Tag Archive | "Blacks"

Black Dance in London – Circa 1780s

Above is a set of Newspaper articles from the 1780s.? Black Dance in London – Circa 1780s

Posted in African History, Black Britain, Black People in Europe, Caribbean HistoryComments (0)

Black Footballers in Britain-Walter Tull

Walter Tull was born in Folkestone on 28th April 1888. His father was a carpenter from Barbados who had moved to Folkestone and married a local woman. By the age of nine, Walter had lost both his parents, and when he was 10 he and his brother Edward were sent to a Methodist orphanage in Bethnal Green. His brother left the orphanage two years later, was adopted by a Scottish family and became a dentist. Meanwhile, Walter played for the orphanage football team, and in 1908, began playing for Clapton FC. Within a few months he had won winners’ medals in the FA Amateur Cup, London County Amateur Cup and London Senior Cup. In March 1909 the Football Star called him ‘the catch of the season’.

In 1909 he signed as a professional for Tottenham Hotspur, and experienced for the first time spectator racism when Spurs travelled to play Bristol City. According to one observer, ‘a section of the spectators made a cowardly attack on him in language lower than Billingsgate.’ The correspondent continued:

“Let me tell those Bristol hooligans that Tull is so clean in mind and method as to be a model for all white men who play football whether they be amateur or professional. In point of ability, if not actual achievement, Tull was the best forward on the field”

In October 1911 Tull moved to Northampton Town where he played half-back and scored nine goals in 110 senior appearances. When the First World War broke out, be became the first Northampton player to sign up to join the 17th (1st Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, and in November 1915 his battalion arrived in France.

The Army soon recognised Tull’s leadership qualities and he was quickly promoted to the rank of sergeant. In July 1916, Tull took part in the major Somme offensive. Tull survived this experience but in December 1916 he developed trench fever and was sent home to England to recover.

Tull and other officers

Tull had impressed his senior officers and recommended that he should be considered for further promotion. When he recovered from his illness, instead of being sent back to France, he went to the officer training school at Gailes in Scotland. Despite military regulations forbidding “any negro or person of colour” being an officer, Tull received his commission in May, 1917.

Lieutenant Walter Tull was sent to the Italian front. This was an historic occasion because Tull was the first ever black officer in the British Army. He led his men at the Battle of Piave and was mentioned in dispatches for his “gallantry and coolness” under fire.

Tull stayed in Italy until 1918 when he was transferred to France to take part in the attempt to break through the German lines on the Western Front. On 25th March, 1918, 2nd Lieutenant Tull was ordered to lead his men on an attack on the German trenches at Favreuil. Soon after entering No Mans Land, Tull was hit by a German bullet. Tull was such a popular officer that several of his men made valiant efforts under heavy fire from German machine-guns to bring him back to the British trenches. These efforts were in vain as Tull had died soon after being hit. He was awarded the British War and Victory Medal and recommended for a Military Cross.

He was the first British-born black army officer and the first black officer to lead white British troops into battle.

Posted in Black Britain, Black History, Black History Month UK, Black Soldiers, Black Sports Stars, Caribbean HistoryComments (4)

Vogue – 2 in 2- are they finally getting their act together?

Vogue’s Beyonce Cover, Racist?

Comments (13)

Some folks have gotten their panties in a bunch over Beyonce’s cover for the “Shape Issue” of Vogue. Beyonce is one of only five black women to grace the cover of Vogue since it was founded in 1892, but blogs like Jezebel and Sociological Images think the magazine was being sexist and racist by putting her on the cover. I agree to some extent, but not for their reasons.

Sociological Images blogger Lisa writes that the cover story, “Real Women Have Curves: Beyonce At Her Best,” is sexist because curves only refer to boobs and ass. Well that sounds about right to me. Curves is just another way of saying a woman has an hourglass figure. If a woman has big boobs, a big ass, and a protruding stomach, then she really just has one curve—one that starts at her shoulders and continues to bow to below her butt.

The blogger also asserts that the story is racist because it reinforces the stereotype that black women are especially curvy. I’ve never met a black woman, or man for that matter, that didn’t enjoy a little something extra in the trunk and thighs. I’m not saying we should reinforce stereotypes that have some truth, but I think most people only find fault with this stereotype when black women are hyper-sexualized as a result of their curves. Vogue didn’t sexualize Beyonce, in any way, as her body is hardly visible on the cover. Oh, and by the way, Beyonce is in no way “extremely thin” as the blogger writes.

