Hope Powell

Hope Patricia Powell

Hope Patricia Powell, CBE,

is an English former international footballer and women’s first-team manager of Brighton & Hove Albion. Powell rose to prominence as a coach in the late 1990s, when she was appointed the first ever full-time coach of the England Women’s team in 1998.

She then led the national team to qualification for the 2001 UEFA European Championship finals, and just missed out on leading the team to the semi-finals of the same competition four years later. The talented coach briefly combined her role as national team coach by taking charge of the under-19s.

She guided them to the semi-finals of the UEFA Women’s Championship in 2002 and 2003, and the quarter finals of the inaugural FIFA U19 Championship in 2002. Powell led England to a World Cup quarter-final appearance in 2007 – where the team lost to USA – before taking the Lionesses all the way to the European Championship Final in 2009, where they were beaten by Germany, however, another World Cup quarter-final appearance followed in 2011, and England’s progress on the international scene saw them rise to a highest-ever position of sixth in the FIFA rankings.

On 19 July 2017, Brighton & Hove Albion announced that Powell had been appointed as first-team manager of the club’s women’s team.

Ranking Miss P

Ranking Miss P

Ranking Miss P 

is a British radio presenter, born in London to Jamaican parents.

After leaving school, Miss P was studying to become a teacher but instead was persuaded by her brother DJ Lepke to start broadcasting on his community radio station, Dread Broadcasting Corporation (DBC), the first black station in Europe.

In 1983, Miss P was approached by BBC Television to compose and perform visual promotional trails and the theme song for their weekly magazine programme Ebony.

On 31 March 1985, she began presenting a weekly reggae show on BBC Radio 1 on Sunday nights. It was Radio 1’s first ever show dedicated solely to reggae music, and Miss P was one of the station’s first black presenters. Her entire show on the 12 May 1985, was a tribute to the life and music of Bob Marley.  Ranking Miss P left BBC Radio 1 in 1989 and went on to present a programme called Riddim and Blues on BBC London 94.9 on Saturday nights, in which she played a wide variety of black music. She has two sons and a daughter.

Both DJ Lepke (real name Leroy Anderson) and Ranking Miss P are the younger siblings of Bob Marley’s wife Rita Marley.

Linton Kwesi Johnson

Linton Kwesi Johnson

 is a Jamaican dub poet based in the UK. In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series. His performance poetry involves the recitation of his own verse in Jamaican Patois over dub-reggae.  Johnson was born in Chapelton, a small town in the rural parish of Clarendon, Jamaica. In 1963 he came to live in Brixton, London, joining his mother who had immigrated to Britain shortly before Jamaican independence in 1962. While still at school he joined the British Black Panther Movement, helped to organise a poetry workshop within the movement, and developed his work with Rasta Love, a group of poets and drummers.

Johnson went on to study for a degree in sociology at Goldsmiths College in New Cross, London (graduating in 1973). During the early to mid-1970s he was employed as the first paid library resources and education officer at the Keskidee Centre, where his poem Voices of the living and the dead was staged, produced by Jamaica novelist Lindsay Barrett, with music by the reggae group Rasta Love. Johnson has recalled: “it was fantastic, you know, having written something and having it staged with actors and musicians. That was back in 1973 before I had a poem published anywhere. That was before anyone had ever heard of Linton Kwesi Johnson.”

Felix

Felix Dexter

Felix Dexter

Comedian, actor and writer Felix Dexter was born in St Kitts and moved with his parents to London when he was seven years old.

Although he qualified as a barrister, his gift for comedy lured him from a legal career towards comedy and he became a stand-up, touring live venues across London and the wider UK, before securing an in-house spot at the famous Comedy Store in London.

He soon went on to appear on many sketch shows, including as Bellamy’s People and The Fast Show.

 His ability to slip into a range of characterisations and accents made him perfect for the stage as well. He appeared with Christian Slater in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and also with the Royal Shakespeare Company. But it is his sharp-witted comedy that most will remember him for. He was Time Out’s Comedian of the Year in 1993. He co-starred in ground-beaking comedy programme The Real McCoy, and guest starred in many other shows.

