Malorie Blackman – UK – Literature – Award Winning Writer
Ms. Blackman has won 19 literary prizes for her books written for children and teenagers. She has also written a play and TV scripts and original dramas for CITV and BBE Education.
Urszula Bhebhe has made her mark as Poland’s first black athletics champion. It is estimated that blacks make up 4,000 of Poland’s 38 million citizens. In February Bhebhe won gold in the 60-metre hurdles at Polish indoor championships with a time of 8.43 seconds. The 19-year-old competes for AZS AWF, the team from Warsaw’s sports science university. Bhebhe’s grandmother was Polish and married a Zimbabwean.
Ms. Adams is the Cultural Enthusiast and co-founder of Travelista TV, an online travel channel. With her travel partner, she executive produces travel segments in exotic locales and hosts entertainment/red carpet interviews for AOL, BET.com and TVOne online. She is the creator of The Velvet Circle, a lifestyle media and event company focused on art, style, and hotspots in Italy.
FIRST EVER LONDON LIVE SHOWS:
5 December – Rich Mix (Bethnal Green) | 6 December – The Windmill (Brixton) | 9 December – Cherry Cool (Westbourne Grove)
“…personal, full of complex, visceral emotions and mature themes… a breath of fresh air compared to so many callow R&B sentiments.”
On December 5th 2011, Toronto rock-soul songstress Saidah Baba Talibah releases her electrifying debut single (S)Cream. With her powerful vocals, loud electric guitar riffs and gutsy, suggestive lyrics, (S)Cream blurs the boundaries between old-school funk, rock and soul to create an explosive debut about a lover so good Saidah can’t keep him down.
“It’s a love song, a statement, telling your baby that they’re doing it juuuuust right,”
says Saidah, with a smile.
“When we were writing it, we were vibing off the pure unadulterated funk/rock from 70’s, and then my guitarist Donna started singing, ‘When you touch my body baby’ – and I just ran with the rest.”
Don’t miss the stunning space-age video (above), directed by brother-sister duo Maya and Shevan Bastian, in which Saidah, her face intricately painted, sings against an intergalactic backdrop, with only a snake for company.
Born and raised in Canada, Saidah’s music has been greatly influenced by Toronto’s musical and ethnic enclaves. The daughter of Grammy-nominated Salome Bey, Saidah credits her internationally-renowned jazz/blues singer mother for her talent and ambition. And with her uncle, Andy Bey, also a Grammy-nominated musician, Saidah admits that growing up in a family where the arts were respected is what gave her such confidence in herself as a solo artist.
Following the cues of innovators like Radiohead and Public Enemy, Saidah has taken an unorthodox approach to funding her forthcoming album: asking fans to pre-invest via a campaign called Make Me Wanna (S)Cream. Investors were rewarded with various gifts, including autographed CDs, meals prepared by Saidah, and private dinner performances complete with burlesque dancers – depending on the level of investment.
“I wanted to strengthen the connection between me and my supporters, by inviting them to pre-purchase and fund the album creation,”
“And it’s worked. Come to my live shows and you’ll see the crowds are invested in my music, heart and soul.”
UK fans will now have the opportunity to do just that as Saidah has confirmed she’ll be brining her epic live shows to London for the first time. Her 5 nights in the capital kick off at Bethnal Green’s Rich Mix on Monday December 5th, with further shows at the likes of Brixton’s Windmill andCherry Cool in Westbourne Grove.
Saidah’s debut single (S)Cream is out on December 5th, with the debut album due out next year
The endorsement by Lord Toby Harris chair of the Government’s Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody, of the latest edition of The Solution Magazine, confirms the needs for this issue to be made as much a priority across government departments as it is across the community.
BMH UK’s second edition of the online The Solution Magazine is making as well as marking history by for the first time giving voice to the experience of the children who have been impacted by the issue of deaths in custody. In an exclusive interview children living with the legacy of such tragedies, shed light on the generational impact of deaths in custody.
The commemorative front cover of this October/November issue charts the tragic loss of lives, which is part of the hidden history that has sadly shaped the experience of black mental health in the UK over the past thirty years.
