Literary Legend Dr Erna Brodber in conversation

Tuesday 10 August 6.30pm
Rare chance to hear and speak to this Jamaican, international literary icon whose work is studied in universities around the world

Dr Erna Brodber’s unusual prose, with its poetic form and spiritually redemptive content is a celebration of African diasporic folk cultures. Myths and untold narratives from her native Woodside, St Mary Parish in Jamaica are explored as the source of ancestral power, collective and communal healing. Her work centres on the development of Caribbean literary aesthetics through the consistent use of Jamaican patois and oral traditions, a conscientious methodology that deconstructs dominant Western imperialist forms.

As a Pan-Africanist she is committed to the collectivism and unity of Africans in the diaspora and their continuing struggles for psycho-social emancipation from slavery and colonialism. Writer in residence and former lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Dr Brodber is an author, community activist, cultural historian and sociologist. In her own words, she is best described as ‘an intellectual worker.’ Four of her acclaimed novels, Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home (1980), Myal (1988), Louisiana (1994), The Rainmaker’s Mistake (2007) and collection of lectures The Continent of Black Consciousness (2007) were published by the UK’s foremost Black owned independent press New Beacon Books. A fifth novel, Nothing’s Mat (2014) was published by the University of the West Indies Press.

She has received numerous awards, including the Gold Musgrave medal three times (from the Institute of Jamaica for her work in literature; from the government of Jamaica for community work, from the government of the Netherlands for her work in literature and orature).

In this grounding with Dr Michelle Asantewa, Dr Brodber will share her personal story, her work as a community organiser and her life-long research and community project ‘Blackspace’ rooted in her beloved home village of Woodside.

This event is organised by Black History Walks in conjunction with the Sarah Parker Remond Centre at U.C.L.

About the speakersDr Erna Brodber

Erna Brodber graduated from the University College of the West Indies (UCWI) in 1963 with a BA in History, continuing to complete the MSc Sociology and the PhD in History from the University of the West Indies (UWI). Her work, over many decades, has followed two distinct, though intersecting courses. Her sociological research has focused on social history and biography, the study of inner-city communities and the respective roles of race, gender, culture and class in Caribbean society.

Among the memorable titles of her numerous articles and book chapters are: “A Study of Yards in the City of Kingston”; “Oral Sources and the Creation of the Social History of the Caribbean”; “Reengineering Blackspace”; “The Emergence of Reggae: a 1986 Review” and “Fiction in the Scientific Procedure”.The last mentioned article makes the intimate connection with her other passion, in that between her formal sociological interventions, Erna Brodber, through her novels, has emerged as one of the leading contemporary writers from the Commonwealth Caribbean. From Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home (1980), through Myal (1988), Louisiana (1994), The Rainmaker’s Mistake (2006) and The World is a High Hill (2012), Brodber has developed as a distinct voice with an acute appreciation of the social, cultural and oral spaces of Jamaica and other venues of the African Diaspora.

Erna Brodber is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Order of Distinction, Commander Class from Jamaica, the D.Litt. from the UWI Mona and the Musgrave Gold Medal for Literature and Orature from the Institute of Jamaica. She has taught internationally and held visiting positions across the USA and Europe and, most recently, was Writer in Residence in the Department of Literatures in English here at the UWI Mona. While at SALISES Dr Brodber will be working on a collection of essays, tentatively titled “African-American and African-Jamaican Relations, 1782-1944”

Dr Michelle Asantewa is the editor and publisher of In Search of Mami Wata, an anthology of narratives and images of African Water spirits. She is also course leader on Black History Walks 12-week course, African Women Resistance Leaders: Political and Spiritual.

This is an online event the link will be sent to the email you register with please check your JUNK mail when you register and on the day.

