Born in Birmingham in 1958, Zephaniah grew up in Jamaica and in Handsworth, where he was sent to an approved school for uncontrollable, rebellious and ‘a born failure’, ending up in jail for burglary. After prison, he turned from crime to music and poetry: ‘I started writing poetry because I didn’t like poetry.’

As a reggae DJ in Handsworth, he refused to mimic other toasters with their chants about Jamaican life, instead turning … More

The story of Stax Records unfolds like a Greek tragedy. A white brother & sister build a record company that becomes a monument to racial harmony in 1960’s segregated south Memphis. Their success is startling, & Stax soon defines an international sound. Then, after losses both business & personal, the siblings part, & the brother allies with a visionary African-American partner.

Under integrated leadership, Stax explodes as a national player until, Icarus-like, they fall from great heights to a tragic demise. … More

Olusoga offers readers a rich & revealing exploration of the extraordinarily long relationship between the British Isles & the people of Africa. Drawing on new genetic & genealogical research, original records, expert testimony & contemporary interviews, Black & British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination & Shakespeare’s Othello.

It reveals that behind the South Sea Bubble was Britain’s global slave-trading empire and that much of the great industrial … More

Trojan Records epitomised the punk DIY ethic over a decade before ’76. With a blizzard of individual labels, a marketing strategy that involved selling product out of the backs of vans, the company spearheaded the injection of reggae & ska into the vein of British youth consciousness.

In its first brief six-year incarnation, Trojan produced nearly 30 hit singles, created the legendary compilation series Tighten Up and … More

‘Sound Reasoning’ is a unique photographic journey through the Dancehall scene of the 80’s with short excerpts from interviews Anna Arnone did with a whole host of artists from the scene. Coxsone, Saxon, Macka B., Smiley Culture are just a few of the names featured

Benjamin Zephaniah’s introduction to the book is very personal. He illustrates the importance of Sound System culture and just how … More