BBC salutes Black Women during Black History Month

Black History Month in The United Kingdom

In the US some black joke that our Black History month is in February because it is the shortest month of the year. In Britain, Black History Month is celebrated in October which has 31 days.

And while the British Broadcasting Corporation affectionately known as the BBC didn’t shine a light on 31 fabulous Black Women this month they did highlight 12. And they wrote it for a young audience. In a time when many adult Brits deny the existence of racism in the UK, this history lesson is huge in my opinion. Here the chosen 12.

BBC Black History Month
Photo credit: Various

Source: BBC

Black History Month has been marked in the UK for more than 30 years. It takes place during the month of October.

It is held to highlight and celebrate the achievements and contributions of the black community in the UK.

Throughout history, black people have made huge contributions to society in the fields of art, music, science, literature and many more areas.

But in the past, these contributions have often been ignored or played down because black people weren’t treated the same way as other people because of the colour of their skin.

BBC Black History Month
GETTY IMAGES This picture from the 1960s shows people protesting for equal rights

Black History Month aims to address this unfairness by celebrating these achievements and contributions.

Read on to find out about the incredible things that 12 women, in particular, have done for Britain.

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Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784)

BBC Black History Month
Image BLACKHISTORYMONTH.ORG.UK

Phillis Wheatley was born in West Africa.

When she was a young girl, she was put on board a ship and sent to the US, where she was sold as a slave to a family called the Wheatleys. She was named after that ship – the Phillis.

While Phillis was a slave, she was taught to read and write, which was unusual at the time.

She wrote her first poem at the age of 14. At the age of 20, she moved to England with her son and within a year, published her first book.

This made her the first African-American poet to be published, with her first volume of poetry in 1773.

The fact that her writing was so brilliant proved that women who were slaves could have amazing intellectual ideas, when people hadn’t thought that they could, and this contributed towards the anti-slavery movement.

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Mary Seacole (1805-1881)

BBC Black History Month
IMAGE National Geographical Society

Mary Seacole was born and grew up in Jamaica, but came over to England in 1854.

She asked the War Office if she could go to help wounded soldiers who were fighting in the Crimean War (1853-1856), but she wasn’t allowed.

So she raised the money herself and travelled to Balaclava, Ukraine. Here, she looked after British soldiers who had been injured.

Despite all that she did, not many people knew who she was or the amazing work that she had done after she died. Most people remember Florence Nightingale, who helped many people too.

However, people have campaigned to make sure that people remember everything that Mary Seacole did.

In 2016, a statue of her was built outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Ayshah went to find out more about it ahead of it being built.

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Fanny Eaton (1835-unknown)

BBC Black History Month
Image BRIDGEMAN IMAGES

You can see Fanny Eaton featured in a lot of artwork by Pre-Raphaelite artists (a period of art which started in the mid-1880s).

That’s because she worked as a model for several well-known artists.

She moved to London from Jamaica and worked at the Royal Academy. The Royal Academy is an extremely famous place in London for art – especially painting, sculpture and architecture – which started in 1768.

One of the artists that she modelled for called Dante Gabriel Rossetti praised how beautiful Fanny was. This was significant because, at the time, many people did not see black people as beautiful, so black women were not featured very much in Western art.

But Fanny Eaton challenged this and is an important figure in the history of art.

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Evelyn Dove (1902-1987)

BBC Black History Month
Image BBC

Evelyn was the daughter of a lawyer from Sierra Leone in Africa and his English wife.

She was a student at the Royal Academy of Music, which is a bit like the Royal Academy where Fanny Eaton modelled, but for music.

While she was there, she performed with some of the world’s top black entertainers and went on to become a singing and acting star of the 1920s.

She became famous all over the world, at a time when black female performers would struggle to get the same recognition as white entertainers because of racial prejudices.

 

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Lilian Bader (1918-2015)

BBC Black History Month
Image IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM VIA BLACKHISTORYMONTH.ORG.UK

Lilian Bader was born in 1918 in Liverpool and went on to become one of the very first black women to join the British Armed Forces.

