Monday, May 31, 2010

Paris Jazz festival 2010 + Sandra Nkaké

The Paris Jazz Festival 12 Jun - 1 Aug 2010 (Weekends only).

The Paris Jazz Festival is an annual summer event which presents a programme of free concerts in the surroundings of the Parc Floral. Concerts take place every Saturday and Sunday throughout June and July.

On July 25 Sandra Nkaké (15H00) and Richard Bona (16H30) will perform on the main stage.

The concerts begin at 3pm and are free to all those who have paid the standard park entry fee. Arrive early to ensure that you get one of the 1500 seats available.

See full program here


And for the jazz lovers the Jazz video "Tribal Thoughts" from the French composer Carine Bonnefoy, who will also perform at the festival.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dave Benton winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2001

Dave Benton was the first black singer to win the Eurovision Song Contest. Dave Benton, together with Estonian rock singer Tanel Padar and boyband 2XL, won Eurovision Song Contest for Estiona in 2001.

Benton was born on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba in 1951 and in his 20s moved to the United States. As a drummer and a backing vocalist, he worked with The Drifters, Tom Jones, Billy Ocean, José Feliciano and the Platters. (Source wikipedia).

This is the last post about the Eurovision Song Contest. It was necessary to set the facts strait. The previous post about black singers at the contest is updated with singers from the UK, Sweden and of course Estonia. You can read the post here.

The Eurovison 2010 was won by Germany by the way, see the video of Lena with the song "Satellite" here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Black singers in the Eurovision Song Contest

 Imaani from the UK singing "Where Are You?"
Black singers have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1966. The Eurovision Song Contest is the annual song contest of the European Broadcasting Union and member states of Europe.

The first Black singer who won the contest was Dave Benton, he won the contest with Estonian rock singer Tanel. They represented Estonia in 2001.  The first Black singer who performed in the contest was Milly Scott, she represented the Netherlands in 1966. In this year’s contest singer Matador competed for France, he finished 12th place.

The competition is broadcasted throughout Europe, but also in Australia, Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States, even though these countries do not participate. See the website of Eurovision Song Contest here.

Below a list of some of the entries of the Estonia, UK, The Netherlands, France, Portugal and Israel. The ranking is based on a final of 25 countries.


Winner of Eurovision copenhagen 2001

Dave benton & Tanel - "Everybody" - 2001

In 2001 Dave benton performed with budding Estonian rock singer Tanel Padar and boyband 2XL to win the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 with their song "Everybody". Benton was born on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba.


Jade Ewen - "It's My Time" - 2009

The United Kingdom was a part of the "Big Four", so the song was entered directly into the final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, held on 16 May 2009 in Moscow. The show received an average of 7.8 million viewers. She finished in 5th place.

Andy Abraham - "Even If" - 2008

According to betting site, the odds for the song to win the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 were 100/1. In the end, the song reached last place at 25th, with 14 points. The last place triggerd a response from Terry Wogan, he blamed "racist" Eastern Europeans for Britain's dismal showing in the Eurovision Song Contest. Read full story here.

Imaani - "Where Are You?" - 1998

"Where Are You?" was the United Kingdom entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 1998, held in Birmingham, United Kingdom. It was sung by Imaani Saleem (Melanie Crosdale), the first black singer for the UK. She almost won. The song received 166 points, placing second in a field of 25. Imaani was born in Nottingham. Interesting detail is that she is one of the regular singers of the famous London Acid Jazz band Incognito.


Silver Convention - Telegram - 1977

Two members of the trio Silver Convention were black: Ramona Wulf (a daugher of an AA soldier and a German) and a New Yorker Rhonda Heath. The group finished 8the place. 

The Netherlands

Glennis Grace Netherlands – “My Impossible Dream” - 2005

Glennis Grace (born in Amsterdam) won the national contest in the Netherlands for the Eurovision song contest 2005, but didn’t make in to final. She had to leave the contest in the semi-final.

Edsilia Rombley - "Hemel en Aarde" ("Heaven and Earth") - 1998

Edsilia Rombley pulled the Netherlands out of semi-finals to the finals. Only the low ranking countries of the previous year had to compete in the semi-finals. In the finals she came in fourth place in a tele voting contest with the song “Hemel en aarde" ("Heaven and earth"). It was the best placing the Netherlands had seen since their last win in 1975. Edisila was born in Amsterdam and is of Dutch Caribbean descent.

