Inside View - What it's really like living in Europe

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Lessons learned: From my mother and while living in Sweden

In the 9th article in our Inside View series Faith set out to travel the world while making a difference in people’s lives. While in Sweden she got a phone call that changed her life forever. At about 10:00pm on August 28, 2007, I arrived at Stockholm Arlanda airport. I remember the day so vividly because it was the eve of my 24th birthday. I

Laura Bazile asks, “How is it to be the only Black Woman entrepreneur in the room?”

In the 8th article from our new series from women on the inside, Laura Bazile examines business networking as an entrepreneur in Europe. As an entrepreneur, I chose to start my business on my own, providing full services to my clients, with subcontractors joining from time to time -depending on the type of projects.   All in one, it means that most of the time,

Feeding the spirit in France – Erica found a way

In a new series of articles, black women living in Europe share their views from the inside. In our seventh article, Erica Smith-Escassut found a way to feed her spirit in France. Over the past few years of living here I have made a few observations.  The most striking one for me was when I arrived in France,  December 1999 to live and establish a

Gloria Dixon-Svärd – An American in Norrland

In a new series of articles, black women living in Europe share their views from the inside. In our sixth article, Gloria Dixon-Svärd traded her dreams of being a diplomat for a life way up north.  So what made a big city girl like me venture off to a small town way up in the north of Sweden and stay there for 19 years and

Kendra Williams-Valentine – How I Learned to Enjoy Strawberries

In a new series of articles, black women living in Europe share their views from the inside. In our fifth article, Kendra Williams-Valentine learned to love strawberries.  It was my first real summer in Sweden. I accompanied my boyfriend to a cookout (I refrain from using the word BBQ) hosted by a friend. After a quick bite, it was time for dessert and I could

Twaambo Kapilikisha – In the middle.

In a new series of articles, black women living in Europe share their views from the inside. In our fourth article, Twaambo Kapilikisha addresses sisters in Europe with children “in the middle”.  Twitter is an interesting place,where mere mortals can connect with celebrities and get a message to them directly, a place where the masses gather for different causes,good and bad ones. I was a

Who would have thought a die-hard NYC chick would fall hard for a Swede and the Country.

In a new series of articles, black women living in Europe share their views from the inside. In our third article, Lucie Buissereth shares how much the Swedish countryside means to her.  Yup, it happened to me and forever changed my life! After 8 grueling months of coaching, training and competing, I needed a “Time OUT”- So it was off to Sweden to see my honey!

Nice things happen to me in Sweden – Celebrating birthdays

I’m so glad my girlfriend invited me to celebrate her birthday with her in Halmstad. The two of us started with a little bubbly and appetizers at her place. We had a delicious dinner Fridolfs Krog I hadn’t been out dancing in ages and the Boom Boom Room was the perfect place to have fun. I had SO MUCH FUN! Nice things happen to me

Nice things happen to me in Sweden – My first Tjejmilen

On the 30th Anniversary of the Tjejmilen, I decided to participate. It is the biggest sporting event for women in Sweden. I signed up in the walking category so we were the last two groups to start the race. This was the category for women with baby strollers, walking sticks, and newbies like me. I walked up on Germaine, we hugged, took a photo and

A New Comer Beauty Adventure.

In a new series of articles, black women living in Europe share their views from the inside. In our second article, Thania Moore shares her hairy experience in Madrid, Spain.  One of the things you don’t imagine when you decide to move to a European country probably to settle and spend the rest of your life is living an authentic adventure when it comes to

Hanging on to summer. Nice things happen to me in Sweden.

Well, it is September and no doubt the last vestiges of summer are slipping away. “Don’t go”, I scream. “Seems like you only just arrived. Sigh”. But I have to admit it was a pretty awesome summer. The Culture Festival in Stockholm was packed with great acts including the legendary Hugh Masakela. My friend’s dog Max was break dancing. And a rainbow even came out

Sweden is like living in Russia.

In a new series of articles, black women living in Europe share their views from the inside. In our first article, Cecilia Gärding explains why she is dedicated to fighting against racism in Sweden.  I come home from my vacation in the north of Sweden and go back to work as the project-director for ”The Cultural Heritage Agents”. A project with the purpose to help

Nice things happen to me in Sweden – squeezing out every day of summer

It is not uncommon for Swedes to have summer houses and how great is it to have a friend with a summer house with this view? And this spread for dinner? Nice things happen to me in Sweden. Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Nice things happen to me in Sweden – Who says birthdays only come once a year?

Sommartiden hey hey! And the summer just keeps getting better and better. We hadn’t seen my Swede’s godmother and family since last July and they live just over the bridge from us in Lidingö. Don’t get me wrong. We tried but folks are busy. And would you believe they pulled out the champagne in July to toast my October birthday? Godmother even gave me a

Nice things happen in Sweden – more summer fun

Sweden, summer and water. 2 of the 3 Swedes pictured above had never sailed before. Sailing can be tiring. Then we went up to the cliffs where some of us jumped in the water. What a lovely day. Nice things happen to me in Sweden. Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Swedish summer—–so far, so good. Nice things happen in Sweden.

