Monthly Archives: May 2012

The JA 50th Launch…

‘Christopher Columbus is a damn blasted liar…’ the crystal clear sound of the unmistakable Burning Spear resonates through the built in speakers at the Council house with stalwarts such as Marley, Isaacs and a wealth of renowned reggae artists, welcoming guests to Jamaica’s 50th Independence launch.

We arrive to rum punch, ginger beer, wine and sorrel generously doused with….yes you guessed it rum!

The Deputy High Commissioner Mrs Joan Edwards, having missed her train from London to Nottingham has the proceedings running behind schedule… but it wouldn’t have been an authentic Jamaican event without the obligatory late start!

After a reshuffling of chairs, best suits and dresses straightened, the ceremony begins with a welcome from the Master of Ceremony Mr Eddy Maxwell MBE followed promptly by blessings from Reverend Stapleton.  A brief welcome from the new Sheriff of Nottingham Merlita Brian follows soon after.

Councillor Eunice Campbell sets the tone by giving an overview of the achievements and accomplishments of Jamaicans in the Diaspora over the last 50 years… names such as Len Garrison, Eric Ions and Tony Robinson, who served three terms as Sheriff of Nottingham, adorn the airwaves, along with Merlita Brian the first black female sheriff of Nottingham.

A poetry reading from Rosey Thomas Palmer author of Hues of Blackness a Jamaican Saga,leads us into an interval and the banquet begins…

 …fried fish, dumplings, plantains, curry pasta, salt fish fritters, chicken, spiced rice,  bun, fruit salad and cake as well as…a selection of Jamaican patties… and then  more rum punch and ginger beer and sorrel, yes you guessed it laced with rum… hiccup!!!

Bellies full, guest once again seated, the passionate Pitman Browne, renowned author, entertains the audience combining his unique blend of humour and gritty reality in a poem about sugar.  An impromptu public announcement almost causes a flurry of embarrassment but renegades are suitably quelled to make way for the heart warming commentary from the Deputy High Commissioner, Mrs Edwards.

She is followed by an energetic presentation from Sasha Monique-Henry (JDUK PRO). She highlights the events nationally including Jamaican Diaspora day!?Didn’t know we had one???!!!

Jamaican Diaspora day happens every year on the 16th June, we were informed. It’s now safely tucked away in our diaries.

The events ran smoothly although there was an obvious absence of the third generation, shouldn’t we be passing something on to them?

A selection of photos from the event to whet your appetite for the forthcoming frolics and fun as we all look back over the last 50 years.

We at NBA will be celebrating too with our film showing on the 30th May at ACNA where we will also be launching the start of a new project.  We will also be holding an event on the 17th October at Nottingham Playhouse and co-ordinating entries to an anthology marking 50 years of Jamaican Independence… stay tuned for more posts on this.

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Community Dialouge 2: The Screening…


You are all invited to the next Nottingham Black Archive event which takes place on the 30th May at the ACNA centre. Last year NBA embarked on an Intergenerational Project in partnership with ACNA centre where we interviewed youth and elders of the Nottingham Black community to investigate how we as a community can bridge the generation gap. NBA produced a short documentary that explained what the project was all about and the outcomes, and would like to share this with the community.

We are also taking this opportunity to explain NBA’s various new projects, ignite  dialouge, share poetry and food…hope to see you there!

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Introducing Asha…

To complete our series of introductions to the NBA directors we present Asha…


Singing, poetry and music are a few of Asha’s passions and her idea of a good night is strum away on one of her many guitars and have a good old sing song. Asha loves to write and was first published at the age of 15 by Penguin Press.

Asha has a BA Hons Multimedia Communications and Culture which underpins her work with communities and families which she has been doing for the last ten years in Nottingham and the West Midlands. Through her work Asha assists people from disadvantaged communities by creating holistic community projects.

Asha doesn’t have a favourite food per se as she likes to eat mostly everything. Jollof rice, prawn lasagne, cakes and pastries she loves them all. There are however only a few things she doesn’t like and when she finds out what they are she’ll let you know.

One of the highlights of Asha’s life so far was her visit to Ghana in 2001 where she attended a school and studied with some young women. It was a life changing and humbling experience which she still remembers like it was yesterday.

A good scrounge around charity shop is a something Asha takes quite seriously. She searches for all sorts of odds and ends but in particular buttons which she uses to “jazz up” clothes and also makes brooches and hair clips. 

To find out more about Asha do visit her blog

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