Starting out as a canteen assistant at an army base in Yorkshire, she eventually trained as an instrument repairer, before becoming a leading aircraftwoman and soon afterwards earning herself the rank of Corporal.

Three generations of her family served in the armed forces.

When she left the army to have children of her own, she retrained and got a degree from the University of London to become a teacher.

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Joan Armatrading (1950-today)

BBC Black History Month
Image BBC

Back to music and Joan Armatrading is a name that if you are into blues you may already know.

This is because she was the first ever female UK artist to be nominated for a Grammy in the blues category. She went on to be nominated three times.

She arrived in the UK at the age of seven, from the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts. She started writing songs at the age of 14. She also taught herself to play the guitar.

In the 1970s, she became the first black British singer songwriter to enjoy great success abroad.

Then, in 2007, she became the first female UK artist to debut at number 1 in the Billboards blues chart (which is like the top 40 chart for blues music in America).

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Olive Morris (1952-1979)

BBC Black History Month
IMAGE Nyansapo – The Pan African Drum

Olive Morris was an important figure in terms of civil rights.

Black people didn’t used to have the same rights as other people, simply because of the colour of their skin – and Olive was one of many people who worked tirelessly to change that.

She campaigned for the rights of black people in South London and Manchester and was a founding member of groups like the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent (OWAAD) and the Brixton Black Women’s Group.

She passed away at the age of just 27, but even by this age she had contributed an enormous amount to black communities across the country.

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Margaret Busby (1944-today)

BBC Black History Month
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Margaret is an extremely influential name in the world of publishing.

That’s because she was Britain’s youngest and first black female book publisher, when she co-founded the publishing company Allison & Busby in 1967, alongside a man called Clive Allison.

The company didn’t only publish work by black writers, but it did help to make the names of many black writers more well-known.

Talking about writing today, Margaret says: “Technology permits you to be your own publisher and editor, which should encourage a lot of us – especially young people – to write and express themselves.”

“Write because you really enjoy it and learn to be a good reader because the best writers read voraciously. Get to know the best books out there.”

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Diane Abbott (1953-today)

BBC Black History Month
Image GETTY IMAGES

In 1987, Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first black woman ever to be elected to Parliament.

Her career in politics began in 1982, when she was elected to Westminster City Council, before being voted into the House of Commons five years later.

It made her part of the first group of black and Asian people to sit in Parliament for almost a century – but back then, only men got the jobs.

She also started the London Schools and the Black Child programme, which aims to help black children to do well in school.

She still serves in Parliament to this day as one of the main politicians in the Labour party.

Editor’s note: Dianne Abbott is on our 2010 Power List.

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Malorie Blackman (1962-today)

BBC Black History Month
Image GETTY IMAGES

Another author that you may well have heard of is the best-selling author of the Noughts & Crosses series – Malorie Blackman.

When she was chosen to become the eighth Children’s Laureate, she became the first black person to take on the role.

She got the job in 2013, before passing on the baton to British illustrator and writer Chris Riddell in 2015.

Malorie says she wanted to “make reading irresistible” for children, by encouraging them to explore a range of literature, from short stories to graphic novels.

Editor’s note: Malorie Blackman in on our 2011 Power List.

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Dr. Shirley Thompson

BBC Black History Month
Image WINSTON SILL

Only recently, Dr. Shirley Thomson was named as “one of the most inspirational Black British women” by the newspaper Metro.

In 2004, she became the first woman in Europe to conduct and compose a symphony within the last 40 years. It was called New Nation Rising, A 21st Century Symphony.

The piece of music celebrated London’s history and was composed to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.

She has also written pieces to be used in films, on television, by dancers and on stage.

Because of her work, she was named on the Evening Standard’s Power List of Britain’s Top 100 Most Influential Black People in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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Zadie Smith (1975-today)

BBC Black History Month
Image GETTY IMAGES

If you go into a book shop, you would be very likely to spot one of Zadie Smith’s books on the shelves.

She is an extremely successful author, having published her first book at the age of just 24.

Her books, which are inspired by her experience of issues around race and what society is like, have received many prizes.

She has also written essays and short stories, and now teaches at New York University.

Editor’s note: Zadie Smith is on our 2010 Power List.

