Black Women in Business


Visit the Women of the African Diaspora Marketplace today.

A new marketplace provides free listings of Black Women entrepreneurs and a new store features products that appeal to Black women around the world.

The Women of the African Diaspora website (www.aesn.eu/bwie), a place for Black women around the globe to find information, inspiration and more launches a new Marketplace and Store.

The Marketplace will feature Black women in Business by telling their story, describing their business and will list which entrepreneurs are available to mentor aspiring business women.

The Marketplace listings are available free of charge. Any Black women interested in participating simply need to email their information to info@aesn.eu.

The Women of the African Diaspora store is comprised of items of interest to Black women including music, jewellery and more. The store is a great place for one-stop shopping.

Companies interested in reaching Black women around the world are invited to advertise on the Women of the African Diaspora website (http://aesn.eu/bwie/ads.html).

The Women of the African Diaspora website was launched on November 1, 2007 by Sandra Rafaela in the Netherlands of the Afro European Sisters Network and Adrianne George of the Black Women in Europe blog. In addition to the website there is a social network which provides a safe place for Black women around the world.

Contact: info(at)aesn.eu

Mary Seacole

Crimean war veteran nurse and original lady of the lamp

Mary Seacole’s reputation after the Crimean War (1853-1856) rivalled Florence Nightingale’s. Unlike Nightingale, Seacole also had the challenge to have her skills put to proper use in spite of her being black. A born healer and a woman of driving energy, she overcame official indifference and prejudice. She got herself out to the war by her own efforts and at her own expense; risked her life to bring comfort to the wounded and dying soldiers; and became the first black woman to make her mark on British public life. But while Florence Nightingale has gone down in history and become a legend, Mary Seacole was relegated to obscurity until recently.

Mary Seacole was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1805. Her father was a Scottish soldier, and her mother was a practitioner of traditional Jamaican medicine and had a boarding house where she cared for invalid soldiers and their wives. Mary learned about medicine from her mother, soon gaining her own reputation as a ‘skilful nurse and doctress’.

Visit her official website.

An African American View on Barack Obama – Leading off with an American in London

He has promised a better future for all the United States, regardless of race. But has Barack Obama won over black America? In a G2 special feature, author Candace Allen explains how she came to believe in his dream of being the next president. And other African-Americans – from a Hollywood star to a Manhattan cleaner, a teacher to a prisoner on death row, a pastor to a Wal-Mart employee – reveal whether Obama’s vision gets their vote.

Read the Guardian’s Marching on Washington for the full story.

Bonnie Greer


Playwright and critic Bonnie Greer was born in America. She studied theatre in Chicago with David Mamet and in New York with Elia Kazan.

She has lived in Britain since 1986, where she has worked mainly in theatre with women and ethnic minorities. She has won a Verity Bargate Award for Best New Play and has played Joan Of Arc on the Paris stage.

She has had many plays produced by Radios 3 and 4, including a translation of The Little Prince, and her latest play, Jitterbug was presented in London in 2001.

She is working on a play for the National Theatre Studio. Her musical “Solid” had a workshop production in Stockholm for the National Theatre of Sweden. Her co-produced documentary, “Reflecting Skin” was shown over the BBC in 2004 and she is currently in pre-production with another about the education department of the Royal Opera House.

Bonnie’s second novel, Riding The 903, was published in 2005. Other books include How Maxine Learned to Love Her Legs and Other Tales of Growing Up, and Hanging by Her Teeth (90’s) (Hanging by Her Teeth (90s) for US readers).

Bonnie is a trustee of the British Musuem.

Read Bonnie’s articles in the New Statesman.

Listen to Bonnie on BBC Radio.

Black Success Stories

Zhana in the UK breeds success. She writes about it and she provides services that help other people achieve it.

Today the author of Success Strategies for Black People is visiting the Black Women in Europe blog to talk about her Black Success Stories book!


