Black History Month presents.. Celebrating Black British Voices
As firm believers of the power of words, and speaking and meditating on good things, this Black History Month, we are sharing some of the most profound and inspirational comments and expressions from the Black British Community.
“We must be unafraid to reach out and take folks by the hand and say, ‘I’ve come to help you pick up your crown.’”
Cynthia Erivo is an actress, singer and songwriter. She is famously known for her outstanding performance in the hit Broadway revival of The Colour Purple, where she played the character of Cecile.
She is passionate about seeing all women win, and she blazes the trial for women to live an authentic sisterhood.
Who’s crown could you help adjust today?
“I’m too hungry to complain about having too much on my plate.”
Based on the children Vitae supports, education is free but the basic resources to get to school often are not. Whenever a watch is sold, Vitae support children with 2 sets of school uniform, a pair of shoes and a school bag to get to school every year. Who’s life could you help change this week?
“There is a longing to try something that is actually new, not just re-spun, and African cuisines are filling that gap.”
Zoe Adjonyoh – Founder of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is a pop-up restaurant and catering business based in South London. Zoe desired to no longer keep the specialities of Ghanaian cuisine a delicious secret but instead create a digestible and authentic approach to the Ghanaian menu.
Zoe is also a published author having created a cookbook filled with traditional Ghanaian recipes, making Ghanaian food less alien and more accessible. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is based in Pop Brixton and we urge you to sample her incredible food. When was the last time you tried something new?
“Life is not a dress rehearsal, everyday is show day.”
Vicki Igbowke. Creative Director, Choreographer and Founder of Uchenna Dance. Uchenna Dance is a dance company passionate about people and enabling them to realise their full potential, using the creative catalyst of a dance to do so.
Uchenna Dance creates work to empower, entertain and educate viewers, and they are currently touring their immersive story of ‘The Head Wrap Diaries’ – a show choreographed to celebrate the diversity of black womanhood, versatility of afro-hair and to empower ALL women to be confident in their skin and hair choices. Dance to the beat of your own drum!
“Stop waiting for permission to be great and answering questions you haven’t asked.”
Kojo Anim. Writer, Producer, Director, Stand Up Comic, and Founder of The Colour Network. The Colour Network is a black entertainment digital platform, with a directory filled with short films, web series, interviews & music from the UK.
In September, The Colour Network hosted their first (of many) Black Magic Awards, a live show that salutes the contributions women of colour have made to black entertainment, business, education and the community. In Kojo’s thank you speech, he shared the above quote; so what are you waiting for?
“Set yourself a goal, whether big or small, and achieve it.”
Life comes with its complications of which some are unavoidable, so success need not be complex because it is relative to all. Whether the goal is academic, personal or professional, know what you want, set the goal and work towards achieving it.
“We all think differently, see differently and do different things, and it’s important for me to gravitate and vibe with the people from across the pond.”
Broderick Hunter was the special guest for the most recent Success Talks event, and before he was met with the screaming female dominated audience, we asked what he was most looking forward to about being part of Success Talks, and for him it was about understanding the perspectives of those in the UK.
The beautiful thing about events and community is that we each come to the table with unique experiences and metrics of how we define success. However, listening to the stories of those from different places and different lifestyles often highlights more common ground and universal areas of success.
“If you see me less, I’m doing more.”
She is also the youngest, first female and black publisher at any magazine under the Condé Nast umbrella, and we have no doubt that her career at Vogue, in partnership with Edward Enninful, is going to heighten the visibility of diversity in the pages and in the office.
Like Edward, let’s use the blessings and opportunities we’ve been given to bring others in. Vanessa, you are an inspiration to us!
“Laughter is healing.”
Judi Love. Comedian, Actress and Writer. Renowned for her hilarious home videos, Judi Love finds humour in everyday reality. She is well on her to be one of the UK’s funniest women and is already stamping her name across entertainment and activism.
She continues to produce relatable content that fuses inspiration and comedy, and we are looking forward to the belly laughs to come!
“It’s great that we live in a world now where you can create your own opportunities, instead of waiting for someone to hand it to you.”
Riaz Phillips. Writer and Founder of Tezeta Press. Tezeta Press is a publishing house dedicated to championing work that tells under-represented stories and shares ideas.
Riaz Phillips is a London-based writer and photographer, and released the first book from the publishing house ‘Belly Full’ earlier this year. This book introduces readers to the chefs and recipes behind Caribbean food scene in the UK. Belly Full can be purchased here on their website and on Amazon.
“We are passionate about the growth of our young teen women.”
After the incredible success of 2 brunches and 4 workshops over the summer, Treasure Tress Founder, Jamelia Donaldson and Mental Health Activist Simone Powderly rounded off the season of teen experiences with a closing event – The Reunion.
As the penultimate experience, over 100 teens were inspired by a selection of incredible speakers and interactive activities, encouraging teens to engage with one another offline. Planning for The Teen Experience 2018 is underway so please keep up with their socials for more updates!
“There’s a certain beauty that I see from the rawest form of fabric being manipulated, to become something that can protect for a service.”
Nigel Ruwende. Founder & MD at Saint and Birchley. Saint and Birchley is a textiles company that specialises in creating made to order aprons and homeware accessories. Creatively, Nigel’s career started in personal styling, but he soon realised that he was more inspired by the construction of a garment itself than constructing garments on people.
Now, for Nigel, the beautiful simplicity about making something so basically functional is truly where his passion sits. Let’s not over complicate things this week – it’s time to simplify!
“You’re surrounded by children of world leaders, generational billionaires and very little black presence. Sometimes people need to see someone who looks like them, talks like them and someone they can see themselves in.”
Coming from parents in Christian ministry, the multiple roles Esther’s parents played in her life was a strange paradigm to navigate. That said, the dynamics at home re-affirmed her work at Opened Palm and further demonstrated the importance of representation for young people.
“The greatest form of wealth is human connection and human interaction.”
Anthony Joshua. Professional Boxer and the People’s Champion. With almost 20 winning fights at amateur level during his 20’s, he was publicly titled a champion when he won the GB Amateur Boxing Championships back in 2010. Since then, his skills gained him global recognition when he secured a well-deserved position in the 2012 Olympics games and took home the Gold for Great Britain.
He has also received an MBE, takes great pride in giving back to those less fortunate, and believes that relationships are one of the most influential forms of currency in the world. When we connect sincerely with others, we open ourselves up to unexpected self-discovery.
“We live a world that teaches us that we are not enough, and it’s a lie.”
Jay & Tri of Curlture. Natural hair enthusiasts and, lifestyle and beauty influencers. Curlture, a multi-faceted word created by these two ladies, is a term they’ve defined as accepting your culture, and then in turn, embracing your natural hair.
Founded in 2014, Culture began their journey as an online platform for all things natural hair maintenance, styling and opinion. Since then, they have become some of the most reliable and respected voices in the black British community pertaining to culture, black owned business reviews, and self care; think of them as the one stop shop for all things Black pop culture.