Formed OTD in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was a revolutionary political organization founded by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in Oakland, California. “A crowd of onlookers gawked from the pavement as four young black men dressed in black leather jackets and berets leapt from a Volkswagen, each of them wielding shotguns with bandoliers strapped across their bodies. The young men surrounded two white police officers who had accosted a black man & had him spread-eagled against a building. The young men did not say a word as the police officers watched them nervously, their eyes fixed on the shotguns. One of the young men held a large law book in his hand…This was the Black Panther Party in ideal action. The real story – the whole story – was both more and less heroic.”

So begins Black Panthers for Beginners. The late 1960s, when the Panthers captured the imagination of the nation’s youth, was … More

For those that enjoyed the recent BBC4 documentary on Randy’s ‘Studio 17’, here’s a collection of some of those great artists that featured on the programme. Kingston’s musicians and artists would congregate outside Randy’s shop (and in Chancery Lane at the side of the shop) waiting for the chance of a session or listening out to hear if their records were being played in the shop. Chancery Lane was such a popular meeting place for Kingston’s musical fraternity that it became known as ‘Idler’s Rest’ and Studio 17 was now known as the place where the hits were made.

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

Meet figureheads, leaders and pioneers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, as well as cultural trailblazers and athletes like Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams. All children deserve to see themselves represented positively in the books they read. Highlighting the talent and contributions of black leaders and changemakers from around the world, readers of all backgrounds will be empowered to discover what they too can achieve.

Strong, courageous, talented and diverse, these extraordinary men and women’s achievements will inspire a new generation to chase their dream… … More

Reissue soon come. “This album which you are about to hear will give you more than an earful of the ingredients which are characteristic of a group of three youngsters popularly known by fans in the music world as ‘The Maytals’. When these three youngsters debuted on the scene two years ago, they brought along with them a new style, a new spiritual “Ska Beat”, which was eagerly welcomed by the listening public. When their recordings became “Giant Size Hits”, it was obvious that their phrasing and dynamic delivery had earned unreserved approval.”

“Beginning with the tune “I’ll Never Grow Old”, this record quickly established a bright jumping pattern of success followed by … More

When Colin Grant was growing up in Luton in the 1960s, he learned not to ask his Jamaican parents why they had emigrated to Britain. ‘We’re here because we’re here,’ his father would say. ‘You have some place else to go?’ But now, 70 years after the arrival of ships such as the Windrush, this generation of pioneers are ready to tell their stories. Homecoming draws on over a 100 first-hand interviews, archival recordings and memoirs by the women and men who came to Britain from the West Indies between the late 1940s and the early 1960s.

In their own words, we witness the transition from the optimism of the first post-war arrivals to the race riots … More

Memphis was really jumping with black music in the early 1960s as its new studios began to attract the notice of major record companies like Atlantic Records. By 1965, Stax Records was a true Memphis powerhouse and as it became successful enough to manage its studio for its own contracted artists, it closed its doors to outside productions. But a few singers just nipped in under the wire – and these unofficial Stax productions form the major part of this collection. And here we have some perfect “Blue” Stax music from a bunch of vocalists accompanied by that fabulous Stax studio band. It features Louie Palmer, Eddie Floyd, Ted Taylor, Willie Cobbs, etc

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1947, rocksteady singer, arranger, and radio presenter, Hopeton Lewis. “Hopeton Lewis’ classic tune, ‘Take It Easy’, is credited with being the first to employ the rocksteady rhythm in 1966. The song featured Lynn Taitt on guitar and his band the Jets on backup”.

Operation Jump Up is the culmination of four years of research. The detailed historical narrative features dozens of interviews with … More

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