Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Create More Love in Your Life

You can create more love in your life by identifying your beliefs about love.

To find out about this and more, join Nurture Success.

You can transform your life by changing your thoughts. Have the relationships you want and deserve.

Click here for more info.

Keywords: Love, success, relationships, Black, African American

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Marshall Rosenberg

Click here to order Nonviolent Communication.

I spent a day with Marshall Rosenberg and a few hundred other people in central London on Sunday. I enjoyed being there and meeting up with so many people I know, including Buddhists as well as other NVCers. I had heard almost all of his anecdotes at least once before, and some of them two or three times before. But listening to Marshall helped me to reconnect with my inspiration.

For example, he told the story again about a young woman who had been put into a mental hospital, who could not or would not speak. He sat with her every day for several days until finally she trusted him enough to start communicating with him and begged him to help her speak.

It is so moving to see Marshall’s ongoing commitment to connecting with people empathically and with compassion. A lot of his work involves just getting people to believe that he really has their best interests at heart.

He also talked about how to help people resolve problems when they won’t even come to mediation, and he described how he would give empathy to one person and use that to help the person resolve the conflict.

One of the things I really enjoy and respect about Marshall is the way he can wear a silly hat. I’ve seen him wear the jackal ears and giraffe ears before, and he seems to have no problem with looking ridiculous in front of an audience of a couple of thousand people. This is someone who mediates with warring factions in places in the world such as Rwanda, Israel and Palestine.

This time, he had a new hat – a giraffe hat which had been made by a class of kindergarten children. It is literally in the shape of a giraffe, with four legs coming down at different corners of his head and a giraffe’s neck and head sticking up in front. I love his egolessness.

I am looking forward to doing some work with Marshall and NVC with Black parents.

See also: How to Get Our Needs Met

Click here to read more about NVC/Creative Communication.

Keywords: Nonviolent Communication, NVC, Creative Communication, Marshall Rosenberg, Conflict Resolution

Friday, May 19, 2006

Maafa Photographs

These were sent to me by Nu-Beyond and I just had to post them along with this message:

Please check out the following, which for Nu-Beyond put any talk of empty apologies and misguided attempts to use historical amnesia to gloss over the horrors of the MAAFA, The Afrikan Holocaust, into their proper, meaningless context.

Keep the faith

Sumari Healing Song

While you were sleeping,
all the cupboards of the earth were filled.
Mother Earth sought out each need.

While you were weeping,
your tears fell as sweet rain drops on small parched hills
that rise in worlds you cannot see,
though you are known there.

While you were sleeping,
Mother Earth filled all the cupboards of your flesh to overflowing.
Not one atom went uncomforted in worlds that are yours,
but beyond your knowing.

See also: 2007 Commemoration

Keywords: Black History, African American, African Diaspora, Slavery, Slave Trade

Thursday, May 18, 2006

2007 - Commemorating the End of the Transatlantic Trade

2007 will see the commemoration of the end of the transatlantic trade in African people. To mark this anniversary, I am seeking articles by writers and artists of African heritage about the relationship between African Diasporic/Black history and artistic expression by people of African heritage.

Click here to read the Poem, "The Blood", which explores these themes. It takes a few moments to load.

In your article, you may wish to explore your own experience of enslavement and/or emancipation as an artist. You may also wish to discuss the themes of enslavement and/or emancipation as dealt with in your work.

Please submit your article for consideration for my new website. This project is funded by Arts Council England.

In partnership with Yaa Asantewa Arts Centre.

For more details, send an e-mail to Arts@blacksuccess1.com

See also: Arts event, The Blood.

Len Garrison, founder of the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, is one of the people interviewed in the e-book Black Success Stories. Garrison spent many years collecting documents and images which recorded the experience of African people in Africa, the Caribbean and Britain. His work explored colonisation, enslavement, and resistance as well as the search for identity.

Jak Dodd, author of the Nubian Jak Black history board game, is also interviewed in Black Success Stories.

To order Black Success Stories, visit


Jak Dodd, author of the Nubian Jak Black history board game, is also interviewed in Black Success Stories.

The 2007 Bicentenary Cross-Community Forum was initiated by Rendezvous of Victory (ROV), an African led organisation working closely with both grass roots and mainstream institutions, in partnership with Anti-Slavery International and the World Development Movement. This e-bulletin is part of the on-going work of the Cross-Community Forum.

The Spring 2006 bulletin contains many informative articles. To get your copy, contact: crosscommunityforum2007@hotmail.co.uk

The deadline for the next e-bulletin is Wednesday 14 June 2006.

For further information, please email them at the same address or call 07984 996784 (or leave a message on 020 7738 3186).

See also:

The Blood - The Artist and the Legacy of Enslavement and Emancipation

The Roots of the Atlantic Slave Trade

Maafa Photographs

African Heritage Links

Keywords: Black Success Stories, African Diaspora, slavery, slave trade, 2007 Commemoration, history, arts and culture

State of London – Policing

This is my third posting on the Mayor's State of London Debate.

The final session I attended was on policing.

In the morning, the Mayor had gone on and on about the importance of having loads of police officers on the street, and how this improved people’s perception of the safety of London’s streets.

Being a person of African origin, the sight of police officers walking around in groups of three or four, wearing body armour, does nothing to improve my perception of safety.

In addition, the fact that someone was stabbed to death just a few metres from my front door last year, in broad daylight, does nothing for my perception of the safety of my own neighbourhood. But I digress.

For the session on policing, Lee Jasper, being the Mayor’s policing expert, headed the panel.