Ireland has a 100m European champion with Gina Akpe-Moses

The Louth teenager clinched first place with a strong finish, clocking a time of 11.71 seconds to finish ahead of Germany’s Keshia Kwadwo.

“It feels amazing, I am so, so, so happy! I’m really thankful for everyone who helped me get this far and I’m just absolutely ecstatic. I can’t believe it”!

Clara Rose Thornton – Island People

Clara Rose Thornton – Island People talk in Dublin

The Caribbean is home to rum, reggae and ganja but also to fundamentalist Christians, devout Hindu and Muslims, and is a beguiling, charming region of fascinating, diverse islands, gelled together by the horrors of slavery and the redemption of liberation movements. From Cuba, to Jamaica, Trinidad and Haiti, the Caribbean is an extraordinary melting pot of cultures, language and stories. Joshua Jelly Schapiro’s brilliant book “Island People” captures the magic of the place.

Come hear about this extraordinary corner of the globe, due South West across the Ocean from us, with one of the world’s experts on the Island People.

Clara Rose Thornton
Clara Rose Thornton

In conversation with Clara Rose Thornton. Clara Rose Thornton is a spoken word artist, culture journalist and radio and television broadcaster whose work focuses on the arts and their intersection with social justice, history, and place.

Clara Rose Thornton will speak over three days at the Dalkey Book Festival in Dublin.  Described by Salman Rushdie as “the best little festival in the world”, takes place every year in June. It was set up by Sian Smyth and David McWilliams in 2010. Since then the festival has hosted internationally renowned writers, including Booker Prize winners, a Nobel Laureate, Impac winners, Oscar winners and Costa winners.

Clara Rose Thornton

The charm of this festival is undoubtedly the intimate nature of the numerous events, which take place in pubs, cafes, shops, schools and the local town hall as well as the medieval graveyard , the secret garden marquee and the Masonic Lodge. Dalkey is the kind of place where you will casually bump into some of the world’s greatest writers, in the parks, pubs and cafes of this compact town.

To get a feel for the festival’s vibe, click here for a collection of Festival videos.


 

Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Muslim Sudanese-Australian engineer speaks in Dublin

Yassmin Abdel-Magied asks Can you be a good Muslim and a feminist?

Yassmin Abdel-Magied will speak over three days at the Dalkey Book Festival in Dublin.  Described by Salman Rushdie as “the best little festival in the world”, takes place every year in June. It was set up by Sian Smyth and David McWilliams in 2010. Since then the festival has hosted internationally renowned writers, including Booker Prize winners, a Nobel Laureate, Impac winners, Oscar winners and Costa winners.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

The charm of this festival is undoubtedly the intimate nature of the numerous events, which take place in pubs, cafes, shops, schools and the local town hall as well as the medieval graveyard , the secret garden marquee and the Masonic Lodge. Dalkey is the kind of place where you will casually bump into some of the world’s greatest writers, in the parks, pubs and cafes of this compact town.

To get a feel for the festival’s vibe, click here for a collection of Festival videos.

Yassmin Abdel Magied
Yassmin Abdel Magied

Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Muslim Sudanese-Australian engineer, author, television and radio presenter and activist. Founder and chair of an organisation based in Australia, Youth Without Borders, she is also a mechanical engineer with a passion for boxing and motor sport. Debut author at 24 with the coming-of-age memoir, Yassmin’s Story, the 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year advocates for the empowerment of youth, women and those from diverse backgrounds. Writer, engineer, social activist and petrol head – it’s all going on!

Can you be a good Muslim and a feminist?

16 June, 2017

Town Hall – 20:30

Yassmin Abdel-Magied in coversation

18 June, 2017

Heritage Centre – 13:00

Free Speech & Cultural Appropriation

18 June, 2017

Town Hall – 14:30

Arlette Bomahou, 2 World champion titles and 2-time European Champion title in power lifting in 2013 and 2014.

Arlette Maotie Bamahou

Arlette Bomahou is a 39 years French native lady living in Dublin, Ireland for the past 9 years, She is a full time student in digital and social media marketing in Blackrock Further Education Institute. She works part time looking after social media marketing for Tony Quinn Health centre.

