in Small Heath, was sandwiched between two major targets. Watch the episode here…

Check out the article published November 2012 here on PANTHER NEWSLETTERTRIBUTE TO THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF SMALL HEATH here…

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