Levi Roots continues his support of BMH UK work of mainstreaming the issue of mental health in the community by sharing yet more healthy fabulicous recipes from his new book ‘Spice It Up.
In his column Why Mental Health Matters, Steve Pope, editor of the UK’s only black newspaper, The Voice, speaks out on the importance of remembering the community’s history in the particularly in the challenging area of mental health.
The UK’s leading black church leaders Archdeacon Daniel Kajumba, Bishop Llewellyn Grayham and Pastor Desmond Hall unite in their call for a radical overhaul in the way these cases are treated. Matilda MacAttram editor in chief of BMH UK’s The Solution Magazine and one of the Black Women in Europe: 2010 Power List, said:
‘of all aspects of black British history, the story of those from the UK’s African Caribbean communities who have used and died within mental health services is undoubtedly the most challenging. We mark black history month by taking a look at the uncharted history of black mental health, which as this edition’s cover shows, has sadly been shaped by the issue of deaths in custody.
Information is power and those who fail to learn from the mistakes of past are likely to repeat them. We hope that this edition goes some way to shed light on the past and give insight into how to ensure a better future for those in need of mental health care.’
For interviews call BMH UK News desk on: M: 07947 189 682
Notes to the editor
– BMH UK’s The Solution Magazine is funded by the South London and Maudsley (SLaM) Charitable Funds
– Black Mental Health UK is a human rights campaigns group established to address the over representation of African Caribbean’s within secure psychiatric care and raise awareness to address the stigma associated with mental health.
– African Caribbean’s are 50% more likely to enter the system via the criminal justice system or the police. 44% more likely to be sectioned, 29% more likely to be forcibly restrained, 50% more likely to be placed in seclusion and make up 30% of in patients on medium secure psychiatric wards despite having similar rates of mental illness as British white people.
– Detention rates for people from the UK’s African Caribbean community has doubled over the past five years during the period of 2005 – 2010. – Almost half the deaths of people in police custody are mental health service users.
When did you discover writing?
When I was in elementary school. In first grade, a teacher taught us how to make books…writing, illustrating and binding… as an art project. I fell in love with the idea that such a thing could exist and began writing. For my seventh birthday a male cousin gave me a typewriter (Olivetti) as a gift. I emphasize that he was a male cousin because, unlike many budding writers, I was encouraged by both male and female relatives to write books.
How would your classify your self as a writer?
I write about the politics of human relationships. Publishers have also classified my novels from time to time as Romance. It wasn’t until I moved to Europe that readers told me that they classified my novels as erotic literature!
I don’t know if the American readers are in serious denial or undeniably repressed!
Although I am a writer, painting is also a passion of mine. Mostly, I create large, colorfully bold paintings of the human form. It could be said that I am positively in love with the beauty and expressiveness of the human being…in principle. Writing allows me to also colorfully paint our presence in stories using an additional medium…words.
Do you find writing to be a lonely and isolating profession?
Nevertheless, I have the companionship and support of my spouse and I am fortunate to be able to live and work in breathtaking surroundings…the South of France.
The most difficult part of writing, though, is the discipline required in writing. Most mornings when I wake up I pray that when I get to the computer that the book has already managed to write itself. Clean, edited and ready to send out!
Do you consider yourself an expat author? And are there any particular difficulties in being an American writer living abroad?
I don’t like the label “Expat”. The prefix makes me uncomfortable. Makes me think of ex-boyfriends, ex-roommates…you know…that sort of thing…
Nevertheless, as a female author, living abroad can bring surprisingly complicated repercussions. Publishers have a tendency to “pigeon-hole” authors. Meaning that if you successfully publish a novel taking place in a particular locale, populated by a particular group of characters, they tend to expect you to continue to write in that category. Business decisions are often conservative decisions based on the previous outcomes of a predetermined target audience’s buying patterns. A change in or broadening of an author’s lifestyle and perspective can result in very challenging consequences, particularly for a female author.
Who are your favorite authors?
