Black & Asian British Resources – British Library

The British LibrarySubmitted by Andy Simons

Here attached is an update of my Black & Asian British resources bibliography of materials here at The British Library.

Of special note are summaries of the contents of two fine Edward Scobie-related periodicals, pasted below.

I’m especially struck at how fab a mag Tropic was.  Featured are musicians such as Russ Henderson, who aren’t well known now but were popular back in the day.  There are also short stories by Andrew Salkey, Sam Selvon, Jan Carew and other writers; spreads on artists Uzo Egonu ( and Justus Akeredolu (, a prescient Valerie (Val) Wilmer piece on the jazz saxophonist Joe Harriott, and a spotlight on the fabric designer Althea McNish (   And, wait for it…the August 1960 issue of Tropic has a snap of Claudia Jones looking rather joyful at a press day for her West Indian Gazette.  Keep in mind that, while the BL hold a microfilm copy of that newspaper, we got it from the Institute of Race Relations Library, which has an original set (


A.P. Pulleyn-Holden, editor-publisher, with Buddy Bradley and Edward Scobie

Vol. 1 No. 1, June 1954 – Vol. 1 No. 6, April-May 1955

British Library shelfmark : PP.5939.BFA


Highlights of contents :


Vol. 1 No. 1, June 1954

Leary Constantine (cricketer), Muriel Smith (stage musical star); Naboth’s Vineyard, Johannesburg (Natives Resettlement Bill), Marie Bryant (stage musical star); Ginger Johnson (dancer); Buddy Bradley.


Vol. 1 No. 2, August-September 1954

Baby Scruggs, Mabel Lee, Fortunia, La Bommie, Beryl Kari Kari (stage dancers); Lena Horne (singer-actress); Frank Worrell, Ben Johnson (actor); The Southlanders (vocal group).


Vol. 1 No. 3, October-November 1954

Portobello Market; Dr. Arthur Lewis (economist), Happy Blake (trumpeter); Russ Henderson (pianist); Joe Harriott, Winifred Atwell (pianist-singer); Earl Cameron (actor); Rupert Nurse (bandleader).


Vol. 1 No. 4, December 1954-January 1955

Winifred Atwell; the Ewes of West Africa; Haile Selassie; Earl Cameron.


Vol. 1 No. 5, February-March 1955

Report on Liverpool : Eric Sarbah (first Black bus conductor); Kenneth Goodman (organist); Dorothy Dandridge (actress); The Golden Slipper Club with Andrew Salkey.


Vol. 1 No. 6, April-May 1955

Lucille Mapp (singer); Sister Theodora Akwa Bartels (nurse, Acton Hospital); Lord Kitchener (calypso singer); Winifred Atwell.




Publisher : Charles I. Ross [London]

Editors : Edward Scobie, Patrick Williams, & Molly Douglas

Nos. 1-9 (March-December 1960)

British Library shelfmark : P.P.7615.kf


Highlights of contents :


No. 1 (March 1960)

Notting Hill (aftermath of riots); Albert Hyndman : The Migrant and the Law; Molly Douglas : Storm over a Rainbow Shawl [stage plays]; Jimmy Omagbemi, Nigeria’s Olympic Hope; The Dankworths – Jazz Couple [Johnny Dankworth & Cleo Laine]; Samuel Selvon : Battersby and Matilda [short story]; Koko Mensah : Why Not a Coloured Miss Universe?; Bloke Modisane : Come Back Africa [film]; Heatwage in London – The Greatest All-Coloured Show since the Blackbirds; Steps to Beauty; Sassy Suggests some Delicious Recipes [Sarah Vaughan]; Edward Scobie : Royal Tipster; Colin Legum : The Quiet Nigerian [Sir Abubaker, Prime Minister of the Nigerian Federation]; Fabulous Ford Selects [singer Emile Ford]; Beethoven’s Friend [George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower]; Full Steam Ahead for Economic Independence [Ghana]; Charles Archibald : Caribbean Future; George Lamming : Columbus in Reverse [Labour candidate David Pitt]; Negroes are Ashamed of “Trad” [jazz].


No. 2 (April 1960)

Bloke Modisane : Report on the Boycott [South African goods]; Edward Scobie : African Cardinal [Archbishop Laurian Rugambwa, Bishop of Rutabo]; John Clarke [producers for the West Indian Drama Group] : The Negro on the ‘White’ Stage [Earl Cameron]; Yoruba Moves to K4 [Nigerian sculptur Justus Akeredolu]; Shirley Bassey, Mixed-Up Kid in Mink; Atwell International [Winifred Atwell’s cookery]; Ann Townsend : Ghana’s Air Girls; Poule : The White Hermit of the Island [short story]; Caribbean Drum Dancers [Allister Bain Dance Group]’ Alfred Hutchinson : Are You a Native? – extract from ‘Road to Ghana’; Our Link with the West Indies; Harold Mayes : So You Want to be a Champion ? [boxing]; Go Gay, Go Gingham [fashion]; Going Classical [Modern Jazz Quartet]; Pat Blair : Althea McNish, Fabric Designer; Ray Ellington Specials; Albert Luthuli – Soft-Pedaller or Statesman?


