“We lost Naomi Hersi to the heavens and we want to celebrate her ascent. She is looking after us on earth now, so on this Earth day we invite you to hang out and celebrate her life in comfortable surroundings.
The murder of Naomi Hirsi has made my chest feel tight for weeks. A specific burning of anger, sorrow, grief and loss for a girl I didn’t know when she was alive but have come to love in her passing. She was FULL OF LIFE! Her neighbours all said so. The men she linked all said so. She loved her music and her films and her tennis. I asked my mate to draw her as the ancient Somali Queen Arawelo! I also asked that she be seen holding the earth, because I think people force trans girls to be considered as synthetic artificial modern phenomena. I transitioned for spiritual reasons. I felt like the only way I could live on this earth was if my vessel mirrored the femininity of my soul. I’m certain Naomi felt this too. Let’s reflect on the transness that lives in nature and think of how we too are ‘of’ this earth on this upcoming Earth Day. I’ve got so many girls I’m living for. Too many. I imagine her and Venus Extravaganza will be cackling on a cloud and showing a disciple or two a very good time. Cos what would heaven be without heaux? “
A group of teenagers were exploring “Why do the police treat us differently?”, and someone pointed out that there haven’t always been police. This prompted me to investigate the establishment of the London Metropolitan police, which led me to this comic:
Olive Morris was an anti-racist, anti-imperialist activist, community organiser and squatter. She was a member of the Black Panthers and co-founded the Organisation for Women of Asian and African Descent with Stella Dadzie.
She was tireless, helping to set up multiple other collectives and organisations, including the Manchester Black Women’s Cooperative, Manchester Black Women’s Mutual Aid Group, Brixton Black Women’s Group and the Brixton Law Centre.
Morris died of Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 27.
The Remembering Olive Morris Collective was established in 2008 to document and make public her story.
Verna Wilkins is the multi-award-winning author of over 50 picture books and biographies for young people, which have featured on the National Curriculum and BBC children’s television.
Wilkins is the founder of Tamarind Books, launched in 1987 after her 5-year-old son came home with a ‘This is Me’ book in which he was coloured in pink. He refused when Wilkins offered him a brown crayon, saying it had to be pink because it was for a book.
Wilkins ran Tamarind Books for 23 years, championing diversity in children’s publishing. It is now an imprint of Random House UK.
Wilkins now runs inclusive programmes in schools across the UK.
Evelyn Dove was a singer and actress, heralded as Britain’s black cabaret queen. She belongs among such greats as Josephine Baker. The daughter of a Sierra Leonean barrister and his English wife, Dove studied singing, piano and elocution from an early age, and graduated from the Royal Academy of Music.
She joined the Southern Syncopated Orchestra – West Indian, West African and American musicians – but in 1921, 9 of them drowned in an accident at sea. Dove toured Western Europe, the US and India. She was the first black female singer on the BC, and one of her shows was so successful they turned it into a TV show. By the 1940s Evelyn Dove was a household name.
Stella Dadzie cofounded OWAAD – the Organisation for Women of Asian and African Descent – in 1978. She had been involved in the anti-colonial, anti-imperialist, anti-racist organising of the African Students’ Union at university, but had felt it did not take women’s liberation into account.
OWAAD campaigned on immigration and deportation, domestic violence, exclusion of kids from school, strikes by black women, policing and defence, and reproductive health. In 1985 she co-wrote The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain, which won the Martin Luther King Award for Literature. Nowadays she writes about anti-racist learning and strategies in schools, colleges and youth centres.
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