Maxine and Franklin Brown- "De Eerste Keer" ("The first time" - 1996

Maxine & Franklin Brown represented the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest 1996. Their song “De eerste keel” (“The First Time”) came 7th with 78 points.

Ruth Jacott - "Vrede" ("Peace") - 1993

In 1993 Ruth Jacott was the second black female singer for the Netherland. She came in sixth place with the “song “Vrede" ("Peace"). Ruth Jaccot is of Surinamese descent.

Humphrey Campbell "Wijs Me de Weg" ("Show Me the Way") - 1992

Humphrey Campbell performing "Wijs Me de Weg" ("Show Me the Way"), the Dutch entry at the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest. He finished 9th place. Campbell is of Surinamese origins.

Milly Scott - "Fernando en Filippo" - 1966

Milly Scott was the first black singer for the Netherlands in 1966. She finished 15th place. Scott is of Surinamese descent.


Matador - "Allez Ola Olé" (2010)

Matador, born Jessy Kimbangi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, represented France this year. Matador mixes zouk, dancehall, reggae, and hiphop, building on American, African and Caribbean influences. France finished 12th place.

Joëlle Ursull - "White and Black Blues" - 1990

France's entry in the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest "White and Black Blues" by Joëlle Ursull who got the 2nd place. Usull is of Guadeloupean origins.

France is one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest and has entered the competition fifty-two times since their debut at the very first contest in 1956. However, in recent years, the French results have been somewhat disappointing. Since 1998, when the televoting was invented, France has almost always been in the bottom-10 countries in the final. (Wikipedia.)


Eduardo Nascimento - "O vento mudou" - 1967

In 1967 Eduardo Nascimento entered the Portuguese Eurovision selection contest, the Festival da Canção, as a solo artist with the song "O vento mudou" ("The Wind Changed"). He won the event by a comfortable margin, and went forward to represent Portugal in the 12th Eurovision Song Contest, held on 8 April in Vienna, where "O vento mudou" finished in joint 12th place of the 17 entries

Sara Tavares – “Chamar a música” -1994

Tavares won the Portuguese selection for the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. With the song Chamar a música (Call my music), She achieved an eighth position in Dublin, which is still one of the best Portuguese results in the contest ever. After her appearance in the contest, she went on to become a famous artist in her country, and later on in Europe.


Afro-Dite - "Never let you go" - 2002

Afro-dite is a Swedish pop group made up of three pop singers. The group consists of Blossom Tainton-Lindquist, Gladys del Pilar and Kayo Shekoni. Afro-dite reached the 8th place


Eddie Butler - "Together We Are One" - 2006

Eddie Butler was the Israeli entry for the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, with soul ballad "Together We Are One". He finished 23th place.

Butler was born in the Negev Israel. Butler's parents are Americans, and members of the Black Hebrews African-American community that believes they are a lost tribe of Israel. His mother and father came to Israel for a visit 37 years ago and decided to stay.

Black singers Eurovision Song Contest overview

1966 - Netherlands: Milly Scott - "Fernando en Filippo" (15th)
1967 - Portugal: Eduardo Nascimento - "O vento mudou" (12th)
1977 - Germany: Silver Convention - Telegram - (8th)
1981 - Denmark: Debbie Cameron & Tommy Seebach - Krøller eller ej -(11th)
1990 - France: Joëlle Ursull - "White and Black Blues" (2nd)
1992 - France: Kali - "Monté la riviè".-(8th)
1992 - Netherlands: Humphrey Campbell "Wijs Me de Weg" ("Show Me the Way") (9th)
1993 - Netherlands: Ruth Jacott - "Vrede" ("Peace") - 1993 (6th)
1994 - Portugal: Sara Tavares – “Chamar a música” (8th)
1995 - Austria: Stella Jones - Die Welt dreht sich verkehrt. - (13th)
1995 - Portugal: Tó Cruz - Baunilha e chocolate - (21st)
1996 - Netherlands: Maxine and Franklin Brown- "De Eerste Keer" ("The first time") (7th)
1998 - France: Marie-Line - Oú aller? - (23rd)
1998 - Netherlands: - Edsilia Rombley - "Hemel en Aarde" ("Heaven and Earth") 1998 (4th)
1998 - UK: Imaani - "Where Are You?" (2nd)
1999 - Bosnia-Herzegovina: Dino & Béatrice – Putnici -(7th)
1999 - Israel: Eden - Happy Birthday - (5th)
1999 - UK: 1999 - Precious - Say It Again- (12th)Precious - Say It Again- (12th)
2000 - Austria: The Rounder Girls - All To You - (14th)
2001 - Estonia: Dave benton & Tanel - "Everybody" (1st)
2002 - Sweden: Afro-Dite - "Never let you go" (8th)
2005 – UK: Javine -Touch My Fire - (22nd)
2005 - Netherlands: Glennis Grace Netherlands – “My Impossible Dream” (semi-final)
2006 - Isreal: Eddie Butler - "Together We Are One" (23th)
2008 - UK: Andy Abraham - "Even If" (23th)
2009 - UK: Jade Ewen - "It's My Time" - 2009 (5th)
2010 - France: Matador - "Allez Ola Olé" - 2010 (12th)