What I do find racist about this cover is that Beyonce fits an accepted ideal of black beauty. She has slightly Anglo features and light skin, like Halle Berry, who has also graced the cover. And she wears a long weave/wig of hair that most black women can’t grow naturally. Couple her appearance with her success and you realize Beyonce was a safe, unsurprising choice for the cover of the “Shape Issue,” which is an absolutely ridiculous concept for Vogue anyway, whose motto should be “thinner is better.”

I’m not so sure who this blogger and others think would have been a better choice for the cover. Maybe they think Vogue should have kept their black cover models to an even four, you know, to stay politically correct.

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Theatre review: Death and the King's Horseman

Is death the start of the human journey or its end? Is mortality a transition from one sphere of our existence to another – the recurring cycle of life, death and rebirth? From Nobel Literature Laureate Wole Soyinka’s versatile prose emerges a mournful piece of theatre, which isn’t in fear of difficult themes of life and death, tradition and loyalty. These are profound questions and the sacred Yoruba traditions are the raw material from which they are explored.

Written in 1975 – and with comedy, farce and stinging caricatures of British colonials – an intriguing dramatisation of the Yoruba worldview is elegantly portrayed. Read the full story

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Interracial couple kissing makes readers hot

Inter Racial Kiss Causes Stir in the U.S

Inter Racial Kiss Causes Stir in the U.S

My Monday column is about the challenges facing news organizations trying to maintain conversations with readers while keeping the discourse civil and thoughtful.

Consider what happened recently when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s weekly magazine, Go!, ran an article about the best places to smooch and featured a picture of an interracial couple kissing on the magazine cover.
Kurt Greenbaum, who moderates the Post-Dispatch’s online blog “A Conversation About Race,” told me that readers’ comments about the black man kissing the white woman got so ugly—- for example: “Haven’t read the story but dont (sic) like to see blacks and whites kissing”—- that editors decided to close the article’s comment board and move the ‘discussion’ to the race blog. You can take a look at the blog entry here. The Poynter Institute also has an online story regarding the uproar.

Read More>>

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Africans in Wartime Propaganda (pt1)

Blacks in Wartime Propaganda

Blacks in Wartime Propaganda

You would be surprised the amount of people who are totally ignorant about the role of black troops in both World Wars, and even in subsequent wars. Furthermore, the use of Black troops in European armies was extremely controversial in the first part of the 20th Century.

Africans have been depicted both positively and negatively in Wartime propaganda, they have also been the specific targets of leaflet campaigns from the Germans, Japanese and Koreans.

Here are a few examples of Wartime propaganda.

Allied Propaganda in WW1

Allied Propaganda in WW1

The allies emphasised the use of black troops in propaganda to ensure that troops from the colonies would sign up.

A French Loaf [Unwanted help from the French bourgeoisie] for hungry soldiers! (1921)

Russian – A French Loaf Unwanted help from the French bourgeoisie

for hungry soldiers! (1921)

However the use of African colonial troops as an occupying force, was not popular with many European countries. The French were criticised and mocked for their deployment of Senegalese Troops.

Help the West Indies

West Indian – British Poster

An example of a Colonies Wartime Propaganda, in the West Indies.

A propaganda slide depicting friendship between an Aryan woman and a black woman as a loss of racial pride. The caption reads, "The result: racial pride fades."

A propaganda slide depicting friendship between an Aryan woman and a black woman as a loss of racial pride. The caption reads, “The result: racial pride fades.”

Adolf Hitler, was opposed to the relationships between Germans and African soldiers who had been stationed in the Rhineland. The Children who were born into such relationships were a particular irritation to Hitler. In his book Mein kampf, he spoke of his solution for the “Rhineland Bastards”.

Liberator - German/Italian Poster- black American airman holding his fist over a destroyed Italian City.

Liberator – German/Italian Poster- black American airman holding his fist over a destroyed Italian City.

Black American troops were deployed in Italy, Mussolini tried to spread fear and mistrust amongst Italians, by depicting African American troops as barbarians.

British "Tommy" and an American black soldier laugh at the sight of an Italian soldier apparently fighting against his brother who stayed loyal to Mussolini.

British “Tommy” and an American black soldier laugh at the sight of an Italian soldier apparently fighting against his brother who stayed loyal to Mussolini.

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12 Things The Negro Must Do

Nannie Burroughs

Nannie Burroughs

Found an Interesting post today called

12 Things The Negro Must Do – How Not To Become Scapegoats For Degenerate Black Community Behavior.

It was written in around the turn of the last century by a woman called Nannie Helen Burroughs.

