Archive for March 14th, 2021


March 14, 2021


March 14, 2021


March 14, 2021
Yolanda Copes-Stepney

The Guardian –

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‘Appalled but not surprised’: Black British women on the Meghan row

Black women from three generations tell how the Oprah interview affected their view of the monarchy

Yolanda Copes-Stepney
Donna Ferguson

Donna FergusonSun 14 Mar 2021 09.00 GMT

Yolanda Copes-Stepney, 39

Podcaster and entrepreneur

The existence of the monarchy doesn’t impact my life one bit. But I still don’t see the point of them. It’s an institution built on colonialism and nonsense.

I know the royal family serves a purpose in the economy in terms of bringing in tourism. But I don’t think we need an active monarchy for us to make money out of them. All their palaces would still be there for people to visit if the monarchy wasn’t in place. And Kate and Meghan could still give British designers a boost by wearing their dresses, like any other celebrity.

What Meghan has said about the way the royal family have treated her is appalling. I don’t think they protected her from the prejudices of the press, and we should not underestimate the influence the media has and how it shapes public opinion.

I find it exhausting, this blanket denial that things or people in this country are racist

I wasn’t surprised that a member of the family raised concerns about Archie’s skin tone. I’m waiting to be surprised by racism. I’ll live my entire life not being surprised by things white people do to black people out of ignorance and racism.

I find it exhausting, this blanket denial that things or people in this country are racist. People will say to me: “Britain isn’t racist. This isn’t racist.” But you can’t always understand something that you haven’t experienced yourself.

Racism in this country isn’t people with pitchforks screaming overtly racial insults into your ocular cavities, the way some white people seem to think it is. It’s about microaggressions. It’s about people seeing and treating you differently. And often those people don’t realise they’re holding racist beliefs. In fact, other things they have done have shown me that they believe in racist stereotypes and perpetuate those beliefs, rather than seeing me just as a baseline human.”

Kanica Jones, 21

Fashion designer

Kanica Jones
Kanica Jones: ‘On the positive side, the response to Meghan’s interview has given me hope for the future.’ Photograph: Suki Dhanda/The Observer

I don’t have any attachment to the monarchy. I never used to think about them. But I guess I became a bit more interested after Meghan – someone who looked like me – married into the family. She was easier to identify with and I started to pay attention to them.

Her interview made me feel sad. She had mental health problems, and I don’t think the royal family protected her or took accountability for the way the press was treating her. They just let everything hang in the air.

We’ve just had the Black Lives Matter protests and now it seems we have taken a few steps backwards

It also made me feel vulnerable and a bit more nervous, as a black woman. I feel like if no one did anything when this happened to her – and she’s someone in a high position in society – then God forbid something similar happening to me and I am the victim of a racist attack. No one’s going to care at all.

We’ve just had the Black Lives Matter protests and now it seems we have taken a few steps backwards. Obviously, there is institutional racism – especially within the police – in this country. A lot of my friends have had negative experiences with the police that white people haven’t had. They are racially profiled in shops and pulled over for doing the exact same thing that a white person is doing, but with the white person, it’s not an issue.

On the positive side, the response to Meghan’s interview has given me hope for the future. The press might attack her, but on social media, she’s winning. The people of my generation are standing by her. A lot of young people are speaking up more about racism as well. That gives me hope things will change – that there is, at least, a chance of change.”

Lurlyn Calliste, 62

University student

Lurlyn Calliste
Lurlyn Calliste: ‘Any black person you speak to will say, yes, we know and we understand.’ Photograph: Andy Hall/The Observer

I was born in the Caribbean and the monarchy was part of my childhood. There were pictures of the Queen everywhere. She and Princess Margaret would visit, and they had all us schoolchildren out there in our sharpest school uniforms and hairdos, flag-waving.

Because I grew up with the royal family, I have always followed them and been vaguely interested in them. I fell in love with Princess Diana and when she died, I cried for days. I felt very much for her boys, and I worried about Harry. I thought it was wonderful when he fell in love with Meghan. I spent the whole day watching their wedding.

I wasn’t going to watch their interview. Based on the headlines I read, I thought Meghan would come across like an actress or a bossy, controlling wife, and I would be cringing, with my hands over my face. But once she started talking, everything she said just seemed very true.