* At the Eurovision songcontest in 1966 the Swedish singers were accompanied on flute by the Black American jazz musician Sahib Shihab. He is probably the first African-American, who participated in the event. 

* This list was updated on 13 May 2014. 

This may not be the complete list of singers
See downloadable updated list here 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jessy Matador will represent France at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest

France will try to win the hearts of Europe in Oslo with a real summer hit this year, "Allez Ola Olé". For that they handpicked the charismatic singer Jessy Matador.

Jessy began his artistic career as a dancer in 2001. His artistic concept is a mixture of several styles, inspired by famous African - Ivorian music ranging from hip-hop, jamaican dancehall and zouk.

He made his debut in the group called Les Coeurs Brisés with which he has performed all around the world. He started his singing career in 2008 and has scored a summer hit with the song Decale Gwada. Jessy is currently in the studio finishing his new album. (source BBC)

Website: 2010 Eurovision Song Contest

Haddy Jatou N'jie will co-host the Eurovision Song Contest in Norway

Haddy Jatou N'jie (1979) will be one of the hosts of the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo. Haddy is a Norwegian singer, songwriter, author and journalist, and is a member of the group Queendom.

The anual contest will be seen by approximately 120 million views over three days (25, 27 and 29 May 2010). See more information on the blog Black Women in Europe.

An update: Haddy Jatou N'jie singing "Mitt lille land (My little country)". An interesting video which also shows the ethnic diversity in Norway.

Website: 2010 Eurovision Song Contest

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is World Cup 2010 changing the image of South Africa?

Is the World Cup Football 2010 really changing the image of South Africa?

I am not so sure. In The Netherlands I am not getting any new images of South Africa. So some comments, quotes and images I picked up these past few days.

I have watched three programs on the Dutch TV about South Africa. The first was a football program, the second a journey-trough-Africa program, and the third was program about the legacy of Charles Darwin (the Beagle).

If I had watched one, I probably would have seen the other two. The topics where race relations in South Africa, poor whites, poor blacks, white supremacists, black activists, Nelson Mandela, Robin Island, and images of the Apartheid. So it was the the “regular” view of South Africa.

However there was conversation in a program (the Beagle) which really shocked me. It was the conversation with genetic scientist Himla Soodyall about how she felt during the days of the 'apartheid' when she spoke to a white person."

She said “O yes of course I was born during the day of apartheid. If you spoke to me 16 or 17 years ago I would probably not even opened my mouth because I would have felt so inferior talking to a white person.

The reporter replied: “So now you are not impressed by me anymore, as a white?“

Laughing she answered : “Fortunately these day when I look at people I don't see colour as an item that I used to take in my person with whom I was contact with. There were times that would have been an issue.”

The images

The Apartheid

Poor whites

Translation:Exactly. They would have worked with Forest department. [They have lost their privileges they had under the apartheid regime.]