Look out for our new book ‘Black History Walks in London Volume 1’. This is part of Jacaranda Books revolutionary Twenty in 2020 initiative to publish 20 books by 20 Black British authors in 2020. An unprecedented feat. ‘Black History Walks in London Volume 1’ is the 20th of that series but was delayed to this year due to the Coronavirus

Other online events from www.blackhistorywalks.co.uk

  • African Women Resistance Leaders: Political and Spiritual course Part 1
  • 20 Banned Black films you need to see
  • Black History Success Stories in London
  • African Graphic Novels; the rise of Black superheroes
  • The economic impact of African hair, local and global
  • 19th century superheroine Sarah Parker Remond
  • 1958 Notting Hill remembering the ‘riots’ and black resistance
  • Black history bus tour
  • Black history river cruise
  • Earl Cameron season at BFI Southbank
  • Black British Civil Rights and Darcus Howe day
  • Secrets of Soho Black History Walk
  • St Paul’s/Bank Black History Walk

About the Sarah Parker Remond Centre at UCL

The University College London Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation explores the impact of racism – scientific, metaphysical and cultural. Part of the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, they work closely with many partners on-site to provide a focal point for scholarship, teaching and public engagement activities that are addressed to various problems of racial inequality and hierarchy

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Reviews of Black History Walks, Tours & Talks

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It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it for all

A brisk, informative stroll through the heart of the British Empire. Our cheerful and intellectually generous tour guide, led us through narrow alleyways and past Roman ruins, within halls constructed by powerful guilds; in the process, he revealed to us both the many layers of British history and the often unacknowledged cultural multiplicity at its core. The tour was exciting, informative and allowed everyone across age, interest, and temperament to participate and learn. It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it for all.

Professor Caroline Brown, University of Montreal, Canada

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T11:38:44+01:00

Professor Caroline Brown, University of Montreal, Canada

A brisk, informative stroll through the heart of the British Empire. Our cheerful and intellectually generous tour guide, led us through narrow alleyways and past Roman ruins, within halls constructed by powerful guilds; in the process, he revealed to us both the many layers of British history and the often unacknowledged cultural multiplicity at its core. The tour was exciting, informative and allowed everyone across age, interest, and temperament to participate and learn. It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it for all.

A truly inspiring day

A truly inspiring day, filled with information I may have NEVER been aware of, if it was not for attending this walk. The friendly intellectually amazing tour guide relayed facts that I would have had to research for months to be aware of. I would URGE any and everyone, of all ages to attend - a great, fun, educational day out.

Isschara Maxine, London

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T11:44:18+01:00

Isschara Maxine, London

A truly inspiring day, filled with information I may have NEVER been aware of, if it was not for attending this walk. The friendly intellectually amazing tour guide relayed facts that I would have had to research for months to be aware of. I would URGE any and everyone, of all ages to attend - a great, fun, educational day out.

Extremely informative and made it seem all really relevant

I just wanted to let you know that the students REALLY enjoyed the tour yesterday. I polled them in class and everyone overwhelmingly had positive things to say. They particularly enjoyed how you incorporated modern day information into the tour. They said it was extremely informative and made it seem all really relevant. And today it was great listening to them as they walked around central London, noticing some of the things you'd pointed out. So, your work was very well received. Well done and thank you!

Lori Tharps, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Journalism, Temple University, USA

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T12:12:20+01:00

Lori Tharps, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Journalism, Temple University, USA

I just wanted to let you know that the students REALLY enjoyed the tour yesterday. I polled them in class and everyone overwhelmingly had positive things to say. They particularly enjoyed how you incorporated modern day information into the tour. They said it was extremely informative and made it seem all really relevant. And today it was great listening to them as they walked around central London, noticing some of the things you'd pointed out. So, your work was very well received. Well done and thank you!

Best element of the trip

You may hear this often, but many of my students named your tour as the best element of the trip last time.

Nancy Comerau, Assistant Professor of English, Ohio Wesleyan University, USA

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T12:28:53+01:00

Nancy Comerau, Assistant Professor of English, Ohio Wesleyan University, USA

You may hear this often, but many of my students named your tour as the best element of the trip last time.

Absolutely brilliant lecture and walk yesterday

Absolutely brilliant lecture and walk yesterday. Students were really energized. Thanks so much.

