Emeli Sandé is done worrying what other people think

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-09-19 22:32Z by Steven

Emeli Sandé is done worrying what other people think

gal-dem
2019-09-18

Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff

The first time I met Emeli Sandé was on a wild night out. Age 19 and at the only hip-hop club night in Edinburgh, my friends and I were dancing when a group of men led us off the dancefloor and into a VIP area, where Emeli was socialising. As it turned out, one of those men was Emeli’s husband. We spent the night shimmying and doing shots and I remember wondering how she was going to get on stage the next day. It was a late one. But when, on the band’s invitation, we attended her concert, her voice soared across one of Edinburgh’s most opulent venues. “If someone can sing like that on a hangover,” I thought, “I have no choice but to stan”.

On this, our second meeting then, I feel obligated to bring up our first. “That was fun! I remember that night,” Emeli says. We’re sitting in a small, Ethiopian restaurant in Camden called The Queen of Sheba, settling down to eat a vast platter of injera with accompanying stews and sauces and talk about Emeli’s new album, Real Life. After a complimentary glass of Ethiopian honey wine, we settle straight in.

This album comes three years after her last outing, Long Live the Angels and seven years after her debut album catapulted the 32-year-old singer to fame. “This time it was really different. Like I built a studio in my house,” she says. “I finally had the freedom of ‘a room of one’s own’.”…

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Anthony Ekundayo Lennon on being accused of ‘passing’ as a black man: ‘It felt like an assassination’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom on 2019-09-09 00:36Z by Steven

Anthony Ekundayo Lennon on being accused of ‘passing’ as a black man: ‘It felt like an assassination’

The Guardian
2019-09-07

Simon Hattenstone

Head shot of actor and director Anthony Ekundayo Lennon against turquoise background
Anthony Ekundayo Lennon: ‘I didn’t think I had anything to answer.’ Photograph: David Vintiner/The Guardian

All his life, people have assumed the theatre director is mixed race – and he was happy to embrace that identity. Then he was accused of faking it

Anthony Ekundayo Lennon remembers the moment his life spun out of control. It was late morning, Friday 2 November 2018. The actor and director was giving a talk about the performing arts to university students, and his phone kept flashing. It was so incessant that the students suggested he’d better take a look. He told them it wouldn’t be anything important, turned the phone over and got on with his lecture. When the class broke for lunch, he saw missed calls from Talawa theatre company, where he had been working for the past year, as well as several unknown numbers and messages.

One text stood out. It was from a journalist at the Sunday Times, asking for a comment on a story the paper was preparing to run about Lennon’s place on a prestigious scheme – the artistic director leadership programme (ADLP) for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) theatre practitioners. Lennon had been awarded an 18-month residency with Talawa, Britain’s best-known black-led theatre company. He scrolled down the text…

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Emma Dabiri on the Politics of Black Hair

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2019-09-09 00:13Z by Steven

Emma Dabiri on the Politics of Black Hair

Sotheby’s
African Modern & Contemporary Art
2019-09-03

Mariko Finch, Deputy Editor, Deputy Director
London, United Kingdom

Emma Dabiri wearing Nigerian Yoruba suku braids

Emma Dabiri is a broadcaster, author and academic who recently published Don’t Touch My Hair — a book that charts the shifting cultural status of black hair from pre-colonial Africa through to Western pop culture and beyond. Ahead of the Modern & Contemporary African Art sale in London on 15 October, in which a number of works depicting traditional African hair are offered, we sat down with her to discuss the history of hairstyles.

Mariko Finch: When did you decide that you wanted to turn your research into a book?

Emma Dabiri: In around 2016. The conversation about black hair had been happening for a while at that stage but I was finding it often quite repetitive. There is so much more to engage with through hair, so I wanted to do that research. There is so much more to engage with through hair; social history, philosophy, metaphysics, mathematical expression, coding, maps…

This topic has recently made it to the mainstream media; through Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, Kim Kardashian and the issue of cultural appropriation. It is very timely to have that debate anchored in something historical.

I felt somewhat exasperated by the way people’s frustrations around cultural appropriation by celebrities were being disregarded and dismissed as just something very superficial; as if those weren’t valid or legitimate concerns. I wanted to provide the historical context for why this anger exists. Let me show that it’s not just vacuous, or petty policing of culture. There are like very strong historical antecedents as to why these emotions run so high…

Read the entire interview here.

