Civil Rights Leader Ratna Lachman dies



I came back from an annual break to hear the very sad news that a good friend and remarkable Civil Rights activist, Ratna Lachman, passed away just over a week ago.

Ratna had been ill for a couple of years with cancer, but we all thought that after much treatment she was over the worst. For some time after the diagnosed illness she was doing what she’d always done best; fighting social and racial justice with a passion.

Those who failed Sarah Reed must be held to account


There were from time to time gasps, cries and exclamations coming from the public, the family and the jury as we sat through Sarah Reed’s inquest at the City Of London coroner’s court, which ended last week.

Sarah died on 11 January 2016 while on remand at Holloway women’s prison, London. She was on the medical wing of the prison and was reportedly found, at around 8am, lying on her prison bed. The crown asserted, and the jury agreed, that Sarah had killed herself through “self-strangulation”.

How the State failed Sarah Reed


Statement by the NGO INQUEST

The jury at the inquest of Sarah Reed, 32 have concluded unacceptable delays in psychiatric assessment and failures in care contributed to her death. She was found dead with a ligature round her neck on 11 January 2016, while a prisoner at HMP Holloway. She was on remand for over three months solely for the purpose of obtaining two psychiatric reports to confirm whether she was fit to plead, for an alleged offence which took place whilst she was a sectioned inpatient at a mental health unit

BBC – All white at the top


Amongst the  25 of the BBC’s top paid presenters/actors, there isn’t a Black and minority ethnic - BME - face in sight. You have scroll down to number 26 to find the veteran newscaster, George Alagiah.

There are other BME presenters further down the BBC food chain, including radio presenters Trevor Nelson, and Mishal Hussain, but it would seem the bulk of BME Presenters are in the very lowest of the highest pay bracket, including actor Hugh Quarshie, and presenters Moira Stuart, Kamal Ahmed and John Pienar.

Edward Enninful: Taking the fashion world by storm


There’s a new kid on the fashion block and critics say he’s about to shake up the fashion world with insight, pizzazz and a relevance that brings the industry into the 21st century.

Edward Enninful is a Ghanian born stylist who has lived here in the UK since he was six. He first burst on to the scene as a young model, then at the age of 18 as the youngest ever editor of the youth culture magazine I-D. I-D founder Terry Jones saw something special in this young man and duly gave him the reigns.

Happy 21st Birthday OBV


It is sometimes difficult to find things to celebrate when there are a lot of negative events going on: the four terror attacks - Westminster, London Bridge, Manchester, and Finsbury Park, - the awful tragedy of Grenfell Tower, and the continuing rise of xenophobia as we march towards the EU exit.

But as OBV reaches its 21st birthday-16th July 1997- and is still trying to make an impact to confront and challenge racism through civic and political participation I think it’s right that we duly celebrate this historic milestone.

Bristol city councillor in race row


Black groups in Bristol are in uproar over the race-disparaging comments made by a Labour Councillor against the country’s first directly elected Mayor from an African/Caribbean background, Marvin Rees, and his Deputy Asher Craig who is also from African/ Caribbean heritage.

Speaking on social media, Cllr Harriet Bradley commented: ‘Wish I was Mayor! I like Marvin but I am honestly not sure if he gets socialism. His background-like that of Asher Craig his deputy –is in diversity politics.’

Tory MP Suspended After Making Racist Remark


At an East India Club event in London yesterday, Anne Marie Morris, the Conservative MP for Newton Abbot, casually used the N-word during a discussion of Brexit, which led to the eventual removal of her party whip.

While taking part in a public panel along with other Pro-Brexit Conservative MPs, Sir William Cash and John Redwood, Morris used the offensive language while talking about the possibility of having no Brexit deal after the two years of negotiations.

Rise in racism at schools post Brexit


Introducing Abigail Kass

Abigail Kass is a political science student from Boston University and  has recently joined OBV on our international intern programme. She has been assisting the team with our MP Shadowing scheme recruitment, and has now written her first article for us, highlighting the rise of racism in schools post Brexit. We look forward to many more insightful articles, and assisting us with our campaign work.


Understanding racism by Ibram X. Kendi


Ibrahim X Kendi has taken America by storm with his new book. 'Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.'

And now based on that book he’s written the ‘Long Read’ article in the Guardian explaining some of his thoughts. Some of his ideas both in the article, book and other articles he’s written are challenging to say the least, but at the same time his work is illuminating, and wonderfully empowering.

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