Bill Mullen, Professor of English and American Studies, Purdue University, USA

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T13:27:53+01:00

Bill Mullen, Professor of English and American Studies, Purdue University, USA

Absolutely brilliant lecture and walk yesterday. Students were really energized. Thanks so much.

A rich and detailed learning experience

Our guide's encyclopedic knowledge of the area, and his passion for black history, made for a rich and detailed learning experience. He was friendly and engaging, frequently involving the students in dialogue and relating his points to places and subjects that are familiar to them. The students were fascinated throughout and learned a great deal. We recommend this tour most highly!

Rebecca Whisnant, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of Women's and Gender Studies, University of Dayton, USA

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T13:28:21+01:00

Rebecca Whisnant, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of Women's and Gender Studies, University of Dayton, USA

Our guide's encyclopedic knowledge of the area, and his passion for black history, made for a rich and detailed learning experience. He was friendly and engaging, frequently involving the students in dialogue and relating his points to places and subjects that are familiar to them. The students were fascinated throughout and learned a great deal. We recommend this tour most highly!

The children talk about it for a long time afterwards

I would really like to book two black history walk dates around St Pauls and the Barbican for our two year 6 classes. We have done them for the last two years and the children always learn such a lot and talk about it for a long time afterwards.

Helen Davies, Head of Year 6, John Scurr School, Tower Hamlets

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T13:29:08+01:00

Helen Davies, Head of Year 6, John Scurr School, Tower Hamlets

I would really like to book two black history walk dates around St Pauls and the Barbican for our two year 6 classes. We have done them for the last two years and the children always learn such a lot and talk about it for a long time afterwards.

I could not have asked for a better supplement to my Sociology course on race, identity, and culture

Thank you for organizing a wonderful walking tour for my students. You are incredibly knowledgeable, and it was such a joy to hear your take on things. The students loved this field trip. You did an excellent job relating the history, culture, and social contributions of Black and Afro-Caribbean people in a fun and lively way while still emphasizing the seriousness and importance of this often overlooked aspect of British life. I could not have asked for a better supplement to my Sociology course on race, identity, and culture. I really appreciate you helping make the class so special and look forward to arranging another.

William Force, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Western New England University

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T13:31:05+01:00

William Force, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Western New England University

Thank you for organizing a wonderful walking tour for my students. You are incredibly knowledgeable, and it was such a joy to hear your take on things. The students loved this field trip. You did an excellent job relating the history, culture, and social contributions of Black and Afro-Caribbean people in a fun and lively way while still emphasizing the seriousness and importance of this often overlooked aspect of British life. I could not have asked for a better supplement to my Sociology course on race, identity, and culture. I really appreciate you helping make the class so special and look forward to arranging another.

Engaging, moving, will keep you asking more questions.

What an amazing tour! It completely moved me to rethink the intricate web of social, economic and political relations that characterize British imperial rule and racial politics. Engaging, moving, will keep you asking more questions. The best way to get to know London.

Alai Reyes-Santos, Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of Oregon

Black History Walks
5
2020-07-15T13:32:29+01:00

Alai Reyes-Santos, Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of Oregon

What an amazing tour! It completely moved me to rethink the intricate web of social, economic and political relations that characterize British imperial rule and racial politics. Engaging, moving, will keep you asking more questions. The best way to get to know London.

Nothing but positive feedback

The audience and the panellists had some incredibly positive feedback about your presentation. It went down so well and was an brilliant combination of information, revelation and humour. There were also a number of attendees whose firms or companies had organised a Black History Walk with yourself and also had nothing but positive feedback

Sharon Takhar, Origin Network, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Black History Walks
5
2020-08-19T16:34:16+01:00

Sharon Takhar, Origin Network, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

The audience and the panellists had some incredibly positive feedback about your presentation. It went down so well and was an brilliant combination of information, revelation and humour. There were also a number of attendees whose firms or companies had organised a Black History Walk with yourself and also had nothing but positive feedback
5
10
Black History Walks
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