Nannie Helen Burroughs – Nannie Helen Burroughs (1879-1961) was an educator, orator, religious leader and businesswoman who moved to Washington, D.C., as a young woman to take advantage of the city’s superior educational opportunities. While living in Washington she decided to open a school for African American girls to prepare them for a productive adult life. Burroughs was an active member of her church, where she organized a women’s club that conducted evening classes in useful skills such as typewriting, bookkeeping, cooking and sewing. Her responsibilities within the church increased when she became secretary of the Women’s Auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention, which supported missionary work and educational societies in Baptist churches throughout the nation. Burroughs’s dream lifelong dream was realized when she opened the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D.C., in 1909.

1. The Negro Must Learn To Put First Things First. The First Things Are: Education; Development of Character Traits; A Trade and Home Ownership.The Negro puts too much of his earning in clothes, in food, in show and in having what he calls “a good time.” The Dr. Kelly Miller said, “The Negro buys what he wants and begs for what he Needs.”

2. The Negro Must Stop Expecting God and White Folk To Do For Him What He Can Do For Himself.It is the “Divine Plan” that the strong shall help the weak, but even God does not do for man what man can do for himself. The Negro will have to do exactly what Jesus told the man (in John 5:8) to do-Carry his own load-”Take up your bed and walk”

3. The Negro Must Keep Himself, His Children And His Home Clean And Make The Surroundings In Which He Lives Comfortable and Attractive.

He must learn to “run his community up”-not down. We can segregate by law, we integrate only by living. Civilization is not a matter of race, it is a matter of standards. Believe it or not-some day, some race is going to outdo the Anglo-Saxon, completely. It can be the Negro race, if the Negro gets sense enough. Civilization goes up and down that way.

4. The Negro Must Learn To Dress More Appropriately

Knowing what to wear-how to wear it-when to wear it and where to wear it, are earmarks of common sense, culture and also an index to character.

5. The Negro Must Make His Religion An Everyday Practice And Not Just A Sunday-Go-To-Meeting Emotional Affair.

6. The Negro Must Highly Resolve To Wipe Out Mass Ignorance.

The leaders of the race must teach and inspire the masses to become eager and determined to improve mentally, morally and spiritually, and to meet the basic requirements of good citizenship.

We should initiate an intensive literacy campaign in America, as well as in Africa. Ignorance satisfied ignorance-is a millstone abut the neck of the race. It is democracy’s greatest burden.

Social integration is a relationship attained as a result of the cultivation of kindred social ideals, interests and standards.

It is a blending process that requires time, understanding and kindred purposes to achieve. Likes alone and not laws can do it.

7. The Negro Must Stop Charging His Failures Up To His “Color” And To White People’s Attitude.

The truth of the matter is that good service and conduct will make senseless race prejudice fade like mist before the rising sun.

God never intended that a man’s color shall be anything other than a badge of distinction. It is high time that all races were learning that fact. The Negro must first QUALIFY for whatever position he wants. Purpose, initiative, ingenuity and industry are the keys that all men use to get what they want. The Negro will have to do the same. He must make himself a workman who is too skilled not to be wanted, and too DEPENDABLE not to be on the job, according to promise or plan. He will never become a vital factor in industry until he learns to put into his work the vitalizing force of initiative, skill and dependability. He has gone RIGHTS mad and DUTY dumb.

8. The Negro Must Overcome His Bad Job Habits.

He must make a brand new reputation for himself in the world of labor. His bad job habits are absenteeism, funerals to attend, or a little business to look after. The Negro runs an off and on business. He also has a bad reputation for conduct on the job-such as petty quarrelling with other help, incessant loud talking about nothing; loafing, carelessness, due to lack of job pride; insolence, gum chewing and-too often-liquor drinking. Just plain bad job habits!

(No fallback on what Whites or other people ‘get away with’)

9. He Must Improve His Conduct In Public Places.

Taken as a whole, he is entirely too loud and too ill-mannered.

There is much talk about wiping out racial segregation and also much talk about achieving integration.

Segregation is a physical arrangement by which people are separated in various services.

It is definitely up to the Negro to wipe out the apparent justification or excuse for segregation.

The only effective way to do it is to clean up and keep clean. By practice, cleanliness will become a habit and habit becomes character.