A youth movement

Translation: We don’t tolerate racial polarisation in our country

The South African creole

Translation: Voice of Himla Soodyall: "That's how it would be here [if there hadn't been apartheid, then creolisation would have taken place], I am almost certain."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

VIDEO: Ty ft. SarinaLeah & Sean Escoffery (UK)

Soul Culture called him UK's Hip Hop legend. And TY is his name. In April he released his new video “Emotions”, featuring Brit Soul singers Shaun Escoffery and Sarina Leah. The single “Emotions” is from the album "Special Kind of Fool", the video was directed by Obi 'wun' Mgbado for the Odyssey Media Collective.

Acording to, TY is a big name in the London music scene, but unfortunately he still hasn't got main stream support. Maybe things will change after this release.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Music: Rox (UK)

Introducing 21-year-old ROX. The half Iranian, half Jamaican singer-songwriter from South London, who is sometimes compared with Amy Whinehouse and Lauren Hill. Her debut album 'Memoirs" will be out June 7.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Black Europeans and the media (Netherlands)

It is always interesting to see how black people in Europe are portrayed in the media, since there are many stories and pictures where black people are portrayed in a stereotype way. Today I stumbled upon a remarkable example.

In the Dutch free newspaper Depers I saw a picture of Rox, the new singer songwriter from South London.

The front page (above) had the following headline: “We are really proud of Europe.” And in the byline: "And that’s why we advise Rox and four other singers."

And there is more

The headline: “New, good, female and European”

I thought great for Rox that she is featured like this. But I had mixed feelings about the by-line.

“An ailing eurozone survives only by substantial investment in the own economy. So buy European products, starting with music.“

When I read the byline it felt as if they are using a black girl on the cover to make protectionisme look a bit friendly. As if they where saying that this appeal is not an anti-foreigner thing.

But maybe I am wrong, and this is just a story of an editor who likes the music of Rox.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Russia: Afro Russians Discuss Discrimination

Black Russian is an interesting video trailer I found on the blog Afro Black people

Blogger Raenita Wallace wrote: "This is a preview of an interesting documentary [Black Russians] detailing the black experience in Russia. These people felt discrimination from others against them, even though the ruling Communists' Party publicly decried the existence of racism in Russia. Racism seems to be on the upswing in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union and the establishment of capitalism. The jobless and poverty rate have given birth to outspoken white supremacists groups who now practice racism openly."

It's a story that must be heard.

On the international blog "The Walrus and the Carpenter" there is also an interesting and recent post about the Black Community in Russia, you can read it here

And see also the story on the blog: Noirs d'Amérique Latine

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dance: Sunnery james & Ryan Marciano djing on ‘Sensation’ in Amsterdam

DJ's Sunnery james & Ryan Marciano from Amsterdam will be on the main stage of the ‘Sensation’ dance event in the Amsterdam Arena on July 3rd in Amsterdam. Sensation is the biggest dance event in the world.

James and Marciano are the new stars in the dance scene. This year they launched their successful new dance concept called the Amazone Project. It was named Amazone after an inspirational vacation in the Amazone jungle of Surinam.

For most second generation Dutch Surinamese a jungle trip is often nothing more then a part of the standard back-to-the-roots trip, for James and Marciano it also became the bases for their new musical concept.

And for those who have forgotten

So if you're into trance, electro or house ... you may also like this

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Colour of Beauty - the struggle of a black model

Spotted on Ebonyjet
The Colour of Beauty is a short documentary about racial discrimination in the fashion industry. Director Elizabeth St. Philip follows a young and fiercely talented Black model, Renee Thompson, as she navigates the fashion world as a visible minority.

This film asks: Why isn’t the multi-cultural society that we live in reflected in our magazines, on billboards and on the runways of fashion shows? And who are the parties involved in this industry’s lack of diversity? Does the answer lie somewhere in the back rooms of fashion magazines or in the offices of casting directors of fashion shows? Is it something that is discussed at advertising agencies, or between designers and modelling agencies? Whatever the answer, the fact is that models of colour work less, and their chances of success are very low.

Renee Thompson: "It does get very discouraging, It gets to a point where you feel like you're constantly justifying your worth… You can only take so much beating up every day and constant rejection — or that fear, that when you walk through that casting door, you're going to be reminded, yet again, that you're a black girl. But quitting to me seems like you're giving in…"

Link: The Colour of Beauty

Hip Hop theatre "Markus The Sadist" with Bashy (London)

British grime star Bashy in the theatre production Markus The Sadist, from 17th-20th May (8pm) at The Bloomsbury theatre in London.

