Sharon Dodua Otoo wins 2016 Ingeborg Bachmann prize

Dodua Otoo wins 2016 Ingeborg Bachmann prize

I first blogged about Sharon in 2007 and it is thrilling that 9 years later I can share her wonderful news.

SSB Sharon Dodua Otoo wins 2016 Ingeborg Bachmann prize

The winner: Sharon Dodua Otoo. Photo: dba

Sharon Dodua Otoo, born in London, received the 25,000 Euro Ingeborg Bachmann prize for the text “Mr Gröttrup sits down”. She lives and works in Berlin.  The prize is donated by the city of Klagenfurt.

Sharon is a prolific writer and editor and you can just a sampling of her work here:


comment pirater un compte facebook facile Being a black woman in Europe I know there are me many stereotypical people out there that put us a side in Yoga classes. I normally do Yoga as it helps with my period pain and relieves any tension I have in my body. When I can't make it I read The Mooncup Diary It's a great resource for women of all backgrounds and I can promise you now any mature female will love the advice they have to share.
Kendra in the kitchen

Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Kendra Valentine, Recipe whisperer: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

header BWIE 1 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary notes:

I picked Kendra Valentine to be a Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary Shero because of her sheer and complete love of food. Beyond her love of food she’s obsessed with creating unique flavor combinations and inventive spice delivery techniques. All the while enhancing the experience of fellowship with friends and family and nourishing the body and mind. I first blogged about Kendra in July 2011. I’ve certainly enjoyed several meals with Kendra some that were homemade and others that we were served. Each were mindfully enjoyed and that’s what Kendra’s anniversary gift brings to us: her mindful creation of a recipe meant to be shared with those we love.

Bon appetite Kendra! Your recipe has me licking my lips in anticipation. Yum.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Cannelleni Beans & Kale on Spicy Polenta Cake

Serves 3-4
Meal type Main Dish
Region European
By author Kendra Valentine
Black Women in Europe 10th Anniversary Recipe Created y Kendra Valentine "I wanted to develop a dish that expressed the underlying culinary roots shared by black women throughout the African diaspora. While at the same time highlighting common cooking techniques shared with Europe, as well as by using ingredients more readily available in Europe. Thus, collards have become kale, red beans are traded for cannellini, and coarse cornmeal for refined polenta: to create a dish that is equal parts comfort and celebration to honor the 10th Anniversary of BWIE".



  • 6 chicken thighs (bone-in and skin-on)
  • 1 can cannelleni beans
  • 2 cups chopped kale (packed)
  • 1 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (diced)
  • 1 leaf bay
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 can cherry tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups red wine (or just chicken broth)
  • 1 splash red wine vinegar
  • 0.5 teaspoon thyme
  • 0.5 teaspoon oregano
  • sprinkle salt
  • sprinkle black pepper

Chicken (Optional)

  • parsley or fresh herbs for plating

Polenta Cakes

  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 Small red chili (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water (boiling)
  • oil (for frying)


I wanted to develop a dish that expressed the underlying culinary roots shared by black women throughout the African diaspora. While at the same time highlighting common cooking techniques shared with Europe, as well as by using ingredients more readily available in Europe. Thus, collards have become kale, red beans are traded for cannellini, and coarse cornmeal for refined polenta: to create a dish that is equal parts comfort and celebration to honor the 10th Anniversary of BWIE.

--Kendra Valentine

Vegetarian substitute for chicken: eggplant & chickpeas.


