There are eight new articles.
The first is by Kim Gallon and looks at the Black Press and disinformation on Facebook. The article explains the Black Press traditionally counters disinformation targeted at Black voters, there is a risk of it being compromised following an uplift from Facebook through the National Newspaper Publishers Association. This is because Facebook has been publicised as allowing itself to be a channel to enable the proliferation of divisive information designed to change voter intentions and hosting troll farms based in Ghana and Nigeria to mirror cultural authenticity.
The second article by Lanre Bakare outlines the life of actress Cleo Sylvestre who was the first black woman to play a lead at the National Theatre and one of the first black actors to have a recurring role in a British soap. Despite this and many other accolades from her contemporaries and peers including Laurence Olivier, she has had much to contend with and yet has excelled with dignity.
In the third article Kester Aspden remembers David Oluwale. He was a Nigerian stowaway whose life slid from the hope of new beginnings towards persecution, mental health crisis, homelessness and then to be finally maliciously murdered at the hands of two racist policemen without accountability.
The back catalogue of the filmmaker Marlon Riggs is explored by Ed Halter in the fourth article which looks at the life of Riggs who died of AIDS in 1994. Riggs’ work reflected on the complexities of African American identities. His work is seen as radical as he often touched on difficult subjects and was keen to explore how Black people are depicted.
In the fifth article, BBC Bitesize takes seven black thinkers who made a real impact as part of their Black History Month (BHM) series. This list includes Alice Ball for Defeating leprosy; Patricia Hill Collins for inequality and intersectionality; Kwame Nkrumah for the fight for decolonisation; Patricia Bath for tackling blindness; Stuart Hall for his writings in understanding stereotype; Claudia Jones for the West Indian Gazette and as the founder of the Notting Hill Carnival and W.E.B. Du Bois for exploring the idea of white privilege.
Next the Historic England looks at 31 Places in England issuing one daily throughout October 2020 in celebration of BHM. They feature a range from the first public sculptures of Black Britons to the home of Britain’s first West Indian newspaper detailing the accomplishments of those associated with them.
In the seventh article Pamela Roberts tells of the unknown story of Christian Frederick Cole who was the first black barrister in England. Cole was born in Sierra Leone in 1852. He fought his way to Oxford University and qualified despite having to navigate many obstacles.
The eighth article is by Sada Mire who as one of the few African archaeologists explains why more are needed. This is a commentary on the long overdue need for native African archaeologists which despite the long presence of colonial exploration only really started in the 1980s. Mire is clear in her view about why having Africans in the profession adds a deeper nuance as history is seen as a living part of culture and involves more than excavating objects from the ground.
There are two new films. In the first, Wycombe Wanderers striker Adebayo Akinfenwa gives a frank and honest disclosure about the overt racism he faced in Lithuania during his time as a young professional footballer.
The second is Part 1 of 3 looking at the role of economic policies and international institutions in the ‘underdevelopment’ of Africa. This is a lecture given by Howard Nicholas a senior lecturer of economics at the International Institute of Social Studies. An insightful presentation.
The new directory entry is Out of Africa, which was a Heritage Lottery Fund project what looked at the way that African footballers have contributed to and have transformed professional football in the UK. Its aim is to raise the aspirations of young people from African heritage and help tackle racism. The website has an excellent timeline and directory tab.
- Articles – Black Vote, Cleo Sylvestre, David Oluwale, Marlon Riggs, Black thinkers, Historic England, first barrister 1852, African archaeology
- Film – Akinfenwa’s football racism, underdevelopment of Africa
- Out of Africa
Image – The fruit of a plantain tree (Credit: Joe Burrows)