How important are facts when producing films on Black history?

Three years ago (in June 2014), I was on the verge of walking out of ‘Belle‘ – the second film by award-winning British-Ghanaian director Amma Asante. This film was inspired by a painting in Kenwood House, Hampstead, London, which featured Dido Elizabeth Belle – a biracial woman born to enslaved African Maria Belle and English officer Admiral Sir John Lindsay in Jamaica in 1761. The painting is particularly striking because unlike many from that time, which showed black and Asian people in subservient positions next to their white counterparts, Belle holds almost equal status to her white cousin Elizabeth. I say … Continue reading How important are facts when producing films on Black history?

Tudor England’s Africans

Hello MisBeee Writes readers..I wanted you to be the first to know! I have recorded my first podcast! It is with author and historian Onyeka. Some of you will remember I reviewed his book: ‘Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, Their Presence, Status and Origins’ earlier in the year. In his book he argues that Africans had a rich and diverse presence in Tudor England that transcends the familiar and singular slavery story. So make a cuppa, sit back and enjoy the first part on YouTube here! Continue reading Tudor England’s Africans

Re-teaching Tudor history

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. … Continue reading Re-teaching Tudor history

England’s African towns

The UK’s major towns and cities are famed for their diverse non-indigenous populations. In the Office of National Statistics’ latest census in 2011, almost 100,000 Ghanaians are living in Britain with big cities such as London, Birmingham, and Manchester having significant populations. But it has not always been the way. According to historian Onyeka, author of ‘Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, their Presence, Status and Origins’ , the African presence in England between 1485 and 1603 can be traced to more provincial parts of the land. His evidence is based on more than two decades of research and over 250,000 documents and artefacts mainly from Tudor … Continue reading England’s African towns