Blogs

Pedro Perez Sarduy

I haven't had much time to catalogue of late but yesterday I delved into a slim file of correspondence and ephemera relating to the Cuban poet, writer and journalist, Pedro Perez Sarduy. It was good to practice my Spanish! A card and 2 short letters sent to John La Rose in the 1980s covered a lot of ground, including the U.S.

S. Anai Kelueljang- Poetry and Imprisonment

The file I covered this week on the Sudanese poet, Sirr Anai Kelueljang, contained a mixed set of correspondence relating to the publication of his collection, The Myth of Freedom, in 1985 by New Beacon Books. In a letter dated 12 Oct 1982, John La Rose praised his work for its “impressive directness and forthrightness” and went on to comment that “The rhythms, at times, read with an interesting awkwardness. I suspect they work from sounds in Dinka language mythology and experience".

Shake Keane

Today I finished cataloguing a file on the prize-winning poet and jazz musician Ellsworth McGranahan ‘Shake’ Keane , the correspondence of which surrounded the distribution by New Beacon Books of The Volcano Suite (1979), a collection of poems by Keane. Whilst detailing book deliveries and invoices, the letters also offer a touching insight into Keane’s troubled state of mind and those concerned about him.

Angela Davis at the Keskidee Centre

I recently digitised a cassette of Angela Davis speaking at the Keskidee Centre on 10th December 1974, which had no other information written on it. I've been listening to it today and it really conveys something that a written transcript of the event wouldn't capture - the intimacy of the event in spite of the large number of people who attended; the atmosphere - children crying and complaining - in fact one of the biggest rounds of applause is given to a woman who asks her child to shut up because the child is whining whilst Angela Davis is speaking!

Mangrove 9 Screening at the BFI

I saw 'Mangrove Nine' for the first time at a GPI event in Brixton some months ago, at which Ian Macdonald, one of the barristers at the Old Bailey trial, gave the audience a fascinating insight into his experience of the case and shared his concerns about the parallels in police and court activity today.  It was great to see the film again in April alongside Horace Ove's film 'A Hole in Babylon', as part of the BFI’s African Odysseys programme.

Exploring HLF Community Based Archive Project: The George Padmore Institute

On 28th March we held a joint event with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) at Bruce Castle.
The idea behind the event was to showcase our current Dream to Change the World archive project as a successful HLF-funded project and to share lessons and advice with groups who are thinking of applying for HLF funding or who are already in the process of applying for a grant.

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