Friday, September 30, 2005

Cultural Literacy Sessions


Workshop Themes:

  • About the Caribbean


Slavery & Resistance
Reformers, Nationalism & Republicanism
  • Carnival, Festivals & Folklore

  • From Skin to Steel (Birth of the Steelpan)

tamboo bamboo, bottle & spoon, oil and buscuit pans, engine room irons

  • Drumology

Calypso, Reggae, Jazz-Karibik, Mento,

Ska, Orisha, Bele, Jab-Jab,
Salsa, Samba Parang, Soca,

Karifuna-Afrikan, Chutney, plus more

  • THE TRUE STORY A.K.A. Black History

  • Moors, St Maurice & the Elizabethan Age

  • The MYTH of RACE

  • Our World & Environment

New World Map (in support of Peter's Projections)
Further info availalble via fax or email
+44 (0)871 239 9020


another world view:
It is with great pleasure that I reproduce hereby, the first in a series of articles for BHM2005 that argues my point- i.e. that the true STORY/ (not HIS-STORY) has no COLOUR>

The emphasis should be promoting Black and Indigenous peoples as significant role players in WORLD HISTORY deserving to be included in order to redress the balance. We should avoid the pitfalls of commemorating the efforts of our predecessors for only in three weeks (as is the case in USA) or as in UK (for approximately eight weeks=October /November).

Lets celebrate everyday the achievements of ancestors everywhere- especially the INDIGENOUS populations, who to this day remain marginalised and almost forgotten for their great gifts to HUMANITY.
Dr Roi Ankhkara Kwabena
cultural anthroplogist & poet

It is October/November again and autumn is here. As the leaves change colour and fall, we are offered new opportunities. We can reflect on the previous months as the year draws to a close but we can also join in the celebrations of Black History Month.

Ever so often I am quizzed as to the relevance of BHM on the national and local calendar. Why should all celebrate Black History? First allow me to caution that history has no colour. To suggest thus, would be make us guilty of isolating communities. This is the very action to be avoided, if we are to achieve any level of harmony, equality and unity. Nevertheless Black peoples have contributed enormously to the world as we know it today.

We could imagine World History as a carpet into which are woven all colours of the spectrum. We have to ensure that there is no bias, by including the (once conspicuously excluded) red, brown, black and blue threads of the past.

Let us use our senses as the starting point. Food is consumed by all, unless we are restricted through health concerns. Today our taste buds are no longer challenged, as we take for granted wide choices of available cuisine in our neigbourhood.What would life be like in the *"Black Country" without the wide range of exotic fruits and vegetables that delightfully grace the shelves of the cornershop and supermarkets.

Would we easily surrender our coffee and tea mornings, our chocolate binges, Curry houses, Chinese take-aways, Caribbean , Afrikan or Latin American Restaurants as part of our English diet? I think not!

People have always traveled. We are fortunate in the Black country to have contributed over centuries to not only world trade (during and after the Industrial Revolutuion) but also migration of many locals to other cultures abroad.N.E.W.S. (North East, West & South)

Many of our predecessors were involved in the socio-cultural shift in discovery that encompassed the entire planet as Britain achieved status as a dominant sea-faring empire. Familiar surnames like Dudley, Stubbs, Archers, Downes, Thompson, Evans, Cook, Dyer, Morris, Miller, Butcher, Carpenter, Davidson, Edwards, Griffiths, Carter, Jackson, Mason, Morgan, Brown, Williams plus others have been transplanted on all sides of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BHM is an opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural landscape that is the Black Country today.

October/November be the season to remember heroes and heroines who unselfishly served gallantly in both World Wars; those who came to help reconstruct from the wanton damage after those bloody conflicts; those who lived as our neigbours for generations/decades sharing with us their sorrows and joys (for example Birthdays, Anniversaries, weddings Parties, Carnivals, Funerals, financial windfalls etc) or even those who only recently arrived seeking "Sanctuary" from terror in their homelands.

BHM is the month to celebrate achievements in sports, culture, sciences, education, religion and politics. Genuine commemoration can also be tasting, smelling new foods, attending BHM events, visits to local libraries, elderly homes, museums; learning another language or another skill. Better still, by simply acknowledging that special person that serves you regardless of any honourary recognition.

Taste and smell October/November 2004 Black History Month.
* Black Country affectionate name of the Industrial Midlands of England

Article reproduced from the now defunct SANDPAPER- arts magazine Published 2004


Performances & Workshops: Art of Telling Tales

Since 1974, Roi Kwabena provided magic and wonder to the lives of thousands across the globe through the ancient craft of storytelling. He has participated in storytelling activities at Nurseries, Play Groups, Libraries, Theatres, Schools, Universities, Homes for the Elderly, Festivals, Rallies, Seminars, etc., in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.

Many young people have also benefited from the cultural workshops he specifically conducted on the request of several local government bodies in the UK. Critical support and acclaim for his work has also come from various accredited agencies with independent evaluations.

literacy champion/supporter of libraries

A prominent contributor to the International Poetry Day and National Year of Reading commemorations across the UK, his efforts as a Literacy champion and cultural activist are renowned. He has appeared at the Libraries of Birmingham, Stoke On Trent, Bangor (Wales), Manchester, Coventry, Hounslow, Sandwell, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Burton on Trent, Hull, Staffordshire, , Rugby, Warwickshire, Bedford, Walsall & Nottinghamshire in the U.K., Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua, Anguilla-B.W.I., Munich, Frankfurt & Augsburg- Germany, and Phillipsburg in St Maarten N.A.

In recognition of the UN's Declaration of 1990 as the Year of Literacy, Roi Kwabena was appointed "Writer in Residence" of the Trinidad Public Library and served as a Senior Advisor to the Department of Education in Anguilla, B.W.I. Roi was appointed a senator in the republic of Trinidad & Tobago in 1992. He has numerous publications to his credit, and was Poet Laureate for Birmingham City in UK for 2001-2002.
acclaimed raconteur
His work has been commissioned for major conferences and also as therapy (for example in the pursuit of Memory Harvesting for the elderly;facilating cross generation communication; the rehabilitation of young offenders plus sessions in prisons for adult inmates.)

Practical workshops on the art of story-telling, with demonstrations and of course performances .


A repertoire of over three hundred tales, including favourites as

Anansi tales
Who is Queen of the jungle ?
Never trouble, trouble
Water more than flour
Ole man kar get taller
Rat & Mongoose
Lizard & Mice
Why a donkey brays
How snake lost his legs

raving reviews



"....harnessing the energy of self expression"

The ancient craft of writing for effective communication can be developed for professional, therapeutic, entertainment, and other purposes.

These sessions focus on the harvesting of memories through the written and spoken word, as there is no conflict between these modes of expressions. Catering for all ages, who are assured a rewarding and awe inspiring experience.

These sessions provide participants with an opportunity to share their memories with plus listen to memories of peers.

By Popular Demand

Warm Greetings Visitors
After serious consideration, I have been motivated to start this new site in response to a growing demand by readers to learn more about my Workshops on Cultural Literacy. It will consitute interviews, reports, event listings, project descriptions, publications and reviews.

Readers are also invited to comment.

Much thanks again to all my support across the planet terra.