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Godmother of Rock 'n' Roll

Saving Black history, racism in football

Lucy Caldicott
Lucy Caldicott
2 min read

This week I've been reading about and listening to Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Some people call her the Godmother of rock and roll, others call her the original punk rebel. Born into a family of cotton pickers in Arkansas in 1915, she began playing the guitar aged four and aged six joined her mother in a travelling evangelical troupe performing in gospel concerts all over the US. She went on to inspire Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Tina Turner*.

Wonderful Sister Rosetta footage here.

And I thought this was an interesting story about Venus Williams and Adam Pendleton's campaign to save the childhood home of another Black woman musical icon, Nina Simone. It was under threat of being sold off for demolition and redevelopment but is now being preserved as a cultural heritage site. There's more about the story here.

I'm glad to read that arrests have been made following the disgusting racist taunts endured by the wonderful Brazilian footballer, Vini Jr., who plays for Real Madrid. I've been going to football matches since before Vini Jr. was born. There was appalling anti-black racism at matches then and to see it still there today is just a disgrace.

As Ian Wright rightly says, nothing will change until action is taken that hits football clubs in their very deep pockets.

If you don't know who Vini Jr is, he's incredible! Watch him here.

Interesting and useful links 🖇️

Journey from doctor to patient - a free online event from the good people at Good Grief fest.

Every 20 minutes someone is killed or seriously injured on UK roads. Much of the reporting around these incidents portrays collisions as unavoidable. Here are some guidelines for media reporting.

Here's a health inequality toolkit from the WHO.

Learning points 🎓

Get a sponsor, not a mentor. (Mentors advise, sponsors act).

What am I reading? 📚

I'm reading a LOT of policy briefings at the moment. Anyone would think there might be some elections to write manifestos for.

What am I watching? 👀

How do we free ourselves from the tyranny of the car? Here's Jeff Speck's TED talk.

What am I listening to?👂

Yesterday it was my birthday. I hung one more year on the line.

Have a good time by Paul Simon. One of the best songs ever written.

Joy-giving things 😍

We've got bees living in holes on our lawn.

Apparently they might be a type of mining bee.

I'll report back.

Have a lovely weekend


*PS. I wrote all of the above before I'd heard that wonderful Tina Turner had died. Here she is with Cher. Just brilliant.

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