Before I could read, the only stories I would hear were that from my mother who, luckily for me, was an avid fan of the Harry Potter and Hobbit Series.

When I got too old for bed time stories (although I don’t believe there is such an age), my brother, three years my senior, made up stories that both me and my sister would listen to on the edge of our seats each night. And when he traded books for footballs, I went in search of my next adventure.

For the next decade I spent most of my spare time in the ShadowWorld, Andarlan, on the Alexander-78V, in a future where everyone is chemically enhanced, in a Grey, Red and White London, exploring fantastical lands with a book as my oyster.

And in each adventure, every journey and turn of each page, I looked for myself or at least someone like me. A black character, or character of colour.

With my age, my awareness of the lack of black characters in Science Fiction Fantasy books, grew. I couldn’t help but notice that my, “honey blonde hair” didn’t cascade down my back or that my “fair skin” was actually deep and rich.

I felt excluded, rejected from these stories – it felt like every page was a silent command to stop reading because it wasn’t meant for me.

Gradually I stopped reading. I know and acknowledge that there are books from other genres such as Contemporary Fiction and Romance that are inclusive of POC characters, but I can’t get in to these books, for me they lack that luster, that intrigue- that special something that exists in the sci-fi fantasy genre.

This is when Black Panther came out, and as an avid fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this film was something that I didn’t know I needed. And in my desperate search for something like it, I came across the term “Afrofuturism”.

Afrofuturism is a term that describes a genre of science fiction or fantasy as being “rooted in and unapologetically celebrate the uniqueness and innovation of black culture.”  (Jamie Broadnax, 2018, Huffington Post)  

I thought to myself, a whole genre just for me? Nonsense.

But, like Alice down the rabbit hole, I was on a roll. This simple term opened a whole new world for me in which I was able to re-ignite my passion for Sci-Fi Fantasy Books.

This genre is not limited to Film and Books, but spreads across multiple platforms such as fashion, art and music. I think it’s crazy and illogical that even in these fantasy worlds exclusion is written in.

Fantasy as the opposite of reality, Fiction as the opposite of fact these genres should include all of the equalities and varieties of people and worlds that don’t exist in real life. It’s in the name.


What is Afrofuturism?-



Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

The Fifth Season by N. K Jemisin


Black Panther

Janelle Monáe: Emotion Picture



By Viola Bascombe

Things to do When it’s Raining

Oh London, how I love you so…

More often than not, it’s raining in London. And when it rains, for those of us who managed to get a day off, we’re stuck inside.

On these tragic days, I find myself bored and restless, debating whether or not I have the courage to breach the drizzly storm outside in pursuit of a 20p Freddo from the corner shop.

Raining outside? Here’s a few things I do to keep myself occupied on a rainy day:

1.Netflix (or other streaming sites)

Trusty old Netflix, always there when I need a friend…. or six. Netflix has hundreds of titles and TV shows to keep you company when it’s raining (not sponsored by the way – p.s Netflix call me).

A few of my favorites include: ‘Cloud Atlas’ and ‘Black Mirror’ – all seasons, including Bandersnatch (you will NOT regret it).

If you think you’ve watched all that is good on Netflix already, and perhaps feel a little more daring, I would suggest venturing to the foreign films and TV series.

A few favourites of mine include: “Strong Girl Bong-Soon” and “Suspicious Partner” if you’re up for a good laugh mixed with a little danger.

2. Learn a new skill

Learning a new skill is not only a fun and productive pastime but also a way to discover a new hobby! Always wanted to try yoga I hear you say? Well now’s your chance!

Father’s Day is fast approaching, why not learn out how to knit a pair of socks? YouTube is a great source for tutorials of all kinds, the internet is your oyster!

I am now the proud owner of a variety of origami pigeons, cranes and doves, having learnt how to make them through YouTube tutorials. You could be too!

3.Have a pamper day!

Keep those toe nails in check and tackle those rebellious upper lip hairs or just have a nice soak with a hot beverage or a cool glass of wine, (grape juice for me).

Hit play on a Jazz (or other genre) playlist and feel the tension and stress melt away with every note and key.

Just because the weather is down doesn’t mean you are too. Blast your music as loud as you can and have a dance party! Your neighbors are probably at work, so let go and dance as if no one is watching. (because no one is!)

Sometimes that rainy day gives us the chance to take a break from our busy schedules, we are able to stay cocooned in our dens and without worrying about the rest of the world.

I personally love it when it rains, it gives me the chance to take things slowly, stop and take a break that I didn’t realize I needed.

