Fire in the Belly. Book launch with Stella Dadzie

November 12th 6.30pm
British Black Power activist Stella Dadzie, author of the classic ‘Heart of the Race’, discusses her new book on African female resistance

About this Event

“Shocking, enlightening, fascinating, challenging, A Kick in the Belly reframes the overwhelmingly male perspective on the transatlantic slave trade through female experiences and acts of resistance. It is a essential corrective to centuries of sublimation and the presentation of black women who lived through this history as passive victims. I cannot recommend it highly enough. “

Berndardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other

From the coffle-line to the Great House, enslaved women found ways of fighting back that beggar belief. Whether responding to the horrendous conditions of plantation life, the sadistic vagaries of their captors or the “peculiar burdens of their sex,” their collective sanity relied on a highly subversive adaptation of the values and cultures they smuggled with them naked from different parts of Africa. By sustaining or adapting remembered cultural practices, they ensured that the lives of chattel slaves retained both meaning and purpose. A Kick in the Belly makes clear that their subtle acts of insubordination and their conscious acts of rebellion came to undermine the very fabric and survival of West Indian slavery.

. This is a meticulously researched narrative that privileges the people who were so brutally treated that it was easy to assume they had no agency. We now know that such an assumption would be mistaken. This is an essential addition to the corpus of historical study into the nature, legacy and impacts of the period of African enslavement. It’s finally a work that allows us to better understand and recognise how women disrupted the principal economic principles supporting the enslavement of generations of people.”

Arike Oke, Director of the Black Cultural Archives

This online conversation with Stella Dadzie will be hosted by Dr Michelle Asantewa. The Zoom link will be sent one hour before the event starts.

Queen Nzinga was an African Queen who fought against the European invasion of southern Africa (Congo/Angola). The Queen Nzinga lecture series features African female academics / holders of expert knowledge speaking on topics of their choice on a monthly basis. The Nzinga lecture series will provide a regular platform for women of African descent to highlight important issues in an academic setting. See previous Queen Nzingha lectures here:

About the Speaker: Stella Dadzie is a founder member of OWAAD and is best known for The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain (London: Virago, 1985), which won the 1985 Martin Luther King Award for Literature, and which she co-authored with Beverley Bryan and Suzanne Scafe. She has written widely on curriculum development and good practice with black adult learners and other minorities. She is well known for her contribution to tackling youth racism and working with racist perpetrators, and is a key contributor to the development of anti-racist strategies with schools, colleges and youth services. She appeared in And Still I Rise, a documentary exploring the social and historical origins of stereotypes of African women and has been a guest of Germaine Greer on her BBC2 discussion programme The Last Word.

Other coming events from Black History Walks

  • African Women Resistance Leaders: Political and Spiritual. (Course)2021
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy in the Caribbean: Barbados
  • Black British Race Riots of 1919 and current relevance
  • Medical Apartheid: European experiments on Black Bodies Part 1 and 2
  • Jim Kelly Kung Fu and Black British Civil Rights
  • The gentrification of Peckham and Black urban removal worldwide
  • Haille Selassie and the Black History of Bath
  • Stan ‘Marvel’ Lee’s Black history
  • Medical Apartheid :European experiments on African bodies

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