Aged just 52 when he died of bone marrow cancer, his legacy remains. The BBC runs a bursary helping young black, Asian, or other minority ethnic writers into creating comedy. It is named the Felix Dexter Bursary in his honour.

Olive Morris

Olive Morris

Olive Elaine Morris was a British community leader and activist in the feminist, black nationalist, and squatters’ rights campaigns of the 1970s in the United Kingdom. She lived predominantly in South London. Leaving school without qualifications, she later went on to study at the London College of Printing. In the early 1970s, Olive became a member of the youth section of the British Black Panther Movement (later the Black Workers movement), alongside Linton Kwesi Johnson, Clovis Reid, and Farrukh Dhondy. In August 1972 she and a friend, Liz Obi, planned to visit the American Black Panther leader, Eldridge Cleaver, who was in exile in Algeria, but they became stranded in Morocco.

Olive squatted at 121 Railton Road, Brixton with her friend Liz Obi in 1973. This squat became a hub of political activism and hosted community groups such as Black People against State Harassment. The sit remained a social centre and a centre for the squatting movement until its closure in 1999. 121 Railton Road was also the site of the Sabarr Bookshop, one of the first black community bookshops. It was set up by a group of black men and women in Brixton that included Olive Morris.

Olive studied at Manchester University between 1975 and 1978. Her activism did not take a break in the absence of London. She became involved in the Manchester Black Women’s Co-operative and the Black Women’s Mutual Aid Group as well as establishing a supplementary school after campaigning with local black parents for better education provision for their children.

Olive became ill during a trip to Spain in 1978, she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and underwent treatment which was unsuccessful. She passed away on the 12th of July 1979 at St Thomas’s Hospital, Lambeth and was buried in Streatham Vale cemetery. She was 27 years old.

Cadet

Cadet

Cadet, born Blaine Cameron Johnson, was a rising star tipped for a incredibly bright future.

The younger cousin of Krept, Johnson began pursuing a solo career as a rapper in 2015, releasing a number of freestyles through YouTube outlets such as OSM Vision and Link Up TV. His debut project, The Commitment, was released in 2016, followed by The Commitment 2 the following year. He is perhaps best known for his single “Advice” featuring Deno, which peaked at number 14 on the UK Top 40.

The Brit rapper based in London, was only 28 when his taxi was involved in a horror crash, resulting in his tragic death.

His celebrity fans include the likes of Craig David, Tinie Tempah, Example and X Factor’s Sarah-Jane Crawford. One of his most famous tracks was ‘Advice’ which also features Deno. Cadet was also famous for his collaboration with Da Beatfreakz, AJ, Deno and Swarmz on the single Pumpy.

His career started off by rapping beside the London-base duo Krept & Konan, but after appearing at the Wireless Festival with them a couple years back, Cadet decided to go solo – remaining forever grateful to the famous duo for giving him a kick-start.

Cadet devastatingly died while travelling in a cab when it crashed in the early hours of February 9 of this year while on his way to a gig.

Zita Holbourne

Zita Holbourne

Zita Holbourne is an award winning, trade union, community & human rights campaigner and activist, sell-out author, visual artist, curator, poet and writer. She studied art & graphic design at the London College of Printing and Watford School of Art. Zita has over 30 years of experience working as a graphic designer, illustrator & make-up artist and exhibits at a range of cultural, community & political events.

Outside of her creative pursuits, Zita has worked in employment law and rights, industrial relations and has been a senior trade activist for 25 years and counting.

 Zita has curated political and cultural art exhibitions to challenge racism, wider discrimination, injustice and to promote equality, justice, rights and freedom.  Zita is the founder of the Roots, Culture and Identity arts collective and touring exhibitions, showcasing the art of predominantly young black, Asian and migrant artists.  Zita was commissioned by the TUC to design a poster for the TUC Stephen Lawrence Trust Fundraising Appeal; her art has been used for numerous campaign leaflets, flyers, posters and adverts.