Story: Markus Wright just wants to be an emcee and will sacrifice his true voice for that dream contract... Rap, grime and jazz collide in explosive fashion in an original Hip Hop theatre production exposing the darker side of the music industry and celebrity culture, created and directed by Jonzi D (Breakin' Convention). Starring top UK emcee/actor Bashy as Markus, new music by Soweto Kinch alongside a cast of critically acclaimed artists from the UK urban music and Hip Hop theatre scenes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Euromight - Guide to multicultural Europe

Euromight celebrates Europe's multicultural residents, telling their stories, discussing their concerns and marking the events that are important to their everyday lives.

Whether you are a European of black or brown descent, belong to an ethnic group not commonly recognized as European, or are simply interested in these unique Europeans, Euromight provides a vehicle that reflects Europe's diversity both in the region and beyond.

Euromight was founded by London-born journalist, writer, editor and professor Olive Vassell. Being born to parents of Caribbean origin, Olive was keenly aware from an early age that her family and other immigrant families were rarely represented in the social, cultural and political landscapes around them.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Black Dutch Antiques dealer Hesdy Artist

Accros from Amsterdam Rijksmuseum lies the world famous distict Spiegelkwartier – a historical neighborhood with over seventy specialised shops offering a wide variety of fine art and antiques.

One of these shops is owned by the black antiques dealer named Hesdy Artist. In travel and leisure Paul Bellaart wrote a story about him (date unknow).

Paradox is a "very Dutch thing,'' an antiques dealer named Hesdy Artist explained to me the following afternoon, the two of us seated on plump bergères in a gallery he owns near the Spiegel-kwartier, Amsterdam's antiques district. "In one way, nobody in Holland wants to stand out,'' Artist says, alluding to the prevalent "act normal" ethos. In another, less overt sense, the Dutch, he explained, like it understood that beneath their very proper image an unruly spirit lies barely concealed.

Artist himself is a clear anomaly in some basic ways, at least professionally. "There are very few dark people in antiques sales in Holland,'' says the 37-year-old former banker, whose skin is the color of a ripe plum. "Maybe in Europe," he adds. "Maybe the world."

To browse through Artist's stock of Dutch copies of 18th-century French furniture, or 19th-century English copies of 17th-century Flemish silver, or 17th-century lithographs of old master paintings of slaves, is to conclude that his taste is far from the concerns of contemporary Netherlands designers. Yet it seemed to me that much of the Dutch output now captivating the international marketplace has something in common with Artist's interest in mining what appear to be exhausted veins of history.

The above was take from an article 'Going Dutch' by Paul Bellaart, published in Travel & Leisure (ch);


It appears that Artist also sells black collect

'Inside Buffalo' documentary tells history of Black Soldiers in Italy in WWII

The film ‘Inside Buffalo’ is the documentary of Afro-Italian director Fred Kudjo Kuwornu that tells the story of the forgotten ‘Buffalo Soldiers’.

These soldiers were African American foot soldiers of the 92nd Infantry Division who valiantly fought side-by-side with Italian partisans against the Nazis along the Gothic Line, mainly in Tuscany. Read the full story about the film here.

According to the Deutsche welle Kuwornu worked as a DJ and TV producer, until American movie director Spike Lee inspired him to become an independent filmmaker. In 2008, Lee was shooting a feature film on location in Tuscany, based on a novel about black American soldiers. Kuwornu worked as an extra on the feature film. It became the starting point for a very personal voyage of discovery for Fred Kuwornu culminating in his documentary 'Inside Buffalo'.

Kuwornu's father is Ghanaian and his mother is from Tuscany, making him one of the few mixed race Italians growing up in northern Italy in the 1970s. He is planning on doing more films on topics like racism, dialogue and human rights in the future.

The film '‘Inside Buffalo’ reminds of the story of the French Black soldiers 'Le Tirailleurs Senegalais' (Senegalees Riflemen)'. These soldiers were deliberately removed from the unit that led the Allied advance into the French capital. They were removed because British and American commanders wanted to ensure that the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944 was seen as a "whites only" victory. Read the whole post here.

Shouldn't we have Black European History month?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Where is Ayo?

