‘Africans Were In Britain Before The English…’

This powerful statement of fact is how historian Peter Fryer started his seminal book Staying Power (Pluto Press, 1984) documenting the black presence in Britain

SONGSTRESS: An unnamed member of The African Choir from South
Africa who played concerts for a high-profile audience including Queen Victoria, courtesy of Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 

IT IS a notion that would confound most people, particularly against the backdrop of today’s fierce debate on migration. Yet the truth remains that African history in Britain stretches back to the 3rd Century when valiant and gallant soldiers fought beside the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Though a few of these largely forgotten heroes remained in England, Scotland and Wales, the focus has been on Africans as slaves and servants in royal courts in the stories of people like Quobna Ottobah Cugano, Olaudah Equiano and others
who documented their lives in Britain.

After the transatlantic slave trade, Africans started coming to this country as much sought-after musicians and performers in the courts of nobility. Others came as seafarers working on ships that brought raw materials from
the colonies to Britain and returned with finished goods fashioned for the tropics.

They settled mainly in the port towns of Bristol, Liverpool and Portsmouth and through the advent of colonialisation
others were brought here to learn the language so that they would act as interpreters to aid trade with Africa.

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Can We Have An Intelligent Debate On Migration?

Can We Have An Intelligent Debate On Migration?

MOVED ALONG: African migrants from Sudan and Eritrea are forcibly removed by Italian police from their camp

“We are here because you were there” is the apt response given to the xenophobic reaction to immigration in Britain. The truth is that most people migrating to Britain have an affinity with the Motherland that had presided over the ‘Empire on which the sun never sets’ spanning from the East to the West.

In the months and weeks leading up to this migration crisis, Britain has been awash with political talk about the need to control immigration and several pejorative references have been made about migrants: they are benefit cheats, they are taking our jobs, they are changing the diversity and character of villages and towns and anything that can, has been hurled against them.

All the political parties are at it, even the Liberal Democrats and, surprisingly, Labour whose former leader – the son of an immigrant – had carved into his 10-foot stone commandments that he would control immigration and even had the coffee mug made to prove it.

All this talk has come about because of the fear that they needed to get the votes of UKIP sympathisers. Last year, the home secretary had caused vans to be sent around warning about what would happen to illegal immigrants and soon after the elections there was talk of penalising landlords for letting property to illegal immigrants.

University students have also been threatened that they would not be allowed to work in Britain and would be sent back to their countries of origin after graduation even before they can attend their convocations.

And yet when politicians make these statements and suggest that there needs to be an intelligent discussion on immigration, all we get is the same media-influenced reactions, bunching genuine with failed asylum seekers, mixing refugees with economic migrants and suggesting that those who have been migrants here for several years are also somehow in the mix and the cause of all the problems in Britain.

All it took for the position of politicians to unravel was the sight of defiant refugees refusing to be accepted in the reception and detention centres in Hungary, having a standoff with the police after invading the train stations and then deciding to walk across to Austria to their preferred choice of Germany.

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Do Black People Feel Excluded From Brixton?

http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/do-black-people-feel-excluded-brixton

Do Black People Feel Excluded From Brixton?

LOCAL LANDMARK: The street market in Electric Avenue, BrixtonDOWN TO: The market in Electric Avenue.

THERE WAS a time in this country when the mention of Brixton symbolised the experience of Caribbean people in Britain.

While this is still true to a large extent – Brixton is home to the Black Cultural Archives, and rightly so – it seems to be the only legacy remaining.

For a significant number of the children of the Windrush generation, their lives were about Brixton: where they went to school, where they grew up and made lifelong friends and where they ran into various scrapes that finally culminated in clashes with heavy-handed police in 1981.

However, when a large number of shops closed after the riots and Brixton was left almost derelict, a run-down no-go area, it was black professionals and businesses – accountants, lawyers, estate agents, recruitment consultants, newspaper publishers, PR and advertising agencies, builders and contractors, management consultants, researchers, restaurants, book shops – who staked their claim to it and helped regenerate the area.

It was to Brixton that all black VIPs and celebrities from abroad, such as Nelson Mandela and Mike Tyson, flocked to for a taste and feel of the black experience when they came to these shores.

