Cllr Sanchia Alasia: Mayor of Barking and Dagenham


Operation Black Vote alumni Sanchia Alasia was voted Mayor of Barking and Dagenham Council by her fellow councilor peers.

Cllr Alasia, who participated in the 2006/07 OBV MP Shadowing scheme, has been a councilor for over eight years and has great expertise in both European politics and social services. Ms Alasia became an integral part of the Labour party, that took on and ultimately defeated Nick Griffin and his racist political party the BNP.

Talking to OBV during the recent People of African Descent conference in Brussels, Alasia  said:

Momadou's bravery, humanises the dehumanised


When the Malian refugee, Mamoudou Gassama, scaled the outside of a tower block to rescue a dangling child in an extraordinary act of bravery, France, and indeed the wider world viewed an African refugee/migrant, for a short time at least, as a human being.

Honouring Black Europe: People of African Descent (PAD)


It’s a week since I returned from the inaugural gathering at the European Parliament in Brussels that celebrated the ‘People of African Descent week’, with a conference that both celebrated 20 million people of African descent living in Europe, but also confronted the many challenges far too many face.

Bulletproof: Two Black brilliant lead roles


When TV and film producers want to be seen as 'multicultural',  they often place a Black character in the mix, usually as the most sympathetic character. Actors such as Idris Elba, Thande Newton, Adrian Lester, and Colin Salmon have all played that role to great acclaim.

Oxford University: Spot the Black student


One of the most prestigious universities in the world, Oxford is still failing to admit Black students in any meaningful numbers. According to their own data, several of the most prestigious colleges, including Balliol, University and Magdalen, each admitted two black British students as undergraduates during the three-year period. The worst Corpus Christi College only admitted one Black British student in three years.

Blasting the findings David Lammy MP stated that:

Police and Black community relations getting worse


Seven years on from the civil disturbances sparked in Tottenham 201, by the killing of Mark Duggan by Met Police Officers, public relations between London Black communities and the Met are at an all-time low. This is both a crisis of confidence and policing legitimacy. The uncomfortable truth for London and the rest of the country, is nothing has changed and there has been no improvement in relations since 2011, in fact quite the reverse is true, things have become much worse.

Lewisham Labour selection: Brilliant all BME women list


The Labour party have selected four dynamic women of colour to stand for the vacant and safe parliamentary seat of Lewisham East left by Heidi Alexander.

Although the party does not have an ‘all BME’ short list policy, the talent was such that these four women emerged as the strongest candidates.

Whist this is good news on one level, it also demonstrates how far Labour has to travel to ensure talented women and men from African, Asian and Caribbean backgrounds get equitable opportunities to represent their communities and their country.

Joseph Ejiofor: New Leader of Haringey Council


Not since Bernie Grant in 1985, has Haringey Council had a Black leader, but last week the ruling Labour group elected Joseph Ejiofor to become its new leader.

Cllr Ejiofor, who served as deputy leader during Claire Kober’s administration, secured the most votes at Haringey Labour branch’s annual general meeting

The result means he is likely to be sworn in as new council leader at the Full Council AGM next Thursday, May 24.

He tweeted:

Lord Adonis racist tweet: Will the Labour Party expel?


The cartoon re-tweeted by Labour veteran Lord Adonis racially mocking the new Home Secretary Sajid Javid as a ‘cocunut’ who would send home his Pakistani parents because of his new political role , is not only below the standard of a prominent peer, but it is deeply racist and of course extremely offensive.

Tower Hamlets/TFL: Shameful bullying of Mr Wang


Frank Wang has greeted Bethnal Green commuters for the past 15 years from his mobile coffee van outside Bethnal Green station. Come rain or shine he is there, if you haven’t got enough money or the right change, ‘don’t worry’ he’ll say, ‘pay next time’. To those who find themselves in a much worse predicament Frank always offers them a hot cup of chocolate and snack. That’s Frank. A humble, hard working man of the people.

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