Step 1
First, go ahead and brown the chicken thighs in a little oil… you’re not cooking them through just browning the outside… then set aside. Turn on the oven to heat up (200 C or 350 F)
Step 2
Into the same roasting pot or Dutch oven (be sure you have oil left) we are going to start the braise with softening the onion and garlic. Also, add your bay leaves and go ahead and cook that down on medium heat until the onion is soft.
Step 3
Next, add in a splash of vinegar… it will sizzle and release all the nice brown bits stuck to the pan… that helps get more delicious into the chicken!
Step 4
Add in a nob of tomato paste and your herbs and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper (I like to salt in stages.)
Step 5
Next, add in the chicken broth and red wine… it helps to break down the meat and gives great flavor. You could just use water or chicken broth as well. Also add in the canned cherry tomatoes and another sprinkle of salt.
Step 6
Finally, add the chicken back to the pot, skin side up, and let that heat up to a nice simmer, then turn the heat down to medium low simmer and cover. All but the very tops of the chicken thighs should be covered in liquid.
Step 7
Transfer to the oven, and after 30 min or so it will soften up…
Step 8
Next, add in the chopped kale and beans. Try to get in beneath the chicken thighs, so it can cook in the liquid. Add a splash of water if needed. Salt to taste. Return to oven.
Step 9
After 15 min., to finish off the thighs, open the pot and let the dish broil under high top heat for a few minutes until golden.
Polenta Cake
Step 10
For the spicy polenta cakes:
(Tip: Get your mix done while the chicken is braising. When you are browning the thighs at the last step, start frying your cakes.)
Step 11
Heat enough oil in a skillet or heavy bottom skillet on high heat. Oil should come up 1/3 up the side of the pan.
Step 12
In a bowl, mix together polenta, salt, and diced chilies. Stir in enough boiling hot water so that the mixture comes together into a smooth batter. Creamy yet firm enough to form into a small patty.
Step 13
Once the oil in the skillet is hot, spoon mixture into hands to form patty then gently place in the hot oil. Fry on each side until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Step 14
To plate:
Place a polenta cake on the plate and then top with the braised kale & cannelleni and juices (that polenta cake will sop it up!). Place a chicken thigh directly on top, and finish with a sprinkle of olive oil and chopped parsley or other fresh herb you have on hand. Enjoy with a bold red wine!
Kendra in the kitchen e1452152769281 1024x1024 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Kendra in the kitchen

Kendra Valentine is an American expat living in Berlin and Stockholm. A Boston College Alumni, she currently works freelance with business strategy for start-ups, content development and copywriting. Combining her love of food, and background in film she created the food blog/YouTube channel:, which was a finalist in the SAVEUR Blog Awards for “Best Use of Video” 2015. She has also kept busy with illustrating digital children’s books on important topics such as tacos. Her next steps are looking for even more food related assignments as a writer, producer or talent.

About the blog:

Americulinariska: Promoting cooking it for yourself and pushing big flavors is the back bone… fried chicken and tacos complicitly involved. The blog videos are fun, straightforward, and based on exploring the diversity of American food heritage within an international context. The food focuses on cooking good eats no matter where you call home: using creativity and whole food.

Meet all of our Anniversary Sheroes.

6d13da59 8f1d 4131 a0b4 3118c34fdbf7 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

DJ Candice McKenzie

Lyota Swainson by Odou John Andrews 150x150 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Holistic hair care specialist Lyota Swainson

EK image homepage 150x150 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Financial guru Ellen Kountz

Lola Akerstrom Headshot 2015 300px 150x150 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Photographer Lola Akerstrom

Lesley Ann Brown 150x150 Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Poet Lesley-Anne Brown


Exclusive discount on Yoga retreat for Women of Colour in the UK

Special offer:  The inaugural retreat for women of color is just under a week away. Join the OYA team for yoga, grounded movement and meditation. Vegan cuisine with Ghanaian flair, pool, sisterhood and more await you. If you use the promo code “blackwomeneurope” you’ll receive a 10% discount on the July retreat if you book by Thursday July 7th.

OYA Exclusive discount on Yoga retreat for Women of Colour in the UK

OYA Retreats are dedicated to delivering an holistic movement and mindfulness practice to Black women and women of colour. On exclusive retreats in the United Kingdom and abroad, guests are offered room to explore, reflect, release, and renew.

%name Exclusive discount on Yoga retreat for Women of Colour in the UK

Recalling the Elements: Fire & Wind

Join Nikita, Shiggi and Stacie for their first weekend yoga and mindfulness retreat together at Poundon House, a beautifully exclusive house and grounds located just 60 miles northwest of London. The retreat will include yoga, mindfulness, movement, vegetarian meals, as well as free time to explore the area, swim, rest, read, and relax.


The elements are expressive and reflected in our own moods. We move between emotions of hot and cold, happy and angry, sometimes without even recognising or understanding why. At this weekend retreat we will explore the seemingly opposite poles that both fire and wind represent and how, in conversation with one another, transformation becomes possible.

