Due to the escalating number of senseless stabbings and shootings of our youths over the past few weeks, a group of mothers and fathers got together to organise a peaceful demonstration to draw attention to the problem. By way of social media and word & mouth, they were able to rally hundreds of concerned parents to meet on The Common @ Angel, Islington, then march to the steps of The Hackney Town Hall using not only the main streets but many of the back roads upon which many of these atrocities have taken place. Gathering people on route, and chanting all the way, the 2 thousand strong supporters were met in Hackney by hundreds more people anxious to show their love for the campaign. Diane Abbott MP addressed the crowd, as did Leroy Logan Ex Police Commissioner and various remaining family members who had lost loved ones.
Click on the link to see the video of the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97mYu_LTyTs
It wasn't surprising that the All Saints church, in the heart of an area renown for hosting the London Carnival, served as a venue for the funeral of Darcus Howe; the Broadcaster, TV Presenter and Political Activist, allowing the solemn occasion to transcend into a celebration of his life and a pleasant gathering of friends on a warm Spring day's morning. His namesake son, Darcus, fought to hold it together as he and 7 other pall bearers carried his father into the chapel with his sister left to deliver the eulogy. It was an hour long service which was filled with memories and stories from Darcus's family, friends and work colleagues which took the packed congregation on a roller coaster ride of emotions, and a journey across his life achievements. Speakers were placed outside the church so as to include the over spill of well wishers who later made their way across to The Tabernacle Theatre for a reception and slide show tribute presentation.
R.I.P Darcus Howe
Young, Gifted and Black is a term which may seem very cliche; but no words fit better when used to describe Faith, an up and coming artist doing the rounds who was head hunted to appear on the bill of The Rising Festival which took place at The Roundhouse Theatre in Camden this weekend. So impressive was she in the afternoon show that she was asked to return to showcase at the evenings event alongside more seasoned artists. I have no doubt that this may be just the start of many encores to come.
Check out her performance on You Tube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktgVOshbsuY
Finally, I was able to go to a So Solid performance that wasn't hindered by the presence of Police or Council officers itching to shut it down at the first sign of excitement. Megga Man, Harvey, Ashley Walters and the So Solid Twins brought the heat to East Croydon's newest shopping venue on a cold winter's night. Box Park Croydon is the latest addition to the chain of shopping sites spreading across the nation, and who better than The So Solid Crew members to hype up the crowd which packed into the central eating area transforming it into a small concert venue reminiscent of The Forum Kentish Town or The Palais in Hammersmith.
Playing some of their classic hits like 21 seconds, Oh No! and They Don't Know, they remixed tracks by other artist with their unique So Solid sound which the crowd lost their minds to, and made me wonder; 'Why have they been away for so long and Why don't they get back together and do it all over again?" (Craig David has) They're all older and wiser now, but as everyone in Croydon on Thurs night will testify, they can still put on a hell of a show and this was a FREE event. If you weren't there, you absolutely missed out, but we aren't about to leave you hanging, so make sure you check out the video on YouTube, listed So Solid @ Box Park and keep an eye out for future developments of the Crew.
The Broadway Theatre in Catford was host venue to this years Ms Caribbean UK finale after an 8 month national campaign with heats in all the major cities up and down the country. Oganizers Jackie and Clayton Brown joined the contestants on stage at one point during the show for the candy dance. The celebrity judges, headed up by Shaun 'The Chaser' Wallace, took a long while to make up their minds and decide on a winner, so the hosts, (Remel London, Reisz Amos and Delia Dolor) were left struggling to fill the gaps towards the end of the show as the audience started to become restless and a little impatient. The 2016 crown eventually went to Jodie Hodgson from Birmingham 28 representing Barbados who is already a promotional model so look out for her in 2017.
With another successful event under their belt, Ireene Shelly and her team at the Black Beauty & Hair Magazine can add this one to their 21 year old portfolio. Comedian Kojo hosted the awards alone this year unassisted by his regular co-host Brenda Emmanus who was still able to present an award for the Avant Garde Stylist of the year. Travis Jay warmed up the audience towards the end of his set which was followed by a Hair and Fashion Show choreographed by Natasha Lee and styled by the team from Hype Coiffure. With some surprising wins but not undeserved the competition is gonna have to go hard to beat the winners of this years gongs.
In its 21st year, the JBS foundation, set up by Josephine Williams-Brown, celebrated another successful event at the Riverside Hotel, London on one of the coldest nights of the year. With a rum punch reception to warm up the guests, the sponsor filled bags from Lusters, Grace Foods, National Bakery and Cornerstone Estate agency were an added bonus when they took their seats in the tastefully decorated room in the colours of the Jamaican flag. Ex Football Ledgend John Barnes hosted the auction of tickets to a Liverpool and Arsenal game plus a night out and hotel accomodation which went for £1000 before handing over the rest of the night to Daddy Ernie and Delores Cooper who introduced the rest of the evenings entertainment.
In an intimate setting in East London The Bibi Crew sat down for a chat with Yabba Yabba host and Bibi cast member Judith Jacobs in front of a 95% female audience to reflect on past stories from a career which is soon to be revived in a series of shows for both stage and screen.