Yes, most of the time rain is quite inconvenient, but nothing in life is perfect. 

By Viola Bascombe

Mindfulness is God’s Gift

As a species, we often have a tendency to ruminate on the past or be fearful of the future. So when an opportunity presents itself for us to be self-aware – i.e. to focus on the present –  suddenly we see the world with a very different set of eyes. 

This is where mindfulness comes into the fray.

When we decide to be mindful, suddenly the dark hues of our lives are illuminated.  

Suddenly the world starts to spin on a slightly different axis.

And suddenly our lives start to seem that much better.

So instead of worrying about what was or what will soon come to pass, why not instead be nostalgic of everything that was and hopeful about all the things that could be.

If you decide to be mindful, this way of experiencing life can suddenly become a reality.

Deriving from the ancient Buddhist philosophy on the benefits of meditation, Mindfulness has been similarly proven to be as effective within modern psychotherapy as a form of mental cleansing.    

Being mindful is a way for us to be honest, open, happy, patient and self-aware.

It’s a necessary state of mind that truly is God’s gift.

So, how can you be mindful?

  1. Watch your thoughts

There’s a quote from Professor Mark Williams – of the Oxford Mindfulness centre – in which he states:

“Some people find it very difficult to practice mindfulness. As soon as they stop what they’re doing, lots of thoughts and worries crowd in. It might be useful to remember that mindfulness isn’t about making these thoughts go away, but rather about seeing them as mental events.

Imagine standing at a bus station and seeing ‘thought buses’ coming and going without having to get on them and be taken away. This can be very hard at first, but with gentle persistence it is possible.”

In circumstances such as these, the good doctor also recommends, for instance, an exercise in yoga or some other physical activity.

  • Free yourself from the past and future

This goes without saying, but having a consistent focus on the present is the only way to achieve a ‘focused’ state of mindfulness.

  • Notice the everyday

As a follow-up, this next point is where the focus of this article really lies.

To quote the good doctor:

“Even as we go about our daily lives, we can notice the sensations of things, the food we eat, the air moving past the body as we walk. All this may sound very small, but it has huge power to interrupt the ‘autopilot’ mode we often engage day to day, and to give us new perspectives on life.”

It’s entirely up to you whether or not you decide to apply any of this in practice, but as a lesson on the topic of mindfulness, I hope what’s been written here will be of some use to you in the future…

Or should I say, the here and now.

By Lee Thorneycroft.

Death and Life Left Behind

I am a person that has experienced death way too many times for my twenty-
five years on this earth. It is safe to say funerals are not for me neither is crying
or feeling helpless.

Those were the feelings I’ve felt through the years; I’ve always been a person
that questions everything and hoping to see the positive side of a situation.

Having to have that core factor of yourself stripped and ripped apart by the loss
of someone felt like an out-of-body experience, not the kind where you get to
see your future or anything like that.

The feeling of looking at yourself from the outside and all you see are the
fragments of your being slowly breaking with no way of repairing it. The loss of
someone that was literally the one that holds you up is the absolute worst.

A parent. The definition of a parent is a guardian; someone that takes care of
you, guides you through life but in that definition, it never states how you are
meant to deal with that parent not being able to do those things anymore.

Throughout my life I have always known one common fact, everything happens
for a reason. Would I really be human if I disagree with that notion at times?

There’s a reason for everything, yes, but that reason sometimes hinders a
person’s ability to breathe or wanting to at times. It’s a hard truth but it is a
feeling I often felt when the loss happened and honestly, still feel.

Nothing, although I often think it does, nothing fills the emptiness you feel
knowing that all the things you achieve in life, that person is never going to be
able to see it but there’s a higher being that I believe in that somewhat reassures


Yes, I won’t lie I got angry at him and I sometimes still do but I know that he is
with those that I’ve lost, and they are looking down at me. My religion… my
faith, has been one of the things that have helped me deal but it could only go so

Depression and anxiety have been things that I have to deal with. Life after
death is not fair, having to deal with the death of someone or more than one
person is not fair.

Sometimes I wish there was a time machine that I could use but I also know if
that were real it wouldn’t change anything really. Life is about growth and
shaping yourself within the circumstances given.

Have I grown over the years of losing multiple people who have impacted my
life? I believe I have. Am I more determined to make something of myself to
make them proud? That’s not even a question, that will definitely happen.

So, here’s the thing I’ve learned: death and the life that is left behind is exactly
that. Death is an experience no one likes but you lived, I lived, and I know it is
in my best interest and there’s that I live it to the fullest until we meet again.

By Deanna Tuitt