Our next workshops & Courses
"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
Andrea Levy: Six Stories and an Essay
A 4 week (ONLINE) Course
Wednesdays from 22nd July 2020 - 12th August: 6.30pm - 8.30pm
"None of my books is just about race. They're about people" (Andrea Levy)
Andrea Levy was a British writer whose acknowledgement of and pride in her blackness and Jamaican history encouraged her to begin writing. Focusing on the text Six Stories and an Essay we will analyse and discuss Levy's navigation through cultural, national and racial identities, as well as the negotiation surrounding what it means to be human. The weekly classes will include seminar/breakout sessions for group interaction on the stories and the wider contexts about which they refer. All students are expected to participate. Join us on this 4 week journey as we celebrate and explore the work of a magnificent writer, who left us too soon (7 March 1956 - 14 February 2019).
Primary required reading
Six Stories and an Essay
Supplementary reading and viewing
The Long Song
This is a Camera On Zoom Online course. You will be sent the Zoom link on the morning of each class. Upon registration we will send you the course outline.
Course Leaders: Michelle Yaa Asantewa and Nicole-Rachelle Moore
Course FEE: £42.00
Crafting Poems: Speaking the Word
One Day Workshop
This workshop explores techniques of crafting written and oral forms of Poetry. We will consider the distinctiveness of poetry and spoken word from other literary art forms. Students will look at selected poems, from Caribbean Oral Tradition and other cultures particularly where these have influenced the development of spoken word. We will consider: what is poetry? What role and purpose does it fulfil in a society? What sort of things does it do? How can poems be crafted to deeply reflect the special art of poetry? The aim is to examine the special and spiritual language of poems.
One Day workshop
This 3 hour workshop aims to help students develop creative skills and explore their unique powers of expression. The course involves group interaction and exercises that enable participants to free their imagination and develop a voice through which they can express their own style and rhythm in their writing. The workshop is open to anyone who enjoys writing or desires to write; whether a beginner or experienced.
Autobiography, Biography, Memoir (ONLINE)
NEW DATE TBC
This life writing workshop will furnish you with basic techniques to tell your particular “life story.” Focus will be on exploring ways of expressing “emotional truth” that can powerfully convey life experiences and shape your writing.
The Craft of Describing
Do you find it hard to describe the images you want to express in your narratives? When you read your pieces, are you frustrated by a lack of detail? Are you able to identify "vagueness" in your writing? If you've answered or "felt" a yes! to either of these questions the Description and Detail Workshop is ideal for you. It takes students through a range of exercises that will unlock the way they uniquely see the world and want to express their ideas. Students will also be encouraged to 'dig deep' and develop the discipline to add specific details that will clearly express their meaning and creativity.
I would recommend the Creative Writing Course to other writers. It takes place within a very supportive environment. It covers a lot in a short space of time, and though different genres and techniques can only be touched upon, the Tutor does so with clarity and gives guidance for further exploration by the student.
Danny Thompson, Evolving Creatives
Toni Morrison: Her Life Her Work -
A 4 Week Introductory Course
In honour of the acclaimed Toni Morrison, this course introduces you to aspects of her rich biography as well as some of her fiction and non-fiction. It will give you the chance to explore and/or revisit this writer's life, her deep imagination, stellar use of language and also her opinions and generous wisdom.
Toni Morrison became the first Black and African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993 for her novel Beloved. Her work has centred on narrating the lives of Black people in American society, in their fullest complexities. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970) depicts the tragedy of self-loathing through the eyes of a young black girl (Pecola) who longs for blond hair, lighter skin and blue eyes - a miracle from God - she believes might give her a sense of belonging. This book will be required reading for the introductory course, along with extracts from other works of fiction and non-fiction.
Course aims: whether you are familiar with or new to Toni Morrison this course offers a chance to celebrate the life and work of a phenomenal writer. By exploring selected fiction and non-fiction works the course enables students to discuss her contributions to African-American and wider African Diasporic experiences and questions of identity.
