From Empire to Commonwealth

Colonialism is a fundamental part of British history – especially as pertains to Black or Multicultural Britain, yet we rarely talk about it. At its height, the British Empire extended across countries in several continents from Canada, the Caribbean and the East Coast of America, Australia, Asia, New Zealand to Africa, accounting for one-third of the planet. As a result, people … Read More

Sticks, Stones and Being Black(er)

Steve Burnett-Martin most popularly known as Blacker Dread used to run a very popular record shop on Market Row in Brixton – Blacker Dread Music Store. Blacker Dread who was born in Jamaica, but has lived in Britain since he was a child is also a reggae producer, businessman and one of the founders of Brixton Splash.  He’s also described … Read More

On Black Authors

In a Guardian interview in 2014, the poet and author, Benjamin Zephaniah speaks of the importance of diversity in books as a catalyst that encourages people to read books. He spoke of being disengaged from reading books as whilst his mother at home told him stories of Jamaica and Jamaican characters, at school, he was told about characters that seemed … Read More

For Blacks Only

Have you ever wondered why we have entities such as Black Medical Society, Society of Black Lawyers, the National Black Police Association, Black Professionals Networks etc? When I was researching the British National Party (BNP) for my book, Consequences: Diverse to Mosaic Britain I came across a video in which a BNP member expressed her confusion that black people say … Read More

A Joyful Sound!

It’s Sunday and therefore a perfect time to talk about Gospel Music i.e. Black Gospel Music. You may have been to a Church where black gospel music is played on a weekly basis, listened to it on the radio, gone to a show or watched the gospel choir competition on television. If not, you will have at least had a … Read More

Cheeky Little Monkeys

My friend, let’s call her Alison, was shocked when she picked her four-year-old son up from nursery and heard a teacher call him a cheeky little monkey with a smile on her face as she said. She is normally quite vocal with her opinions, however, on this occasion, she was stunned into silence by what she saw as a blatantly … Read More

Mental Health & Blackness

Today is World Mental Health Day. I believe it’s fair to say that it affects us all – directly through direct personal experience or the experience of those close to us or that work with us in one form or the other. Working on the people side of organisations has long provided me with a degree of awareness of issues … Read More

Forerunning on the Catwalk

If you’ve seen the October edition of Vogue, You’ll notice on the cover a black model and actress named Jourdan Dunn who is English of Jamaican, Grenadian and Syrian ancestry. If you open it up, you’ll find models of colour throughout the publication. It could be argued that this is at least in part because the editor, Edward Enninful is … Read More

Black Presence in Football

There are conflicting views of the origin of football, according to the Football Federation, “what is incontestable is how football has flourished over a thousand years in diverse rudimentary forms in the very region which we describe as its home, Britain”  Records of black players in Britain date back to the presence of Andrew Watson in Scotland from 1876 and … Read More

On Political Representation

In 1975, Lord David Pitt was granted a life peerage making him the first person of colour in Parliament. It was not then until 1987, that Diana Abbott became the first black woman to be elected as a Member of Parliament (MP), representing Hackney North & Stoke Newington in London.  Three other MPs of colour; Keith Vaz, Bernie Grant and … Read More