Recommended Reading/viewing


New Bob Marley Book for 2011
  To mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Bob Marley in May, the iconic photographs from Kim Gottlieb-Walker's book, Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae (Titan Books), will be exhibited in Proud Camden.
  With incredibly intimate photos from the pinnacle of Bob Marley's career, The Golden Age of Reggae brings the history of both Bob Marley and Reggae to life once again.
Kim's work for Island records in Reggae's prime have brought us images that capture the rough environment that shaped some of its great names, such as Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Jr Mervin, Burning Spear, Heptones and Lee Scratch Perry.
 In a career that spans over 40 years, photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker's work has appeared in great magazines, such as Music World and Rolling Stone, and she shot the iconic High Times magazine cover of Bob Marley.
She will be coming to the UK for the book  launch in April. Chicken George will be interviewing her on his Newstyle Radio Breakfast Show. 

(Book is £16 at Amazon)

 More info on Camden exhibition email me - Ed

Sweet Soul Music -
 Peter Guralnick  MOJO BOOKS 2002 (1986 USA)
"The Best history of '60 soul music anyone has written or is likely to write, but it is much more than that." Robert Palmer, New York Times
"Stunning .. panoramic .. a heartfelt history - one of the best books ever written on American popular music." Newsweek
"No one I've read writes as well about musicians and their music as Peter Guralnick, and Sweet Soul Music is my favourite Guralnick book." Roddy Doyle

PCRL DVD series and DVD-001. Its our 5th. Birthday party from 1990 featuring an amazing line up of reggae stars. It lasts 2 hours and 45 mins and includes vintage DJ's like Jacko, Cpt. Smiley, Cherry, Gilly, Zookie, Mr Merry, Kenny B. Over 10 live acts. An absolute must if you were there with the 2,500 crowd. Look out for more in this series to come. Just £5 + postage - email us now.

Extract from this book shown below:

Cecil Morris

PCRL Radio, Birmingham;

  "Good afternoon, and I like to welcome you all at the conference this afternoon, it's been a great opportunity to be invited here. PCRL, is a radio station which has been broadcasting for about 5 years (as of 1990) , unlicensed, although we have tried everything we possibly can to become a legalized entity. WE have been negotiating with the Home Secretary since 1980 when Leon Brittan was Home Secretary, and I could go into a very longstory about how PCRL came about, how we evolved and the reason why we are here.    Unfortunately, we did apply for a licence after many years of promises of what the Home Office intentions were; we had to meet the criteria. We ceased broadcasting for a period of time to meet the necessary criteria. We put an 'A1' application together; and I have to admit I didn't see anything to better our application. We also raised £300,000 - a quarter million of that was seer capital - and the answer we had from the IBA when we were told that we weren't successful was that our financial situation didn't allow us to administer a radio station, which we had been doing for the last five years!
  It's rather difficult to explain to how they managed to come up with that reason; I know a lot of other radio stations that have been granted licences by the IBA which have actually been operating with lesser sums. I've also known that the franchise winners for that incremental contract that we applied for have actually put up a sum of £80,000 sheer capital - some explanation is required there.
I'm not going to say a great deal more. I'm sure a lot of people here would like to ask some questions about why we didn't get the licence. Before you put any questions forward, my suggestion is that we have been very very dominated by the authorities in broadcasting. We have also been prosecuted by the authorities a great deal, and a lot of cases they would they come off not so cleverly because we have been taken to court  and we have been found not guilty three times of doing anything against the law. That wasn't the excuse they gave us for not granting a licence, the excuse was on a financial basis. We also know that while the IBA  have actually granted this licence to a group in Birmingham; they're also poaching presenters from stations like PCRL, which was well placed to offer the service of the Birmingham community, the disenfranchised, to their ability. They're stealing what we've actually set up over the years. Is there a justice in the situation? I would say no".     ISBN 1-85442-046-1

Jackie Kay
'Why don't you stop talking'
In this, Jackie Kay's first collection of short stories, we experience a wonderfully varied range of tales. Women’s roles as mothers, daughter and lovers are amusingly, poignantly and lovingly portrayed in a whole gamut of situations. Each story has a momentum of its own and will make you want to laugh or cry. Jackie Kay was raised in Glasgow and now lives in Manchester. She has written poetry and biography and won the Guardian Fiction Prize for her acclaimed novel Trumpet.

Courtia Newland
The daughter of an MP is murdered on London’s South Bank. Due to the inactivity of the police force, the MP hires Private Investigator Ervine James to find out the truth. With its blend of patois and descriptive vocabulary this contemporary thriller brings the underbelly of modern Britain to life. After the publication of his first novel, ‘The Scholar’, Courtia was soon labelled ‘part of the new breed of young Black British writers.’ In Courtia’s own words: “We live in a multicultural society, my stories draw on lots of experiences, experiences which contain black, white, multicultural influences. My books should be accepted universally, marketed universally and should be able to appeal to all kinds of audiences.”

Maya Angelou
‘A song flung up to heaven’
This long-awaited final part of her autobiography, which began all those years ago with ‘I know why the caged bird sings’, does not disappoint. It starts with Maya’s return to America to work with Malcolm X and ends with her beginning to write her first memoir. It covers the years that saw the murders of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. “It was a very difficult book to write. It took me six years to write this book and it’s the slimmest of all the volumes.” Maya’s own life story and history is interwoven into Black America’s political and cultural fabric.

