Borderliners

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Audio, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-07-13 21:38Z by Steven

Borderliners

BBC Radio 4
2019-07-06

In a new poem for Radio 4, Hannah Lowe explores the mysteries surrounding the lives of her Chinese Jamaican family.

The term ‘borderliner’ was once a derogatory term for having mixed heritage. “Between ‘bi-racial’ and ‘bounty,'” Hannah writes, “I find the label ‘borderliner’ which the dictionary tells me, means uncertain or debatable.” Using this term and its troubling history as the basis for a new poetic form, the poem reflects on borders and borderlines, both physical and psychological.


Hannah Lowe

Drawing on half-memories and imagined images from her family history, Hannah Lowe re-creates moments from the lives of her Jamaican Chinese father who came to the UK by ship in 1947 and became a professional gambler, her Chinese grandfather who moved to Jamaica as a legacy of indentured labour in the Caribbean, and most elusive of all the mystery surrounding the life of her Jamaican grandmother of whom she has only one photograph.

Producer: Jo Wheeler
Reader: Burt Caesar

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4

Listen to the story (00:27:39) here.

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Children of black American GIs, Going on holiday with mum, Salome at the National Theatre

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2017-05-28 21:06Z by Steven

Children of black American GIs, Going on holiday with mum, Salome at the National Theatre

Woman’s Hour
BBC Radio 4
2017-05-19

Jenni Murray, Presenter
Beverley Purcell, Producer

Carole Travers from Poole in Dorset is one of a number of mixed heritage children born to African-American fathers who were stationed in the UK during World War II. With their husbands away fighting the war, some women had relationships and children with them. Fiona Clampin talks to Carole who’s been trying to trace her father the whole of her adult life, and to John who is still deeply affected by his early experiences.

With the Election looming, we’re in Sunderland talking to some women about the issue that most concern them. The South African playwright and theatre director Yael Farber discusses her new play Salome, at The National Theatre, a radical revision of the biblical tale. And the joys and pitfalls of going on holiday with your mum no matter what age you are.

Listen to episode here.

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Terry and Judy – A Mixed Race Journey

Posted in Audio, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-11-23 21:16Z by Steven

Terry and Judy – A Mixed Race Journey

The listening project: It’s surprising what you hear when you listen
BBC Radio 4
2016-11-23, 10:55Z

Fi Glover, Presenter

Marya Burgess, Producer

Fi Glover introduces a conversation between a mixed race couple who met at a time when their relationship was a lot more unusual than it is today. Another in the series that proves it’s surprising what you hear when you listen.

The Listening Project is a Radio 4 initiative that offers a snapshot of contemporary Britain in which people across the UK volunteer to have a conversation with someone close to them about a subject they’ve never discussed intimately before. The conversations are being gathered across the UK by teams of producers from local and national radio stations who facilitate each encounter. Every conversation – they’re not BBC interviews, and that’s an important difference – lasts up to an hour, and is then edited to extract the key moment of connection between the participants. Most of the unedited conversations are being archived by the British Library and used to build up a collection of voices capturing a unique portrait of the UK in the second decade of the millennium. You can learn more about The Listening Project by visiting bbc.co.uk/listeningproject.

Listen to the conversation here.

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Late Night Woman’s Hour (2016-05-27)

Posted in Audio, Economics, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, Women on 2016-05-28 18:50Z by Steven

Late Night Woman’s Hour (2016-05-27)

Woman’s Hour
BBC Radio 4
2016-05-27

Lauren Laverne, Presenter

Lauren Laverne and guests discuss the origins and pitfalls of stereotypes of women.

  • With Joanne Harris, best-selling author of Chocolat who has written about myth and fairy tales.
  • Lisa Mckenzie, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, who has explored portrayals of working class women
  • Emma Dabiri, teaching fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, who has studied what people mean by the term ‘mixed-race’ in Britain today.
  • Jane Cunningham, founder of advertising and marketing consultancy Pretty Little Head.

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

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Jackie Kay the new Scots Makar, Shaping the Body

Posted in Arts, Audio, Media Archive, Religion, United Kingdom, Women on 2016-03-26 23:17Z by Steven

Jackie Kay the new Scots Makar, Shaping the Body

Woman’s Hour
BBC Radio 4
2016-03-25

The acclaimed writer Jackie Kay has just been announced as the next Scots MakarScotland’s national poet. She tells Jenni about the plans she has for her new role.

