Friday, February 27, 2009

Dutch Tania Christopher from YouTube to MTV

Dutch Esmee Denters became famous singing on YouTube. Now Surinam Dutch Tania Christopher has also made her way to the top by singing on YouTube. Only 16 years young and already with her 2nd clip on TMF and MTV. See video

Tania Christopher ft. Yung Craze is the soundtrack of the Dutch movie Step Up

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The winners of the UK Screen Nation Film & TV Awards

On February the 7th the winners of the Screen Nation Film & TV Awards where announced. Naomi Harris (picture) is one of the winners. The awards are the Black Oscars of the UK. The Screen Nation Awards are a celebration of the achievements of black people working in film and television in the UK, and overseas.

The anticipated Screen Nation Awards 2008 listed to take place on the 7th of December had been rescheduled to February 2009 due to the difficulties faced by a key partner.

Screen Nation was founded by Charles Thompson, an Independent Producer with 18 years' experience in the UK film and television industry. Thompson was also the co-founder of the BFM Film Festival.

The winners - best actors and best actress list

Male Performance in Film - Ashley Walters
In Bullit Boy
British actor (London 1982) of Jamaican descent

Male Performance in TV - David Oyelowo
Played in the TV film Five Days and appeared in film The Last king of Scotland
English actor (Oxford, 1976) of Nigerian descent

Female Performance in TV - Naomi Harris
Appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and At World's End
British actress (London, 1976)of Jamaican descent

Favourite Male TV Star (Public Voting) - Hugh Quarishie
Played as Captain Panaka, head of the Royal Naboo Security Force in the film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
British actor (Ghana, 1954)

Favourite Female TV Star (Public Voting) - Tiane Benjamin
Appeared in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and also played Chelsea Fox in the long running
English actress (London 1984) of Sierra Leonean descent

watch the Screen Nation red carpet video at Leicester Square TV

Full winners list

Outstanding Contribution - WHOOPI GOLDBERG

Edric Connor Inspiration - DON WARRINGTON

Vanguard in Production - TRIX WORRELL

Vanguard in Hair & Makeup Design - SHARON MARTIN

Achievement in Film Production - ADULTHOOD

Achievement in African Film Production - JERUSALEMA

Male Performance in Film - ASHLEY WALTERS

Male Performance in TV - DAVID OYELOWO

Female Performance in TV - NAOMI HARRIS



Independent Spirit Film Production - MELVIN: CHRONICLES OF A PLAYER - LAWRENCE COKE

Diversity in Factual Production - BLACK POWER SALUTE

Diversity in Drama Production - THE BILL

Best Music Performance on Film/TV (PUBLIC VOTING) – BASHY

Achievement in Screenwriting - ROY WILLIAMS (FALLOUT)

Emerging Talent - NONSO ANOZIE

Young Shooting Star - ADAM DEACON

Technorati Profile

French Oscar nominee - The Class (Entre les murs)

The French film 'The Class (Entre les murs' is the Oscar Nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
This portrait of a year in the life of a class of Parisian middle school students focuses on the ethnically diverse children who comprise the group and their dedicated teacher, François Marin. Unfolding almost entirely within the classroom itself, the story explores the diversity of personality and background among the students that makes Marin's work both challenging and rewarding.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The emerge of the black French - ‘Noirs’

Saying you're Black British, Zwart or Afro-Deutsch is a very normal thing to say when you are not French. But not until recently saying ‘Noirs’ or ‘Blacks’ in France was asking for trouble.

Recently black people in France saw that they lived in a condition were the mantra of equality, one of the founding principles of the Republic, didn’t work for them. The black French historian Pap Ndiaye wrote a book about the problem, and titled it ‘La condition noire’, The black Condition.

Ndiaye explains in an interview (see video) what that condition means. “The black condition in France is a way to feel French, while being considered as not French. If you are black, most people in Paris ask you all the time, where do you come from. As a way to tell you, you must be from somewhere else. You must be not French.”

Pap Ndiaye, French historian and Associate Professor at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales in Paris, drew wide attention in the current debate over diversity and representation in France with his book ‘La condition noire: essai sur une minorité française’ ,The Black Condition. An essay of a French minority. Ndiaye (1965), has a Senegalese father and a ‘French’ mother.

Pap Ndiaye is a member of Le Capdiv, Le Cercle d'Action pour la Promotion de la Diversité en France (The Circle of Action for the Promotion of Diversity in France).

Black Worlds University
Le Cran

Read more:

This intro explains the French background.

Racial and ethnic categories were until recently officially taboo in France, though in camouflaged forms they circulated widely in media and political discourse on the "integration" of immigrant minorities. In recent years, men and women of color have begun mobilizing as "Noirs" (Blacks) in ways that are hitherto unprecedented in France. Pap Ndiaye argues that the official invisibility of French Blacks, rather than being the logical and peaceful consequence of their integration into French society, can be analyzed as a consequence of discriminatory processes.

On an academic level, the situation is rather similar. In France, there are more books and articles published on African-Americans than on African-French or Carribean-French peoples. Indeed, African-American history is a well-established field in France. By contrast, studies on African immigrants, African students, Guadeloupean civil servants, etc, are scarce, and there is practically nothing on "French Blacks", as if this figuration had no legitimacy or meaning to describe past and contemporary social situations.

The situation is slowly changing, as more and more French acknowledge the existence of a sizable Black minority with specific problems and needs. Professor Ndiaye studies the reasons why this history has been so neglected, emphasizing ideological, political and academic reasons. He also discusses the legitimacy of the notion of "French Blacks" and analyzes the recent rise of Black organizations in France.

