Sunday 28 April 2013

The Voice UK

I said to Ti that if I went on the voice and nobody turned around I'd be so embarrassed.. and so would he..said I wanna see somebody fling down the mic and walk off..
Ti said anyhow I went on the voice an' he hear any reggae drum beat kick in.. he's turning off the TV!!
So bloomin' cheeky.. :)

The Wind of Change (the end of colonialism in Africa)

This documentary comes in six parts. I recommend them all, feel lazy so will post the first and the last.

Different but Equal

One for later
Quite long so I only had time to see half - but lots of information, for when the mood is right

Nkrumah - good food - talking slave ports - and telling bad jokes

I went to a really interesting event yesterday. It was a Kwame Nkrumah memorial lecture. Nkrumah died in Bucharest April 27th 1972.
The event was hosted by a Pan African Association, and it got me thinking.. exactly what is the role of Pan Africanism in the UK today?, and how does it differ from Pan-Africanism elsewhere, across the Diaspora. Does it still have a role?

The lecture was interesting, yet it was after the event that became in many ways most enjoyable. The food was great (I love good food) the conversations lively, and very funny, I laughed so much throughout the day through to night. People are so interesting... yet it did leave me with many questions.
Should the ideology of Pan-Africanism be cast aside, consigned to the bin of historic necessity? should neoliberalism be embraced in full as the only way forward?.. (do we even have a choice?)

Is it simply ethnocentricity?..or is it worth further exploration, and renewal for a new generation?
I remember when I watched Uhuru Kenyatta's speech on inauguration day he mentioned Pan Africanism without apology, yet It appears to mean different things to different people.
How do Ghanaians remember Nkrumah? and what place African Liberation leaders now in the hearts of the many?

An interesting point was made last night as we ate. One man felt very strongly that to 'use' slave ports as tourist attractions is wrong..out of order.. said he'd never go to one. Accused these countries of being detached from their own history, of making a mockery of a historic event that should be granted the solemnity of that of the Jewish holocaust.

I remember when I went to the Gambia, a tour to the slave port/s was on the agenda. My friend went.. the only reason I didn't go was because I was ill that day.
Sun stroke (of all things)' ha ha, little English gyal cant take a little heat !.." yeah v funny dude.. now just call me a doctor or piss off !"

What was my bad joke?
A lady on the panel had been a friend of Nkrumah. Behind her was a very large screen which seemed to be resting precariously on two chairs. "Shit!" I said.. "imagine if the screen was to drop down an 'lick out' one of the last remaining survivors of Nkrumahs time!!.. all at his Pan African memorial event!"... I have odd humour at times, but it was funny.. girl told me that was such a bad joke, I knew it was bad..but we couldn't help but laugh anyway..)


Usually something associated to children.. who are often told when doing so .. to stop.
Yet daydreaming serves many purposes, and can be very beneficial.

As an adult, do you still daydream?
Daydreaming is the art of visualisation. Make of that what you will.
Imagine... so shall it be.

Perhaps as adults, whilst we take care of business and learn to prioritise, we could find more time to dream, and allow those dreams to inspire us, maybe even guide us, answer our questions, and find solutions where perhaps we once thought there were none.

Happy Sunday x

Profile: Busy Signal

Friday 26 April 2013

How do you eat an elephant?

Bit by bit.
(recent advice I was given.. which whilst not new, has stuck in my mind.. I think it's the elephant thing)
I'm looking forward to the weekend. Much to do today, so aim to take one.. 'bite'.. at a time

Enjoy your day
cant spell today :)

Thursday 25 April 2013


Sometimes I wonder if men have been put on this planet for me to tell them off.
Seriously, they bring it out of me at times:)..
I seem to attract men who at some point will subconsciously ask me to tell them, off. I can be bossy.. lord knows I don't really need any help. I'll be there like.. calm.. being all genteel and nice, and lord have mercy.. blam.. some serious tongue biting at times
Bless them. Why they seem to enjoy the bossy me I don't know - must be a mummy thing. Gordon Bennett. To be somewhat bossy comes relatively naturally to me from time to time:).. and I have a feeling they know.
Well.. okay then.. if you insist :-)

Wow, how nice was today?..

