Showing posts from February, 2016

Podcast: Shakespeare and the Black English presence that influenced his writing

Knowledge of Africans in Tudor England influenced the work of leading English writers such as William Shakespeare, according to historian Onyeka, author of 'Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, their Presence, Status and Origins' 

The evidence is based on more than two decades of research and over 250,000 documents and artefacts mainly from Tudor England (1485-1603).

Onyeka argues that Africans had a rich and diverse presence in Tudor England that transcends the familiar and singular slavery story.

In this podcast segment, Onyeka talks about a Black woman known as Lucy who may have been the inspiration behind some of Shakespeare's sonnets.

Click here.

Check out Part I:Introductions

And Part II: Abolitionist pioneers Ottobah Cugano and Olaudah Equiano.

Music in this podcast - The Girl - is provided by singer-songwriter Wezley Stephens.

By Kirsty Osei-Bempong

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MisBeee @ West Africa Word, Symbol, Song

The Nsibidi graphic system of the Cross River State in south-east Nigeria and the Tifinagh script used by the Tuareg people of northwestern Africa are just two examples of West African languages preserved in print.

According to the British Library, Nsibidi was used by a secret male society in the region. The script is indigenous to the Ejagham people of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon but is also used by the neighbouring Ibibio, Efik and Igbo people.

According to webpage, these scripts fall under the same umbrella group as Egyptian hieroglyphics and the Asante Adinkra symbols.

Tifinagh is another, which the British Library says is at least 1,500 years old. This script can be found from southern Morocco and Algeria to Mali and Niger. It features geometric letters that can be written from left to right, right to left, horizontally or vertically, says.

There are many more written languages across West Africa with only a snapshot of these showcase…

Podcast: Should the African presence in Tudor England be taught in schools?

Historian Onyeka is pushing for the African presence in Tudor England (1485-1603) to be included in Britain's National Curriculum.

With the support of educational organisation Narrative Eye, the author of: 'Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, Their Presence, Status and Origins', has already presented over 5,000 signatures to the House of Commons. 

"We wanted Black Tudors to be included in particular because it is pre-Trans-Atlantic slavery, pre-scientific racism and therefore would give ALL children a perspective of an African presence before Trans-Atlantic slavery kicks in. And it gives them a window into medieval history which is even more interesting," he told MisBeee.

"We are still pushing that and it's hard work. Obviously, it's not an overnight thing ....".

In his book, Onyeka argues that Africans had a rich and diverse presence in Tudor England that transcends the familiar and singular slavery story.

In a series of exclusive podcasts with…

Ghanaian movie selected for two African film festivals

Watching 'The Chronicles of Odumkrom - The Headmaster' - reminded me so much of my school days reading Shakespeare.

So it is a delight to learn that the Ghanaian film, by Trumpet Africa, has been selected for not one but two film festivals.