Changing Britain through the Arts and Activism


Professor Gus John gave a public lecture at the British Library to Mark 50 Years of New Beacon Books. Here it is in full:

…..And so
if you see me
looking at your hands
listening when you speak
marching in your ranks
you must know
I do not sleep to dream but
dream to change the world.

Martin Carter - Poems of Succession (1977)


Friends and Comrades!

Casey Review: Will Muslims be blamed for non-integration again?


I’ve only had chance to read through the summary of the Louise Casey’s Review: A report into opportunity and integration, and so I don’t feel that I can give a full critique. But I do worry about what I’ve seen in the 18-page summary and the headlines of the review on, and in the news today, in particular the almost complete exclusion in the report of the prejudicial and toxic anti-immigrant climate in which we’re living in right now.

English Theatre: ‘Hideously white’


In many ways the theatre and the creative arts in general should reflect the cultural essence of the nation: our dynamism, our many challenges, and our creativity. But like so many aspects of British life, such as the media, the judiciary, the army, and business boards, Black and minority ethnic individuals are generally locked out of almost every aspect of the theatre world, with the exception of cleaning them.

Coreplan: Realigning The Drugs Policy Debate


A seasoned and well respected drugs policy reformer-Jane Slater from Transform- concluded after a two hour House of Commons meeting that discussed UK drugs policy and racism said this:

In ten years coming to progressive drugs policy forums and debates, I’ve never been to one like this. This debate here in the UK is a game changer”.

Brexit: Politicians have ‘legitimised hate’


With a new Chair at the helm - David Issacs - The Equality and Human Rights Commission have become more strident in their quest for greater equality and pushing back against the political dynamics that have been fuelling racial hatred.

During the summer the EHRC launched its race equality report which highlighted persistent institutional racism across the UK. Now the Commission has written to all mainstream political parties to warn them that their loose and toxic talk about immigration and migrants has in affect ‘legitimised racism’.

Hugh Harris: The Banker who took up fighting racism



Hugh Harris CBE recently retired from his day job at London First where he tirelessly promoted the capitals businesses.

Interestingly though, at his retirement party there were as many Black activists and campaigners as there were company CEO’s, including Lord Morris, Lord Dholakia, and Bharat Mehta. This is  because the former banker to the Bank of England became a passionate advocate for tackling race inequality, as much as he was about promoting big business.

The amazing life and death of Sharon Jones


Probably only those visitors to this website who are fans of funk and soul will have heard of Sharon Jones, who died earlier this week.

Sharon found fame relatively late in life as the lead singer with New York based multiracial funk band the Dap-Kings, formed in 2002. Before that she cut some highly rated funk singles under her own name. As a recognition of her talent and ability she had a small part as a singer in the 2007 film The Great Debaters, starring Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker.

War on Drugs becomes a war On Black Communities?


70% of the population has taken illegal drugs. Because of its high price and status of glamour, the class A drug, cocaine is mainly taken by the upper echelon of our society. Many tens thousands of young people, mainly white, take ‘clubbing’ drugs on a weekly basis when going clubs and or music festivals. Those dealing drugs come from all walks of life.

Legacy Gala dinner: Celebrate and build stronger Alliances


As we approach the end of 2016, recent events prompt one to ask what 2017 will have in store for us ?

Not many would have predicted back in 2015 that Donald Trump would be the President of the United States and that Brexit would be upon us, yet here we are.

More than ever before, we believe it is critical that we define our collective reality and carve out our place in which are we can thrive and be fully respected. We cannot look to anyone else to do it for us.

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