It’s not a Swedish summer to me without Daphne’s annual 4th of July party in Halmstad. Tons of American flavor mixed in with international cuisine and people. Only Daphne could pull this all together. Next indication it is Swedish summer is after beach in the solgården at Hotel Tylösand. And a day on the water sums it all up: good fun with family. Nice things

Nice things happen to me in Sweden – The Valborg night bonfire that wasn’t

We had traditional Varlborg night food of salmon (surprise), potatoes (surprise) and asparagus (family tradition). This was to be my first Valborg night celebration. I can’t remember where I usually am on 30 April, but this 30 April I was on a west coast beach ready to experience another Swedish tradition. And I wasn’t alone. The year-round residents came, maybe some other people were from

Nice things happen to me in Sweden – Fiesta Friday

When a group of cool ladies get together we can’t help but have fun, right? Add a potluck with a Mexican theme and it was caliente. We even had a mascot (pictured above). Everything, with the exception of the La Neta tortillas, was home made and absolutely delicious. Don’t forget the sangria, margarita’s, Kaluha and Coronas! The penata…. …and it all came together for a

Nice things happen to me in Sweden – Melodifestivalen part 1 with friends

It’s that time of year when me and my Swede are hooked on SVT1 on Saturday evenings to watch Melodifestivalen see who will represent Sweden in Eurovision. For us it was funny right from the start: And we all thought Mary would at least go to the second chance round: But she didn’t. Even still among the 4 course meal, snacks, and entertainment a good

Nice things happen to me in Sweden – New Year Reception for expats

I love being an expat in Sweden. I’m in the American Club, the American Women’s Club, the International Women’s Club and Democrats Abroad. And then there is Internations and XING. So dare I join another expat group? Well I can at least attend one of their events and see what I’m missing. So I went the the Global Expat Partners New Year Reception at the

Nice things happen to me in Sweden – ladies dinner at an extraordinary steak house

I’m looking forward to spending more time with friends this year and cultivating my relationships. I’ve been putting people together for the last year or two through dinners out and like anything else it takes some trial and error to find out what and who works best together. To start the year off the December holidays group met this time at Griffins Steakhouse which, I

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Reggae Film, Music & Fun – British Black Music/BMC in association with Flash Musicals

logo Reggae Film, Music & Fun   British Black Music/BMC in association with Flash Musicals

A family-friendly event consisting of the first screening of  ‘Britain’s Contribution To The Development Of Reggae’, a guerilla documentary started by Kwaku in 2012 to mark JA@50 with contributions from numerous artists, producers, activists, fans, etc; and Gus Berger’s ‘Duke Vin And The Birth Of Ska’, which aims to tell the story of what happened when Duke Vin and Count Suckle arrived in the UK in 1954 and Duke Vin soon setting up the first sound system in the UK. They brought with them a sound that was sweeping across Jamaica and would later change the face of music in the UK. This was the sound of Ska!

Followed by a Q&A, quiz and a selection of purely British reggae with Kwaku and Da Prezedent!

Bring the family, expect to learn and have fun!

Flash Musicals Youth Theatre
Methuen Road
United Kingdom

Saturday, 28 June 2014 from 15:00 to 19:00 (BST)

£5 adults, £2 under 16s. Profits go to the Flash Musicals charity.

A small selection of CDs and vinyl will be on sale.


Claudia Unterweger – reporting the news in Austria


unterweger Claudia Unterweger   reporting the news in Austria

Translated from German:

The presenter and editor , born in 1971 , has worked for the ORF in both the television and the radio.

With the completion certificate of the Vienna International School in the bag , she moved to France originally . There, the native of Vienna, studied international politics. At the University of Vienna , she did research on the living situation of black people in Austria and completed her history studies. Human rights were at the heart of its multi-year public relations , among others for Amnesty International . 2012 was selected Claudia Unterweger by the U.S. State Department to participate in the International Visitors Leadership Program .

Her journalistic career began at Radio Africa International, then she moved as a reporter for commercial radio . Since the summer of 2000, the Vienna-born regularly presents topics related to current affairs on radio FM4 .

2011 overtook the radio host and the call to the television. For two years, designed and presented it to the ” ZiB – flash” news. Then Claudia Unterweger worked , which is now twice Romy – nominated as a TV editor for the Message Formats ” ZiB 20″ and ” ZiB Magazine ” .

Claudia Unterweger since September 16, 2013 alternating with Bernhard Stöhr, Daniela Soykan and Michael Berger hostess of the current Sports at 19.55 clock in ORF 2.

Freema Agyeman – versatile English actress


10369416 699055786822413 2106281680 n Freema Agyeman   versatile English actress

Freema Agyeman is an English television and film actress who is best known for playing Martha Jones in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, and its spin-off series Torchwood.