On the one hand, fire is irreplaceable in its warming capabilities, for example of food or the body, and it can even illuminate one’s path. If untamed, however, it can burn and scorch everything in its way. Similarly, wind offers us a cooling system and can provide the energy we need to power up. At high speeds, however, wind becomes an indestructible force bringing chaos to anything it touches. This retreat will benefit anyone looking to find balance in the midst of the world’s extremes.

The body is the only true home that we will ever have, so it’s important that it be nourished and cherished. Over the course of the weekend, guests will be led in movement and mindfulness practice to do exactly that. Grounded movement and powerful Hatha flow sessions that invigorate will be balanced with soothing mindfulness exercises to leave guests feeling rejuvenated.

The retreat schedule is subject to change and will be released to registered guests closer to the date. Please have a look at our example schedule here.


The retreat is fully catered with dairy- and wheat-free vegetarian cuisine. On Friday evening a light dinner will be served. Saturday and Sunday morning, a warm broth will be offered before the movement session, and breakfast after the movement session. On Saturday, a filling and warm lunch will be served and a light and healthy dinner. On Sunday, guests will receive a boxed lunch, if they desire to take something with them on their journey home.


Learn about the three instructors, including Founder Stacie CC Graham on the OYA Retreats website.
%name Exclusive discount on Yoga retreat for Women of Colour in the UK


How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

Dress Like a European Woman

%name How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

If you’ve been to Europe, you must have noticed one thing, just about every woman there dresses well. Yes, even when they are out to buy some milk. You will find women wearing shorts and high heels on the street with their babies in the stroller. In short, whatever be the occasion or whatever hour of the day be, women in Europe stay in style and follow the latest fashion trends.

So let’s take a sneak peek and know about the European fashion trends.

Get the right fit

%name How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

If you think that women in Europe have their closet filled with designer clothes, then you are wrong. But yes, they do have some high-end fashion elements. The most important thing of their dress is that they make sure to have the right fitting clothes. In case the dress they have bought is not the right fit, they get it altered to fit them well. So to match them make sure you have right fitting clothes. You may want to get your favorite clothes at some discounted rates so you can check out some latest offers with exclusive voucher codes at Dealslands women’s fashion store page.

Be simple

%name How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

European women keep their wardrobe simple. You will find their timeless and classic collections which are tranquil. Then the trick comes. They add that finishing touch to their attire with some bright coloured shoes, jewellery, scarf etc. Some even go for a contrasting look by adding an over-sized flowing top to a pair of skinny jeans.

Skinny jeans

%name How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

Jeans constitute the basic element of any European woman’s wardrobe. It is a common scene to see them wearing skinny jeans. Dark blue or say gray coloured jeans is very common. Colourful jeans like something in bright red can even be spotted.

Simple hair style

%name How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

European women do not mess with their hair much. Sometimes you may even feel that they just got out of bed and tousled it. Messy bun or simple ponytail is in fashion.

Shoes and shoes everywhere

%name How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

European women love shoes. Many of them spend a good amount of their life just in high heels. But yeah, they are well versed to walk on the city sidewalks and cobblestone streets of Europe. A pair of wedges, boots, loafers flats, ankle boots, etc. has place in the closet. Don’t mess up with the prices of the of shoes. Check first when going for any purchase. So if you too are trying to find style make sure not to end up in a pair of running shoes or something that is uncomfortable.

Show some legs

%name How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

European women love to show off their skin. You will see women out there wearing pantyhose, tights, skirts, stockings, etc. You can even see women showing off their legs during the winters. So get the right skirt or stockings to match your silhouette.


%name How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

A scarf completes the outfit of an European woman. A scarf that is either made from silk or cotton is worn during the summer, while cosy and warm scarves for the winter.

Simple makeup

%name How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

European women love to wear makeup. They again make sure to keep it simple. Something they are fascinated about is wearing lipstick. You will find women with bright red lipstick all over the place. You can find the shade that matches you and wear simple makeup to meet their style.


%name How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

European women love sunglasses. You will be stunned by the style and design of the glasses. 70’s style sunglasses are also in trend now.

So if you too are trying to blend in with the European fashion, better follow these tips to up your European style each day.

