British Nigerian Recalls Dodging Police Bullet Feb 3, 2023 Greetings, and Happy New Year. In a few days, I’ll be performing a new, 20-minute monolo

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British Nigerian Recalls Dodging Police Bullet

Feb 3, 2023

Greetings, and Happy New Year.

BlackBoyJoyGone-Main-Lead-Poster-NOTEXT-July22-16 9 AKW0845-By-Ashley-Karrell-scaled

In a few days, I’ll be performing a new, 20-minute monologue titled Dodging Bullets in Manchester, UK, and reprising it in Leeds. I am one of four Black men nationwide selected to present something on Black men and mental health – a project called #BlackBoyJoyGone: REALISE. Dodging Bullets expresses gratitude for the luck I have had in maintaining robust mental health while people close to me have not. It also recalls surviving an encounter with a New York police officer after unwittingly committing a traffic violation eleven years ago. Performances are at HOME Manchester on 7 February, and Riley Theatre, Leeds on 21 February. Apologies for the short notice: many things conspired to make this unavoidable. With any luck, there'll be more performances in the future.

Freedom First

I have also been asked by Keith LaMar, the innocent Death Row prisoner in Ohio to join a tour by musicians who will be performing concerts in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois in April, to highlight his case. The State of Ohio intends to ignore the proof of his innocence and execute him on November 16; but he and his supporters are doing their utmost to have his conviction overturned. I look forward to the tour, and particularly to meeting Keith himself: a most impressive and inspiring man. Tour details here.


Robeson @ 125
I am unable to confirm it just yet, but I am hoping, on the same trip, to be giving at least one performance of Call Mr. Robeson, in Peekskill, NY. April 9 is the 125th anniversary of Robeson’s birth, and events are being planned in a number of places in the US to commemorate this, including by the Paul Robeson House & Museum, Philadelphia; Rutgers University, New Brunswick; The Lincoln Centre, and the Black Quaker Project. There ought to be more, so I would encourage people out there to organise more. Perhaps another radio station might be persuaded to air Paul Robeson’s Love Song, which, incidentally, I will be sharing from my Zoom Room on February 12.

I’ll be returning to Edge Hill University twice in coming weeks, for performances for staff and students: one of Art As A Weapon (a third time!) and Just An Ordinary Lawyer (the first time). I am expecting and hoping to announce some more performances of Lawyer in England and Scotland shortly,too. Watch this space…


There is a fabulous exhibition on in Liverpool called The Descendants. I am one of over forty Liverpool-area people of African descent photographed beautifully and dramatically by Ean Flanders. The opening was quite spectacular, apparently breaking all records for attendance at an opening at the Victoria Gallery. It is on till May, and very well worth a trip.

It is interesting, and perhaps an example of the kind of thing that Black people in Liverpool have spoken about for decades, that Ean’s proposal for an exhibition of portraits of Ukrainian refugee women in Liverpool (the city hosting this year’s Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine), has not been considered worthy of inclusion in the event. The struggle continues…

Mike Jackson

Parting Shots

I have often bemoaned what I believe to be too many instances of poor-quality journalism in the BBC, in terms of the suppression of important stories on one hand, and the careless and sometimes deliberate inaccuracy of reporting, on the other. I recently saw a documentary that was aired on BBC Ireland and Northern Ireland which, if my bias is justified, is unlikely to make it onto BBC in mainland UK. That Hooded Men - Britain's Torture Playbook was aired at all is something of a breakthrough. It tells the story of a decades-long fight for justice by 14 men tortured by the British Army in Ireland during the Troubles, and how a questionable 1978 court ruling led to the justification of torture by the US Army in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. Top military men who are regularly wheeled out to justify ongoing wars end up looking not so impressive in this. An excellent documentary made, incidentally, by my son-in-law, Tom Besley.


View Strike? video

Dont Pay Beatles

McDonald's did a commercial recently, which creative socialists in the UK have usurped to encourage more trade union activism. I think it’s brilliant, as was the recent "intervention" by the Beatles in a Don't Pay campaign against profiteering by energy companies.

Two recent articles I've found compelling: Jonathan Cook on how the British Labour Party recently treated a Member of Parliament (mine, as it happens) who used the word “fascism” in relation to the Israeli Government; and Margaret Kimberley in Black Agenda Report on the US continuing to escalate the war in Ukraine (and elsewhere). On this, I would draw attention to the blog piece I wrote last year, subtitled “Notes from a Sceptical Nigerian in England."

Substack or No??

I am considering making future newsletters available by subscription, and maybe putting some content behind a pay wall. Please let me have your views, including how much time to leave between the newsletters (currently six weeks or longer). Are there alternatives to Substack you know of and would recommend? One thing is for certain: introducing paid subscriptions is a very attractive proposition in the current climate!

In the meantime, if you would like to see how to support me, please click here.

That’s all for now. Wishing you peace and goodwill in the coming weeks and months.


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CMR Trailer Still

Call Mr. Robeson

Black power salute

Just An Ordinary Lawyer

At Strictly Harlem

What Happens? (Tribute to Langston Hughes)

Looking up
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