Monday, July 27, 2009

Film: I’m Bi-Racial… Not Black Damn It!

For the film 'I’m Bi-Racial… Not Black Damn It!' see the interesting post and comments on the film blog Shadow And Act

Of course I've asked a bi-racial Dutch African-American woman about her opinion. She feels that the title, I’m Bi-Racial… Not Black Damn It!, is wrong. Being bi-racial means not black not white, but both. It's a combination.

People with a bi-racial background are a fast growing group in Europe. It's a consequence of the fact that Europe is less racially segregated then the US.

4 minute trailer

For more information go the website

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer Carnival Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Photo and copyright: Bas Czerwinkski
Summer Carnival is a yearly 3-day Caribbean Carnival in the city centre of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Summer Carnival, similar to the carnival in Rio, is a huge event where at least 900.000 visitors come from all over Europe to dance to the latin music and look at the colourful and amazing costumes and floats in the big street parade. On Saturday the big Street Parade emerges in the city centre. The street parade is on July 25th.

Summer Carnival Rotterdam

Next stop, the Notting Hill Carnival in London (30 - 31 August 2009)

The winner of the battle of the drums 2008

Friday, July 24, 2009

Black travel experiences in Europe

Photo and copyright: Lola Akinmade
How do black people experience travelling in Europe? Do they feel stared at, feel welcome, or is it a bit of both. And in which Western European countries do they feel most comfortable?

To find out I sampled the experiences (2008 and 2009) from Rick Steves’s Minority Travelers Forum. Most experiences are from African-Americans who visited Europe.

I could have asked photographer and travel writer Lola Akinmade about her travel experience, but on her blog are all the answers. In pictures and in stories. See Lola's blog Geotraveler's Niche. So I stayed on Steves's forum.

To get a big picture of all the experiences I placed the reactions in the categories negative, neutral and positive. Negative means when someone felt being treated negatively. Neutral means, no problems. Positive speaks for itself.

Click on the image to enlarge

1. In England or the UK – Most travellers had a great time. No stares, hardly any discrimination. With 2 negative and 9 positive reactions the absolute winner.

2. Germany – Second best with 1 negative reaction, 1 neutral and 3 positive reactions.

3. The Netherlands – One traveller felt very race conscious in the Netherlands. With 2 negative reactions, 1 neutral and 3 positive reactions third place.

4. France - Very mixed responses. Most black travellers liked it, but the French language barrier remained. Most Americans had neutral feelings about France, but over all they weren’t negative. With 2 negative reactions, 7 neutral and 4 positive reactions fourth place.

5. Italy – Here things started to get dramatically negative. Some loved Italy, others were less positive. Some reported being stared at. To put it in perspective, 4negative reactions, 2 neutral and 3 positive. Fifth place

6. Spain – This country is considered the worst Western European travel destination by most African-Americans on the forum. Most travellers see Spain as a very racist country. However one traveller was aware of racial climate in Spain, but still went. He had a great time in Spain. With 6 negative reactions, 2 neutral and 3 positive reactions it’s a country that leaves a lot of black travellers with some bad memories, but with good ones as well.

Countries as Belgium, Zweden, Austria, Creece and Ireland I didn't include because there were just one or two reactions.

Of course you can’t get a good impression if you have nine responses or less of each country. And it also depends where travellers had their experiences: big city or country side.


Lola Akinmade is using her blackness to experience traveling to the max. In an interview she explained why she loves traveling as a minority. "Being able to seamlessly move because people automatically assume I’m a local impoverished immigrant allows me to observe and immerse without sticking out like a sore thumb in some places. I get to experience the true attitudes of locals towards others very different from them – both great and bad.

I have experienced everything from utmost rejection to gawks of fascination that a lot of bright-eyed backpackers could never endure. It is at the low times I question the purpose of travel and then Mark Twain’s quote always comes to mind….“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."…… Mark Twain."
Read the whole interview here

Thursday, July 23, 2009

First black Miss England sparks controversy

Rachel Christie is the first Miss England who is black. Christie, 20, a heptathlete from London, is the niece of Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter Linford Christie.

But her election has already sparked controversy. Not because she is black, but because she won with only nine votes from the public. The runner up won the public vote with 2,013 votes. But in spite of low public vote the organisers chose Rachel Christie as Miss England 2009.