The other two panel members went on and on about the Safer Neighbourhoods teams and how important they were blah blah blah.

Many people in the audience wanted to ask questions or raise points, and Lee Jasper made a great show of taking note of everyone who had his or her hand up. However, I still never got to ask my question. Like me, many people who did manage to speak had had personal experiences of inadequate or inappropriate policing.

Last October, Black History Month, I was waiting at a bus stop when a white man came up to me and started racially abusing me, swearing at me, saying there were too many of us in this country, etc., etc. I was wearing African dress at the time, which may have upset him for some reason.

This abuse went on for some time, as the man worked himself up more and more. Being disabled, and laden with heavy shopping, I did not feel able or willing to walk away. More and more people, Black and white, turned up to the bus stop but this man, who appeared drunk, continued his abuse.

Eventually, several buses arrived. None of them were buses I needed, but I got on one, went one stop to where I knew there were call boxes, and called the police. They refused to come, but they kept assuring me that they 'take this matter very seriously'. They insisted that the abuser had ‘probably left’, and made a pointless visit to my home, which was nowhere near the crime scene, an hour and a half later.

Someone rang me several times over the course of the next few days in order to make sure I was ‘alright’, and to advise me that none of the many CCTV cameras at the scene had any film in them, so there was no record of the crime. But they still kept assuring me that they 'take this kind of thing very seriously'.

As I said, I was not given an opportunity to raise this issue during the session. However, I shall raise it with the Mayor’s office and post if I receive any kind of sensible response.

See also: State of London Debate.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

African Communities + The State of London

More about the Mayor’s State of London debate on Saturday 13th May.

Next, I attended the session on African communities. I was disappointed that the topics had already been decided and I would like to know how and when they were decided, as I certainly do not recall being consulted.

The topics included:

  • Education and employment

  • The portrayal of African people in the media

  • Refugees and asylum seekers

  • The need to speak with ‘one voice’.
I still did not get to ask my questions about consultation around the Mayor’s plans for 2007 (whatever they may be), and about policing.

There was clearly not enough time for all of these topics to be covered adequately. We could have done with a full day just on the subject of African communities in London. In addition, the Mayor was unfortunately not present for this session. Lee Jasper was on the panel again, but he did not share any more about his musical and fashion preferences.

I was disappointed that Toyin from Ligali.org was not allowed to speak. Ligali is an organisation which monitors the representation of African people in the media, so it would have made sense for Toyin to be on the panel. The way he was treated was shocking, and all the time the Chair was talking about ‘respect’. Respect is a two-way street. Of course, Toyin is big enough and bad enough to look after himself!

One sistah gave me a phone number for the Heritage Lottery Fund,

(020) 7591 6042. They have produced a booklet about projects that are being planned for 2007, so check it out.

See also: 2007 Commemoration

State of London Debate

State of London Debate

I attended the Mayor’s State of London debate on Saturday 13th May.

Well, it started out well. Mayor Livingstone expounded on how wonderful it was to live in London and how much Londoners enjoy and appreciate diversity. He also made some excellent points about climate change.

It was kind of downhill from there.

I was particularly interested in the sessions about diversity and about African communities (well I would be, wouldn’t I?).

Lee Jasper was on the diversity panel, in which he shared with us the fact that he likes wearing African clothing and listening to reggae music.

Personally, I remember all those free GLC concerts in the parks in the ‘80s, listening to Aswad, whom I referred to as the GLC house band. Partying was and is a priority, no doubt about it.

However, I would have liked to have asked why it was that, when I was wearing an African outfit last October, during BHM, and I was racially abused by a passerby, the police did nothing. More about this later.

Some serious points were raised about the demise of the CRE and the creation of the new Commission for Equalities and Human Rights (CEHR), which is meant to cover a wide range of issues and likely will not address anybody’s needs. The Mayor’s office is arguing that the Interim Report of the Equalities Review is inadequate and needs to be redone.

Apparently, the report is difficult to read and understand, and represents equalities issues as a drain on resources rather than an investment in and/or asset to UK society.

The Mayor's office also states that the report, worryingly, portrays oppressed groups as victims who are 'vulnerable', rather than describing and analysing structures of oppression and discrimination within this society.

Everyone on the panel was careful to include different oppressed groups in their statements – Black people, people with disabilities, gay and lesbian people. Very PC. I am all in favour of inclusion but the downside is that different, distinct groups don’t necessarily get enough time to focus on our individual needs. Me, I am a woman of African heritage, disabled and a Buddhist, which makes me a member of three oppressed groups and a religious minority. Gender discrimination did not get much of a mention.

I also would have liked to have asked why it is that London bus drivers are so unhelpful and rude to disabled passengers. I could also include the elderly in this comment.

Another thing I did not get to ask was: What is the Mayor’s office planning for the 2007 commemoration and when and how has the African Caribbean community been consulted with regard to these plans? I have been contacting the Mayor’s office about this since 2004 and I still have not received any satisfactory response.

I have fed back my comments to the Mayor’s office so shall post if I get any kind of sensible reply. The Mayor is meant to respond within six weeks to all feedback forms submitted.

See also: 2007 Commemoration

Monday, May 01, 2006

Strong Black Woman Syndrome

Do you suffer from Strong Black Woman Syndrome?

When you are feeling vulnerable, are you afraid to admit it - even to yourself?

Do you always 'look on the bright side' or use 'positive thinking' and believe that this is going to solve all your problems?

Are you willing to admit when you have a problem? Are you willing to ask for and receive help? Are you ready to be real?

Click here to read this article. Brothas welcome too.