The royal family has done a good job over the years, but that doesn’t mean they love black people

Racism in the UK is very covert. I think the rest of the world is in shock about what she said. I think they are sitting there in America with their jaws on the floor. But I wasn’t surprised. Black people in this country live with that kind of … I don’t know if it’s racism, or bias. But we hear what she said. Any black person you speak to will say: yes, we know and we understand.

The royal family – and the Queen in particular – have done a very good job over the years, going around the Commonwealth, doing what they’ve got to do. But that doesn’t mean they love black people.

I did not think, when I came to this country at the age of 10, that I would still be talking about racism in 2021. White people have had enough time to get used to black people. When I read that black women are four times more likely to die in childbirth or pregnancy, I think it’s a disgrace. I had no idea there was a difference in the way black women were treated by the NHS. I’ve found myself wondering: was I treated differently, when I was pregnant, because I am black? Similarly, I couldn’t work for the police now, as I once wanted to. Watching videos of black men dying in police custody has really got to me.

My ancestors didn’t ask to be taken out of Africa. They built this country with their blood and sweat. The money that was made from the natural resources and the jewels of Africa, India and the Americas – all of that is in this country. It belongs to black British people. So we are not going anywhere. It’s time to move forward.”Topics

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DAVIDO MEETS DRAKE, CANADIAN RAPPER 0!“E don Finally Choke” – Davido says as He meets Canadian Rapper ‘Drake’ for the First Time [Video]FlvibeMar 13, 2021Read original“E don Finally Choke” – Davido says as He meets Canadian Rapper ‘Drake’ for the First Time Nigerian Afrobeats singer, Davido has linked up with Canadian rapper, Drake in the States.Davido is currently on a tour in the States and he has been meeting up and having fun with his industry friends all across the states he has visited.In his latest post on his Instagram page, he shared a video of himself and Drake having a lovely time as he kept blurting out the word, Echoke. In the video sighted by, Davido said, Who dey breathe, who dey breathe, Baba e choke.Drake repeated after him and tried saying e choke several times but he could not get it right because of his American accent.

March 14, 2021


March 14, 2021

Bastion of Baltimore’s Black elite, Ashburton neighborhood is quiet and like a suburb
MAR 13, 2021 AT 5:00 AM

The Ashburton Area Association, in the Ashburton neighborhood. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)
Editor’s note: The Ashburton profile is one article in The Sun’s City of Neighborhoods series, spotlighting Baltimore communities. Other neighborhoods in the series: Upton, Mount Winans, Stonewood-Pentwood-Winston and Dickeyville.

For decades, Ashburton in Northwest Baltimore has been the base of Baltimore’s Black elite. Former mayors Kurt Schmoke, Sheila Dixon, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Catherine Pugh have all called it home, as have doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. The small neighborhood’s tranquil, upper-class vibe is distinguished by a preponderance of English-style architecture; think steep, slate roofs, stone or stucco walls, stained-glass windows and manicured lawns.

Named after a distinctive mansion along Liberty Heights Avenue, the neighborhood has long been considered unique, charming and beloved. Ashburton has been nestled in Northwest Baltimore for almost a century. At first, the neighborhood was predominantly white and Christian and barred minority families from moving in. But between the 1930s and ’40s, the neighborhood slowly integrated with a growing Jewish population. And between the 1950s and ’60s, Ashburton’s demographics shifted again with more Black families moving into the community and owning properties.

In 1959, as Ashburton’s Black population was 5% and increasing, an article in the Saturday Evening Post called it a “changing neighborhood.” One resident was quoted saying the racist, yet common for the time sentiment, that the difference in skin color did not bother him, but the economic threat Black neighbors posed to the community did. Others quoted thought that if more people of color moved in, property values and the quality of houses would go down.

Six decades after that article was published, Ashburton is now 90% Black.

Physical space
Ashburton is bounded primarily by Callaway, Liberty Heights, Sequoia and Wabash avenues and Hilton Road.

It’s a quiet neighborhood some say is like a suburb with a range of single-family ranch-style houses, cottages and mansions with stained-glass windows.

“There are robust trees and it’s very close to a reservoir,” said Oliver Patrick, a visual artist who has lived in the area for nearly 40 years. “It’s an area that feels like you have to drive miles out of the city just to get there.”

Ashburton’s population fell from 2,833 in the 1990 Census to 2,520 in the 2010 Census, according to an analysis by Baltimore’s planning department — and the city’s total population has fallen in the past decade. In 2018, Ashburton’s median household income was $53,343, about 94% of the city’s median income; it had lower unemployment (5%) than the city at large (7%). The median home sales price from 2017-2019 was about $130,000, well above the city median sales price of about $80,000.