Nega Mezlekia
‘The god who begat a jackal’
This is an enchanting African folklore story of forbidden love, set in 17th century Ethiopia. Aster, the daughter of feudal lord Count Ashenafi, falls passionately in love with slave Gudu. They have to overcome taboo, ethnic and religious struggles to keep their love going. This is captivating book allows the reader a glimpse into African History. Nega grew up in the waning days of Emperor Haile Selassie’s reign over Ethiopia. Becoming disillusioned he escaped to Canada and has lived there ever since. He returned to Ethiopia in 1983 but now lives in Toronto and works as an engineer.

Zeba Kashef
‘Like a natural woman’
This is a woman-to-woman guide to alternative techniques and therapies, with the idea of putting women back on the road to health and well-being. Ziba looks at folk medicine handed down from African ancestry and shows her readers how to cope with a range of health issues. An inspiring and informative book – every woman should have a copy. Ziba lives in New York, USA and is former Senior Health Editor to Essence magazine. She has always written on a variety of health related topics and contributed to ‘The Black Parenting Book'

Elizabeth Nunez
This is a novel about history and culture – about the expectations of a man born to honour his traditions and the conflicts he experiences when he desires personal happiness and passion in his life. It also examines how a woman born to honour tradition ensures it is maintained by her love for her husband, an admired father and respected ambassador, and the many sacrifices she makes to keep her tradition. Elizabeth Nunez was born and raised in Trinidad and is now Distinguished Professor of English at City University, New York. She is co-editor of a collection of essays: ‘Defining Ourselves: Black Writers in the 90’s and chairs the PEN American Open Book Committee.

Linton Kwesi Johnson
‘Mi revalueshanary fren’
Hard-hitting vibrant poetry. Lyrics that speak out and make themselves heard. Much more than just black on white but words to say out loud. Linton Kwesi Johnson has become only he second living poet to have been included in Penguin Modern Classics. He founded what Fred D’Aguiar has called ‘the most original poetic form to have emerged in the English language in the last quarter century.’

Ayana Bird and Lori Tharps
‘Hair Story: untangling the roots of Black hair in America’
Have you ever wondered how the Jheri Curl got its name? Ever wondered why black people wrap their heads overnight? Wonder no more! All these questions and many, many more are answered in one excellent book. Ayana Bird is a freelance writer for various major magazines and Lori Tharps is a correspondent at entertainment weekly magazine. Byrd and Tharps tie the personal to the political with humour and an appreciation of hair’s power and wonder.

Rita Coburn Whack
‘Meant to be’
This very well written novel tells the story of Jan and her journey towards womanhood. The story is told through the eyes of the spirit of Jan’s grandmother, Hannah. Unseen by Jan and the people around her Hannah is able to follow Jan through every moment of her life. The author describes Hannah’s attempts to guide Jan towards becoming the person that Hannah knows she has the potential to become. As the people around Jan tell her stories of their lives and the reasons why the have become the people that they are, Jan begins to develop into a better person.

Donna Hill
Donna Hill tells the story of three generations of women and the way secrets that two of them keep have a devastating effect on all their lives. The novel begins with Cora and an event that makes her feel too ashamed to tell anyone about. Cora’s inability to tell her daughter the truth leads to the two of them becoming estranged. Cora’s granddaughter Parris has the ability to reconcile all three generations of women. The novel examines the question of personal identity and the sense of estrangement that occurs when a person is perceived as being different from those around them

Stephen Carter
‘The Emperor of Ocean Park’
For almost 20 years Stephen Carter has been carrying a powerful character around in his imagination. “A cold, distant person of strong political views” says Carter, “the patriarch of his family, pretty conservative in the sense that a lot of old, traditional black families are conservative.” While he experimented with ways to free his character to tell his story Carter pursued his career as a professor of law. One of the most interesting threads of the book is Carter’s portrayal of the black upper class and black professionals. “I didn’t grow up with that kind of wealth but many do. Another thing I wanted to talk about are some of the perceptions of black professionals who work in predominantly white places.

Jamaica Kincaid
‘Mr. Potter’
Mr Potter is Jamaica Kincaid’s new novel about a father and daughter. It is set, like all her fiction, on the island of Antigua and tantalisingly reveals the life story of the main character and his attitudes whilst also subtly doing much more. A well written story in true Kincaid style, fans of her novels will have the pleasure of reading about the interesting history of certain characters. This latest instalment makes for a really fascinating and absorbing read

Mike Phillips
‘London Crossing’
Complex and confused identities are central to “London Crossings”, Mike Phillips’ musings on life since arriving in Britain from Guyana 45 years ago. It is written as a collection of snapshots; leaving his home town in tears at 13 as he saw his school friends for the last time; being left behind for a second time by his disenchanted parents who escaped London to build a new life in New York; becoming a father; finding his long lost brother and attending the same man’s funeral 20 years later. It is an explanation of the development of a Black British identity from his own personal viewpoint to the wider perspective of what it means to be Black and British today. “Black British identity is confused with both the African-Caribbean and African-American perspective. I wanted to write something that was about Black British identity and culture itself.”

PCRL 2013 (when station on-air was updated monthly)

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