Writing Their Scripts

30 Women You Need To Know15 Things You Did Not Know about the History of Black People in London before 1948
By Charmaine Simpson, December 2012

The presence of Africans in England dates back to at least the Roman period when African soldiers who served as part of the Roman army were stationed at Hadrian’s Wall during the 2nd century CE. Septimus Severus, the emperor who was born in Libya, spent his last three years in Britain before he died in York in 211 CE.

I will present 15 facts aimed at raising the level of knowledge, and uncovering the hidden histories, of people of African and Caribbean descent who have contributed to London before 1948.

1. The earliest known [public] record of a Black person living in London is of “Cornelius a Blackamoor” whose burial on 2nd March 1593 was recorded in the parish register at St Margaret’s Church in Lee. Continue reading


Going To Africa

White [r]acists have been funding black activists’ ‘Back to Africa’ movements

By Keisha N. Blain, 2016

One man’s GoFundMe dares racists to put their money where their mouth is

In a new twist on the age old racist call to “go back to Africa,” a black man in Indiana just created a GoFundMe page daring racists to cover his travel expenses to the continent. “If you want me to go back to Africa,” Larry Mitchell says, “I will gladly go.” Telling white racists to “put their money where their mouth is,” Mitchell called on members of the [Klan] and anyone else who shared their views to submit a donation.

It sounds like a stunt (and according to Mitchell it started as one), but for many years this kind of move was a real political strategy employed by black activists. Continue reading

Ben Hausa Ali – White Playing Hausa With Arabs

BREAKING News: Boko Haram Leader, Abubakar Shekau Claims ...THE MEMOIRS OF ABD-ALLAH AL-GHADEMISI OF KANO, 1903-1908.
By MUHAMMAD SANI UMAR AND JOHN HUNWICK, in: Sudanic Africa, 7, 1996, 61-96

These native servants are the quintessence of loyalty, and devotion, and as time goes on, I am to find out that without them Nigeria would have been untenable by the white man. – F.P. Crozier, Five Years Hard, London 1932, 72-3.

Some time in 1902 a young man named Abd-Allah arrived in Kano, ‘from the north’, presumably from Ghadames. We know nothing of the circumstances of his arrival, or of his ancestry. The document translated below is currently our only source of information on him. In it he describes himself as a ‘student’, but it is not clear in what sense he uses that term. There is no indication that he came to Kano to study, but we know that some years later he was acting as a clerk for his paternal uncles in Kano, who were evidently merchants. Continue reading

Gran Colombia

The division of Gran Colombia (1830).Gran Colombia
Alternative Titles: Great Colombia, Republic of Colombia, Republic of Gran Colombia

Gran Colombia, formal name Republic of Colombia, a short-lived republic (1819–30) formerly the Viceroyalty of New Granada, including roughly the modern nations of Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador.

In the context of their war for independence from Spain, revolutionary forces in northern South America, led by Simón Bolívar, in 1819 laid the basis for a regular government at a congress in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela).

Their republic was definitely organized at the Congress of Cúcuta in 1821. Before then the government had been military and highly centralized with direct executive power exercised by regional vice presidents while President Bolívar was campaigning. Continue reading

Garvey Said, Let There Be…

Philosophy and Opinions OF MARCUS GARVEY



        We are living in a civilization that is highly developed.  We are living in a world that is scientifically arranged in which everything done by those who control is done through system; proper arrangement, proper organization, and among some of the organized methods used to control the world is the thing known and called “PROPAGANDA.”
Propaganda has done more to defeat the good intentions of races and nations than even open warfare.
Propaganda is a method or medium used by organized peoples to convert others against their will.
We of the Negro race are suffering more than any other race in the world from propaganda – Propaganda to destroy our hopes, our ambitions and our confidence in self.
Continue reading

Banneker versus Jefferson

 Benjamin Banneker Une image de Banneker debout derri re unTo Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Banneker, 19 August 1791

From Benjamin Banneker

Maryland. Baltimore County. Near Ellicotts Lower Mills
August 19th: 1791


I am fully sensible of the greatness of that freedom which I take with you on the present occasion; a liberty which Seemed to me scarcely allowable, when I reflected on that distinguished, and dignifyed station in which you Stand; and the almost general prejudice and prepossession which is so prevailent in the world against those of my complexion.

I suppose it is a truth too well attested to you, to need a proof here, that we are a race of Beings who have long laboured under the abuse and censure of the world, that we have long been looked upon with an eye of contempt, and1 that we have long been considered rather as brutish than human, and Scarcely capable of mental endowments. Continue reading

Screenplay Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures Screenplay

(Based on the book “Hidden Figures” by Margot Shetterly)
by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi – May 12, 2015
2 Based on a true story.

3 Hidden Figures – 5/9/ Shooting Draft – 1. In darkness, the voice of a little girl. Counting. LITTLE GIRL (V.O.) 14, 15, 16…prime. 18, prime. EXT. TREE LINED PATH – DAY A pair of little feet navigates down a gravel path. Kicking a pine cone. LITTLE GIRL (O.S.) 20, 21, 22, prime, 24, 25, Pulling up, we reveal: COLEMAN (8,) a peculiar, quiet, mouse of a child, wearing glasses bigger than her bookish face. Counting to herself. A VOICE (her Mother s) in the distance hollers out: JOYLETTE COLEMAN (O.S.) Katherine! Come on now! Katherine looks up. Sees a car stopped at the end of the path. She runs off. Counting all the way. Titles over: White Sulphur Springs, Virginia EXT. WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS GRAMMAR SCHOOL – DAY A colored grammar school. Small, spirited. Katherine s now between her parents (dad: JOSHUA and JOYLETTE,) holding their hands as they enter. INT. WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS GRAMMAR SCHOOL – DAY – CONT. A long hallway lined with windows. Sitting on a bench, outside a Principal s office, Katherine sketches (in a small notebook) the window panes, highlighting all the geometric shapes she discovers within: YEARS OLD) Isosceles, scalene, obtuse, equilateral, rhombus… On the windows opposite her: the tetris-like patterns of her mind s eye come alive. And on she goes. YEARS OLD) (CONT D) Trapezoid, tetrahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron… Continue reading