Saturday, March 31, 2012

The documentary "Marley" will be released in Europe in May (in the US in April), but the film has already been screened at Berlin's International Film Festival and two weeks ago in the US.

According to the Telegraph the film traces Marley's well-documented journey from a boy born in a small village in Jamaica to a music superstar who brought reggae and the Rastafari movement to a global audience.

The film explores how Marley, who died of cancer in 1981 aged 36, was troubled by his mixed-race heritage, which was the source of bullying when he was a child. It also looks at how his many affairs and children out of wedlock took its toll on wife Rita and their daughter Cedella.

Key interviewees include Bunny Wailer, a surviving founding member of Marley's band the Wailers. Afterwards the narrative is taken up by Neville Garrick, the Wailers' artistic director.

Garrick recalled Marley's frustration at the toll his illness took towards the end.

"He had a stroke on one side so he couldn't play his guitar anymore and I think that kind of frustrated him," he said.

"Besides, he lost his locks, that all came with the chemotherapy. But being not able to function 100 percent, I think that really hurt him.

"I don't know, maybe he said, like, you know, Jah Rastafari God, what did I do, why are you making me suffer like this? All I did was serve you."

Shadow and Act wrote about the film. "Marley bills itself as the definitive Bob Marley documentary. It has reached that status.

An examination into the life of Reggae superstar Robert Nesta Marley, Marley is a beautiful combination of lush Jamaican landscape with archived footage, still shots and interviews of the people closest to him. The music is more than a soundtrack as the impetus for Bob writing each song becomes clear with the timeline of his life."

Marley trailer

MARLEY Exclusive Clip

One Love in Uganda. On a crowded basketball court, in the middle of a field in Gulu, Tharce-Gulu's Filmmaking students surprise fellow locals with their rendition of "One Love".
Category: articles

Friday, March 30, 2012

German singer Joy Denalane premiered the English music video for the album track "NO MORE". This track is part of the English version of her upcoming album "Maureen", which will be available worldwide on iTunes from April 2nd.

The album title is taken from Joy’s middle name, but Maureen goes a little deeper than that, as she explains on Okayplayer:

"I was christened ‘Joy Maureen Denalane’. Maureen was my father’s first true love, the woman who he originally wanted to marry but who he ended up leaving behind in South Africa. By giving me ‘Maureen’ as a middle name, my mother showed that she respected both him, her, and their relationship. She said, ‘I know about this woman, Maureen, and she has a place in our lives. Let’s name our first daughter after her."

And get the exclusive Jake One Remix of Joy's song "Should Have Never feat. Bilal" here.
Category: articles
It’s evident that racism is on the rise in Europe. A German court allowed racial profiling by the police. The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) reports about the increase of racism in Europe due to the economic downturn. And last but not least, as a response to the UK riot report 2012 UK activist Lee Jasper just published his response "The fire next time". Check the stories.

German court: skin colour good reason for cop ID check

27 Mar 2012 - German police have been told they can continue to single out black train passengers on the basis of their colour to check their paper, prompting allegations of institutionalised racism.

"If this is true, it is essentially illegal," Tahir Della of the Initiative of Black People in Germany (ISD) told The Local. "The authorities have always said the police do not do racial profiling."

"Non-white people already get a disproportionate amount of hassle from the police, if this is now being officially sanctioned, then it will open the floodgates," he added. "I am of course very shocked by this. It is basically racism." 

Black German victim slams court's racial spot-check ruling

28 Mar 2012 - The young black German whose refusal to show police his ID led to a court ruling that cops could use skin colour as a criteria for spot-checks, says he will fight the case all the way.

Speaking to The Local, the 25-year-old student said he was disappointed by the verdict which has provoked a storm of outrage. One human rights lawyer called for the judge to be dismissed, while his own lawyer says he will take the case to the Constitutional Court if necessary.

“I don’t want to believe it – that my country now supports this, it is terrible,” the student said.