It's quiet around the Afro-German/Nigerian singer and songwriter Ayo. The latest news in October 2009 was that she was taking a break in Paris before starting to work on her third album. Her last album was Gravity at Last (2008).

And she also starred in a documentary, titled “Joy,” The film shows her life and the search for her roots during the preparations and execution of her first concert in Nigeria, the birth country of her father. But the film was planned to be released early 2010, and is now expected to finish in late 2010. It seems I will have to wait.

So here is "Lonely" from the album Gravity at Last.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Remembering Slave Trade and Abolition in Paris

copyright: Régis Durand de Girard: in the middle Davy Sicart and Christiane Taubira

Yesterday May 10th was the official French ceremony of the ‘Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition’. The ceremony was held in the 'jardin du Luxembourg" in Paris, and was only open for invites. See the pictures of the ceremony on the blog fxgpariscaraibe here.

According to the blog FXG, the ceremony didn't had the grandeur of previous commemorations because of the absence of president Sarkozy. It appeared that he was in middle of the crisis meeting about the Euro.

One of the invites was of course Christiane Taubira, MP for overseas region French Guiana. Taubira gave her name to the 21 May 2001 law, "la Loi Taubira", which recognizes the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity. But in the speech of the minister of interior about recognition, her name wasn't mentioned.

Also present was ex-football player and anti-racism activist Lilian Thuram. Thuram is president of the Lilian Thuram Foundation, an anti-racism foundation that combats racism trough education. Just recently he published his book ‘Mes Etoiles Noirs’, a book about important black personalities and stars.

On the blog there are some interesting interviews with Christiane Taubira and Lilian Thuram.

Among the invites were, Marie-Luce Penchard (Secretary of State for Overseas Territories), Françoise Vergès (chairman of the ‘comité pour la mémoire et l'histoire de l'esclavage’), Davy Sicart (Musician), Marijosée Alie (head of television), Pierre Saintons (Musician), and Nathalie Coualy (comedian).

Monday, May 10, 2010

Afro-Europe is featured on Ebonyjet Online

Afro-Europe International Blog is the editor's pick of the African-American online magazine Ebonyjet Online.

See more on

Update: In May 2010 Afro-Europe was featured on the main site of Ebony Magazine for two weeks.

Singer and actress Lena Horn dies at 92

Lena Horne, jazz singer and actress who reviled the bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them, slowing her rise to Broadway superstardom, died Sunday. She was 92.

Horne, whose striking beauty and magnetic sex appeal often overshadowed her sultry voice, was remarkably candid about the underlying reason for her success.

"I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept," she once said. "I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked." Read the full story on yahoo news

During the 1960s Horne was involved in the American Civil Rights Movement. She participated in the March on Washington in 1963, performed at rallies in the South and elsewhere, and worked on behalf of the National Council for Negro Women. During the same period, she was also very visible on television, appearing on popular variety shows and in her own special, Lena in Concert, in 1969.
-- World biographies --

I knew Lena Horn only through her music, but after reading about her I now know she was much more then a wonderful singer. Rest in Peace Lena Horn.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

An historic political night for Black Britain

British Black politics successful at the elections. With a record voter turnout from the African, Asian and Caribbean electorate and a record number of candidates winning seats at Westminster, black politics in the UK has finally come to age

The blog Operation Black Vote reports: As Britain makes sense of the new political landscape let’s not forget the record breaking numbers of African, Asian and Caribbean candidates elected to Parliament. Overall the number has nearly doubled from 14 to 27, the greatest number and percentage increase ever seen in British politics. And within those historic figures individual firsts have illuminated this election.

Women did particularly well. Helen Grant becomes the first woman of African descent to represent the Conservatives at Westminster. Priti Patel became the first Conservative Asian female. The Labour candidate Shabana Mahmood becomes the first Muslim woman to be elected to Westminster. The Labour Party’s Chi Onwurah became the first women of African descent to win a parliamentary seat.

OBV Director, Simon Woolley: “Black politics came of age last night. A record voter turnout from the African, Asian and Caribbean electorate and a record number of candidates winning seats at Westminster will dramatically change how we see our governing class and how it operates. Greater representation, and greater involvement from our communities will undoubtedly enhance our democracy.”

* The term ‘Black’ is a political term. It refers to African, Asian, Caribbean and other ethnic minorities.

