Six Haymakers

This group of Black girls posed for their portrait in Sacramento in 1910. At that time, middle-class Black women who were supported by their husbands and did not have to work were generally very socially and politically active, whether fighting for Blacks’ civil rights or organizing to keep the Black community together. Employment opportunities for Black women in 1910 were generally limited to domestic work, whether in a private home or in an institutional capacity. The one notable exception was when Black women with higher-level educations or from middle-class backgrounds had the opportunity to attend college and study to become teachers.

Source: Six Haymakers

Excerpt: The King-Beast

Squeezed between almost vertical rises of rock, Nkem tried to suck her belly in as she heard the King-beast grunt, sniff wetly against the ground. This was no hiding place, she knew. It wasn’t even much of a breathing space.

But she needed to think.

She had hoped to corner and trap the King but maybe that had been a mistake. The territory was unfamiliar and it was dark besides. She didn’t know where to hide and she hadn’t imagined that the King-beast would have such an excellent sense of smell. In fact her imaginings had served her badly. She hadn’t imagined she would be facing a creature of such mangled and elongated proportions. She hadn’t imagined she would be facing a creature at all. The stories had always spoken of a cursed King, but she didn’t think that the curse would look anything like this.

Yet, here she was. And she had a job to do.

Continue reading Excerpt: The King-Beast

From a survivor to the new government: every woman matters

Originally posted on Media Diversified:

by Huma Munshi 

The prevalence of violence against women and girls remains unabated. We have become all too familiar with the statistic that two women are killed a week by their partner, with women of colour and migrant women disproportionately impacted by domestic homicide. Rather than properly address the issues that protect women and young girls, the government undertook a draconian round of cuts to public services and has been too eager to pass legislation such as criminalising forced marriage, without properly addressing the cause of violence against women and girls. They have failed us. As a survivor, and in advance of the main parties issuing their manifestos, here are my suggestions for how the new government can effectively combat violence against women and girls.

Make sex and consent education compulsory in schools. I imagine things have come a long way since I was in school

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London Radical Bookfair 2015: The Tanner St Takeover, 9th May 12-7pm


This looks amazing. Have to say, one of the nice things about moving further south is that I’m not so far from London so I can go to events like this more regularly.

Originally posted on London Radical Bookfair 2015:

The London Radical Bookfair 2015 is on! After taking over Bishopsgate Institute last year the LRB, along with our partners at Alternative Press, are taking over 5 floors of a beautifully renovated Victorian warehouse at 47/49 Tanner Street near Tower Bridge.

TakoverFlyer2015_front_a5_300dpiTakeoverFlyer2015_back_a5_300dpiIts a beautiful venue, and the Takeover will be filling every available space with bookstalls, artwork, talks, workshops, food, music, and good people!

Lots more details to announce, including the speaker line up and exhibitors, but for now save the all important date: 9th May 12-7pm

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…and on Twitter via the Alliance of Radical Booksellers feed here

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Excerpt: A Love for Lady George

An excerpt from a short story I’m working on. Finished, but still in need of some tightening up.

As with so many of these stories, it all began on an early autumnal morn, all frost and fog quite unlike the usual September weather. A handsome young rider on a glossy steed sped across the moor to reach a black stoned castle high up on the hill lands of the Scottish border.


Perhaps, an introduction is warranted.


Young Lord George Grevindale was as fine and hearty a young lord as any other, the local tenants liked to say. You could go up and down the country and you would be hard beaten to find a lustier heir as full of vim, they said. They felt somewhat assured that, unlike some of the other baronets and dukes who got themselves new airs from the Continent, Young Lord George would never think to go increasing rents to fund a spot of ‘touring’, bumbling along from crumbling ruin to crumbling ruin. Nor need they fear any interference in the form of ‘improvements’ which usually included razing a village or two for a more picturesque view from the Great House. No, they said, their Young Lord George was a kind rarely found in England these days and they were glad of it.

Of course, this could have been due to the fact that Young Lord George was in fact a young Lady, a Lady Cartimandua Grevindale no less. However, she had been called Young Lord George for so long that nobody commented on it as especially strange, or at least no stranger than the way Miller’s wife made butter that tasted of blue cheese or Old Man Trought was known to occasionally roam the streets at night in nothing but his underclothes.

Continue reading Excerpt: A Love for Lady George

Alice Lee and discrediting the andocentric assumptions of craniology : Victorian Woman of Science

Originally posted on Cogpunk Steamscribe:

A Victorian-era Illustration made to support the Pseudoscience of Craniology

Oh, Alice Lee suffered all the trials and tribulations of being a female scientist in the Victorian era. Her results were denigrated, refused publication, and she was even accused of taking credit for male colleagues’ work. But she is an excellent example of how one scientist can change the course of history, by sticking to the facts.

Alice Lee’s field of research was craniometry, which is the measurement of skulls, and from that, the measurement of the size of brains. Craniology was part of the study the morphology of the human body. Using craniology, Victorian-era  anthropologists made hypotheses about the attributes that can be linked to race and sex. Women have smaller skulls than men, which means smaller brains, and so it was assumed women had smaller intellects. Alice Lee decided this was her field of study, and investigated the link between intelligence and brain…

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To be perfectly honest…

…I haven’t really taken so much as a break as just been a little lazy. I am currently ramping up for MancsterCon, an independent sequential art convention I organise with some friends of mine. I’m also getting started on an Afrofuturist weekend event in October (which is Black History Month in the UK) – a little bit late, I suspect, but as we’re keeping the event fairly low-key, hopefully it will all turn out fine.

I’m still scribbling away at my short stories, having found a few more anthologies looking for the kind of thing I tend to write, but it’s mostly scrappy little bits. My main focus is on a programming project where I’m currently hacking my way through understanding Google Maps JavaScript API. It’s sort of fun, but a little daunting when you’re at the stage beyond the nice tutorials.

On that note, I’ve found some useful JavaScript blogs and articles:

JavaScript Object Prototype

How to learn JavaScript Properly – some very helpful links for anyone who’s cobbled together a working knowledge of JavaScript but would like some formation.

How to Use HTML5 Geolocation API with Google Maps – haven’t quite reached this stage yet, but needed to bookmark the link.

Getting Creative with the Google Maps API

Progress has slowed down a little with me coming home fairly late from work these days and with the events management stuff, but I’ll get there, slowly but surely!

Laura Bassi

Laura Bassi – Italian 18th century woman physicist

It’s always fascinating reading about women scientists, philosophers and academics of the past. My usual sphere of interest is Medieval Europe, but I enjoy reading about figures from the Enlightenment era, especially those outside of the usual trio of Britain, France and Germany.