 Racism and discrimination still pervasive across Europe against backdrop of economic downturn (PDF)

Brussels, 21 March 2012 – At a time of economic crisis, migrants and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by unemployment and precarious working conditions. Economic downturn also creates fears among the general public that incite racist behaviour, while it has led to financial cuts to anti-racism activities in many countries. These are some of the conclusions of ENAR’s Shadow Report on racism in Europe 2010-2011, released on International Day Against Racism.

UK Riot Report 2012: The fire next time...

30 Mar 2012 - The report into the causes of the August 2011 disturbances by the Riots Communities and Victims Panel has been published. The report like most of its kind tells us what some of us already knew about the reality of life in some inner-city areas. Racism and the deadening effects of economic exclusion have degraded the quality of life in these areas. The consequences are that whole communities have been left to rot in festering islands of inequality characterized by crime and acute social strains.
Category: articles

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Norwegian group Queendom released their new album "Still Rising" on 20 March. The album is a reflection of their Afropean heritage, featuring personal and political lyrics in an urban musical universe. The songs are influenced by Afrobeat, reggae, popular African musical styles and also by Soul and Blues. Check out the video “GONE” from the album.

For more music check iTunes
Category: articles

Chaka Khan gathered a group of R&B and Black Hollywood's finest to re-record her song "Super Life" in tribute to Trayvon Martin. Eric Benét, Kelly Price, Kenny Latimore, Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, Terry Crews, Stacy Francis, Luke James, V. Bozeman, and Boris Kodjoe gathered in the studio to lend their voices to the cause.

Category: articles

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cosmosoul is a Madrid based music group and one of the best Neo Soul bands in Spain. Last year they released their debut album entitled Sunrise, self-produced and recorded in the United States.

The band is named Cosmosoul because it merges talents from different countries and continents. Vocals Alana Sinkëy (Portugal), on guitar Abel Calzetta (Argentina), on drums Onasanya Akin (Nigeria), on bass Manuel Pablo Sanz (Spain) and on keyboards Sergio Salvi (Italy). Check out the videos.

See official video here

Category: articles
Dutch singer-song writer Nicole Bus (Dutch/Dutch Caribbean) released her video 'One Love' last year. In 2010 she won the Grand Prix of The Netherlands and she was signed to EMI Music afterwards.

One important element of Nicole's music is her love for God, but her music is also influenced by artists as Lauryn Hill, Corinne Bailey Rae and Tye Tribbet. Check out her video.

Category: articles
New book, photography by Dennis Morris - Growing Up Black, documents life in 1960s and 70s Hackney, East London.

In this selection from his archive, Dennis Morris gives us a beautifully well-judged and eloquent portrait of the black diaspora, frozen at a particular moment in time. It is pregnant with anticipations of what is still to come, infused with future possibilities. We are invited to read these images backwards and forwards. Growing up black in the 1970s, they suggest, was not so much a state of being as a state of becoming. Stuart Hall

Growing Up Black charts not just the history of Black Britain but Britain itself. Published by Autograph ABP, the renowned photographer Dennis Morris captures intimate moments within the black community, his images recording the frequently contested history of the first generation to call themselves black.

 Dennis Morris started his career as a photographer at an early age. He was 11 years old when one of his photographs was printed on the front page of the Daily Mirror. As a young boy in the church choir, he was given a camera which was to spark his lifelong passion for photography. Growing Up Black is a beautifully designed, thought provoking monograph which documents domestic life in 1960s and 70s Hackney, East London, where Morris moved with his family aged 4.

To accompany the black and white photographs and Morris’ own text are four compelling essays by key commentators on black culture – essayist and broadcaster, Professor Stuart Hall; writer and lecturer Kobena Mercer; author, broadcaster and award winning columnist, Gary Younge; and Director of Autograph ABP, Mark Sealy.

See photos at The Telegraph and Creative Review

Dennis Morris in "Rasta is"
Category: articles
Filmmaker John Akomfrah (right) and curator Charles Esche (left)
We must be radical and innovative if we are to build Europe anew. That was the clear message emanating from the fourth Princess Margriet Award (PMA) dedicated to artists and thinkers who make change possible. The new PMA laureates, filmmaker John Akomfrah and curator Charles Esche, received their awards in the Brussels cultural venue, The Egg, on March 19th, 2012.