Favorite? I bow to almost anyone who can successfully complete a novel and have some mainstream publisher acknowledge their accomplishments. On the top of my list though, would be John Updike, Erica Jong, James Baldwin; Truman Capote, Terry McMillan, John Irving, Jake Lamar, and Jay McInerney.
What kinds of challenges do you face as a professional writer?
My situation is quite unusual. In only six months after I submitted my first manuscript to Random House Publishers, I receive a book contract. On what they probably waged my advance was the “hook” of a thinly-veiled celebrity character and the “hot” trend of what was called “chick lit” books at that time.
In just three weeks I not only made back my advance but earned a nice piece of change on royalties as well. For my first novel, I had been obviously blessed to have had a top of the line Editor and a “slammin’” Marketing Department in my corner.
The life of my second novel, Ladyfingers was different. Companies changed hands. Then as my second manuscript was submitted, disaster struck with the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, while I was living in France.
Few editors were interested in a comedy about a bunch of Lotto winners and East Samarian bandits getting into all sorts of shenanigans on the French Riviera!
Believe me, no one was laughing over there.
After a while Ladyfingers was finally published, but didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy the glamour and fanfare of my debut novel.
How do you deal with critics?
Not very well.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
If you are looking for commercial success, study the books on the bestseller lists. If you are an artist, write what you want and study the craft. Before becoming successful, take martial arts because there will be all kinds of folks out there waiting to beat you up in dark alleys. Also, don’t let anyone discourage you from writing. I believe that we have an obligation to entertain and inform one another adding to the quality of life.
What projects are your working on now?.
I am working on a third and forth novel, a screenplay and have numerous ideas for future novels. Ladyfingers, as you know is the second installment of what I call my “Cookie Quartet. It will be followed by Almond Cookie and then Macaroons.
I’m sure there will be folks who would challenge the Political Correctness of all this but…hey…I write satire, you know?
I am also working on a play and novel of science fiction. Ideas are always forming in my head; Also, there is powerful inspiration here on the French Riviera. The world is an interesting place to write about.
Your novels are humorous. Why have you chosen this tone, yet at the same time use your characters to address very serious issues?
I don’t know. It is just how my mind works. I see no reason to depress people while trying to get my message across. Besides, if they don’t get the message at least they will be entertained. I hope.
From Laura Bazile in France
In recent contribution to BWIE™, I chose to define online communities in key points: making things clearer about what you may look for on joining a community, pitfalls to avoid if you (could be with a business partner) are planning to create yours.
Grasping the essence of an online community might appear crystal clear, once you jump in, but the real challenge remains keep on abiding by, needless to add finding yourself comfortable enough to go along with it and refer to “that” online community.
We are on the same page: it is all about interaction, isn’t it? Anyway, in which situation, you will alter your view regarding your “favorite” online community?
An online community might choose to redefine its profile: you might not feel completely at ease immediately but one thing is sure you will get answers to your questions “from” the community manager (owner). Official announcements, targeted posts, tools do exist to let members get the message accurately.
An online community might add a few paying services to its array of resources. Above all, there is no obligation if it was not mandatory, once you joined. It can definitely add value, as YOU are the one deciding what is relevant for you.
>calling for your help
An online community might ask you to suggest members that may be interested in. Why not? Especially, if that type of request is made out properly and … please, I do not want to “win an Ipad/great voucher”… for this! Above all, recommending my favorite online community to others might not be immediate but definitely within the bounds of a trustful relationship.
An online community shares some features with events, specifically because it is a place where people meet. Where there are people sharing values, the rules are inclined to be comparable. It is not biased to imagine that if you come across the same situation in an “event” context, you will probably speculate about the same items. An event launching (new) services, the latter polling to get your feedback, attendee asking for referral … all of this must be tempting enough to let YOU think about it.
Tell us about significant hint(s) in one of your favorite online communities and (surprising) consequences on your activity/work/business?
Laura Bazile is an events professional, loves travelling, meeting & helping people, and is passionate about social media, live & virtual arts, and design.