Homes on Ellamont Road in the Ashburton neighborhood. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)
Transit and walkability
The walkability score ranks 50 out of 100 according to Live Baltimore. Rideshares, bike and scooter rentals are readily available.

Two people were slain last year in Ashburton.

Twenty-eight percent of the crimes within the past year were burglaries.

The schools in the area are performing between average and below average with rates between 1 to 5 on a scale of 10, according to

Things to do
There are several places of worship including Liberty Grace Church of God, Heritage United Church of Christ and the Hasuna Allahu Islamic Center mosque. If driving, Ashburton is nine minutes from the Maryland Zoo, 10 minutes from Druid Hill Park and 15 minutes from Baltimore’s downtown. Residents can also stroll down to Hanlon Park and sit by the 10-acre body of water, Lake Ashburton.

Edward “Ted” Caroll is a representative of the Ashburton Area Association and has lived in the neighborhood since 1970, when he was a toddler. His mother, Beatrice Odom Scott was dubbed the matriarch of Ashburton. A Sunday-school teacher at the Heritage United-Christ Church in Liberty Heights, she eventually became the president of their neighborhood association, where she served on the board.

Carroll says he has fond memories of his late mother taking their family dog to visit elders living in a nearby senior center.

Copyright © 2021, Baltimore Sun 

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March 14, 2021


Made Kuti…

Chip of the old block By Daniel Anazia 13 March 2021   |   3:09 am

For Omorinmade Kuti, better known as Made Kuti, spending his lifetime making music and playing his role in keeping the Kuti heritage alive is what he considers as happiness. Hence, his ability to be living above the pressures and expectations of what he should look like and the kind of music he should be making as the grandson of the legendary Afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. As a multi-instrumentalist, Made, made his debut into the music scene last year with his single, Free Your Mind, which he said encourages listeners to live above the chains placed on them by the country’s supposedly limiting education system. The single preceded his debut album entitled For(e)ward, which was released last month via Partisan Records, together with his father’s (Femi Kuti) Stop the Hate as Legacy +, in a way showcase to the world the bond between him and his father, and how important the message of his music is to him and the Kuti dynasty. Throughout the album, the young Kuti offers a fresh take on the Afrobeat sound that his grandfather, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who was revered and referred to as the Abami Eda (weird one), pioneered in the 1970s and ‘80s. In the project, Made carries the torch of his family’s black consciousness and activist politics, using his songs to address the government’s neglect, police brutality, and the need for progressive action in the supposedly ‘giant of Africa’ nation. “I thought that it would be really cool to drop a joint project with my dad. My dad and I then searched to see if any father and child had done any such thing before, but we couldn’t find any. We are the first to do this, to the best of our knowledge. “We just wanted the message and passion of music and our bond—our relationship to be out there. It happened in a very good and fluid way. I recorded my part of the album and for the mixing, we listened to each other’s side of the project and made sure everything blended,” he said. In one of the tracks entitled Different Streets, Made notes, “A self-centered way of life will bring all of us down in the end,” adding that, “We must try to find a way to revolt without it being violent. I believe the best revolution will come from the mind; it will come from thinking, it will come from rediscovery.” The song starts off on an invigorating note, with an Afrobeat rhythm driven by a pulsing riff, which the artiste delivered in a freeform alto sax solo with laid down thick layers of drums, as he plays all the instruments himself. “You cannot deny the things that you are taught as a child, and you cannot deny the things that are expected of you as a child as well. You are forced to always think and learn,” the 25-year-old musician added. Though a toddler when his grandfather, Fela Kuti, died in 1997, his father Femi Kuti, through his own band, The Positive Force, has kept the Afrobeat message alive in more recent decades. Fela had decades ago became famous across the world for his bold Afrobeat grooves. In songs that routinely filled both sides of an LP, the Afrobeat maestro laid down a potent distillation of West African highlife, lace with Yoruba rhythms, and James Brown-style funk. Singing in Pidgin English —a widely-spoken dialect in Nigeria that helped him reach a broader audience across the country and continent— Fela lampooned corrupt officials, the military (which he called zombie-like soldiers), and colonial mentalities that still held sway in the years after the nation’s independence from British rule in 1960. In this article: Made Kutimusic Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421 No comments yet


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