Teaching & Learning:
This course will take place at the historic New Beacon Books and George Padmore Institute on Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park; when we envisage lockdown to be over. It will use a mixture of styles including presentations, group discussions and readings. All will be encouraged to take part in seminar discussion
Course Fee: £60.00
Booking is essential.
The Amazing James Baldwin 6 Week Course
NEW Dates TBC
The Amazing James Baldwin: an exciting, interactive multi-media course to mark the release of the new Baldwin dramatic film 'If Beale Street could Talk'. This course also references the Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro.This six-week course is an introduction to James Baldwin and a selection of his works. The course draws on a range of written and visual material to present an overview of his writings and contributions to the questions of race and identity, examining how they continue to impact us now.
We will use obscure video clips of James Baldwin (interviews, speeches, TV appearances) and some of his most widely received fiction and non-fiction writing, including Going to Meet the Man, Sonny’s Blues, Notes of a Native Son, and The Fire Next Time. Rare photos, paintings, and sketches that capture his spirit are also included.
Introduce Baldwin’s work to a new generation.
Highlight and explore his lesser known works.
Use his analysis of 1960s-80s society to interrogate present day local and global racism
Promote the consumption of Black history and literature
Course Leaders: Dr Michelle Asantewa, Donna Mckoy and Tony Warner.
Six previous courses at the Black Cultural Archives, New Beacon books and Genesis cinemas sold out so don't delay booking. Every Monday 6.30-8.30pm from 25th February 2019 for six weeks. Cost £80.00
African Women Resistance Leaders: Political and Spiritual (2)
(This course follows on from Part 1 but can be done on its own.)
This course will detail Black women who have fought against colonialism and racism over the last 400 years and examine their varied spiritual belief systems. Mainstream history consistently ignores the contribution of Black women in general, but many of these women used indigenous spiritual belief systems to sustain their own ideologies and inspire their followers. African civilisations and belief systems were, and are, routinely denigrated by Europeans which has led to stigma and mis-representation.
In addition to going deeper into the topics covered in the first 6 weeks (as listed below) we will cover:
40 more African women resistance leaders
20 films about heroic and empowering Black women and where to get them
Institutional racism/sexism, how it works and how to fight it
Specific African spiritual practices in England
Black women in Latin America and Europe
Understanding 'whiteness' and related behaviour
We will also revisit some the issues from Part One but in more depth and detail:
Pre-colonial African belief systems
Christianity as oppression and resistance
Sanite, Mbuya, Nanny and Nanny Greg, Yaa, Fannie, Nzingha, Coretta, The Two Amys, Queen Mary Thomas, Queen Amar, Yemaja, Oya, Dandara, Nehanda and Graca
1970s women soldiers in Africa's liberaton wars
Black women’s resistance in English literature
Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Mississippi, Haiti, Angola, Brazil, Cuba, Nigeria: Civil and Human Rights
Disparaging terms ‘Obeah’, ‘Juju’, the real history of Santeria, Candomble, and Jumbie
African religious belief and Hollywood superheroes
The African roots of the Zombie; movie metaphors
White female fragility and the co-options of feminism
We will use obscure and modern film clips, archival documents, rare books and essays, interviews , testimony from the women and their followers, small and large group work.
Provide political and spiritual context for 40 Black women leaders from 1680s to 2000s
Explain pre-colonial belief systems and their survival in post-colonial African diaspora
Analyse and explore white supremacist thought in mainstream media
Promote the consumption of Black history and literature
Online course via Zoom.This is a 'camera on' event where all attendees are expected to participate visually and verbally. Every Tuesday from 7th July for 6 weeks, 6.30pm-8.30pm.
Course Leaders: Dr Michelle Asantewa and Tony Warner
This event is sponsored by Eye London Glasses. Eye London ,312 Mare Street Hackney E8 1HA. Ph 0208 533 1188