Blog to Prague

Black Women in Europe Bloggers – Czech Republic 2 – Blog to Prague

Blog to Prague

Blog to Prague

A Journey Toward Self-Discovery

I’m Mid-Western Girl out for a twirl.

Writer. Producer.Actor.Brown Bettie

Blog to Prague

I’m a writer and multi-hyphenate entertainer who has lived in Milwaukee, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. My debut novella “Harlem’s Awakening” is available now on BlackHillPress and Amazon (especially for International shipping). It is the 1940s pre-story to “Harlem’s Night”, a dinner theater show performed by the Brown Betties and is about a young woman’s journey through hell on her way to finding peace. I love Zora Neale Hurston and Jackie Collins. If you do too, you just might like this poetic, visual piece of dramatic fiction. If you’re in Prague, you can get a copy at Shakespeare & Sons!

In 2005 I created the sultry, sassy, sophisticated “Harlem’s Night: A Cabaret Story” which is a cabaret/dinner theater experience that includes singing, dancing and acting and essentially is my autobiography of how I continually looked for love in all the wrong places until I learned to love myself first.

Blog to Prague

As spin-offs from the cabaret, which also stems from my love of all things vintage, I created and am the editor of “The Brown Betties Gazette”, an online magazine; the award-winning webseries based on “The Brown Betties Guide: How To Look for Love In All The Wrong Places” (Amazon); and the “Be Your Own Bettie” Burlesque and empowerment workshops.

Check out my first go at being published in “Split: Stories From A Generation Raised on Divorce” edited by Ava Chin (Amazon), whom I met while living in New York.

I’ve also written, “15 Monologues to SLAM!” which is available electronically if you email me (my first name at hotmail dot com) and I’m in the midst of writing and re-writing “Making Lemonade: Bittersweet Tales From An Actress Being Squeezed In LA” which is my candid memoir.

Blog to Prague

My play, Dick & Jayne Get A Life, a sorta romantic sorta comedy, debuted at Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2013 where it earned a “Best Of” Extension and has been accepted to the Prague Fringe Festival in May 2014. UPDATE: While accepted, Dick & Jayne was not able to attend. Instead, we presented my novella “Harlem’s Awakening” as a one-woman show about a book, with a book! This is/was first time doing a one-woman show and this blog will live to tell about some of it.

If you scour the internet, you can find pics of me as a former Chicago Bulls Luv-a-Bulls Dancer and Milwaukee Bucks Energee! dancer. I’m a graduate of Marquette University where I still hold my triple jump record (yippeee!) and I was the Senior Speaker, of which I am extremely proud.

Visit Blog to Prague today.

7th Annual Summer School on BLACK EUROPE

Thank you for the reminder Angela Shaw. Every year I say I am going to take this course one summer. I have to ensure that it comes to pass.

Black Europe

7th Annual Summer School on Black Europe
Interrogating Citizenship, Race and Ethnic Relations

Amsterdam, Netherlands – June 23 – July 4, 2014

The Summer School on Black Europe is an intensive two week course offered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The 7th annual Summer School on Black Europe will take place from June 23rd to July 4th, 2014 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) in collaboration with The Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues (Barcelona, Spain).*

The Summer School on Black Europe will be held at:

International Institute for Research and Education (IIRE)
Lombokstraat 40, 1094 AL Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The overall goal of this course is to examine the contemporary circumstances of the African Diaspora (and “other” immigrants of color) in Europe. We will focus on and discuss the origins of Black Europe and investigate the impact of these legacies on policies, social organizations and legislation today. This course will begin with a historical overview of the African Diaspora in Europe that traces the involvement of European nations in the colonization of the Americas. We will address the migration and settlement of Blacks in Europe, and examine immigration and citizenship laws that regulated their settlement. We will also look at anti-discrimination laws as they have arisen in various European countries. We compare the history of regulation and management of race and ethnic relations and the discourse surrounding the concept of Blackness and self-identification. Historically, social forces and social movements within Europe have given rise to policies to combat racism. We will trace the chain of events following social and civil conflicts that prompted these policies and analyze the legislative and intellectual discourse produced in the aftermath. In addition, we will explore notions of Blackness as official categorization; as a social construction employed by the dominant groups to indicate (non) belonging; as a Diaspora living within Europe; and as a contestation of the dominant (White) paradigm. In this way, we examine the social mobilization of Blacks to resist domination.

The above issues will be considered in light of the immediacy of contemporary global and European forces, including competing issues and discourses on Islamophobia, increased non-Black migration into and across Europe, and the debt crisis in the European Union.

