In the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, Gwendolen – not yet truly famous as the writer `Jean Rhys’ – is presented with the opportunity she has been waiting for. Her husband has received an unexpected inheritance; she can, at last, return to the island of her childhood. For Gwendolen, Dominica is a place of freedom and beauty, far away from the lonely nights and failed dreams of England. But this visit home compels her to reflect on the events of her past, and on what they may mean for her future.

`Phillips’ novel of being and becoming, of memory, and the mythology of writers and writing is a wonder. This is … More

Formed OTD in 1966, The Black Panther Party for Self Defence, by Bobby Seale & Huey Newton. The Black Panther Party instituted a variety of community social programs, most extensively the Free Breakfast for Children Programs, and community health clinics to address issues like food injustice.

The late 1960s, when the Panthers captured the imagination of the nation’s youth, was a time of regulation. While their … More

Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to my Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and categories: it’s part guidebook, part memoir, part poetry – and pure delight. Here in short essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that led Angelou to an exalted place in American letters and taught her lessons about compassion and fortitude.

Whether she is recalling lost friends, extolling honesty or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice, Maya … More

Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life. In the early 1980s when punks and Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness and the National Front, Benjamin’s poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations and on the dance floor. His mission was to take poetry everywhere, and to popularise it by reaching people who didn’t read books. His poetry was political, musical, radical and relevant.

By the early 1990s, Benjamin had performed on every continent in the world (a feat which he achieved in only … More

Born in Trinidad during the dying days of British colonialism, Darcus Howe has become an uncompromising champion of racial justice. The book examines how Howe’s unique political outlook was inspired by the example of his friend and mentor C.L.R. James, and forged in the heat of the American civil rights movement, as well as Trinidad’s Black Power Revolution.

The book sheds new light on Howe’s leading role in the defining struggles in Britain against institutional racism in the … More

Behind Jamaica’s musical reverberation lies the unlikely story of a boarding school run by Roman Catholic nuns and a brass band that helped shape some of the world’s most beloved musical forms. Under a strict disciplinarian regime, ‘wayward ‘boys,’ many orphaned or from deeply troubled backgrounds and hailing from some of the toughest streets in the world, went on to become the backbone of Jamaican jazz, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dancehall, and dub.

Alpha Boys School: Cradle Of Jamaican Music takes a look at the lives of over 40 of these influential musicians … More