Following her departure from Doctor Who and guest spots in BBC programmes Survivors and Little Dorrit, Agyeman held a starring role as Alesha Phillips in the crime procedural drama Law & Order: UK between 2009 and 2012. In 2013, she made her US television debut in The CW show The Carrie Diaries as Larissa Loughlin, a style editor at Interview magazine.

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

Editor’s note: I am dying to take this course one summer. If you can attend and get accepted, I would live to hear about your experience, feedback on the course, and how you feel post-course.

black europe copy 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

Apply Here

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 2014 program will be drawn from Germany, Italy and Portugal for case studies in those countries.

Affiliated Faculty Members include:

  • Dr. Marta Araujo, University of Coimbra (Portugal)
  • Dr. Philomena Essed, Antioch University
  • Dr. Jeanette Davidson, University of Oklahoma
  • Dr. David Theo Goldberg, University of California Humanities Research Institute
  • Dr. Ramon Grosfoguel, University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Dienke Hondius, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Dr. Kwame Nimako, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Dr. Stephen Small, University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Melissa F. Weiner, College of the Holy Cross
  • Dr. Gloria Wekker, Universiteit van Utrecht
  • Dr. Donna Driver-Zwartkruis, Vrije Universiteit

(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.

The excursions are coordinated through Black Heritage Amsterdam Tours.

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]


British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw


gugumbatharaw 262075 British actress Gugu Mbatha Raw

Gugu Mbatha-Raw redefined what the concept of ingénue. A classically trained actress, Mbatha-Raw made her mark on British television with supporting roles in popular series like “Spooks” (BBC, 2002- ), a slick spy drama that followed members of the U.K.’s intelligence team, and on the sci-fi thriller “Doctor Who” (BBC, 2005-). She lit up the Broadway stage as Ophelia in the Donmar Warehouse production of “Hamlet” (2009) opposite Jude Law in the title role. The part was the actress’ ticket to fame across the pond, for shortly after the play’s runs in London and New York, acclaimed American filmmaker J.J. Abrams chose Mbatha-Raw to play the female lead in the thrilling spy drama series, “Undercovers” (NBC, 2010), opposite Boris Kodjoe. Mbatha-Raw skillfully eased into her new role as one-half of a married couple who lead exciting double lives as CIA agents. While the part called for Mbatha-Raw’s character to hide her true identity, it could not hide the fact that the actress was a true force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.

Gugulethu Mbatha-Raw (“our pride” in Zulu) was born in 1983 in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England to Patrick Mbatha, a South African doctor, and Anne Raw, an English nurse. As a child, Mbatha-Raw led a busy after-school life of dancing, acting and playing the saxophone. In the town of Witney, Oxfordshire where she was raised, Mbatha-Raw joined a local acting group that had her performing every year at the Oxford Playhouse, starting at age 11. In her early teens, she joined the Oxford Youth Music Theatre before winning a scholarship in 2001 to attend London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where in her first year, she was selected as one of several students to play Isabella in Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure.” After graduation in 2004, the classically trained actress tried her luck on TV, landing minor roles on British medical dramas such as the long-running series “Holby City” (BBC, 1999- ) and “Vital Signs” (ITV, 2006). Mbatha-Raw also landed regular arcs on popular series such as “Spooks,” an award-winning British suspense series about the missions of MI-5, the U.K.’s intelligence organization, and on the long-running show “Doctor Who.” She delivered a memorable performance as a troubled teen in the crime drama, “Fallout” (Channel 4, 2008), and also starred in the short-lived drama series “Bonekickers” (BBC, 2008), which followed a team of archeologists from a fictional Wessex University.

In the late 2000s, Mbatha-Raw was becoming a familiar face on British TV, but she refused to leave her theater roots behind. In the fall of 2008, she lit up the stage in David Hare’s satire of “Gethsemane,” portraying a sharp-fanged political advisor. A year later, she landed the highly coveted role of Ophelia in the Donmar Warehouse production of “Hamlet” opposite Jude Law. Mbatha-Raw earned raves for her eye-catching portrayal as the unsuspecting pawn caught up in other people’s dramas, during the production’s successful runs in London’s West End and on Broadway. The play was exactly the star-making vehicle that Mbatha-Raw needed to catch the eye of J.J. Abrams, director and creator of award-wining drama series like “Felicity” (The WB, 1998-2002), “Alias,” (ABC, 2001-06), and “Lost” (ABC, 2004-2010). Abrams, who had a knack for breaking new female talent on his TV series – Keri Russell on “Felicity,” Jennifer Garner on “Alias” and Evangeline Lilly on “Lost” – handpicked Mbatha-Raw to play the female lead in “Undercovers” opposite the hunky Boris Kodjoe. On the hotly anticipated series, they essayed retired and married ex-CIA agents who get called back to duty.

She is currently starring in the movie Belle. She will play the lead role in Blackbird scheduled for release in November.

pixel British actress Gugu Mbatha Raw