Today has been a lovely day
Time for a cool soak..

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Points on a compass

Within minutes of sitting down this evening I remembered why I was sitting where I was sitting, and it felt right.
To be honest it didn't take long..
I've been mulling over things I've learnt of late, as I now must begin to define my research question. I have many points of interest , but I really want to feel happy with my selection.
It can be isolating studying in the evenings, but equally, there are times when that isolation is spot on... Just what is needed, to think, and really absorb what I'm learning.
What was interesting was when asked about my idea tonight, I was able to provide an explanation I really didn't even realise I had to be honest. It was logical, and interesting, and being able to speak about it, voice it out loud.. helped a great deal.
Lecturer spoke for 5mins before it all came back to me. Why I love what I'm doing, and why it's important to me, even if it is hard work at times. He was passionate about his work, his specialism, and that energy usually spills over.

It's true what he said.. there's a reason we were sitting there.. and whilst our reasons may differ somewhat.. to each of us.. its a meaningful endeavour, and inspiring to hear what others were also thinking about.
Focus renewed.. I enjoyed the session

Institutional Racism

"The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people."
The Macpherson report

"Institutional racism is that which, covertly or overtly, resides in the policies, procedures, operations and culture of public or private institutions - reinforcing individual prejudices and being reinforced by them in turn."
A. Sivanandan, Director, Institute of Race Relations

"If racist consequences accrue to institutional laws, customs or practices, that institution is racist whether or not the individuals maintaning those practices have racial intentions."
The Commission for Racial Equality
Source – the Guardian

When I hear the term institutional racism I think of the McPherson report, think about the experiences of ‘black people’ in society over the years, but mainly I think about the ways in which it appears to almost absolve individuals ( in a way ) of personal responsibility. A little like the phrase ‘Christ died for our sins perhaps.. or those ‘secret Catholic confession’s, so secret only one other person hears you. ( A secret confession huh.. funny really)
No disrespect to any Catholics.. After all.. confession is good for the soul it's said.

Anyway, if an institution is deemed institutionally racist, will policies alone transform that institution?. Or does real and positive transformation remain with the individuals themselves. We are a policy heavy nation, yet do some policies provide false assurances?. I’m sure not all...some make absolute sense. In fact, many are essential, providing guidelines, and guidance.
Yet it's people who breathe life into institutions, create them, and shape them. People write policies, policies do not write people. Without people, there exists solely ‘bricks and mortar’ ideology perhaps.
An institution is a thought on a large scale, designed, in some instances, to provide structure to society. (Wanton as we often prove ourselves to be)
It really is a shame if any intuition is given that unfortunate title. However, what’s in a name?.

Saturday 13 April 2013

Beyond Belief - Radio 4 - on Rastafari

BBC Synopsis
"To most people the word Rastafarian conjures up images of dreadlocks, the smoking of ganja, and Bob Marley. But Rastafari, as it's more correctly known, is a movement with a complex belief system. It has its origins in Jamaican society in the early 20th century, when black people rose up in protest at oppressive systems imposed by white rulers. But is it just a passing phenomenon? Has it continuing relevance in a fairer, more open society? How does it need to evolve?
Joining Ernie to discuss Rastafari are Tony Tafari, who is a member of the Rastafari Council of Britain; Dr Ellis Cashmore, Professor of Culture, Media and Sport at Staffordshire University; and Marzia Coltri, visiting Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton."

An interesting conversation

Cashmore, author of numerous books, including (along with Troyna) - Black youths in crisis.. good read.

Beyond Belief Radio 4 on Rastafari

Sunny day

Friday 12 April 2013

Tribal life - changing times

"From the moment he was born, Erodo, a Kenyan boy born to a tribe of cattle nomads in 1992, has had his life documented by filmmaker Bruno Sorrentino. Over the last 20 years his life has been shaped by ethnic violence and by the tension between his father's desire to continue the old traditions of herding and his mother's belief that settled society and education are the future."

Thursday 11 April 2013

India Arie/Musiq Soulchild

Ti says this song is cheesy..
I quite like cheesy.. you'd think he'd know that by now..

Reminds me of this by Faith..