The Brown Girls Green Beauty

The Brown Girls Green Beauty!

We are excited to bring you our truly beautiful organic and natural afro hair and skin care range.  We wanted to create something really special that fits seamlessly into our lives enhancing it and simplifying it, while at the same time reflecting a growing desire for the products that we use to be beautiful, ethical, sustainable and healthy to use.

It’s been a long road a lot of experimentation and a huge learning curve but we are proud of the results and are happy to present to you genuinely effective products that directly seek to address the needs of women and men of colour. Products that keeps your needs in mind at every stage of development, so that you don’t have to “make-do”.

We appreciate the slow beauty approach which values simplicity, purity, sensuality and quality over fast disposable products, that do nothing for our health. We believe that beauty shouldn’t have to cost us our health so we select our ingredients with a view to minimising harmful effects on the earth and ourselves.

Our products are packed with potent plant goodness that work hard to nourish, protect and soothe leaving you visibly radiant, while restoring hair and skin to better health. We’ve refined, researched and tweaked and tested our recipes on willing volunteers over  a long 5 years to create a truly green beauty option that effectively meets our specific hair and skin needs.

We are a proud Afro-British brand that sources many of our natural ingredients from these very shores, bringing you better nutrition for your hair and skin completely naturally. We hope you’ll enjoy it.

Best wishes



About Us

 %name The Brown Girls Green Beauty

The Afro Hair & Skin Co. is a small independent afro beauty business located along the beautiful English coast. We are dedicated to creating truly organic and natural products carefully crafted by hand, using fresh natural ingredients that will feed your skin and hair with all the goodness necessary to blossom and be truly healthy.

Our Beauty Philosophy

Real beauty is an energy that you put out into the world, the way that you treat yourself can have a direct impact on how you view and interact with the world. Therefore it’s important to repeat messages of love to yourself. When you take time for yourself, you are feeding your consciousness telling yourself that you are worth effort, energy and love. You are taking time to replenish reserves that can easily be depleted through everyday challenges. Simple realisations like this can be profoundly energising bringing a sense of wellness and balance. It’s ok to take down time, be creative and indulge ourselves in the things that we love.  You are your most beautiful self when you are happy and comfortable with who you are.

Our Ingredients

As lovers of all things natural and organic. We like our beauty to be clean and green. So we make the extra effort to ensure that the ingredients we use are the purest and most natural we can find. We source the finest quality sustainable ingredients that are grown, harvested and cold-pressed right here in the U.K, as well as certified organic and Fairtrade natural ingredients.

Who’s it for?

We specialise in providing high quality green beauty options to meet the unique needs of afro textured hair in all its forms as well as skincare that addresses some of the concerns of WoC. This way we are able to offer a more tailored beauty experience, working to create highly effective products that deal more directly with common issues that are often unique to our skin and hair. That being said, our products are all natural and full of wonderful healthy ingredients that anyone is welcome to try.


How to Conduct a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

How to Conduct a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

By Monique Y. Wells in Paris, France

In the aftermath of a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that I recently conducted to support the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition video documentary project, Black Women In Europe founder and editor Adrianne George asked me to share the secret of the campaign’s success. I’m happy to share the strategy that I used with BWIE readers!

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Here’s a summary of the campaign’s goals and our results:

Initial funding goal: raise $5,000 in 30 days

Result: reached initial funding goal in 18 days

Stretch goal: raise an additional $1,250 in 9 days

Result: raised $1,350 in 9 days

Overall funding level: $6,350 for 127% of initial funding goal and 108% of stretch goal

Number of backers: 77

So how did I do it?

First of all, I made up my mind that I COULD DO IT and that I WOULD SUCCEED.

Secondly, I got a coach.

Thirdly, I did what my coach advised me to do.

That’s the encapsulated version!

Here are the details:

I entrusted the strategy of the campaign to Kat Jenkins of Multitude. Kat’s subscribers and clients have an 88% success rate for conducting crowdfunding campaigns the first time around!

Kat advises that you first clarify for yourself why you’re taking the trouble to pursue your project and who your ideal backer will be.

You then create a budget for the project (which you will share on your campaign’s Web page), taking care to ask only for as much as you ACTUALLY need, and decide upon a funding goal. At this stage, you also need to determine who your existing “crowd” is and how you’re going to inform them about your project.