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Race, power and intimacy in the intersubjective field: the intersection of racialised cultural complexes and personal complexes

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2019-09-06 20:13Z by Steven

Race, power and intimacy in the intersubjective field: the intersection of racialised cultural complexes and personal complexes

The Journal of Analytical Psychology
Volume 64, Issue3 (June 2019)
pages 367-385
DOI: 10.1111/1468-5922.12503

Ruth Calland, Jungian Psychotherapist
London, United Kingdom

Journal of Analytical Psychology banner

This paper presents work with a biracial young woman, in the context of a predominantly white Jungian training organisation. The patient’s relational difficulties and her struggle to integrate different aspects of her personality are understood in terms of the overlapping influences of developmental trauma, transgenerational trauma relating to the legacy of slavery in the Caribbean, conflictual racial identities, internalised racism, and the British black/white racial cultural complex. The author presents her understanding of an unfolding dynamic in the analytic relationship in which the black slave/white master schema was apparently reversed between them, with the white analyst becoming subservient to the black patient. The paper tracks the process through which trust was built alongside the development of this joint defence against intimacy ‐ which eventually had to be relinquished by both partners in the dyad. A white on black ‘rescue fantasy’, identified by the patient as a self‐serving part of her father’s personality, is explored in relation to the analytic relationship and the training context.

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The Fiction of Race

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2019-08-30 16:15Z by Steven

The Fiction of Race

The American Scholar
2019-08-07

Thomas Chatterton Williams

Flickr/lyonora
Flickr/lyonora

When will we recognize it as such?

Almost every summer, my wife and I, now with two kids in tow, spend a couple of weeks in Italy. We first fell in love with the Ligurian coast just beyond France and Monaco, then with the Tuscan countryside around Florence, and for the past several summers, the islands off Naples. This year, we went farther south, into the instep of the boot, and are staying at a family-run agriturismo on the Mediterranean coast of Calabria. Along with several other friends, my brother and his blond-haired, tan-skinned half-Russian five-year-old daughter have joined us. This morning, the two of us drove into the small seaside village down the hill from where we’re staying to pick up some pizzas. I went inside and fumbled my way through the somewhat complicated order that demanded anchovies, artichokes, and for one picky eater, a tomato-less pizza…

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Jackie Kay on putting her adoption on stage – and getting a pay rise for her successor

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-08-25 02:02Z by Steven

Jackie Kay on putting her adoption on stage – and getting a pay rise for her successor

The Guardian
2019-08-07

Peter Ross


‘I think it’s really scandalous to pay your national poet five grand’ … Kay in Glasgow. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian

When Scotland’s national poet travelled to Nigeria to ask her birth father if he ever thought of her, he said no. Does it hurt to put this on stage? And should the next ‘makar’ be on £30,000?

Before Jackie Kay was a writer, she was a character. “When you’re adopted,” she explains over lunch in a Glasgow cafe, “you come with a story.” Her adoptive mother Helen – fascinated by her possible origins – encouraged young Kay to speculate about her birth parents. It was known that her father was Nigerian, her mother a white woman from the Scottish Highlands. Were they, perhaps, torn apart by racial prejudice in 1960s Scotland?

There was tragic romance to that idea, and a fairytale quality in the notion that Kay, offspring of forbidden love, should come to live with John and Helen, two people who had plenty of love – not to mention songs and stories – to share. Little wonder that Kay has come to think of herself as a creature not only of genetics but of the imagination. As Scotland’s national poet writes in her beautiful memoir Red Dust Road, she is “part fable, part porridge”.

Red Dust Road, adapted for the stage by Tanika Gupta, is to be presented at the Edinburgh international festival. I catch some scenes in a National Theatre of Scotland rehearsal room: Stefan Adegbola and Sasha Frost are running through the moment when Kay, visiting Nigeria, meets her birth father Jonathan. “Did you ever think of me in all those years?” Frost asks. “No, of course not,” Adegbola replies. “Why would I? It was a long time ago.” This exchange feels brutal, but Kay looks on impassive. She lived it…

Read the entire interview here.