John Akomfrah was chosen for his ground-breaking film oeuvre woven from perspectives often hidden from the mainstream narratives of European history. Film-maker and Cultural Activist John Akomfrah was born in Accra, Ghana and lives and works in London.

The jury lauded the development of Akomfrah’s oeuvre from his earliest film the ground-breaking Handsworth Songs (1986) to his latest film, Nine Muses (2010), an artistic meditation on migration, myth and memory which creatively weaves together layers of original footage, archival clips, sound and poetry.

In its entirety, Akomfrah’s longstanding body of work is a profound and multi-layered creation championing voices often hidden from the mainstream discourse of European pasts.

In 1982 Akomfrah was a founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective, the seminal British film-making collective and produced a broad range of work — fictional films, tape slide installations, gallery installations, experimental videos and creative documentaries. Since 1998, Akomfrah is Director of the film and television production companies, Smoking Dogs Films, (London) and Creation Rebel Films (Accra).

Read more at European Cultural Foundation
Category: articles

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Poster of Let’s Fight Racism Campaign of the UN
Today on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination my thoughts go out to Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African-American who was killed by the neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

Trayvon Martin was a boy with no criminal record, who was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. But Zimmerman told the  police the boy looked “suspicious” and “on drugs.” Zimmerman has admitted the killing and is claiming self-defence. He has not been arrested.

Tuesday night, the U.S. Justice Department announced it would investigate the slaying of Martin. And, especially in light of what we’ve learned about not only Zimmerman, but the social climate around him that enabled him to not only feel justified in an abhorrent sense of paranoia toward young black men, but to continue walking the streets after bringing about the worst possible outcome of that entitlement, the question comes to mind again: Will they get it right this time? Read the whole story at

The UN theme for this year's event is "Racism and Conflict.

See also
Category: articles

Yesterday 3 children and one teacher were killed in a Jewish school in southern France. A 17 year old was severely injured during the attack. The gunman could get away but has been linked to the shooting dead of 3 French soldiers, last week. The same gun and stolen motorcycle were used by the murderer.

Yesterday’s shooting follows the killing of 3 soldiers who all were of African Maghrebin origin. A fourth paratrooper was seriously injured during the attack. He is black and pf French Caribbean origin.

President Nicolas Sarkozy described the school shooting as a national tragedy and expressed his fears that the killer is driven by hatred of ethnic minorities.

Tomorrow, Wednesday 21st of March it’s the International Day Against Racism …
Category: articles

Friday, March 16, 2012

Copyright All rights reserved by carf
Brazil's history of slavery has always been overshadowed by the American and the Caribbean history of slavery. This documentary of BBC's Time Watch series won't change it, but it will show you how slavery shaped the lives of black people in Brazil. And how it shaped the country's social structure and ethnic landscape. And yes, it’s also the history of Portugal.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5
Category: articles

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bassist Yolanda Charles will perform in Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in london on April 29th, the performance will be filmed by SKY TV.

After starting playing Bass at 15 Yolanda Charles came to prominence
playing for Jimmy Sommerville, & Acid Jazz acts Raw Stylus & Urban Species. From there led more session work & then to significant time period playing bass with Paul Weller from his solo career period onwards. The artists Yolanda has worked with reads like a who’s who of the music biz inc.: Paul Weller, BB King, Van Morrison, Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and many more artists.

For more information about other artist and details of the event see

Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club (downstairs main room)
47 Frith Street, Soho, London
Category: articles
One of UK’s finest Jazz artist Kaidi Tatham will perform in Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in london on April 29th, the performance will be filmed by SKY TV.

Kaidi Tatham is one of the UK’s finest Jazz artists who’s skills range from multi-instrumentalist, writer, arranger & producer.Often known for his Nu Jazz, Soulful Dance music & Brokenbeat work from his major contribution as keys player, multi-intruments, production & remixes for acts such as 4Hero, Bugz In The Attic, 2000 Black & Mark De Clive Lowe.

Kaidi’s performance, production, writing & remix credits read like a who’s who of contempory Jazz, Soul, NeoSoul & Hip Hop inc. artists such as: Macy Gray, Amp Fiddler, Salsoul Orchestra, Amy Winehouse, Gene Harris, Vikter Duplaix, Fertile Ground, Soul II Soul, Rhiann Benson and many more artists

For more information about other artist and details of the event see
Category: articles
If you are in Paris and you love good Soul Music, then SANZ SANS is the place to be. An After Work Soirée where you can listen to music, have a drink with colleagues and friends, or dance on the best of Soul, Nu Soul, R&B and New Jack with Dj JIM. Every Wednesday from 18h to 2h.

Their slogan: You are looking for a place that suits you, we have created it for you.

Free entry

49 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine
75011 Paris
Parkings publics : Opéra Bastille et Ledru-Rollin
TEL : 01 44 75 78 78
Category: articles

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rama Yade is the Grand Prize winner 2012 E-Reputation, which distinguishes the most influential French women on the Internet. The French former Secretary of State beat runner up extreme right-wing leader Marine Le Pen, fifth ended black news anchor woman Audry Pulvar.
The Grand Prize of eReputation wants to award the most influential women in France. “They twitter, blog, comment the news … The eReputation Awards seeks out these committed women, doted with a strong personality. They share their opinions, defend their points of view and are read by hundreds on the internet,” the organisation states.

In an interview with daily news paper Metro Rama Yade says she was "surprised and very honored." When asked if she knew she had so much influence on the Internet, she replied. “ Absolutely not. Internet is a place of expression where you have the least control, since everyone can speak without asking permission. I have never felt or even pretend to have any influence.”

About her presence on the internet she says. "I have lots of activities on the web, with my blog and multiple sites. Perhaps that people want to react to what I say. There may be criticism, but I accept it.

Social media

Rama Yade is more on facebook than on twitter. She feels she can express herself better on Facebook. “On Facebook, I can tell everything I want, post pictures and have lots of friends. It is much more universal, more international than on Twitter, where topics that are talked about are much more purely French.“
Category: articles
5000 Africans died in custody of the British Royal Navy in 1800s, after being seized from ships of slave traders, and were buried on St Helena

The tiny island of St Helena, 1,000 miles off the coast of south-west Africa, acted as the landing place for many of the slaves, captured by the Royal Navy during the suppression of the slave trade between 1840 and 1872.

During this period a total of around 26,000 freed slaves were brought to the island, most of whom were landed at a depot in Rupert’s Bay. The appalling conditions aboard the slave ships meant that many did not survive their journey, whilst Rupert’s Valley – arid, shadeless, and always windy – was poorly suited to act as a hospital and refugee camp for such large numbers. At least 5,000 people are likely to have been buried there.

Part of the cemetery was investigated between 2006 and 2008 in advance of a new road that had to pass through Rupert’s Valley to provide access to the proposed airport project. Some 325 bodies in a combination of individual, multiple and mass graves were discovered. Only five individuals were buried in coffins: one adolescent and four still- or newborn babies. The remainder had been placed (or thrown) directly into shallow graves, before being hastily covered. In some cases mothers were buried with their presumed children, or sometimes the bodies were so close that there might have been a familial relationship.

Now archaeologists, led by Dr Andrew Pearson of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Bristol, are publishing for the first time the results of their discoveries and the subsequent scientific investigations of the human remains and associated grave goods buried with them.

Osteological analysis shows that 83 per cent of the bodies were those of children, teenagers or young adults – prime material for the slave traders who sought victims with a long potential working life. In most cases the actual cause of death is not clear, but this is unsurprising because the main killers aboard a slave ship (such as dehydration, dysentery and smallpox) leave no pathological trace. Nevertheless, scurvy was widespread on the skeletons; several showed indications of violence and two older children appear to have been shot.

Despite its horrific nature, the archaeology showed those buried within the graveyard as more than simply victims. These were people from a rich culture, with a strong sense of ethnic and personal identity. This is best evidenced by numerous examples of dental modifications, achieved by chipping or carving of the front teeth. A few had also managed to retain items of jewellery (beads and bracelets), despite the physical ‘stripping process’ that would have taken place after their capture, prior to embarkation on the slave ships.

In addition to the large number of beads, burial conditions allowed for the survival of textiles, including ribbons. A number of metal tags were also found on the bodies that would have identified the slaves by name or number.

Dr Andrew Pearson, director of the project, commented: “Studies of slavery usually deal with unimaginable numbers, work on an impersonal level, and, in so doing, overlook the individual victims. In Rupert’s Valley, however, the archaeology brings us (quite literally) face-to-face with the human consequences of the slave trade.”

Professor Mark Horton said: “Here we have the victims of the Middle Passage – one of the greatest crimes against humanity – not just as numbers, but as human beings. These remains are certainly some of the most moving that I have ever seen in my archaeological career.”

The artefacts from the excavations are currently at the University of Bristol and will be transferred to Liverpool for an exhibition at the International Slavery Museum in 2013 before returning to St Helena. The human remains will shortly be re-interred on St Helena.

Source: Press release from the University of Bristol, via Caraïbisch uitzicht

How is it possible that British archaeologists had to "discover" these graves, weren't there any military records? I think that also needs to be "discovered".
Category: articles

Friday, March 9, 2012

Text on T-shirt:  Love your Negro
Black Dutch comedian Howard Komproe thought it was a good idea to have a Negro Day on March 9th. In Dutch the number 9 is pronounced as ‘negen’, so it rhymes with the Dutch word Neger, or in English Negro.

So he thought if you have a Warm Sweater day, a Redhead Day, or a woman’s day, why not have a Negro day. So Happy Negro day! But is it funny?

On his website he writes. "Our motto is, 'Love your Negro', on this day everyone may act as negro. Or at least the way most people think negroes behave. So for lunch, or breakfast go to KFC, get yourself a gold teeth, don't work hard, visit your mistress before you go home and don't be ashamed for your .....

Twitter your negro adventures, the best Negro tweets will win a unique Negro day T-shirt." He offers T-shirts with slogans as 'My father is a negro', 'My mother love negroes', 'I wish I was a negro' and a cliché Negro slogan.

He received a lot of negative responses and in a poll 59% of the readers of a large newspaper said they were not amused.

I know Howard. And sometimes he is funny, but this isn't one of his moments. Of course there is a sense of humour in this. And humour can be the perfect way to diffuse words, or situations, we feel uncomfortable with. But if he feels he can do some diffusing because he is black, then he is wrong.

I am sure he remembers the scene in one of Holland’s most popular TV shows where two Dutch female comedians showed one of their most favourite acts, the negro puppet.

In the program the women say they first planned to ride on a ostrich, but someone told them 'no', ride a on negro instead. The audiance was amused and Dutch host says, if find it very funny. I am sure Howard knows the show and the two Dutch women personally, since they are also comedians.

Check out the video.

My point is, if these scenes in a show are considered funny in the Netherlands, then a black person doesn't have to organise a Happy Negro Day for the Dutch public. So we don't need Howard Komproe, because obviously white Dutch comedians can do it themselves and have fun with it, their way.
Category: articles
A Man's Story, the Ozwald Boateng documentary, will open in UK theaters today (March 9th), see Shadow and Act for more details. Needless to say Boateng is the famous British fashion designer of Ghanaian descent from London. See the trailer. Interesting to see even if you're not into fashion!

A Man’s Story is the documentary film covering the last 12 years of Ozwald Boateng’s life. Capturing the journey and evolution of him as a man as well as a designer.


But there is more to Boateng than just bespoke suits. In a CNN documentary he also talks about his views on Africa (part 2). About his succes he made an interesting comment.

When asked if he as a British born black person felt an outsider when he opened his shop on Savile Row, the fashion lane of the old British establishment, he said. “No, I didn't have those typical hang-ups or issues with colour.” I don't know who does have typical hang-ups or issues with colour, but of course I have an idea what he referring to.

Video part 1

See video part 2 two here
Category: articles

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

According to the Daily Mail it was a campaign video of the EU designed to promote Europe in positive light and as a force for world peace. But it seems the makers of this advert, which is entitled 'Growing Together', may have misunderstood the instructions.

They are facing accusations from viewers that the clip is racist, sexist and imperialistic - and all in under two minutes.

The advert, designed to encourage new countries to join the EU, features an attractive white woman dressed in a bright yellow jumpsuit representing a peaceful Europe.

Remarkably she manages to multiply herself, all the while remaining still, before forming a circle around the men with her arms outstretched. They then put away their weapons and sit on the floor.

The advert, which has so far been viewed more than 3,700 times, ends with the message: 'The more we are, the stronger we are' as it invites more countries to join.

Many viewers have been outraged by the Hollywood inspired film, with some even questioning whether the clip is genuine. Some say its'racist and sexist while others say it's a waste of money. One viewer described it as 'arrogant, distasteful and supremacist'.

Is it r`cist? Yes, of course. Non-whites are being portrayed as aggressors who need to be calmed down by a white European. But the black capoeirista is interesting. Does he represents Brazil, the entire continent Africa, or just black people in general? Whatever the meaning, the hidden message is loud and clear.


The EU has released a statement.

Statement on the recent video clip released by DG EnlargementStatement on the recent video clip released by DG Enlargement

06/03/2012 We have received a lot of feedback on our latest video clip, including from people concerned about the message it was sending. It was a viral clip targeting, through social networks and new media, a young audience (16-24) who understand the plots and themes of martial arts films and video games. The reactions of these target audiences to the clip have in fact been positive, as had those of the focus groups on whom the concept had been tested. The clip featured typical characters for the martial arts genre: kung fu, capoeira and kalaripayattu masters; it started with demonstration of their skills and ended with all characters showing their mutual respect, concluding in a position of peace and harmony. The genre was chosen to attract young people and to raise their curiosity on an important EU policy. The clip was absolutely not intended to be racist and we obviously regret that it has been perceived in this way. We apologise to anyone who may have felt offended. Given these controversies, we have decided to stop the campaign immediately and to withdraw the video. Stefano Sannino, Director General of DG Enlargement
Category: articles

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On 8 March 2012 the all female hostel 'Hostelle' will open in Amsterdam. It's the first and only all female hostel in The Netherlands and it's founded by Bianca Brasdorp (40).

Brasdorp, who is of Surinamese origin, has worked as a Marketer for most of her life, but she he wanted a change. The main reason was that she wanted to do something creative and have a job that involved lots of interaction with people. Brasdorp worked as a Marketing Executive for American Express and for several other big companies in the Netherlands.

After brainstorming she decided to start a hostel. Because there wasn’t a hostel for women yet in Amsterdam she thought that it would be a good idea to offer women and girls a safe, beautiful, fun and clean place to stay in Amsterdam.

Hostelle is a hostel especially designed for women and equipped with beautifully decorated rooms designed by various artists. It's ideal for female travellers with a small budget and it's only a 15 minute ride away from the Central Station Amsterdam.

Website Hostell -
Category: articles

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Glaswegian singer-songwriter Emeli Sande has made a chart-topping debut on the UK albums chart in February with her debut album "Next To Me".

Led by "Next To Me" and "Heaven", "Our Version of Events" is now the year's fastest selling album in the UK. It also the first album of the year to surpass 100k in sales first week.

"After years of working her way up through the UK’s underground music scene, building her reputation via high-profile collaborations with the likes of Wiley, Chipmunk, Tinie Tempah, Professor Green and Devlin, Glaswegian singer-songwriter Emeli Sande finally released her massively anticipated debut album Our Version of Events," wrote Soul Culture.

Sande is due to hit the U.S. next, joining Coldplay for a few tour dates this March. See her European and US tour dates here.

Video "Next To Me"

Video "Heaven"
Category: articles

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston. It was her first ever solo televised concert which she performed live at Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia on March 31, 1991. Thanks M.R.
Category: articles
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