Zita is a proud and committed trade union activist and is elected to the PCS Union National Executive Committee & the TUC Race Relations Committee. Her political views and opinions are regularly featured in print and broadcast media and she is a regular writer for news sources including The Voice, The Morning Star and most recently The Guardian.  She is the Co-Founder and National Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK, elected to the ACTSA (successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement), the Movement Against Xenophobia National Steering Group.  Zita is also part of the UNESCO Coalition of Artists for the general history of Africa and Joint National Chair for the Artists Union of England.

Akala

Akala

Akala

Akala is a British rapper, journalist, author, vegan activist, poet, political activist and public intellectual.

Originally from Kentish Town, London he is the younger brother of rapper/vocalist Ms. Dynamite. In 2006, he was voted the Best Hip Hop Act at the MOBO Awards. He was awarded an honourary doctorate by the University of Brighton in 2018.

He chose the stage-name Akala, a Buddhist term for “Immovable” and started releasing music in 2003 from his own independent music label, Illa State Records. 

He released his first mixtape, entitled The War Mixtape, in 2004. In 2006 he released his first album – It’s Not a Rumour. This proved to be his breakthrough album, containing the single “Shakespeare” – a reference to his self-proclaimed title “The Black Shakespeare” – which made the BBC Radio 1 playlist. His work was recognised with the MOBO Award for Best Hip Hop Act. Additionally in 2006, a mixtape, A Little Darker, was released under the name “Illa State”, featuring Akala and his sister, Ms. Dynamite, as well as cameo appearances by many other artists.

Akala has given guest lectures at East 15 Acting School, University of Essex, Manchester Metropolitan University, Sydney University, Sheffield Hallam University, Cardiff University, and the International Slavery Museum, as well as a workshop on songwriting at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has also spoken at the Oxford Union. He has also been involved in campaigns to ‘decolonise’ the curriculum including giving a talk at the University of Leicester.

Rapper and activist Akala has said that Britain’s rising knife crime rates are due to poverty and lack of education, not race

Nubian Jak

Nubian Jak

Dr Jak Beula is a sculptor, inventor, author, columnist, educator, social activist, and once described by the Voice Newspaper as “Black Britain’s biggest secret”. He is a former singer and model, turned social worker responsible for founding the Nubian Jak group in 1994. He was the frontman for the band This Medusa, which was managed by Don Taylor (previously managing Marvin Gaye and Bob Marley). From 1992 -1995 Jak was the “Face of Interflora” and featured in one of the UK’s most successful advertising campaigns using a Rastafari model.

In 1994, Jak designed and released the edutainment board game Nubian Jak.

 The game was the first “black” board game to receive mainstream distribution in the UK, being sold in the likes of Hamleys and Toys R Us. Between 1994 and 2008, six editions of the game were produced selling over 130,000 copies including in the US, picking up a string of awards during the process.

In 2006, Jak founded the social awareness organisation Nubian Jak Community Trust. The body is responsible for book publishing, exhibitions and seminars, workshops, as well as managing what is considered to be one of the largest “Black” commemorative plaques and sculpture schemes in the world.

To date, the organisation has installed over 50 plaques in the UK, including one erected on Her Majesty’s Foreign Office in Whitehall. In 2018, Nubian Jak erected the largest blue plaque in the World in West London. The plaque was in recognition of 70 pioneers who help with the development of the Notting Hill Carnival. A year earlier, on 22nd June 2017 (Windrush Day) Dr Jak Beula designed, raised the funds for, and permanently installed on Windrush square, the only national memorial in the UK dedicated to African and Caribbean Service personnel who served alongside Britain and Allied Forces during both World Wars. Also known as the “Brixton Cenotaph”, the memorial was endorsed by the Royal Family and unveiled by the then defence minister Sir Michael Fallon, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Jak has designed and created another equally exclusive statue, this time honouring the Windrush and Commonwealth Nurses who have served the NHS since 1948. That 7ft high historic memorial will be installed at London’s Whittington Hospital on Windrush Day 2020.