This is my third set of UK notes for those looking for Black History Month work.
Adelaide Hall (1901-1993) was an American born, UK based, a multi-talented jazz singer and entertainer. She was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Her career spanned from 1921 to 1993 when she died.
Her most famous recording was Creole Love Call with Duke Ellington in 1927.
In 2004 Adelaide was mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records for being the most enduring recording artist for having released material over 8 decades.
Dr. Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah ( b. 1958) was born and raised in Birmingham, England. His poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls ‘street politics’
He loved Handworth, but aged 22 he sought a wider mainstream audience. Page One Books, a small publisher in London, published -Pen Rhymes his first book - sold 3 editions.
It was in performance that the Dub (Reggae) poet would cause a revolution- injecting new life into the British poetry scene.
Over a 22 day period in 1991 he performed on every continent on the planet,
He became a children’s poet. *Talking Turkeys was a great success.
In 1999 he wrote a ground breaking novel for teenagers Face.
Many young writers say that accessibility to his work has inspired them to write.
Bernadine Evaristo (b. 1959) is a British author who was born in London to an English mother and Nigerian father. Her writings include short fiction, drama, poetry, essays, literacy criticism and projects for stage and screen. She is a longstanding advocate for the inclusion of writers and artists of colour, setting up many successful Black projects.
In 2019 her eighth book, the novel * Girl Woman, Other* won the Booker prize, making her the first black woman and first black person to win it. In June 2020 she became the first woman of colour and the first black British writer to get a No.1 in the UK paperback fiction charts.
She received an MBE (2009) and OBE (2020) for services to literature.
Francis Morgan Ayodele Thompson (b 1958)- Daley Thompson double Olympic Decathlon Champion (1980 and 1984) . BRITAIN’s GREATEST ALL ROUND ATHLETE. (See notes)
Fanny Eaton (1835-1924) was Jamaican born artists model and domestic worker. She is best known as model for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Joan Armatrading (b.1950) is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist. Her recording career has spanned nearly 50 years.
John Edmonstone (1793-c.1833) was the a black enslaved man, probably born in Demerera who later gained freedom. He taught taxidermy at Edinburgh University. Did Charles Darwin study under him?
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was an English composer and conductor.
Remembered for Song of Hiawatha cantatas.
Stuart McPhail Hall (1932-2014) -one of the founding figures of the school now known as British Cultural Studies. Founder 'New Left Review
Walter Daniel John Tull (1888-1918) played for Spurs & Rangers. Died in action
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