10. The Negro Must Learn How To Operate Business For People-Not For Negro People, Only.

To do business, he will have to remove all typical “earmarks, ” business principles; measure up to accepted standards and meet stimulating competition, graciously-in fact, he must learn to welcome competition.

11. The Average So-Called Educated Negro Will Have To Come Down Out Of The Air. He Is Too Inflated Over Nothing. He Needs An Experience Similar To The One That Ezekiel Had-(Ezekiel 3:14-19). And He Must Do What Ezekiel Did.

Otherwise, through indifference, as to the plight of the masses, the Negro, who thinks that he has escaped, will lose his own soul. It will do all leaders good to read Hebrew 13:3, and the first Thirty-seven Chapters of Ezekiel.

“A race transformation itself through its own leaders and its sensible common people. A race rises on its own wings, or is held down by its own weight. True leaders are never things apart from the people”. They are the masses. They simply got to the front ahead of them. Their only business at the front is to inspire to masses by hard work and noble example and challenge them to “Come on”! Dante stated a fact when he said, “Show the people the light and they will find the way!”

There must arise within the Negro race a leadership that is not out hunting bargains for itself. A noble example is found in the men and women of the Negro race, who, in the early days, laid down their lives for the people. Their invaluable contributions have not been appraised by the “latter-day leaders.” In many cases, their names would never be recorded, among the unsung heroes of the world, but for the fact that white friends have written them there.

“Lord, God of Hosts, Be with us yet.”

The Negro of today does not realize that, but, for these exhibits A’s, that certainly show the innate possibilities of members of their own race, white people would not have been moved to make such princely investments in lives and money, as they have made, for the establishment of schools and for the on-going of the race.

12. The Negro Must Stop Forgetting His Friends. “Remember.”

Read Deuteronomy 24:18. Deuteronomy rings the big bell of gratitude. Why? Because an ingrate is an abomination in the sight of God. God is constantly telling us that “I the Lord thy God delivered you” through human instrumentalities.

The American Negro has had and still has friends-in the North and in the South. These friends not only pray, speak, write, influence others, but make unbelievable, unpublished sacrifices and contributions for the advancement of the race-for their brothers in bonds.

The noblest thing that the Negro can do is to so live and labor that these benefactors will not have given in vain. The Negro must make his heart warm with gratitude, his lips sweet with thanks and his heart and mind resolute with purpose to justify the sacrifices and stand on his feet and go forward- “God is no respector of persons. In every nation, he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is” sure to win out. Get to work! That’s the answer to everything that hurts us. We talk too much about nothing instead of redeeming the time by working.

At first Read, I’m not sure who this edict is intended for, Black People themselves or ‘benevolent white benefactors’. Naturally the language is derrogatory by todays standards, but I want to ask you whether you think:

1) Does what she’s saying apply today?
2) Is she right or wrong – why?



Posted in African American History, Black Women, SlaveryComments (0)

Remembering John Hope Franklin

John Hope Franklin

John Hope Franklin

Oklahoma and the country have lost a great man.John Hope Franklin, revered historian and tireless advocate for equality, died this morning of congestive heart failure. He was 94. FOX 23’s Douglas Clark has more on Franklin’s extraordinary life.

Friends describe him as someone who was shy and didn’t particularly like a lot of attention. But he certainly received it for his work promoting racial equality.Franklin was truly a great American, says friend Julius Pegues.He was the son of Tulsa attorney Buck C. Franklin, whose practice was destroyed in the 1921 Race Riots. John Hope Franklin was born outside Oklahoma City, but moved to Tulsa just after the riots.He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and went on to Fisk University in Nashville. He later earned a Ph.D.from Harvard.Even though he moved on and accomplished so much, he never forgot where he came from and the struggles he and so many others endured.

As a young boy, he once helped a blind woman cross the street.About mid-way across the street, she asked him if he was black or white. And he told her he was a black young man. And she told him to get his hands off of her. And that stuck with him all of his life,recalls Pegues.

And that became his life’s mission. In 1934, he gave President Roosevelt a petition calling for change following the lynching of a black man. In 1954, Franklin helped Thurgood Marshal prepare for the debate over the Brown vs.the Board of Education case over segregation in public schools.And he taught at universities, wrote books, and gave speeches all in the name of equality.

He felt very passionately about changing the relationship between all races,says Pegues.He received more than 130 honorary doctorate degrees. And in 1997, President Clinton appointed Franklin to the President’s Initiative on Race.