Today a new exhibition examining how food, fashion and lifestyle have shaped women’s bodies and lives opens at York Castle Museum. The curator Ali Bodley and fashion historian Lucy Adlington join Jenni to talk about 400 years of squeezing and binding. And, how the current vogue for big bottoms and padded underwear echoes the false rumps of the past.

Mary Magdalene – what do we know about the woman who was described as the constant companion of Jesus, who wept at the foot of the Cross, and who gave the first account of the empty tomb? What is it about her story that continues to fascinate and what evidence is there that she was a prostitute or even the wife of Jesus? Michael Haag author of The Quest for Mary Magdalene speaks to Jenni.

Penrose Halson author of “Marriages are Made In Bond Street” traces the history of one of Britain’s most successful marriage bureaux founded by two twenty-four year olds in the Spring of 1939. Penrose eventually became the proprietor and she tells Jenni about the remarkable cross-section of British society in the 1940’s who found partners through this tiny London office.

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

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Something Old, Something New

Posted in Arts, Audio, Autobiography, Biography, History, Media Archive, Religion, Slavery, United Kingdom, United States on 2015-10-06 15:20Z by Steven

Something Old, Something New

BBC Radio 4
2015-10-06

Johny Pitts, Host

Peter Meanwell, Producer


Recorded & mixed! Finished @BBCRadio4 (Engineer Steve Hellier with Johny Pitts) Source: Peter Meanwell

From Sheffield to South Carolina, Johny Pitts explores alternative Black British identity.

What happens when your Dad’s an African-American soul star [Richie Pitts] and your Mum’s a music-loving girl from working class Sheffield? Are your roots on the terraces at a Sheffield United match, or in the stylings of a Spike Lee film? For writer and photographer Johny Pitts, whose parents met in the heyday of Northern Soul, on the dance floor of the legendary King Mojo club, how he navigates his black roots has always been an issue. Not being directly connected to the Caribbean or West African diaspora culture, all he was told at school was that his ancestors were slaves, so for BBC Radio 4, he heads off to the USA, to trace his father’s musical migration, and tell an alternative story of Black British identity.

From Pitsmore in Sheffield, to Bedford Stuyvesant in New York, and all the way down to South Carolina, where his grandmother picked cotton, Johny Pitts heads off on a journey of self-discovery. On the way he meets author Caryl Phillips, Kadija, a half sister he never knew, and historian Bernard Powers. He visits the Concorde Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, and the Bush River Missionary Baptist Church, in Newberry, South Carolina. He tracks down a whole host of long-lost cousins, and talks to Pulitzer winning writer Isabel Wilkerson. On the way he shines a light on the shadows of his ancestry, and finds stories and culture that deliver him to a new understanding of his own mixed race identity and history.

Listen to the story here.

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In Search of the Black Mozart

Posted in Arts, Audio, Biography, History, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2015-09-03 02:09Z by Steven

In Search of the Black Mozart

BBC Radio 4
2015-07-19 and 2015-07-26

Sarah Taylor, Producer


Historian Steve Martin and Double Bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku

Chi-chi Nwanoku has spent her career travelling and performing in concert halls the world over as the principal double bassist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. More recently, she’s been on a personal journey seeking out the lives and careers of black classical musicians from the eighteenth century who like her, played and composed music at the highest levels. In some cases, slivers of their lives are on record but you have to be quite determined to find out.

Chi-chi puts the record straight and with the help of some of the finest musical researchers around, she brings to the fore the music and lives of musicians like violinist/composer Joseph Emidy, virtuoso violinist George Bridgetower and composer Joseph Bologne, aka Chevalier de St-George who not only met Mozart in his lifetime, but who was known by all those who heard his music as the ‘Black Mozart’.

In today’s programme she visits the British Library to find our more about Ignatius Sancho – someone who was born into slavery and ended up being the first person of colour in Britain to have the vote. Also of interest to Chi-chi are his musical compositions which are held at the British Library. Together with music curator, Nicolas Bell and Sancho expert Professor Brychhan Carey the three of them assess Sancho’s musical ability and life.

In a more sinister turn of events, Chi-chi talks to Handel scholar, Dr. David Hunter who shares his research which reveals that Handel, whilst composing some of the most beautiful music around was an investor in slavery.

She also hears about the violinist and composer Joseph Emidy who became a musical star of Cornwall’s music scene and meets up with one of his musical ancestors.

Also features commentary from:

Listen to episode 1 here. Listen to episode 2 here.

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