Eyes on the prize

Eyes on the prize is a documentary that chronicles the civil rights movement.
Its available on you-tube in many parts (I haven't yet seen them all) but each covers a specific time span/ issue, which is useful if there's a particular area you want to focus on.
it's extremely detailed, with some rare film footage

I actually found the earlier episodes very useful. Footage a a young King etc.

This episode includes a feature on Mohammed Ali, and civil rights impacting on universities

Clay .. "I just turned 22yrs old, I must be the greatest.. I am the king of the world.. I'm pretty.."
Reporter - "hang on.. you're not that pretty.."

nice song huh

Good morning everyone

Have a nice day..

Wednesday 10 April 2013


Hey 'guys' .. taken from the Urban Politico's blog - see blog for the question..

Can you separate southern pride from southern history?

Can I just say LL's lyrics are really quite naff..
Brad can hold a tune.. its okay - melodious
He could actually simply rename this song.. Get over it.. 'For gods sake get over it son'.. or .. 'git over it boy.. an' paint dat fenc.. got me some chittlins a cookin'. 'Doggoneit.. I done tell you already boy.. for the sake a' my gun git over...
I'm kidding. see what you think.
awww.. cant hear it now :(

What a funny reaction! youtube cracks me up... lord have mercy :)

Thoughts of pretty things..

Like most women, I like nice things, and I'm really looking forward to buying a new wardrobe.
Or at the very least least..clearing and updating the one I have. I have really nice things I've never worn, and other things I've worn too much... go figure..
I don't want, or need lots of things, clothes or shoes.. just enough.

I'd like a nice silver charm bracket - and will buy a new charm every time I achieve something special
What am I waiting for?

I'm a bit busy at the moment - so have to be as disciplined as I can in order to get things done.
Yet it's there.. lurking in the background.. the lure of the pretty thing.

I look at the clothes on the catwalk at times, and think, these are so beautiful... yet by the time they hit the high street they're usually a poor copy.. cheaper materials.. etc etc, and oddly enough the high street doesn't cater that well for tall women.
Still.. if you're patient and take time, you can find some really nice one off's..

As it is.. I'm working here in my shorts and a t..
I will get this done .. and TopShop will be mine....................again

The day Brixton lost its 'cool'

As a yoiungster, I used to think Brixton was cool.
The Brixton I remember, had a strong Caribbean community, was ecclectic in many ways, but in the main, vibrant. An interesting mix of music, culture, resistance.

It confused me at times.. walking up the steps of the station and hearing crys of 'skunk'..'skunk'.. I do remember thinking wtf.. am I in London!?!.. throw in a chanting preacher or two.. I'd look up .. and the sign would confirm it.. I was in Brixton

The riots that took place in places like Bristol, Birmingham, and Brixton ( April 1981) were partly a result of rising tensions - amidst a backdrop of racism, poor relations with the police ( sus laws and operation swmap), and rising unemployment.
In Brixton at that time Thatcher was in power.

The Scarman report did pathologise the black community (along with the media etc..) and the police were relatively let off the hook, but this post isn't about that.

Margaret Thatcher at that time, reportedly said with regards to investment.."Money cannot buy either trust or racial harmony."

She was not entirely wrong. It cannot.. not truly.

Relations between the police and the black community has never truly recovered.. and racism is still alive and well.

However, at the time of the riots I was still fairly young. ( approx 13)
I remember my brother being asked by his then boss, with a smirk if he caused it ( what with his 'rasta tam' an all)
Still.. through my eyes.. Brixton was still cool.

Not any more.

Many people did benefit under Thatchers government, and many people did not. Like it or not the sale of council houses enabled many ( who otherwise wouldn't have been able..) to get onto the property ladder.. and let's be honest..most people want their own homes.
The Brixton of the 80's is not the Brixton of today.

The Gentrification of Brixton has been relatively slow, and is still in many ways ongoing but again my post isn't about that either.

Brixton lost its cool the moment pictures emerged on our screens of 'Thatcher street parties' in celebration of her death. I never thought I would see the day. There was a time when 'we' would observe scenes from the so called 'orient' .. no..let's be frank, black Africa, or the middle east, where jubilant displays of death or the dying , would have had us 'occidentally'.. wondering.. wow.. how could they...the baying crowds..