This course will also seek to address the dimensions of race and ethnic relations that are unique to Europe; examining the ways in which conceptions of the “other” are institutionalized and reproduced; the rise of xenophobia in various EU countries; issues such as global racisms, everyday racism and epistemic racism; the legal definitions and discourse surrounding the conceptualized “other”; and examining the ways in which each country has dealt with issues of race and national identity. To this effect guest speakers for the 2013 program will be drawn from Germany, Italy and Portugal for case studies in those countries.

Affiliated Faculty Members include:


(More Faculty Info)



The tuition for this course is € 1600 (or € 1300 without housing) .

Tuition includes housing, the opening reception, lunches on all class days, weekly get-togethers with faculty, a course reader, a public transportation pass, and travel costs and entrance to museums and exhibitions during excursions (excluding an optional excursion to Paris).

The Paris excursion includes participation in a workshop on Migration and Social Movements at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH) in Paris.

Tuition does not include travel to and from Amsterdam.

For more information over the Summer School, please email:
blackeurope [at]

K. Nimako, Director
Email: obee [at]

Mano Delea, Project Manager
Email: mano.delea [at]

Camilla Hawthorne, Coordinator North America
Email: camilla.hawthorne [at]

Giovanni Picker, Coordinator East/Central Europe & Russia
Email: giovanni.picker [at]


About the Center

Logo Dialogo Global


DIÀLEG GLOBAL (Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization promoting research, knowledge-making, education (through seminars, workshops, exhibits, round-tables discussions, publications and video-making) and public policy to invent and work towards non-competitive horizons of life, of socio-economic organization and international relations. Non-profit and non-governmental organizations emerge from within civil and political society to address issues that are not supported or attended to by government and corporations. Their function is crucial in building futures that are beyond the regulations of States or the needs of the Corporations. In order for civil and political society to become relevant actors in social transformation and pointing out the limits of corporate values and state regulation, it is necessary to create institutions of knowledge-making not at the service of the state or corporations, but to the benefit of the civil society.

For further inquiries and information, please send e-mail to blackeurope [at]
Find us also on Facebook!

During the Summer School, we will also be hosting the International Symposium on Black Europe 2014. The 2013 Symposium on Black Europe was titled, Inside Black Europe: Racial Configurations in the Post 9/11 Era (in Europe). Click here for information on the 2012 Symposium.


* Previous sessions of the Summer School on Black Europe were organized in Amsterdam, in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and NiNsee, the National Institute for the study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy.

Zuzana Tvarůžková – Powerful Woman

Zuzana Tvarůžková

Zuzana Tvarůžková

“I was raised bym y mother, a Czech, and a father who is also a Czech, my biological father is from Cuba, and I know him. It’s a little secret chamber of our family, “says Zuzana . “He worked in northern Bohemia, in Litvinov, were he studied chemical engineering. He lived in a fairly large Cuban community, “she adds, but the whole thing is still a very sensitive issue for her parents.

But children can be cruel. “I was lucky that I had many friends who largely protected me from unpleasant attacks. My fellow students who were Roma were definitely worse of than me, “says Susan Tvarůžková. But she has lost two of her childhood best friends because of the way she looks. In an argument one called her father a nigger and the other one said she was adopted.

About her musical roots she says. “I sang, I had a different voice than all the other children in the choir, I’m addicted to music. My boyfriend makes fun of me, he has never seen anyone like me who does not need the slightest excuse to dance. Dancing in the supermarket and metro, “says Susan, adding with a laugh:” Girls always said at the disco: it’s senseless to dance next to her? ”

Read the full 2012 Power List.

Powerful woman – Tonya Graves – Singer in Czech Republic

Tonya Graves

Tanya Graves – Singer and Actress
Czech Republic

Tonya Graves is a singer and actress has been living in Prague since May 1995. Tonya has been nominated 11 times for the Czech Academy of Music’s Cesky Andel and won four times.

Read more about Tonya: She was included in the Black Women in Europe™: Power List 2010.

Tonya Graves, Dancing and Acting in Prague

tanya-gravesTonya Graves was born in 1969 in the state of New York, in the USA. She studied theatre and music dramatic arts at State University New York, New Paltz. She has been living in Prague since May 1995.

In the Czech Republic, she has been involved in various musical projects: Luboš Andršt Blues Band; Liquid Harmony; Tonny Blues Band; Monkey Business; Tonya Graves and Her Rhythm Desperados; and Štěpán Smetáček and the New Orchestra of Dreams.

She has also played in a number of Czech films: TV comedy “Iguo-Igua” (2003) and in a tragic-comedy directed by Dan Svátek and called “Close to the Heaven” (2005). She played the role of the Abyssinian emperor in the last Jiří Menzel’s film entitled “I Served the English King” (2006).