Also see

Also read the very interesting story about the black Identity issue during the elections on the Theroot: U.K. Election Raises Black Identity Issue

Very interesting how the Britons handle the ethnic part in politics, in The Netherlands every ethnic minority has its own lobby.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Festival Africaphonie 2010 - May 13th in Paris

On May 13th the festival Africaphonie 2010 will be held at the Bellevilloise in Paris. Damage: 15€ / Pre-sale 13€ at Digitik, Virgin.

Initiated in 2007 by the Association ORIG'IN with support from UNESCO, the Ministry of Culture and the Overseas Departments, the festival AFRICAPHONIE aims to celebrate and commemorate, France, the African history and culture and its Diaspora.

At the Festival the documentary "10 mai Africaphonie" will be shown.


Festival Africaphonie 2009

Forum: "Slavery and Trafficking, crimes against humanity" (Paris)

Forum on the occasion of the 5th edition of the Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (“de la Journée des mémoires de la traite, de l’esclavage et de leurs abolitions”) on May 10, 2010 in Paris.

The theme of the forum discussion will be: "Slavery and Trafficking, crimes against humanity" ("L’esclavage et la traite, crimes contre l’humanité").

In partnership with the FAAC (La Fédération des Associations Africaines et Créoles) the ASPA (l'Association des étudiants de Sciences Po pour l'Afrique) will organise the forum on May 10, 2010 at Sciences Po Paris, Amphithéâtre Jacques Chapsal, 27 rue Guillaumen 75007 Paris.


- Frank Anretar , President of the FAAC (La Fédération des Associations Africaines et Créoles
- François Durpaire, Advisor of FAAC and winner of the Literature / Essay “Trophées des Arts Afro-Caribéens 2008” with L'Amérique de Barack Obama.
- Nelly Schmidt, winner of the Literature / Essay “Trophées des Arts Afro-Caribéens 2009 with the essay “France a-t-elle aboli l'esclavage”?
- Ivan Voice, Chairman of the Education Sector FAAC and President of the association ARCHIVE.
- Ahmed El Keiy, journalist and host the show “Toutes les France” on France O.
- Christiane Taubira, member of Guyana, author of books on slavery.
- Françoise Vergès, President of the Committee for the commemoration of slavery, author of books on slavery.

Together with: Véronique Helenon, Amadou Sall, Karfa Diallo, John W. Franklin

The program will be opened by M. Hervé LADO, Président de l’Association des étudiants de Sciences Po pour l’Afrique (ASPA) and Frank Anretar, President of the FAAC (La Fédération des Associations Africaines et Créoles).

For more details see

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Singer Lebogang Masemola to perform in Munich

Afro Soul singer Lebogang Masemola will be performing on May 19th in Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich. She also performed at the Pan African congres in 2009 with a South African hyme.

For Lebogang Masemola music is freedom. She says “ It is in music that we can just BE. Whether joyful or sad, music can embrace or alter the situation” A way of life that is rooted in her origin. Lebogang was born and raised in South Africa and presently resides in Hamburg Germany.

Hotel Bayerischer Hof
Promenadeplatz 2-6
80333 München

On Myspace: Lebogang Masemola

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

General Convention of African Diaspora in Italy - 7th and 8th May

General Convention of African Diaspora in Italy - 7th and 8th May

It will focus on how to involve African immigrants in the development of the continent. The Association of Africans in the World is organising the General Convention of African Diaspora in Italy.

The event will be held in Rome on 7th and 8th May, in Via IV Novembre 119 (Palazzo Valentini, sala della Pace).

The Convention is organised in collaboration with the African Diaspora in Europe and the Management Consulting Group (MCG), and is sponsored by the Province of Rome.

Ethical Bank of the African Diaspora will be introduced during the Convention and 5,000 founding members selected.

Round table discussions will centre on many issues affecting Africa’s social, political, cultural, economic development. There will be a special focus on how to involve African immigrants in the development of the continent.

African diplomats and Italian national and local authorities will attend the Convention.

For further information, please log on to: or send an email to Mr. Raymond Kouassi, President of the Association of Africans in the World:

For more information go to

Spotted on the blog

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jermaine Jackson crowns Luciano (9) in "Move Like Michael Jackson" contest

Luciano Hiwat (9) is the winner of the Dutch/Belgian "Move Like Michael" dance contest.

