Carnival: A living tribute to the Windrush Generation

IT’S THAT time again. Notting Hill Carnival is coming – one of the greatest events of its kind in the world and second only to Rio in legendary status.

This bank holiday weekend will see commerce, culture and history fuse together amongst a melee of masqueraders that Peter Minshall described as a Dionysian explosion of feathers.

Notting Hill Carnival means the windfall of the summer for traders, and for the capital’s economy. Yet valuable beyond measure is Carnival’s place in the UK’s identity. Europe’s biggest street festival is a diamante-studded celebration of British Caribbean cultures, free for all to join in.

My passions have always been culture and the arts, alongside politics. I have wanted, always, to shine a light on to people’s experiences. Last year I was honoured to play a part in the guiding of Carnival back towards its roots.

As a Trustee of the Carnival Village Trust and Chair of the Advisory Council of Notting Hill Carnival Limited, with deeply personal connections to its history, I wholeheartedly believe that such changes are vital to protecting the spirit of the weekend.

Carnival started out as a reminder of home, for the hundreds of thousands of people who travelled from the Caribbean to the UK between 1948 and 1971. It was first cobbled together in a local dancehall. Then, like the Pied Piper, Sterling Betancourt guided revellers away from Rhuane Laslett’s Garden Fete and through the streets. Carnival has been thus ever since.

As the event has gone from strength to strength over the years, Carnival at its very core remains a loud, proud, living tribute to Caribbean heritage – and of course, the Windrush story.

It has never been more important to share the tales of our past. The lessons of history must remain at the forefront of our minds. We need such moments and places, where acts of celebration, commemoration and peaceful activism can crystallise.

Alongside my work with the Carnival, I’ve been serving on the Windrush Commemoration Committee this past year. We have been working hard to create more legacies, like Carnival, in honour of the Windrush Generation. I’m proud that we have recently announced that London Waterloo rail station will be the home for a permanent monument to the story of Windrush.

Many parts of London reflect a deep resonance with the Windrush history. London Waterloo was unanimously selected for its prominence and its unique connection to the stories. Many of our parent, grandparents and their families arrived at the station when coming into the UK, particularly those settling in London.

What is more, Waterloo station provided a central link between British Caribbean communities across London and in Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and beyond. The monument will pay tribute to a national British Caribbean legacy, defined more broadly than the story of those pioneers who arrived onboard the MV Empire Windrush in 1948.

As partygoers wend their way to future Carnivals, it will serve as a reminder and testament to the story of Windrush and the contribution of British Caribbean communities across the United Kingdom.

Archer talks about England’s World Cup success

Barbados-born, new England fast bowling star Jofra Archer spent a hectic one week at home as he savoured success in the just concluded ICC World Cup in England & Wales, before returning to London to prepare for the imminent Ashes series against Australia.

Last Saturday during the opening day’s play of Series 2 in the Barbados Cricket Association Elite division three-day Championship, Archer spoke with veteran sports journalist, cricket commentator and columnist Keith Holder in an exclusive wide-ranging interview, as he took in some of the action between Gladiola and Carlton at Rices in St. Philip.

Jofra Archer (right) speaking with Barbados TODAY columnist Keith Holder.
Jofra Archer (right) speaking with Barbados TODAY columnist Keith Holder.
Following is an edited version of Part 1:

HOLDER: It must be a very hectic period for you since returning home for a one-week break after the World Cup in England & Wales. You were the top England bowler and crucially bowled the very last over (Super over) against New Zealand when they needed 16 runs to win. As it turned out, the scores were tied and England triumphed on account of scoring more boundaries.

What was the feeling like when you bowled that Super over?

ARCHER: For me, everyone played a really, really big role. So, not just me. After the Final, everyone was really, really happy. I saw some of the guys who don’t really show too much emotion running around and screaming and stuff, so you can see what it meant to not just the team, but also everyone in the ground.

HOLDER: In the moments after it started to sink in, what was going through your mind?

ARCHER: I don’t think it has sunken in as yet. I left England two days after the World Cup was finished so I didn’t really get a good chance to digest it all.

HOLDER: You qualified to play for England because you were born to a British father, Frank Archer, and hold a British passport. After leaving secondary school in Barbados at Foundation in 2013 and getting an opportunity to go to England and play for Sussex in the County Championship, in your wildest dreams, would you have ever imagined that in 2019 you would be walking onto the field to play for England in a World Cup?

ARCHER: No. Because at the time seven years would have put me at like 2022, so I probably played a few years earlier than expected. I already had my heart set on that year but it has happened a bit sooner so I was just really excited to be given the chance. Because you could qualify but that doesn’t mean they have to pick you, so I’m just happy I got the opportunity.

HOLDER: Christopher Jordan, another Barbados-born player who has also played for England, has helped with your cause in representing England. Talk us through the process of your friendship with him dating back to 2013 when he turned out for Barbados in both the regional four-day and one-day Championships.

ARCHER: Just before the English season started, Christopher was in Barbados having a pre-season session. Some of the Barbados Under-19 team players of that season got invited to trials. Guys like myself, Jerome Jones, Akeem Jordan and Jameel Stuart.

I had never seen him play any cricket in Barbados. I can’t remember who was running the practice sessions but I was given the ball and bowled at him. It was just normal training. After the session he came and spoke to me about fast bowling and stuff like that.

He played for Barbados a couple days after so I went to the Oval and watched the game. He just said “hello” to me and then it just all started from there.

Just before he went back to England I told him that I have a British passport and asked him whether there was anything he could do for me, like speak to coaches. He said just leave it with him and he would let me know in a couple weeks. And I said okay, fine.

