Monday, March 31, 2014

The Gentrification of Peckham and Other Black Areas

I enjoyed this event on Saturday.  As I live just down the road from Peckham, South London, and have for many years, I was particularly interested in this topic. 

Like pretty much all of the events held by London Black History Walks, "The Gentrification of Peckham and Other Black Areas" as very well presented.  It started with Tony Warner going through a short history of migration and gentrification which took in the Black history o f London from Roman times to the present day, including the Elizabethan era and the two World Wars, as well as the experience of Black people in Brooklyn, including Spike Lee, and in South Africa and Zimbabwe.  

Back in the 1950s and '60s, many Black people in London and the UK were forced to become homeowners, as this was the only way to provide accommodation for themselves and their families.  

The authorities will sometimes allow local areas to become run down in order to make them more attractive to investors.   This has also involved encouraging the use of drugs and guns in Black areas.  There is evidence of this in the U.S., and he referred to "Operation Jackpot" in Stoke Newington in Hackney, East London.  

Tony's presentations are always packed with factual details and always highly engaging.  

The presentation by Charmaine Brown focused specifically on Peckham and covered the area's history as well as reviewing how much Peckham has changed.  

Brown clarified the distinction between improvements and gentrification.  The Council first started making improvements to the area several years ago.  However, with gentrification, a new type of resident moved in - people who do not have any investment in the "social capital" of the area.  

She characterised "social capital" as a personal interest and investment in, and involvement with, the local area, its people and its culture.  Thus, there is often a divide between the current residents and those moving into the area.  Added to this is the fact that, with property prices skyrocketing, locals often feel unable to own their own homes, and can find themselves moved out of the area completely. 

Like many of the Queen Nzingha lectures, this one left me feeling sadness and frustration.  Althought the problem was well explained and illustrated, there was little focus on solutions.  

I was particularly saddened by a short film featuring author Alex Wheatle, in which he talked about the ways in which the Brixton and Tulse Hill areas have changed.  He walked around Brixton Market but did not mention that none of the shops and businesses inside the market are Black-owned.  They are all owned by white and Asian business owners.  It was like that more than 30 years ago, when I first came to London, and it's still like that now. 

He also stated that Dick Sheppard School in Tulse Hill has been closed and replaced with a gated community.  Again, this was particularly sad for me as, many years ago,  I used to teach at a Saturday school based there.  

We need to focus more on solutions, and on actions steps we can take today, here and now, such as, for example, those described in Maggie Anderson's Empowerment Experiment and Our Black Year.  We need to take ownership of our communities. 

To read about The Empowerment Experiment and Our Black Year, and to watch a video about them, see Strong Black Business Community.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Black Success: How to Get Clear, Precise Answers

Spiritual Response Therapy (SRT) is a form of energy healing which can help us to get clear, precise and accurate answers.  

Through working wiith the Higher Self/High Self, we can address a huge range of issues and make major changes to our lives.  Listen below for more information. 

Click here for Success Strategies for Black People

Click here for Your Inner Wisdom.  

Click here for more Black Success audios with Zhana.  

Find Additional Books Podcasts with Zhana21 on BlogTalkRadio

Monday, March 10, 2014

What Can We Learn from Our History?

The Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave has been criticised, by Samuel L. Jackson among others, for dwelling on the past rather than dealing with the present.  

But 12 Years a Slave tells us a great deal about the kinds of difficulties and challenges still faced by Black people, and Black communities.  Its clear and graphic portrayal of the violence and brutality inflicted on African people during slavery depict ways in which Black people have been mentally and emotionally scarred by the slavery experience, and by colonisation in Africa.  This continues to have long-term consequences for us and for our families and communities. 

The film may not tell us much that is new, but I suspect there are many people, particularly young people, who are not aware of the history depicted in this film.  Click here to read my review of 12 Years a Slave

Monday, February 17, 2014

Black in London

I was privileged to be a guest on Adrian X's "Just My 2 Cents" show on Blogtalk last week - and a very great privilege it was. The topic for discussion was "What Is It Like to Be Black in London?"  Scroll down to listen to it.  

We were joined by Adrian's panel and guests including Nia Imara of the National Association of Black Supplementary Schools (NABSS).  

There was a lot of common ground - which is something I have said repeatedly over the years.  African people all over the world are facing a lot of the same challenges.  We have economic difficulties.  Our children are denied the best-quality education.  

Our communities, and particularly our men and boys, are targets for violence, including state-sponsored violence.  

Another issue we almost always face is internalised racism - the particular kind of self-hatred with which we were indoctrinated during the enslavement era.  Nia made the point that, although slavery has ended, mental slavery continues. And we see it everywhere.  It is in all of us.  

In order to combat mental enslavement, we first have to acknowledge that we have it.  Mental enslavement is like a disease, and we have all been infected.  In order to cure ourselves of it, we first need to acknowledge the problem.  

Harriet Tubman said, "I freed a thousand slaves.  I could have freed a thousand more, if only they knew they were slaves". 

A lot of the origins of mental enslavement were depicted in the BAFTA award-winning film 12 Years a Slave, and I shall be writing more about this soon.  

Nia made the point that the film did not depict Black people banding together to fight their oppressors, and this is a fair criticism.  However, we need to remember that this was one man's story.  What 12 Years a Slave showed very clearly were the reasons why some Black people, in some situations, did not fight back, at least not overtly.  Because of the daily brutality they experienced, they were too beaten down, physically and mentally, to fight back. 

Click here for Samuel L. Jackson's comments on 12 Years a Slave.  

You can listen to the show below.  Please post your comments below.  Thanks.  

More Politics Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Adrian X Just My 2 Cents on BlogTalkRadio

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Samuel L. Jackson Says "12 Years A Slave" Is Proof That Hollywood Still Isn't Ready To Deal with Racism

Samuel L. Jackson is quoted as saying that 12 Years a Slave is proof that Hollywood only wants to deal with the past - not the present.  

I have to disagree.  12 Years a Slave is not just about the past.  There are a lot of lessons in this film about the roots of modern-day racism.  This is one reason I am so glad the film was made, and why I think everyone should see it.  In order to understand the present, we need to have knowledge of the past. 

Jackson went on to say, "I'm glad 12 Years got made and it's wonderful that people are seeing it and there is another view of what happened in America".  But this is missing the point - it's not just what happened in America.  Similar things happened in Africa and the Caribbean, and we are still dealing with the consequences of this now.  Click here to read more of Jackson's comments.  

Click here to read my review of The Black Jacobins, C.L.R. James's classic study of slavery and revolution in the French Caribbean.  

You want a context for what happened to Trayvon?  Read it, and see 12 Years a Slave.   

Want to know why a reporter confused Samuel L. Jackson with Lawrence Fishburne?  There is a scene that relates directly to this in 12 Years a Slave

As African people, we need to get over this tribalistic view of the world.  We are facing similar challenges, wherever we are, and we share a common history.  This Black History Month/ African Heritage Month, let us remember our common history and work towards our common goals. 



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Is Diversity Good for Business?

The Gherkin, London
The Voice Online reports that the Lord Mayor of London warned that the city risks falling behind its competitors if it fails to embrace diversity in its business culture.  

Click here to read her comments.  Apparently, Fiona  Woolf is only the second female Lord Mayor since 1189.  She was speaking at the launch of the Power of Diversity programme.

So remember that the next time you sit through a presentation by a team made up entirely of white men - as I did last night.  There is a business case for diversity.  Or, to put it another way, diversity is good for business.  

What do you think?  Is there enough diversity in London and UK businesses?  If not, why not?  And is there a business case for increasing diversity?  Please leave your comments below.  

And click here for my Black Success audios Click here for more advice from Black business experts.  Because positive representation is important to me.

Here's to your success! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Social Media Strategy: Revamp Your Online Marketing

Melinda Emerson is someone who is always hot on ways to build your business.  For my interview with her, see below.  

In Tonya R. Taylor's latest blog, Tonya shares valuable tips and powerful social media strategy ideas.  Did you know that you can use social media to research a product or niche?

Click here to read more.

Plus click here for my interview with Tonya R. Taylor.

And for more social media strategies, see How to Get 16,000+ Twitter Followers.  Find out how Melinda Emerson tweeted her way to a bestselling book.

Here's to your success!