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Call for Papers — Creative Activism Now!: Andrew Salkey and Today’s Diasporic Cultural Networks

A celebratory conference placing Andrew Salkey’s legacy in the modern moment and exploring the Caribbean diasporic networks of today will be held at The Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London on Saturday 20th June 2020.

Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Robert A. Hill, leading scholar on Marcus Garvey and Research Professor, Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Professor Nadia Ellis, author of Territories of the Soul: Queered Belonging in the Black Diaspora, English Department, University of California, Berkeley

Writer and broadcaster Andrew Salkey became a central figure in a circle of Caribbean writers, artists and intellectuals when he moved to London from Jamaica in the 1950s, later co-founding the Caribbean Artists Movement and dedicating his life to literary activism across the Caribbean diaspora. While his achievements and influence were widely acknowledged in his own lifetime, his name is less-well-known today. Twenty-five years on from Salkey’s death, this conference seeks to retrieve his legacy and to open up questions about today’s Caribbean diasporic networks. How have they changed? Are the same questions from the past still important today?

Born in Panama in 1928 and raised in Jamaica, Andrew Salkey was a novelist, poet, editor, broadcaster and academic. He embodied the Black Radical Tradition as a member of the League of Coloured Peoples and the Movement for Colonial Freedom; as an author and folklorist; and in his support for revolutionary Cuba and the freedom struggles of Guyana and Chile. Salkey was the main presenter and writer-in-residence in the Caribbean section of the BBC World Service giving a platform for a generation of writers including Sam Selvon, George Lamming and V S Naipaul through its ‘Caribbean Voices’ programme. He was influential in the British publishing industry, recommending V S Naipaul and Wilson Harris to Andre Deutsch and Faber & Faber respectively, championing women writers such as Beryl Gilroy, and supporting Bogle L’Ouverture and New Beacon Books in their pioneering roles as the first publishing houses for Black writing in Britain. In 1966, he co-founded the Caribbean Artists Movement alongside Kamau Brathwaite and John La Rose. From 1976 until his death in 1995, Salkey lived in the US and worked as Professor of Creative Writing at Hampshire College in Amherst. His life and work have been seen as embodying the Black Radical Tradition.

Dubbed the unofficial archivist of the Caribbean cultural scene by his friend Sam Selvon, he preserved not only his own literary drafts, diaries and wide-ranging correspondence, but also rare printed ephemera, news cuttings, project files and sound recordings. The Andrew Salkey Archive will be open to researchers at the British Library from autumn 2020.

We are currently accepting abstracts for 15-minute papers from scholars and early career researchers with an interest in Caribbean diaspora studies. We encourage paper proposals from a wide variety of institutions. We also welcome papers from writers, artists, performers, activists and archivists.

Themes to consider:

  • The works of Andrew Salkey
  • Literary and cultural networks across the Diaspora – past and present
  • Women’s writing and activism
  • The Caribbean Artists Movement
  • Diasporic communication, languages and idioms
  • Expressions of home, belonging, exile, transnationality
  • Radical Politics, Black Radical Aesthetics, human liberation
  • The politics of the archive, memory and erasure, the ethics of dispersed and contested archives, Decolonising the Archive
  • New media, broadcasting, publishing, literary festivals

A British Library conference in collaboration with Goldsmiths Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies, Goldsmiths MA in Black British Writing and The Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library

Access bursaries of up to £250 will be available to delegates not in permanent employment to help with travel and/or childcare costs. Details of how to apply will be shared with applicants once paper acceptances have been circulated. The bursaries have been made available through support from the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library. Any enquiries about the bursaries should be sent to eccles-centre@bl.uk.

Abstracts for papers and enquiries should be sent by e-mail to Eleanor Casson, Eleanor.Casson@bl.uk

Deadline for abstracts: Monday 27th January 2020

Decisions announced: March 2020

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Watch “Stolen Legacy of African History ft Asa Hilliard and Dr. Ben ” on Ninja

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CO.Z Feat. Beat Master – Loyalty


Cozea Naagon Gwaikolo AKA CO.Z is a Liberian Hip Hop Artist and songwirter based in Liberia, West Africa. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota CO.Z was inspired early on during his life by both American and Liberian musicians. Hip Hop is the standard style of his music mixed with a form of Liberian musical flow of Hipco using Liberian vinacular. CO.Z recorded his first proffessional song with his rap group AKH at Taylor Sounds Records in North Minneapolis in 2003. Since then many doors have been opened such as live performances, industry connects and songs.

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Epic Trilogy of the Mask

The Epic Trilogy of the Mask Supremacist Ancestral Apprentice / Melodic Isolation Like Cesaria Evora over Cavaquinhos / Attempts to Break the Sphere of My Design.

There is a problem to bear in mind by which hampers the individual from becoming a universally functioning organism. Let’s look @ education, education is essentially ineffective as humans advance the complaint will increase. The education that we are receiving is frustrating the purposes of that which is locked inside of our own Neter. Education is not giving expression to this individuality but is directing it forcibly into courses that are perhaps inconsistent with its basic patterns and purposes.

Gradually with right decisions will bring us enlightenment and companionship in the spiritual adventure of existence these are the things that are important and that every man/woman should give thought to every day.

The Heavens is the only organization that can survive.

Virtue cannot be attained by hiding oneself from vice. Virtue is a consciousness which transcends vice, corrects it, and goes on. Anything that is an evasion or avoidance means we are closing a channel by which the life in us is supposed to function. A full life means we grow from mistakes and benefit from them.

Divine Power

Help to restore the world which your Ancestors left. Bring about now the conditions which will advance the destiny of your descendants and help to leave a better reality behind. Think of the body as a temple the sanctuary of divine power. We are all living houses for the life that dwells within us. In this temple is the heart which is the High Altar, here is where the Divine Spirit abides with us. Our body is a living house of a living ancestor, a place of worship a place dedicated to Life.

Order of the Divine Creative