At that time other County teams were in Barbados. I spoke to Northamptonshire a little bit and I tried with Essex as well, just hoping that something would happen.

HOLDER: On reflection, would you say that having ended up at Sussex like Christopher Jordan, you not only became very close friends but you would have “nipped” him and played for England and now your buddy is on the outside?

ARCHER: Nah. I would never say that. He hasn’t played (consistently for England) in the last two or three years so I wouldn’t say that I nipped him. It was a bit unfortunate because he was in the squad as well just before they cut it down to 15. I would absolutely love to have him there but it was still also special to have him there for my first game because every time I have actually played a new Tournament or for a new team, he has either been in the team or at the Tournament. So he has always been there.

HOLDER: Jofra, now to the World Cup. Aged 24, you played in a maximum 11 matches, took 20 wickets at an average of 23.05, with an excellent economy rate of 4.57. And you sent down as many as 100.5 overs – the only bowler in the ten-team Tournament to bowl over 100 overs. In your wildest dreams would you have expected to bowl as many as 100 overs in your first World Cup?

ARCHER: Well, kind of, because of my role in the team. I bowled at the beginning and at the death. I think that anyone that did that job would probably bowl a lot of overs. I did bowl the most overs but a lot of guys like (Jasprit) Bumrah (of India) or the guys that opened and closed the innings wouldn’t be too far behind.

HOLDER: Of the top four bowlers in relation to wickets, you were the most economical. What would you put down to this success?

ARCHER: To be honest, I don’t think the guys took a lot of risk at me because probably Mark Wood and myself were the two quickest, so the guys would probably just try to see us through and then try to attack some of the other bowlers. To me that’s how it seemed but obviously you still have to put the ball in the right areas.

HOLDER: It was not only genuine pace from Jofra Archer, but also one, two, three batsmen cracked on the helmet. Have you had a chance to review those videos and tell yourself ‘yes’ I had it there for them or would you say it was a matter of bad technique?

ARCHER: Not bad technique. Sometimes you bowl your bouncers to get a dot ball or hope for a top edge but you don’t always bowl to hit them. If you get hit it’s a little bit unfortunate but that’s not always the plan. That’s not what you always set out to do.

HOLDER: The English officials gave you one week to go home and rest a niggle. How is that niggle going?

ARCHER: I am good. As you said it is just a niggle. It probably didn’t get a chance to heal because there was a quick turnaround in the games in the World Cup but since then I have made a lot of progress. I would pretty much say maybe in three or four more days I will be back to full fitness but there is nothing serious, nothing major.

HOLDER: Talk us through that very last over in the World Cup, especially after being struck for a six?

ARCHER: The first ball was a wide so it went from defending 16 to 15. The guys just started running twos and I think there was a fumble as well so that kept the left-hander on strike for one more ball, which he shouldn’t have. When the six was hit, they needed five from three. At that point I wouldn’t say I had given up but I said well whatever happens here, happens. I guess that’s why I didn’t look too nervous or what’s not. I think I probably accepted the fact that if I didn’t happen then, we played so well to get there in the first place… the guys probably would have been a bit disappointed if we hadn’t won but equally I don’t think anyone would blame me as well, so you don’t really need that extra pressure in thinking that you messed it up and everyone is going to be upset with you and no one is going to speak to you.

So coming into the team I have learnt that the guys are not like that and that went a long way especially in such a serious pressure moment.

HOLDER: What did Eion Morgan say to you during that over?

ARCHER: Well, when the six was hit, I told him that we needed to get a one or dot here and he just said you do what you need to do, do what you feel is best and even for the captain to have that much confidence in you, usually more than likely at that stage any batting team would have won that equation. So even at that stage to be 50-50 in the game and he can tell you pretty much do what you need to do because some captains would tell you that you need to do this or do that or even try to change the field because it was so important everyone just wanted to win but no one didn’t go over the top. Everyone was just level right away through. source :

Trump demands Sweden Gives A$AP Rocky His Freedom

PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has demanded Sweden releases A$AP Rocky after he was charged with assault for an altercation which took place last month.

The US president has said he was “very disappointed” in Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven for being “unable to act” after the rapper received assault charges on Thursday (Jul 25).

At the time the charges were announced, Swedish prosecutor Daniel Suneson said: “Having come to the conclusion that the events in question constitute a crime and despite claims of self-defense and provocation.”

Following the announcement Trump posted a series of tweets using the hashtag #FreeRocky.

One tweet reads: “Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly! #FreeRocky

Trump also revealed that he has been in touch with the Swedish PM. He tweeted: “Just had a very good call with Stefan Löfven who assured me that American citizen ASAP Rocky will be treated fairly.

“Likewise, I assured him that ASAP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative.”

The arrest comes after a fight captured on video in which Rocky is seen involved in altercation with two men last month. He claimed that he was acting in self defence as the men were supposedly following the rapper and his entourage.

He is set to remain in custody until a trial takes place and the Stockholm District Court is due to set a date for the proceedings.
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Why A$AP Rocky Was Arrested in Sweden ?

It’s a tumultuous time for A$AP Rocky. The New York rapper was scheduled for a trek across Europe this summer, performing live in support of his 2018 album Testing. Then, as fans back in the States were getting ready for their Independence Day celebrations, he was arrested and ordered to be held for two weeks in Stockholm, where he is under investigation for assault. Rocky, whose birth name is Rakim Mayers, reportedly faces up to six years in prison if he is convicted. Rocky’s lawyer Henrik Olsson Lilja has said his client’s actions were in self-defense .SOURCE: