Yvonne Brown

Yvonne Brown is the consultant and practice manager of Legal Management Consulting in London and the former Chair and founding member of the Black Solicitors??? Network (BSN).

Yvonne was born in Hackney, London, in 1961 and attended Woodberry Down School. She graduated in Law with honours from the University of Leicester. She qualified as a solicitor in 1985 and became an Assistant Solicitor with Dowse and Co.

In 1989 she joined the West End firm Claude Hornby and Cox, where she became a partner. She remained at Claude Hornby and Cox until 1994 when she established her own firm, Yvonne Brown & Co in Hackney, London, offering Legal Aid advice on children, family and education matters. Her firm was the first in Hackney to gain a Legal Aid franchise in the area of Education Law. Yvonne was committed to the education work undertaken by the firm and has said that she believes that unless black children are afforded a proper opportunity of securing a good education, then the whole black community will suffer in the longer term.

In 1996, BSN was established to represent black and ethnic minority solicitors and under Yvonne???s leadership membership grew considerably from the initial few hundred. She remains an honorary board member of the BSN and in recognition of her work, the organisation awarded her the Outstanding Solicitor of the Year award in 2006. The same year she was short-listed for the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) award in the family category.

Yvonne has been a Higher Court Advocate since 1998 and she is also on the Family Law and Children Panel.

In 2008, Yvonne wound down her practise and established Legal Management Consulting which she set up to advise law firms to excel in practice management. She also joined the leading family law firm Goodman Ray, as a consultant.

Read the Black Lawyers Directory interview with Yvonne.

Dame Cleo Laine

Born in a London suburb, Cleo showed early singing talent, which was nurtured by her Jamaican father and English mother who sent her to singing and dancing lessons. It was not, however, until she reached her mid-twenties that she applied herself seriously to singing. She auditioned successfully for a band led by musician John Dankworth, under whose banner she performed until 1958, in which year the two were married.

Then began an illustrious career as a singer and actress. In 1958 she played the lead in a new play at London’s famous Royal Court Theatre, home of the new wave of playwrights of the ‘fifties – Pinter, Osborne and the like. This led to other stage performances such as the musical “Valmouth” in 1959, the play “A Time to Laugh” (with Robert Morley and Ruth Gordon) in 1962, and eventually to her show stopping Julie in the Wendy Toye production of “Showboat” at the Adelphi Theatre in London in 1971.

During this period she had two spectacular recording successes. “You’ll Answer to Me” reached the British Top Ten at the precise time that Cleo was ‘prima donna’ in the 1961 Edinburgh Festival production of the Kurt Weill opera/ballet “The Seven Deadly Sins”. In 1964 her “Shakespeare and All that Jazz” album received widespread critical acclaim, and to this day remains an important milestone in her identification with the more unusual aspects of a singer’s repertoire.

Source: Quarternotes.com
Read her full biography on her website.

Winning Wimbledon Again

Venus outlasts Serena for fifth Wimbledon title

Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) – Venus Williams won another title- match battle with her sister, Serena, downing her younger sibling in straight sets on Saturday for her fifth Wimbledon championship.

The seventh-seeded Venus defeated Serena 7-5, 6-4, in the third all-Williams final at Wimbledon in seven years. Serena had won both prior matchups in Wimbledon finals, and had taken five of six Grand Slam final matchups with her older sister, but Saturday was Venus’ day. The 28-year-old won her second consecutive Wimbledon title, and her third in four years.

Venus also won consecutive Wimbledon finals in 2000 and 2001, before her 26- year-old sister took the titles in 2002 and 2003. The win was the seventh Grand Slam title for Venus, who is now one shy of her younger sister, as Serena failed to pick up her ninth.

“It’s definitely not any easier. At the end of the day I’m still disappointed.” said Serena of losing to her sister.

The Williams sisters have combined to win seven of the last nine Wimbledon titles and at least one of them has appeared in eight of the last nine finals at the All England Club.

That same prowess showed up later on Saturday, when the sisters teamed up to win their third Wimbledon doubles title. They took a straight-sets victory over American Lisa Raymond and Australian Samantha Stosur, 6-2, 6-2. The Williams sisters also won doubles titles here in 2000 and 2002.

But in Saturday’s singles match, the sixth-seeded former world No. 1 Serena looked ready to continue her dominance of her sister in Slam finals early, as she won 10 of the first 11 points with relative ease. Venus came storming back, however, and won the hard-fought first set.

The younger Williams took a 1-0 lead in the second set and, though Venus rebounded and went up 2-1, Serena drew even at 3-3 and 4-4. Venus won a 24- shot rally to go up 5-4, however, and a wide backhand from Serena on the second championship point handed Venus another Wimbledon win.

“I just stayed tough on that point,” said Venus. “She was going for it until the end. So of course when I saw it go wide I’m thinking ‘Oh my god it’s five, wow. Five titles.'”

Serena had her chances to take back control of the match, but struggled in converting break points. She finished 2-for-13 on break points, while Venus took advantage of her opportunities, winning 4-of-7.

“I think I just lost rhythm and I just made a lot of errors,” said Serena. “Nothing I was doing seemed to work.”

The sisters have split four matchups at tennis’ most prestigious event, with Serena having won two of three final matchups, and Venus winning Saturday and in a semifinal bout in 2000. The win by Venus also locked up their all-time series at 8-8, and their matchups in majors at 5-5.

This was their second matchup of the season, as Serena beat Venus at a hardcourt event in India earlier this season.

The 26-year-old Serena owns 31 career titles, including three already this year, and is now 8-3 in Grand Slam finals. In addition to her back-to-back Wimbledon titles in ’02 and ’03, she was the 2004 runner-up here to Russian Maria Sharapova.

Venus improved to 5-2 in her seventh Wimbledon final. She defeated France’s Marion Bartoli in last year’s finale and also won in 2005.

The 28-year-old Venus is 7-6 in her career Grand Slam finals and owns 37 titles in 59 career championship matches thanks to her win Saturday. She collected just under $1.5 million for her efforts, while Serena took home approximately $750,000.

Source:?? SportsIllustrated.com

Leona Lewis – Singing sensation

Leona Louise Lewis (born 3 April 1985) is an English singer, actress and winner of the third series of The X Factor UK television talent show. Her UK debut single, “A Moment like This”, was released in December 2006, breaking a world record after it was downloaded over 50,000 times within 30 minutes.

Her second single, “Bleeding Love,” was the biggest-selling single of 2007 in the United Kingdom, topped several other national singles charts and became a US number one single on April 5, 2008. After falling a couple of places the following week, it returned to the number one spot in the chart dated April 19, 2008.

Leona Lewis was born in the London borough of Islington to parents Aural Josiah, a Guyanese Caribbean youth worker, and Maria Lewis, a social worker of Anglo-Welsh descent. At the age of five, she attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School, and later the Italia Conti Academy and the BRIT School.

Take a behind the scenes peek at Leona during a photo shoot for a fashion magazine:

Visit her YouTube channel.

Visit her official website.

Black Women Bloggers in Europe Series – England 2 – The Blay Report by Zandile Blay

Zandile Blay is a fashion writer earning a graduate degree in fashion in London. Among other things she authors The Blay Report:

The Blay Report (T.B.R) is a daily blog which delivers news on fashion, art, and culture from across the world. In addition, T.B.R gives it’s readers a glimpse into the lives, careers and closets, of movers and shakers in the fashion and media industry via exclusive interviews. T.B.R was founded in May 2006 by style writer, Zandile Blay, whose work has been featured in publications like InStyle, Vibe, Seventeen and Paper Magazine’s. In addition, she writes regular column on fashion and travel for the prestigious political blog, The Huffington Post.

Previous entries in the series:

Carole Beausaint Denis

Carole Beausaint Denis is a singer-songwriter born in London and currently based in Amsterdam. She has co-written songs with many prominent members of the UK music scene such as Nick Van Gelder (Ozric Tentacles, Jamiroquai, Akimbo) and two-time Grammy Award winner Phil Ramocon (Jimmy Cliff, Neneh Cherry, Keb??? Mo???). Her career as a singer has likewise been a highly successful one. Carole was a member of the London Community Gospel Choir and has done session work on many different projects, lending her unique vocals to recordings and live performances for big names like Jennifer Holiday and Michael Bolton.

Get to know her better and listen to her music.

Check out this video: Love Feeds Babies


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