Only then will you look at how to increase the number of people in your crowd. If you don’t have a robust network or contact list before you begin your campaign, you’ll need to pay close attention to this step.

When you’ve gotten this far, you need to begin thinking about where and how you’re going to present your campaign. Choosing a platform (examples include Kickstarter, Crowd Rise, and GoFundMe) is a strategic decision. So is determining the length of time that you’ll run the campaign.

The most important thing to think about at this stage is whether you will run an “all-or-nothing” campaign or a “flexible funding” campaign. With the former, you must reach your declared funding goal or you receive no money. With the latter, you get to keep whatever you raise, whether or not you reach your final goal. You might be surprised to learn that “all-or-nothing” campaigns are generally more successful!

Because there are so many pros and cons to consider regarding your platform and the type of campaign to choose, it’s worthwhile to consult with someone who has a wide range of experience so you can make the best decision for your specific campaign.

With your platform selected, you can proceed to design your campaign’s Web page. Most successful crowdfunding campaigners include a video that succinctly explains the project, why you’re passionate about it, and how much you need to raise to make the project a success.

Be sure to pay close attention to the copy on your page, though. Your video won’t be able to present the details that many of your ideal backers will be looking for so they can make an informed decision about your project.

Then, there are the pledge amounts and rewards to consider. Most campaign platforms provide the opportunity for you to propose multiple pledge levels and to provide a reward for each of those levels. This is also a strategic process, particularly if one or more of your rewards is a tangible item that requires shipping to the backer.

You need to be prepared to communicate with your crowd throughout your campaign. If you don’t have a large crowd or if you don’t have the “right” crowd, you’ll need to focus on crowd building during the campaign as well as before your launch.

You also need to be prepared to communicate with your backers after the campaign. This is important because you want your backers to know that you’re fulfilling your commitment to deliver their rewards and that you’re making progress on the project to which they’ve just contributed. It is especially important if you plan to ask these people to fund you in the future!

Crowdfunding is not an easy way to make money. It takes planning, resources, and emotional stamina. But it is very rewarding when done well and it can serve you in ways other than fundraising. If you’re considering conducting a campaign, my advice is to:

  1. Do your research.
  2. Be honest with yourself about your willingness to do the work and suffer the anxiety that inevitably comes with any kind of fundraising endeavor.
  3. If you’re still excited about the prospect after completing Steps 1 and 2, GO FOR IT!

Monique Y. Wells is the president of Les Amis de Beauford Delaney and founder and CEO of the Wells International Foundation.


Images of Black Women: Out of My Hand

IMAGES OF BLACK WOMEN: OUT OF MY HAND18 Images of Black Women: Out of My Hand

8752245 Images of Black Women: Out of My Hand


Please be aware that there are no trailers before the performance.

  • Sun 12 Jun
  • 135 minutes
  • Director: Takeshi Fukunaga
  • Cast: Bishop Blay, Shelley Molad, Duke Murphy Dennis, Charles Justo
  • USA-Liberia (2015)


In the Liberian countryside, Cisco’s quiet life as a rubber plantation worker is disrupted by a workers’ strike. Risking everything to embark on a new life, he accepts a chance invitation to New York, where he immerses himself in its small Liberian community. But when Cisco meets Jacob, a former Liberian child soldier, he is forced to confront his difficult past. The film is a modern twist on a classic immigrant story, shot on locations in Liberia and New York.

Out of My Hand is only the second foreign-production narrative feature film ever shot in Liberia and the first to be made in association with Liberia Movie Union, an affiliate of Liberian government. The film was premiered in the Panorama section at Berlinale and won Grand Jury Prize at LA Film Festival in 2015.

IBW highlights the work of women behind the camera with this film distributed by the ladies of ARRAY

Founded in 2004, Images of Black Women Film Festival returns to promote race and gender equality both in front and behind the camera, highlighting the work of Black women and the diversity of Africa and its Diaspora.

This event is an extension of the BFI African Odysseys programme in association with the Phoenix Cinema: Inspirational films by and about the people of Africa, from archive classics to new cinema. Explore the African roots of World Cinema through our monthly programme of Sunday screenings.
Supported by Black History Walks