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Be Inspired

Words that can change your world
“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” - Ida B. Wells, journalist, suffragist, and civil rights activist

Words, Rhythm, Harmony

Poetry New & Old
Linton Kwesi Johnson - Photo © Bryan Ledgard, no changes made

Sonny's Lettah
by Linton Kwesi Johnson

Brixtan Prison
Jebb Avenue
Landan south-west two

Dear Mama,
Good Day.
I hope dat wen
deze few lines reach yu,
they may find yu in di bes af helt.

I really don’t know how fi tell yu dis,
cause I did mek a salim pramis
fi tek care a likkle Jim
an try mi bes fi look out fi him.

I really did try mi bes,
but nondiles
mi sarry fi tell you seh
poor likkle Jim get arres.

It woz di miggle a di rush howah
wen everybody jus a hosel an a bosel
fi goh home fi dem evenin showah;
mi an Jim stand up
waitin pan a bus,
nat cauzin no fus,
wen all af a sudden
a police van pull-up.

Out jump tree policeman,
di hole a dem carryin batan.
Dem waak straight up to mi an Jim.

One a dem hol awn to Jim
seh him tekin him in;
Jim tell him fi let goh a him
far him noh dhu notn
an him naw teef,
nat even a butn.
Jim start to wriggle
di police start to giggle.

mek I tell yu whe dem dhu to Jim
mek I tell yu whe dem dhu to him:

dem tump him in him belly
an it turn to jelly
dem lick him pan him back
and him rib get pap
dem lick him pan him hed
but it tuff like led
dem kick him in him seed
an it started to bleed

I jus coudn stan-up deh
and noh dhu notn:

soh me jook one in him eye
an him started to cry
mi tump one in him mout
an him started to shout
mi kick one pan him shin
an him started to spin
mi tump him pan him chin
an him drap pan a bin

an crash
an ded.

more policeman come dung
an beat mi to di grung;
dem charge Jim fi sus,
dem charge me fi murdah.

don fret,
dont get depres
an doun-hearted.
Be af good courage
till I hear fram you.

I remain
your son,

Food Lovers

Delicious recipes from Africa & the African diaspora
Photo © Franka Philip, cropped

Trinidad Oxtail Pelau is a simple delicious spicy savoury Caribbean dish with
caramelized dark-brown meat or chicken with rice

Trinidad Pelau is a one-pot dish, which consists of meat, chicken or seafood. The meat is marinated in herbaceous and vegetable filled green seasoning then it’s caramelized in an almost burnt brown sugar then cooked with rice, pigeon peas and vegetables such as, peppers, carrots, tomatoes etc.

For the green seasoning marinade
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 7 green onions
  • 4 shallots
  • 13 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch cilantro/coriander
  • 1 half green pepper
  • 1 half red pepper
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper or habanero peppers
For the browning sauce
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • For the Rice
  • 2lb oxtails seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 15 oz can pigeon peas
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 4-5 cups of water or beef broth
  • 1 tbs Better Than Bouillon beef base (omit if you are using beef broth)
  • salt for taste pepper for taste
Pickled Mango
  • 1 large not too ripe mango peeled and chopped into cubes.
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp diced habanero pepper (add more or less).

  1. Place oxtail in a bowl and season with salt.  Add all the ingredients, except for the oxtails to a food processor and mix until blended well but not watery. Add a bit of water if you need help getting it going.
  2. Add 1-2 cups of the processed herbs and vegetables to the oxtail and coat well. I prefer to add two cups. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and marinate in the fridge for a couple hours or 24 hours.
  3. Add all the mango ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Add to airtight jars and refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight. Once the pelau is cooking, I like to dice the mangoes into smaller cubes (or sometimes I Julienne them as shown in the photo way below) just to make it easier to eat with the rice.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a dutch oven or pot large enough for the oxtails and rice over high heat. Add the brown sugar. Stirring frequently until the sugar is melted and frothing and bubbling turning a dark amber colour. Immediately add your meat at that point and sear all sides for about 5 minutes.
  5. Cover the oxtail halfway with water and boil then cover and simmer for about 4-5 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Remove the meat from the pot and set it to the side to cool off. Once warm enough to handle, remove all the meat from the bones leaving it in big pieces. Remove as much fatty oil as you can from the pot. Add to the pot, the rice and cook on high until all the water is evaporated. Once the water is evaporated, add two cups of your choice of rice, brown or white (I used white parboiled rice).
  6. Add the water and 1 tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon Beef base or or beef broth. If you don’t have either beef broth or the beef base feel free to use only water.   Let the water come to a boil then cover and simmer. Add the beef and pigeon peas and carrots and cover to finish simmering about 25-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper for taste.
  7. After 25 minutes, check the rice to see if it’s done. If not continue simmering until all the water/beef broth has evaporated. You MAY have to add more water if after 30 minutes the rice isn’t done but the water is evaporated.  Once the Pelau is done serve hot or warm. I prefer to let the flavours marry and serve it warm. Top with a bit or a lot of pickled mangoes.