When I see you, I think of my brother Michael and my childhood, " said jury chairman Jermaine Jackson Saturday night to the youngest candidate and winner of the competition.

The "Move Like Michael" contest was a nationwide search to find the most talented and original dancers who could demonstrate that they have the spirit, showmanship and technical ability of Michael Jackson. The competition was only held in the UK and in the Netherlands/Belgium.

The winning act of the dance contest will perform at the official tribute concert.

The UK winner is Animaineaxs, who won the final on Sunday 20th in December 2009.

Video of Dutch winner

May Ayim - "Hope in my Heart " Trailer (Germany)

Today, on May 3rd 2010, the Afro-German poet and activist May Ayim (1960 – 1996) would have turned 50. In memory of her the documentary "Hope in My Heart" was shown in Berlin. Spotted on

About the documentary Hope in My Heart: The May Ayim Story (1997) TWN wrote:
A moving documentary about the life and untimely death of Afro-German poet May Ayim which contains both performances by Ayim and places her in the history of the emerging Afro-German movement.

In the foreword to Ayim's blues in swarz weiss (blues in black and white) Maryse Conde wrote "... With the unmistakable sound of her voice her poems spoke to me of her, told of others that are like her and yet so unlike her in Germany, in Africa, in America. These poems held passion and irony ... In May's voice I found the echo of other voices from the diaspora." 

Watch the full documentary at

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hip Hop: Breakin' Convention 2010 (London)

Breakin' Convention. International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre. Bank Holiday Weekend Sat 1 - Mon 3 May 2010 London.

Breakin' Convention, an International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre:
- 5 days of performances, film, graf jams and workshops
- DJ demos, aerosol art and freestyle circle
- The best Hip Hop dance companies from the UK and across the globe

Breakin' Convention is THE critically acclaimed International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre. Since 2004, Sadler's Wells, the most prestigious dance house in the UK, has featured the very best, most influential artists in the world of Hip Hop. Artistic director and MC Jonzi D hosts the festival, presenting crews from every street corner of the globe!

As well as performances, the festival weekend has an incomparable workshop programme, taught by pioneering artists like the Electric Boogaloos, live graffiti and aerosol art commissions on the foyer walls, and DJ crew Tha En4cers playing old skool funk and breakbeats to packed circles on the mezzanine. Breakin' Convention is now established as the freshest and most innovative event on the global Hip Hop dance calendar!

Breakin' Convention 2010 video diary Friday 30 April

Breakin' Convention

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Queen's Day Amsterdam 2010

Some pictures of our Queen's Day. Yesterday was Queen's Day - Koninginnedag in Dutch - in Amsterdam, wich means walking, eating, and buying things from people in the streets. Due to weather the city wasn't as crowded as last year, and it showed.

Because Queen's Day is a national event it's kind of custom that you wear something orange. The colour orange is the national colour of the Netherlands.

This picture was taken at the Weteringsschans, and yes we went into the crowd. Normally you would feel like walking in a pinball machine, but this year it was easy to get through.

Music at the Museumplein. The place to be a on Queen's Day. A lot of life music and fast food. In the background you see the Dutch national museum (or Rijksmuseum).

A place to eat.

A photo made by a lady

We liked the auto rickshaw, but when we looked at the photo later we saw someone say ..

Het Stedelijk Museum or the city museum. But it's closed, and it is being renovated and expanded.

I should say happy anniversary queen Beatrix, but April 30th (Queen's Day) was the birthday of her mother. Bea decided not to change it.

If you are a celebrity you probably liked the buffet at the Amstel Hotel.

Amsteldijk. In the white house on the corner I had my Transcendental Meditation course when I was 15. I took the course long time ago when people were financially nice to each other. For the record, the TM organisation has left this building long time ago. The house is on the other side of the Amstel Hotel.

Metro station Wibautstraat

Art in the metro.

Getting out at metro station Ganzenhoef in the Bijlmer. It's a neighbourhood in the district Amsterdam South East, the district where al lot of Surinamese, Antillean and Ghanaian people live. Gentrification, or Urban renewal as they call it here, is dramatically changing the neigboorhood and the communities.

Ground level Ganzenhoef.
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