Arlette is a member of the Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Association since August 2013, and member of the Dundrum South Athletic club since November 2013

Experience in training:

10 years of weight training and 1 year of strength & conditioning

Qualification in Sports:

Level 3 Gym instructor and Level 4 Personal trainer certificate recognized by REP in May/June 2014

Arlette Bomahou

In her own words:

Who I am.

I am 39 years old, born in North of France in Caen in 1975. My mother is from Togo and my father from Benin they both moved to France in the 70’s to study French.

When I was a teenager I was very good at sport but didn’t take it seriously. I was practicing athletics and basket-ball. My dream was to be an air hostess and live in the states. Michael Jordan and Carl Lewis were my ultimate heroes. I was big into Madonna too, I wish I could be as extroverted as she was as an artist. I always felt I would live abroad or travel a lot. I was always fascinated about foreign languages and cultures.

My passion for sport and foreign languages took me to Amsterdam where I lived for nearly 6 years. I worked for Nike and loved it then I decided to move to Ireland to discover a new country and culture. After 9 years living in Ireland I am still enjoying it and hope to raise a family here.

Reason why I decided to get into power lifting:

I have been doing weight training for the past 10 years in order to get into better shape and live a healthier life style. It has helped me to lose up to 10 kg but more importantly to improve my body shape and level of fitness. If it was not for my personal trainer Adrian Quinn with whom I have been working since 2010, I would never have tried to compete in Power lifting.

He saw potential in me I was not aware of. In 2011 he suggested that I should compete, but I didn’t have enough confidence back then. In August this year I turned 38 years old and I decided I needed to achieve something for myself before I turned 40. So I jumped in at the deep end by participating in my first competition in Cork in August 2013 in the Mardyke stadium. Since then I fell in love with this sport.

 My achievements to date:

Arlette Bomahou

World champion title in Dusseldorf in Single World championship on Sunday 8th June 2014, broke World record in division equipped deadlift with 162.5kg, Silver medal in unequipped deadlift with 167.5kg

World Champion title in Glasgow in full power World Championship on Saturday 2d November 2013 (Squats: 102.5 kg, Bench press: 62.5kg and deadlift 160kg)

European champion title in full power Championship in Belfast on Saturday 10th May 2014 (Squats: 100 kg, Bench press: 57.5 kg and deadlift 165kg)

European champion title in single lift Championship in Gorey co. Wexford on Saturday 13th September 2014. Broke World record in equipped division with Deadlift @ 175 kg

From 12 – 28 June 2015, Arlette will be a volunteer at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, involving more than 6,000 athletes from the National Olympic Committees of Europe across 17 days of competition, in what will be the largest sporting event in Azerbaijan’s history.

Women Hold Up Half The Sky

Invitation to Wezesha Seminar and Launch

Women holdup half the sky

WOMEN HOLD UP HALF THE SKY

To mark the International Women’s Day & European Year for Development, Wezesha will hold a seminar entitled “Women hold up half the sky”. Wezesha strategic plan 2015-2019 will be launched during this seminar.

 

Venue: European Parliament, 43 Molesworth, Street, Dublin 2

Date:  Tuesday 10th March 2015

Time: 2-5 pm

Please RSVP to info@wezeshadada.com

NCP Seeks Migrant Family Support Service National Co-ordinator

NCP

New Communities Partnership Migrant Family Support Service is a new service for migrant families,  co-ordinated by New Communities Partnership and supported by The Community Foundation for Ireland.

The Service will deliver culturally sensitive support and advocacy services to migrant families who are experiencing child protection interventions.

The National Co-ordinator will be responsible for leading and driving the new service at operational level, ensure practice is evidence-based and build relationships with key agencies who legislate on child protection interventions.  Above all, they must deliver positive outcomes for migrant children and families who are experiencing child protection interventions.

Please click on the following link to see the Job Description

All applications should be submitted to info@newcommunities.ie by 5pm, Friday 25th October.
New Communities Partnership

53 Upper Dorset St

Dublin 1

 

Tel  01-8727842

www.newcommunities.ie