BWIE: What inspired you to write Black Success Stories Volume 1?

Zhana: I was inspired to write Black Success Stories while I was working on Success Strategies for Black People. I thought, why not profile some Black people who have already achieved significant goals in their lives and work?
I was also inspired by the tradition of Black women writers, storytellers and historians in the West. I have done a great deal of research about Black women writers from slavery to the present day. Somehow, we have always managed to tell our stories. I feel I am joining a proud tradition.

I found I was continually inspired by working on Black Success Stories. Every person in the book has made a significant contribution to the Black community and to UK society as a whole.

BWIE: Tell me about one Black woman you have profiled in Black Success Stories Volume 1.

Zhana: An obvious choice for inclusion in the book was Diane Abbott MP, the first-ever woman of African heritage to be elected to Parliament in the UK. It was such a great achievement. And she does a lot of work to support Black parents and children, and to help Black children gain access to high-quality education in Britain.

BWIE: Tell me about the work that you do to help Black women in the UK.

Zhana: Many Black women are single parents, trying to protect their children from inner-city violence, deprivation and lack of opportunity. So my work focuses on achieving our goals, on improving our lives, and on strengthening relationships and communication within the family.

A lot of my work focuses on building self-love, self-esteem and self-respect. Part of the legacy of slavery is that we have been taught to hate ourselves and anybody who looks like us. Often, we hate the colour of our skin and the natural texture of our hair.

I find that, in my work with women of different backgrounds, women tend to be more willing than men to admit we need help and support. But with Black women, that is often not the case. We are afraid and ashamed to show any vulnerability, weakness or fear, or to ask for help. Again, this is part of the legacy of slavery.

So we need to relearn these skills. We need to be real, be authentic, with ourselves and each other. We need to learn how to care for ourselves and nurture ourselves again. And we need to learn to listen to our inner voice, and trust our inner wisdom. These are some of the things we explore in my workshops and courses.

Pick up a copy of Black Success Stories Volume 1.

Leave a comment suggesting a Black Woman to be included in Zhana’s second volume of Black Success Stories with your email address to receive a free eBook from Zhana!

Democrats Abroad needs one minute of your time (important information on voting in the Global Presidential Primary)

Here at Democrats Abroad we have just launched a new database and e-mail system which will help us serve you better ??? including letting us provide internet voting for the Global Presidential Primary from February 5-12, 2008.

Our new system allows you to log in with your own password and update your own contact details. If you want to vote in the Global Primary, we need you to take a moment right now to click on the link (below) to our new web site, create your own password, and verify that all your voting details are correct. Remember to also tick the box which indicates your intention to participate in the Global Primary.

CLICK HERE TO CREATE PASSWORD AND CONFIRM YOUR VOTING DETAILS

This really only takes a minute, and in addition to letting you register for the Global Primary, it will give you access to all the new features of the Democrats Abroad web site as we roll them out in the days and weeks ahead, including online discussion forums and access to the latest information from all the candidates??? campaigns.

Don’t forget that in addition to internet voting, the Global Presidential Primary will also allow voting between February 5-12 by mail, fax, and in person at Voting Centers around the world. Log on to the site for more details.

Many thanks for your help and best wishes for the New Year ??? may it be happy, healthy and Democratic!

Christine Schon Marques
International Chair
Democrats Abroad
430 S. Capitol Street, SE
Washington, 20003

Protest in Brussels against new EU-Africa trade deals


Some African countries are still against the new set of trade deals proposed by the EU with a march against the so-called European Partnership Agreements taking place in Brussels on Friday (11 January).

The previous trade regime with African countries expired on 31 December after the World Trade Organisation (WTO) deemed the preferential trade systems illegal.

The European Partnership Agreements (EPAs) proposed by the EU offer duty-free terms for most African imports on condition that African markets gradually open up to competition.

Brussels says that if the new rules are not put in place, African countries could lose tariff-free access to European markets.

Read the EUObserver article.