A video on what is it like to be black in France by British filmmaker Cecile Emeka - Update 2015

Monday, February 16, 2009

Black History Month in Europe?

Why do black communities in Europe celebrate Black History Month? For one, it's an African-American thing. And two, European black communities are to divers to call them 'a black community'. Black history is often the history of the country of origin. There is no shared black history, yet.

Not everyone is happy with the Black History Month. In a forum discussion about, ‘do real Africans celebrate black history month’, the answers ranged from “I am not black but African” to “we are all black” . And actor Morgan Freeman feels BHM should be cancelled at once. In an in interview he called it 'ridiculous'.

But Black History Month in Europe is celebrated because it's necessary. An overview.


In the UK black History Month is celebrated in October. In 2008 the current issues where HIV and positive role models. The Britons also opened (in 2008) with a magnificent publication, ‘The Official Guide to Black History Month’. A publication which highlights black history in the UK. BHM is celebrated in many cities.


In Germany BHM is celebrated in February. It’s organised in several cities. One of the cities is Hamburg, where was initiated twelve years ago by an African-American. In Hamburg BHM is more a black cultural event, with topics ranging from Zimbabwe to Afro-German diversity.

The German government has also launched a BHM program.


Although it has been organised occasionally, the Netherlands has no BHM tradition. In 2008 the association of students of African heritage organised the black history month for the first time. For 2009 the theme is ‘ Pride’. For the two meeting there is ancient black history from Egypt and Ethiopia, and The role of Black Intellectuals in the New World Order.


Black communities in France don't celebrate Black History Month, ‘Mois de l’Histoire Noire’, yet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

British BBC commentator fired over racist comment

Carol Thatcher will no longer work on The One Show after being reported for making an off-air remark, the BBC has announced.

The daughter of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher referred to the black French tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, as a "golliwog" backstage during filming of the BBC One programme.

However, the 55-year-old will not be banned from the BBC as a whole. The corporation said it had hoped Thatcher would issue an unconditional apology but she had declined to do so.

What if you had a racist friend?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Barack Obama checked by French Police

The black French anti discrimination organisation CRAN launched a major campaign against Police checks which are based on skin colour. The campaign began on January 12 with visit of the Obama look alike Michael Lamar.

CRAN states that visible minorities in France are likely to be checked 2 times more than others. Sometimes the same person can be checked several time a day. The organisation states that the checks reinforce stereotypes and discrimination.

French Group Uses Obama 'Double' To Highlight Racial Profiling
Press Release CRAN

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Swan Lake Bijlmermeer II: Classical Ballet and Street Dance in the Netherlands

Swan Lake Bijlmermeer II is a dance encounter with the Dutch National Ballet and the Urban dance group 'Don’t Hit Mama'. It's meeting of the classic world of ballet and the dance culture in Amsterdam Bijlmermeer. The Bijlmermeer is considered to be the home of the urban Afro-Surinam community in the Netherlands.

Swan Lake Bijlmermeer II is a co-production with the Dutch National Ballet and Don’t Hit Mama in collaboration with Het 5eKwartier.

In 2006 young dancers from secondary schools in Amsterdam’s Bijlmermeer district took part in a dance encounter with Dutch National Ballet dancers. Entitled Swan Lake Bijlmermeer, the show was created by Nita Liem of Don’t Hit Mama dance-theatre at the invitation of the Dutch National Ballet. Taking themes from Swan Lake as her springboard, Liem worked with a mix of ballet and Afro-American-based dance forms, such as hip hop and street dance, to create Swan Lake Bijlmermeer. For many young and old alike, the show was often their first encounter with classical ballet and, conversely, the first time that many ballet lovers had come into contact with popular present-day dance forms. An exciting and unique encounter that resulted in sold-out performances.

In 2009 the Dutch National Ballet and Don’t Hit Mama are joining forces again to stage Swan Lake Bijlmermeer II and the show will tour the Netherlands. An ideal opportunity to experience this unique meeting of dance styles and different social worlds. In collaboration with Dutch ROCs (Regional Vocational Colleges) and VMBO schools (pre-vocational secondary), Het 5eKwartier will lead a special project centred round the performances. Specialists in community art, Het 5eKwartier will establish interrelationships in an innovative way between dance and the everyday life of students in the cities and towns to which Swan Lake Bijlmermeer II will tour.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Obama changes image of African-Americans in TV commericals

Does the role of Afro-Americans in ads change? The Superbowl offered some insight. Not the race for the finals of the American football, but the ads which frame the best viewed television event of the year - an estimated one hundred million viewers. Toyota shows it’s station car ‘Venza’ with a relaxed black man in a shiny apartment

Afro-Americans traditionally play a role in the media that confirms prejudices - criminals, firefighters, sports stars. That picture had already changed, but the ads during Superbowl showed that the election of Obama accelerated the development.

The Superbowl ads reminds of an interview with a marketing manager about why black people play stereotype rolls in TV ads. His answer: "I am hired to make money, not to change society."

Read: Obama also affects Super Bowl commercials (translated)

Black Television in Europe

Now that US entertainment network BET is broadcasting in Europe, it's time to look at black TV in Europe. A fast video overview.

In Europe Black TV reflects the differences between the communities. In France Afro-Caribbean Aka TV broadcasts professional web TV. In the UK the Ghanaian OBE TV broadcasts African programs and black European programs on Satellite. In the Netherlands SME TV broadcasts news and interviews on the public city TV network. And in Germany Cybernomads does event reporting via YouTube. On national TV in the UK and the Netherlands there have been black drama series, but nowadays the lack of diversity on UK and Dutch TV is epidemic.

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