Honoring their 7th cast member, Joanne Campbell who past suddenly in Dec 2002, it was an emotion stirring evening with tales of both highs and lows of working together as an all black female troop and the obstacles they faced individually as well as collectively, breaking into the entertainment industry at that time.
With personal stories, live sketches, raffle prize giveaways, a PA from Brown Sugar (I'm in love with a dreadlocks) and a short movie, the unassuming NuDawn Bar in Well street was transformed into a mini theatre with side splitting comedy, good music and laughter on what would have been a very ordinary Thursday nite in Hackney.
Well done ladies. looking forward to seeing you all back on stage again in the new year.
Back 2 Black awards For the 3rd year running the Back 2 Black awards kicked off Black history month in one of the best ways possible at BAFTA in Piccadilly with an evening not just to commemorate black achievers doing positive things for their community or within the entertainment industry, but to also to showcase some of the talent that we currently possess. Established by renown rapper turned actor and director Fredi ‘Kruga’ Nwaka who has worked with the likes of Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson, Danny Dyer and Ashley Walters lead the night with a preview of a short film directed by himself named Some Things which explored sexual abuse within the black community, a subject that is rarely discussed or exposed. The evening started with a champagne reception that not only gave all attendee’s an opportunity to revel in everything that was the formal black tie atmosphere but also a chance to mingle with celebrities such as the British Collective. The event focused on commending entrepreneurs of colour who had created a name for themselves. The host for the night was multi-award winning television and radio host Leah Charles-King who kept the audience captivated and falling out of their seats laughing throughout. In-between the array of acceptance speeches were musical performances from X-Factor Contestants Rough Copy, Hil St. Soul, Fidel, Sheri Ven Dyer and a few spoken word pieces about black history from poet Yossi. Motivational Speakers also took the stage, inspiring...
The Sexy, never ageing and beautiful Ms Kele Le Roc gave a fantastic performance at the recently refurbished world renown London Jazz Cafe. Supported by two up and coming artists whose names escape me, she owned the stage as she belted out some songs form her new EP and some old ones which got the crowd going. As you can probably tell I am still a massive fan, but if I had to make a criticism it would be that the Jazz Cafe needs to sort out its performance stage lighting. A white spot please guys. I wanna see who I came to see.
Afropunk is a not only a community, but more so a movement originating from the states but now taking the globe by storm. A fusion of individuality, beauty, creativity, culture, celebration of difference all combined with the arts and so much more!
The original Afro Punketeer and Worrier Queen Grace Jones (68) gave a jaw dropping performance as she headlined the stage show supported by other UK artists.
Soul music is not the most widely promoted sound in the UK but the crowd at The Library in Leicester square went to show that those who know . . . Know! and are willing to support the movement. At a packed venue reminiscent of an old skool jam session, a newly formed group called ‘The British Collective’ held a listening party to showcase their first album “Volume 1: The Renaissance Begins”. With Omar and Don E being the two members of the 5 piece collective missing, Junior Giscombe, Lee john and Noel McKoy presented a fun filled evening crammed with stories about their colourful history in the music industry from song writing for Janet Jackson to Grammy nominations, they also discussed tales of their quest to create the album. The evening began with drinks being served at the bar with the velvety sultry sounds of the album playing in the background as members of the collective mingled with the crowd. A plugged performance by an artist named Jesse Gamage kicked off the live portion and led on to a question and answer session with the collective where questions from the audience were welcomed. The performance section of the evening ended with one live song “Spiritual” which was the song that began the black renaissance movement. The event was informative, there were some minor technical difficulties during the first performance and the panel se...
Brainchild of Ms Angela Small of Conscious Vibes Magazine, this is her first beauty padgent to be added to her long list of events and achievements. Bashira was a worthy winner chosen by a celebrity judging panel and she now goes on the represent the brand at future events and occasions.
Now in it’s 9th year, The Screen Nation Awards celebrated another successful event at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London.
This regularly attended star studded event was well attended by artist and filmmakers of both short as well as feature length movies. With Star Wars actor John Boyega taking the Best Actor Award, he gave an emotional speech in which he fought back tears to thank his agent and good friend. He’s come a long way from being on the block. Well done John and all recipients. BB
The Jamaican Basic Schools Foundation, in partnership from Grace Foods, raised money for their well deserving charity, by putting on a sponsored walk, on the morning of Fathers Day ahead of their annual Family Fun Day which takes place in Crystal Palace Park later this year.
With a cooked breakfast of ackee and saltfish, yam and dasheene laid on for all who took part, a long walk was just the ticket to work off the excess pounds. BB
To celebrate their 20th Year as a registered charity, Bev and Orin of the ACLT brought together family and friends to a bar below The Girkin building in London to celebrate their achievements. With performances by George the Poet and Slim the Comedian and guest appearances by Trevor Nelson and Dj Abrante of Capital Xtra, it was as much of a fun filled night, as it was emotional. Sackville travel sponsored flights to any island of choice in the Caribbean in a raffle and Kojo compared the evening while Orin fought back tears to give a speech which left many reaching for tissues to bring the event to a close. Congratulations ACLT. BB
“Just Kick It” celebrated its 3rd year anniversary of quarterly Classic & 90’s Party at Rivington Street in the heart of the city last week. Check out www.JustKickItParty.com to get tickets for their next event.
One woman show at Charlie Wright
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