Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

June 03, 2013

Barbara Blake

one of the panellists of the first year, that I didn't know much about until a member of the Yahoo group pointed this out last week.

At the time of the JAM show she recorded back in 1968, she had some fame as Britain's first black woman journalist. Here's a glimpse of her work

Here's a bio

Barbara Makeda Blake Hannnah is a Jamaican author, music journalist, film-maker and public speaker. More info: Jamaica Media Productions.
In 1968 she made history as the first Black TV journalist on British television at the start-up of Thames TV and later worked with BBC-TV and Channel 4.
Returning to Jamaica in 1972, and her real love of writing, she wrote newspaper articles, one of which led to her writing and publishing Rastafari - The New Creation in 1981, the first book on the Rastafari religion written by a a member of the faith, now in its 5th edition.
In 1992 she self-published Joseph - A Rasta Reggae Fable, a novel about a reggae superstar based losely on the life of Bob Marley (whom she knew) but mainly to give an insight into what life was like in the 70s when reggae and Rasta started going international. It has now been re-published by MacMillan Caribbean in 2006.
Barbara Makeda has lectured at the University of the West Indies, the University of Vienna, Austria; New York University; Florida International University; the University of Guyana; the University of the Virgin Islands, and the World Archaeological Congress Pre-Conference in Curacao. She was a delegate to the UN World Conference Against Racism in 2001.
She is producer/director of 6 documentary and 2 TV feature films, organised Black film festivals in Jamaica and represented Jamaica at film festivals in the USA, Cuba, West and (the former) East Germany and Iraq (yes she met Saddam Hussein and says he was quite cool!).
Appointed an Independent Senator in the Jamaican Parliament (1984-87), she was presented with the Ethiopian Crown Council's Adowa Centenary Gold Medal in 1997, and the United Nations Peace Medal in 1974. She home-schooled her son Makonnen, who was appointed Youth Technology Consultant to the Jamaican government in 1998 at the age of 13 years.

and here is some more stuff - a nice biographical article and an interview from last year.

Which all makes me think - given her wonderful and varied career, I wonder if she even remembers her JAM appearance?


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