There was, and still is, so much work to be done. On the very night he was to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Clinton, a woman at his club asked him to get her coat. He responded politely that he didn’t work there. It was those moments of racism,both subtle and anything but, that kept him going, crusading for equality. That,his friends say, will be his legacy.He was a dynamic individual.When you leave his presence, you have to be a richer person, because his perspective is so broad,says Pegues. He has had a significant impact on this city,this state,and on this nation.

John Hope Franklin is survived by his son, and other family members, not to mention the many generations of students and friends he influenced.Governor Brad Henry reacted to Franklin’s death, releasing the following statement: The world has lost a brilliant scholar.This remarkable, legendary man will be sorely missed, but his contributions to our understanding of history will last forever.

Related Links : http://afronetizen.blogs.com/ Source: http://www.fox23.com/news/local/story/Remembering-John-Hope-Franklin/OL3pebfKnUOm9GgoUVzXBg.cspx

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Tuesday 11.30am March 31st & April 7th 2009 BBC Radio 4 and on BBC i-player for 7 days after broadcast

Black Cinema

Programme 1: Less than 50 years ago a passionate bedroom kiss between a white man and a black woman in a popular television soap opera was the stuff of tabloid headlines. So risque that, in fact, once the news broke, the kiss was cut.

Inter-racial relationships were just one of the many taboos that early black actors had to deal with – as Burt Caesar discovers in the first of two programmes exploring how immigrants from the Caribbean were depicted in British screen drama.? He talks to some of the pioneering generation of black British actors about what it was like to play black characters in the 1950s and 60s, a time when the new Caribbean presence was still a curiosity for audiences in this country.

Programme 2: By the 1970s the prevailing screen images of black people were as muggers and thieves or as the butt of comedians jokes. But, as tensions between young black men and the police escalated in cities across the country, a small number of black writers and film makers started to challenge these stereotypes and tell their own stories. Their task was not easy but, as Burt finds out in this programme, the body of work they created now provides a valuable alternative view of black lives in Britain.

Contributors include
: actors Earl Cameron CBE, Mona Hammond, Cy Grant, Joan Hooley, Rudolph Walker, writer Michael Abbensetts, film makers John Akomfrah OBE,Menelek Shabazz, Alrick Riley, sound recordist Albert Bailey, commentators June Givanni, Dr Jim Pines and Baroness Lola Young.

Please note: Most of the films discussed in this series can be viewed free of charge at the BFI Southbank’s Mediatheque in London or at the Quad in Derby

Mukti Jain Campion

Executive Producer


Tel: 0208 994 6980

Posted in African History, Black Britain, Black People in Europe, Black WomenComments (0)

Is marriage outdated?


Has Marriage had it's big day?

Has Marriage had it’s big day?

Every day I trawl the web looking for interesting articles to bring to your screen. Tonight I happened to chance across an article called…
Do we need Black Mariage Day?” Personally, & I have to be honest here, I hadn’t actually heard of the initiative and so proceeded to read the whole article.

The author made the assertion that there was a general marriage crisis, amongst all ethnic groups, not just African Americans.  Reading further the article Quoted a piece by Joy jones in the Washington Post entitled, ‘Marriage Is for White People’

Personally I was shocked just by the title, but had to read the article because so many journalists use the headline to lure you in, hiding the fact that the main thrust of the article isn’t at all what you might have believed by the Headline.

Jones goes on to Quote the Black feminist Alice Dunbar-Nelson;
“Why should well-salaried women marry?”

Making the point that these days women have no real NEED to marry, as they are financially self sufficient.  Furthermore all the old benefits of marriage are now mostly attainable for women without the baggage any man might bring with him.  I find the whole debate fascinating.

Are you Married?  Do you intend to be…Or, if you have been married before would you marry again?   Given that there is a massive dropoff in Marriage rates within the African American Community.

In 2001, according to the U.S. Census, 43.3 percent of black men and 41.9 percent of black women in America had never been married, in contrast to 27.4 percent and 20.7 percent respectively for whites. African American women are the least likely in our society to marry. In the period between 1970 and 2001, the overall marriage rate in the United States declined by 17 percent; but for blacks, it fell by 34 percent.

How do you feel about Marriage yourself?  Do you think that marriage is an outdated institution or do you feel that marriage still has a strong role to play within the developmrent of STRONG communites?  I’m keen to know what you think?

Related Articles:

  1. Why do we need Black Marriage Day?
  2. Marriage Is for White People 

Posted in Black Women, Editors BlogComments (3)