No. 3 (June 1960)

Who Killed Kelso [Kelso Benjamin Cochrane, Sharpeville victim]; Can [boxer Floyd] Patterson Regain his Crown ?; Mrs Gladys Lucky [Liberace’s cook]; Edward Scobie : Britain’s First Coloured Students; Negroes say “Cut Uncle Tom Films” [South African politician Josias Madzunya]; Immunisation is Important; Charles Archibald : Caribbean Problem Child – British Guiana; Negro Theatre Company; Belgian Congo Independence; Dr. Banda Forever; [Hastings Banda, fitted by Madame Tussaud’s]; Amos Tutuola : Ade, the traitor [short story]; Gonna Govender : Turmoil in Africa; [trombonist-bandleader] Geoff Love’s Best-Loves, Record Choice; Oladotun Okubanjo, Nigerian Photographer; Wilfred Forde, Hairdresser; This Music is Against Apartheid [pianist Russ Henderson, guitarist-singers Cy Grant and Josh White].


No. 4 (July 1960)

Charles Archibald : At the Gates of Independence; Caribbean Rock Ringer – The Story of Ricky Wayne; Was Kenyatta a Scapegoat?; Namba Roy – Maroon Sculptor; Turmoil Street – Landlord’s Terror Tactics [Paddington]; The Great Odetta; Black Orpheus [film]; Peter Magubane [photographer]; Christopher Carlos [actor]; Gonny Alexander : Apartheid in Sport; West Indian Muscle; Jan Carew : The Third Gift [short story];  Miss Tropic; On Stage Please; Julius Kambarage Nyerere, African ‘Ghandi’; Dressing the Child; Edward Scobie : The African ‘Roscius’, Ira Aldridge [actor]; Valerie Wilmer : Drummer Man – A Portrait of Gus Johnson; Cy Grant Chooses this Month’s Records.


No. 5 (August 1960)

Living in Brixton [Claudia Jones]; Laflorya Levy : The Man They Call “The Elephant” [Sekou Toure];  Donald Wood : Immigrant Children; West Indies Double Bill [New Day Theatre Company]; George Lamming : Why We Can’t Go Home [extract from The Pleasures of Exile]; Jan Carew : The Truth about the Congo; Peter Kwame Buahin : This is Experience Speaking [short story]; Epitaphs in Jazz [Billie Holiday]; Do-It-Yourself Drums [Russ Henderson, Max Cherrie, Stirling Betancourt]; Edward Scobie : Negro Composer [Samuel Coleridge-Taylor]; Women in Industry [Caribbean workers at Cadbury’s, Bournville]; Ronald Moody – Man with a Vision [sculptor]; Got a Problem to Solve?  Then Try the CAB; Clifford Taylor, Man on the Move; Nigeria on Show.


No. 6 (September 1960)

Calling Africa [BBC Overseas Service]; Jamaican Hero, Felix Alphonso Samuels; Jungle Giselle – Nalo Camara [Ballets Africains]; Charles Hooper : The Second Last Laugh [Bechuanaland]; Voodoo Dancers; Vernon Tong – Jamaican Painter; E.O. Adeniyi, Travel Agent [West African World Travel]; Kojo Mensah : Entertainment in Ghana; Peter Larsen, Photographer of the Month; Edward Scobie : Georgian Gentlemen of Colour; Selwyn A. Smith : Night on Carlisle Bay [short story]; Donald Hinds : Any More Fares Please?


No. 7 (October 1960)

James O’Connell, University of Ibadan : The Evolution of Nigeria; Satchmo in Africa [Louis Armstrong]; Sir Jock Campbell : Attitudes to Africa; The Lively Art of Uzo Egonu [painter]; Edward Scobie : King Jaja of Opobo; W.A. Jerome & Rudy Armstrong : What’s Wrong with the Negro Race; Child Care; Eartha Kitt; Recipes from all over Africa; Cyprian Ekwensi : No Wedding Drums [short story]; Highlights from a Mayfair Wedding; Stanley Omor Okullo [African Students Union]: Why I was Expelled from the USSR; Will a new Day Dawn for Africa’s Blind ?


No. 8 (November 1960)

Liza Donzell does what all Newcomers to London Do, Visits the Tower; Edward Scobie : Black Pearls, an examination of the Changing Attitude towards the Negro in World Literature [Doris Lessing, Eugene O’Donnell]’ Nairobi ’60; Newcomers [West Indian immigrants]; Berto Pasuka [Ballets Negres choreographer and painter]; The Negro in European Art; Elaine Delmar Chooses Her Top Five Discs; Ellis Ayitey Komey : The Iron Box [short story]; Valerie Wilmer : Pictures in Sound, Britain’s Most Original Alto Saxist, Joe Harriott; Heating Your Home; The Importance of Hand Care; Johnson was the Greatest [boxer Jack Johnson].


No. 9 (December 1960)

Aubrey Williams’ Revolt; Ellis Ayitey Komey : Selling the African Personality; Edward Scobie : Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet;  Peter Kempadoo, Adventurer, Writer, Businessman, Country Gent; Howard Beecher, Spare-time Painter; Andrew Salkey : In Yessing Mount [short story]; Is This Man an Eskimo, a Paraguayan or a Japanese? [actor Anthony Chinn]; Claude Thompson : A Man for All Seasons – Father Coombs [Hon. A.G.S. Coombs]; Charles H. Archibald : Behind the Scenes in Federation [Caribbean]; Merrill Ferguson : Uncle Tom…is Buried, Almost! [West Indian novels];  Who is the Greatest of Them All ? [boxing]; H.M. Ransom : The Romance of Jewellery


Andy Simons

Printed Historical Sources (non-literary UK publications, 1914-present)

The British Library,  96 Euston Road,  London NW1 2DB


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