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Why we must support black carers – Ade Sawyerr in Voice Online

http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/why-we-must-support-black-carers

Why We Must Support Black Carers

SUPPORT NEEDED: Carers see their role as part of their duty and often do not know that help is available for them

THROUGHOUT THE UK there are a lot of people who care, unpaid, for a family member or friend who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support, and provide assistance to them in diverse ways.

Conventional wisdom suggests that most ethnic minority people will care for their loved ones, children and relatives. The reality however is that this unpaid duty can leave carers physically, mentally and emotionally drained to the extent that, the longer they carry out this role without support, the more likely they are in danger of their becoming unwell themselves and isolated.

The major problem is that there are a large number of hidden carers amongst the black and minority ethnic (BME) community who do not ask for help. These hidden carers see it as part of their duty, or they do not know that help is available to support them as carers. Or it could be because they think that asking for help would mean that they cannot cope with what they regard as, their basic duties of care to a loved one. There are others who also fear that knowledge of their duties will mean that their cared for may be taken into an institution where they may not be properly looked after.

Carers face a number of other difficulties such as having to juggle their paid work around their caring role and this can impact their career and earning power.

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Essays on Ghanaian Philosophy – EA Ammah – Essay4 – Summing Up

Conclusion

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Summing Up
To sum up: morality or ethics means custom or customary.  It is interesting to note that our tradition and culture have indicated all the ethics involved.

About kple hymns, the main course which constitute the gist of this thesis, Dr. M. J. Field comments, “Some songs are in Ga, some in Obutu, some in a mixture of both.  Many of the songs are in the extinct Obutu language.  It is the Obutu songs which betray the greatest number of the dead gods, and it is the Obutu songs which show the greatest interest in nature—lagoons, rivers, trees, rain, and win.  The songs which are in Ga are hardly interesting or worth recording” (The Religion and Medicine of the Ga People, [1937] pp.16, 18, 19).

The excerpts above [by Dr. Field] represent the accepted views of many Europeans.  But from what we have demonstrated in the preceding times, it can be realized that those views are not factually and wholly right or true or not applicable to Ghanaian thought.

Dr. Field’s invective view or comment on [the] Ga form of Kple songs is unfounded—based on hasty and wrong estimation—or lack of proper information.  She, like those who had maliciously spoken against the Ga people and the language and are still spitefully doing so, has done a great disservice to the Ga people.

This is nothing less than ‘persecution.’  But as the ideal of the Ga people is towards peace and unity, they by nature “take pleasure in persecution” (2 Corinthians, 12.10); “and being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it” (1 Corinthians 4.12).  And the satisfying and concrete point is that most of the hymns which expound Ghanaian thought are in the Ga language.

It is a source of pride and satisfaction and a great credit to our thinkers that their thought is reflected or mirrored in the view that “the unity of all life, the mysterious harmony of the least and the nearest with the greatest and most remote, the conviction that life of the Universe pulsated in all its parts were so familiar to that ancient cosmic consciousness as to modern biology and psychology” (Samuel Angus, The Mystery Religions and Christianity, p. x).

Metaphysics is defined as the science of the first cause, of a cause which has no other causes behind it, or the science of the ultimate principles independent of other principles.” (The British Ency. Vol. 7, p. 161) or “The one unlimited substance” (Spinoza).  This reminds us of the Ghanaian notion of the sea.  A yearly recital on the feast of the god Blafo in honour, praise, and eternal bountifulness of the sea (Bosrobo) is:  The year has come round, “the sea is not dried up (Bosrobo nke ye da).”  

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Call for Lambeth’s Black Caribbean Community to take part in major listening exercise

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Call for Lambeth’s Black Caribbean Community to take part in major listening exercise

Cllr Lorna Campbell, cabinet member for Equalities and Communities has called on Lambeth’s Black Caribbean Community to take part in a major listening exercise in March and April. The council is undertaking research to listen to the views and experiences of Lambeth’s black Caribbean community.

Lambeth is changing the way it operates to give residents real power and influence over decisions which affect their lives. Under Lambeth’s Cooperative Council residents, councillors and council staff will work together to design, develop and deliver services. This research is part of the council’s wider work to understand the views and experiences of Lambeth’s diverse communities.  Continue reading “Call for Lambeth’s Black Caribbean Community to take part in major listening exercise”

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