Recipe link here

Did You Know?

Fun & Interesting Facts

Queens College, Oxford was named after Queen Philippa of Hainault. It was founded by one of her chaplains, Robert de Eglesfield, in her honour in 1341.

Queen Philippa may have been the first Black Queen of England, with possible Black Moorish ancestry, born in Valenciennes in the County of Hainaut in the Low Countries of northern France. Although no contemporary images of Philippa exist, an early description of her from an envoy sent to report back on Edward III's future bride reports on her "brown skin" and "full lips".
Learn more about Queen Phillipa here

Keep Exploring
Read, Watch, Listen


Superior, by Angela Saini
With Superior, Saini draws upon her own childhood in a white neighbourhood of London. The racial discrimination she faced at the time pushed her towards a style of journalism that seeks to highlight injustice. Her renewed interest in the genetics of race was stirred by the exploitation by the white supremacy movement of research that seems to point to genetically distinct racial groupings

Whoever heard of a black artist? Britain’s’ hidden art history
Brenda Emmanus follows acclaimed artist Sonia Boyce in the lead up to a new exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, highlighting ground-breaking artists of African and Asian descent.

Watch it on iPlayer here


Black Messiah by D'Angelo
D’Angelo and RCA, partly inspired by the nationwide protests over the police killings of unarmed black men, had moved up the release of “Black Messiah” and spent the past month working many all-nighters to decide everything from the track list to the album art, according to interviews with D’Angelo’s collaborators and confidants.

Read more here

What's On
News & Events

Windrush: Portrait of a Generation

The photo-essay by Jim Grover continues its tour at the Brixton Tate Library until January 2021. The complete exhibition is being re-exhibited in three parts beginning 1st October, 1st November, 1st December.

To visit the exhibition, please email Rossella Black at, or call her on 07701377983 (viewings Tue-Thu 11am-4pm, by appointment only, two visitors per visit)

Steve McQueen - Year 3

The exhibition of Turner-prize winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen has been extended until 31st January 2021 at Tate Britain.

Steve McQueen invited every Year 3 pupil in London to have their photograph taken by a team of specially trained Tate photographers. They included children from state primaries, independent schools, faith schools, special schools, pupil referral units and home-educated pupils.

These class photos are brought together into a single large-scale installation, capturing tens of thousands of Year 3 pupils in a milestone year in their development.

The exhibition is included in all one-way routes through Tate Britain, including British Art 1930-now (free entry, timed tickets must be booked).

Hackney Black History Walks - November

To celebrate the launch of the Hackney’s Black History Map, Lydia Julien from Hackney Libraries Services leads friendly and informal walks across the borough with live poetry readings.

Each walk lasts 1-2 hours with stops.
Starting at Dalston CLR James Library Dalston Square, E8 3BQ
Book here - currently sold out, but keep your eyes peeled for more dates and see other BHM events by Hackney libraries here

UCL Student Union

Panel Discussion: Why does my university uphold white supremacy?

Thursday 29th October 2020 - 19.00-20.30 

Zoom registration link can be found here
Call for artistic representations of the Black Lives Matter Movement
CDCN Summer Competition

3 Prizes up to £1000!
CDCN invites artistic expressions in response to systemic racism and division in our world. 


For more information contact

Please keep sending through your contributions via the online survey

 Black History Month 2020 Survey

Today's issue was compiled by Nicole Jolly
from ICH Developmental Biology and Cancer Research & Teaching Department

Editors Terrie Fiawoo (PPP & member of the RESG) & Francesca Cavallaro (PPP)
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UCL Institute of Child health BHM 2020 · 3 · Billericay, Ess cm12 0aa · USA

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