Wonder no more.

I didn't see many faces that would have even been involved in the Brixton riots... so..who were these people?..

I was raised in a household where the phrase.. never speak ill of the dead.. didn't pass my ears. (lots did.. but not that for some reason) so if I ever do .. please feel free to pull me up on that

Yes people have a right to do whatever they feel is right.. or do they?... and if so..isn't that what Thatcher did?
Exactly who.. have we become.. and how did we get here?.
What's equally interesting is that had most of the faces on the street yesterday had been black.. we would have had a very different media response. .. sad but true. As it stands.. it was tolerated with minimal (if any) scorn.

In truth I suspect that if you lived there, Brixton was never cool.
I'm an outsider.

From my outsiders eyes, Brixton lost it's cool yesterday.. and it's soul.. many , many years ago.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Contagious riddim mix 2013

Uhuru Kenyatta's Inauguration day

HardTalk 2008

strong colonial influence during parts of the ceremony ( see below). Uhuru (President Kenyatta) did say today, that its been a struggle for Kenya to break from it's colonial past.. and I guess he may have a point.. as sitting behind him on the stage, sat what looked like a pew of black 'Henry Morton Stanleys!'..

I guess there was a reason..

Sunday 7 April 2013

Lutan Fyah

I've pulled this out from the previous post as it deserves a space of its own.
My friend is missing her mum. Sometimes words feel hollow.. This is for her anyway, big sis, and also for baby boy Corey.
What can I say... but I guess it's for all of us.

Earth's shift

Has the 'earth's shift' begun to impact on your life yet?.
Some speak of planetary activity, others of the earth's activity. Spiritual Laws pushing us, driving us, testing us
Asking us to show up, and pulling us out of our comfort zones.
Ready or not.

T.D Jakes

Frank Ocean

Happy Soulmate Sunday x

Documentary - fear - anger - and politics

The Story of Oil pt 1.


Lutan F

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Shine Bright

Better day, better day , better day
No two days are completely alike, so yes, today has been a much better and brigher day.

Still waiting for C to wake, but looking brighter
Put Ti to sleep by reading aloud Africa Under Colonial Domination Domination 1880 - 1935, clearly he was riveted, but my voice is kinda coarse right now, and I still have a cough, plus I was mispronouncing names something chronic :).. to be honest.. I wasn't far behind him.. got as far as Egypt's colonial resistance and before I knew it I was in dreamland.
To be fair, I defo needed the rest.

So how does Dawna feel today?.. brighter..
It's okay.. just okay

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Days like this

I've just heard from Ti that his best friend is in hospital. He's unconscious.
Apparently he has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Corey is studying Law at Brunel. He's an A* student, gaining A*'s in both GCSEs and A levels.
I've now been told that he may have brain damage. He has swelling.
I'm gutted. His family...
I've had a horrible few days.
This is the worst.
He's a lovely young man.. and I'm always happy to see him and Ti together.
Get well soon Corey. We're all praying for you.

Why is life so messed up at times?.

I feel a bit scared to be honest, sad for Corey, sad for Ti. Ti has type 1 diabetes too, but it's under control and he's had it since he was 7. I know he feels vulnerable right now, we're together in that (he's kinda shut down and wont talk)
:-( and you all know Ti's a talker right?. We can't go to see him yet, waiting for the go ahead.
As I said.. horrible few days.

April has gotten off to a very odd start
What will tomorrow bring?

I know everyday wont be all great and plain sailing, yet oddly enough.. when things are good they're really good.. when they're awful.. they can be bloody awful.
My mission right now is regain perspective..get centred again, be hopeful, positive, strong for Ti, open to the good things, and summon the strength to overcome the current difficulties.

Oh, and thank you for being there.....

Monday 1 April 2013

All in.. It's April

Had an odd morning.
Was sure someone played an April fools joke on me, but they say not.
Yet even now I'm not sure.
I waited awhile for the lol.. but it didn't come, hasn't come, so who knows. No other information was forthcoming.

I'm not entirely sure I believe that things happen by chance. All is for a reason.
What that reason is.. often times I'm not sure.
Happy April all