The organisers defended their vote. Angie Beasley, director of Miss England, said the public played only a part in the contest, choosing one of the 15 top finalists with this vote amounting effectively to a seventh judge in the final selection. Read Organisers defend Miss England vote

See Uk blog Mad news for some black responses.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Black French celebrities attend Trace TV event

Photo and copyright: Régis Durand de Girar
The French urban media organisation Trace has moved to a new location in Paris. On July 8th Trace celebrated the event by throwing a party for French urban celebs and media officials. Almost 300 people attended the event. The French blog Fxgpariscaraibe made full a photo report of the day. For the photos click here. (On the photo: Vicelow de Saïan from the Supa Crew and Virginie Koné from Trace.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Humorous videos of white and black racism

The video ‘racism in the elevator’ from Reckless Tortuga is a humorous video about an irritating situation. The video is about the situation where a white woman is clutching her purse when a black man is around.

The other video is about black racism. It’s about the situation where a black man who wears a suite is seen as a white man, an uncle tom or an ‘elitist’ by an other black person. The best part of the video is the end.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Very creative Japanese video

Summer news. The Japanese band Sour made a very creative video with webcam shots of their fans. The video is great, but don't forget the music.

This music video was shot for Sour's 'Hibi no Neiro' (Tone of everyday) from their first mini album 'Water Flavor EP'. The cast were selected from the actual Sour fan base, from many countries around the world. Each person and scene was filmed purely via webcam. (youtube)

Saw it on Noah Sow blog

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Michael Jackson memorial was impressive

I've watched the Michael Jackson memorial, very impressive. A Dutch commentator said, it looked as if the black community took him back. And somehow it felt that way too. Especially the speech of Rev. Al Sharpton was powerful. He was right about that Michael Jackson paved the way for a lot of black people, including Obama.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fresh Off The Boat, the film debut of Femi Oyeniran (UK)

A teenager joins his mother and siblings from Nigeria but struggles to adapt to an alien way of life in London

Femi's short film "Fresh off the boat" has been nominated for Film London's Battle of the Boroughs(BoBs). It is currently being developed into a TV series

This short film doesn't only gives you a short glimpse in one of the many black communities in London, but also in the daily live of black teenagers at school and on the streets. You can see the whole film. Fresh of the boat

For a broader view on this film read the post of Shadow And Act

Friday, July 3, 2009

Michael, we salute you too

Here's the video of the rehearsal two days before his death. Thanks to CNN for the footage. CNN reports that there is over 100 hours of rehearsal footage. covered the Apollo Theater Tribute to Michael Jackson the King of Pop. Those in attendance included Rev. Al Sharpton, film-maker Spike Lee, and of course his loyal and devoted fans of all ages.

The memorial service will be held on tuesday July 7th. Live broadcast in Europe will start at around 7pm.

Apollo Theater Tribute to Michael Jackson

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The nominees of the Trophées des Arts Afro-Caribéens 2009 (France)

On June 26th the nominees for the ‘Les Trophées des Arts Afro-Caribéens’ were disclosed. See list below.

Les Trophées des Arts Afro-Caribéens (The Afro-Caribbean Arts Awards) is the annual French award ceremony for black cultural achievements. Since 2006 The Good Music Association has organized the award ceremony, formerly les Césaire de la Musique, to pay tribute to the founding father of the Negritude movement, and to promote cultural diversity of French Afro-Caribbean arts in the fields of cinema, music, literature ...

Although the name Afro-Caribéens refers to Afro-Caribbeans, artists from the overseas department Reunion and from the former French colonies in Africa are also nominated.

The award ceremony will be held on September 21th 2009 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. It will be preceded by a public vote.
For more information go to ‘Les Trophées des Arts Afro-Caribéens’

Nominated in the categories

Artiste de l’année (Artist of the year)
Patrick Saint-Eloi
Tanya Saint-Val
Davy Sicard
Rokia Traoré

Meilleur groupe (Best group)
Amadou et Mariam
Magic System
Ti Kabzy

Révélation de l’année (Revelation of the Year)
Medhy Gerville
Jessy Matador
Sandra Nkaké

Album de l’année (Album of the year)
Madagasker - Ziskakan
Victor Démé - Victor Démé
Ouvrir mes ailes - Medhy Custos
Inspiration information vol 3 - Mulatu Astatké

Meilleur documentaire (Best documentary)
Katanga business de Thierry Michel,
Le pays à l’envers de Sylvaine Dampierre
Jacques Roumain d’Arnold Antonin
Mémoire vaudou d’Irène Lichtenstein
Tu n’as rien vu à Kinshasa de Mwézé Dieudonné Ngangura

The other categories are: best clip, literature, best essay, best novel, and best fiction.

Les Trophées des Arts Afro-Caribéens 2008
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