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“You think you’re Black?” Exploring Black mixed-race experiences of Black rejection

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2019-08-06 21:54Z by Steven

“You think you’re Black?” Exploring Black mixed-race experiences of Black rejection

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online 2019-08-05
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2019.1642503

Karis Campion, Research Associate
Department of Sociology
University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Utilizing interview data with thirty-seven British people of Mixed White and Black Caribbean heritage, this paper draws upon the concept of “horizontal hostility” to describe how Black mixed-race experiences of Black rejection impact on self-perceptions and expressed ethnic identities. In demonstrating the effects of being excluded from a relatable collective Black identity, the paper argues that horizontal hostility is critical in the project of theorizing mixed-race. Experiences of horizontal hostility represent significant turning points in mixed-race lives as they can prompt reconsiderations of mixed-race positionings within the broader Black imagined space. Beyond the benefits that horizontal hostility offers to mixed-race studies, it provides insights into conceptualisations of Blackness – as a collective racial identity, community and politics. The article unpacks how, when and why its boundaries are policed, adding to debates relating to the future formation and maintenance of ethnic group identities and categories more generally.

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Red Dust Road

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Live Events, United Kingdom on 2019-08-06 20:50Z by Steven

Red Dust Road

National Theatre of Scotland
2019-08-10 through 2019-09-21


Elaine C. Smith and Sasha Frost

Based on the soul-searching memoir by Scots Makar Jackie Kay, adapted by Tanika Gupta, and directed by Dawn Walton.

“You are made up from a mixture of myth and gene. You are part fable, part porridge

Growing up in 70s’ Scotland as the adopted mixed raced child of a Communist couple, young Jackie blossomed into an outspoken, talented poet. Then she decided to find her birth parents…

From Nairn to Lagos, Red Dust Road takes you on a journey full of heart, humour and deep emotions. Discover how we are shaped by the folk songs we hear as much as by the cells in our bodies.

Opening at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2019, and at HOME, Manchester in September 2019

Touring to Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling and Eden Court Theatre, Inverness in autumn 2019.

For more information, click here.

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Brown Girl In The Ring

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Europe, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2019-07-29 01:54Z by Steven

Brown Girl In The Ring

Riposte: A Smart Magazine for Women
2019-07-24

Lou Mensah, Writer, Photographer and co-founder of Shade Podcast


Maya Series Cenote IV. Aubrey Williams, Copyright Aubrey Williams Estate

Charting parallels between childhood and motherhood by Lou Mensah.

My mother, English and late father, Ghanaian. My partner is Irish and my nieces and nephews, Jamaican and Turkish.

Summer 2009. It was 5.30am as we were packing up the car at the stairwell of our flat to emigrate from Hackney to Ireland, when a local Zimbabwean Indian man, Jack, offered help with the baby as we loaded the car. I could have cried at his kindness. As I handed her over, he said in the most gentle tone “come here, my little joy of bundle” and that was it, I wanted to stay in the place we called home, in the flat where my only child was born, by the flower market where I walked during labour, where the stall holders kissed me and wished me luck with the birth.

I grew up in suburban England during the 70’s, when the National Front lads would chase family members for a, “fucking kicking in”; a time when my parents marriage and my very existence as a mixed race child would have been illegal in South Africa under the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, under the apartheid regime later to be supported by the British Government…

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The school experiences of mixed-race white and black Caribbean children in England

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United Kingdom on 2019-07-16 00:26Z by Steven

The school experiences of mixed-race white and black Caribbean children in England

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online 2018-10-01
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2018.1519586

Kirstin Lewis
Department of Educational Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, London
School of Education, University of Durham, Durham, United Kingdom

Feyisa Demie, Honorary Fellow
School of Education
University of Durham, Durham, United Kingdom

This research aims to explore the school experiences of mixed white/ black Caribbean children in English schools. The overarching findings of this research confirm that although the mixed-race population as a whole is achieving above the national average, the mixed white/ black Caribbean group is consistently the lowest performing mixed-race group in the country. Views of pupils, their parents and teachers in two London secondary schools suggest various reasons why mixed white/ black Caribbean pupils might continue to be the lowest performing mixed group in the country. These included experiences of marginalization and invisibility in school life, the low expectations that teachers held about them, the lack of knowledge about how to support them at school and how all these issues were exacerbated by the friendship groups they mixed in. This research paper discusses these critical factors in detail and their implications for policy and further research.

Read or purchase the article here.

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