Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture

By Alison Donnell | Go to book overview

college in 1973, designing for several high-profile companies such as Yves Saint Laurent, Liberty and Henri Bendel. The son of a Jamaican boxer and a white Londoner, his childhood was spent in a number of locations including Harrogate, County Durham and a Dr Barnardo's children's home in London. In 1975, he received a grant from the home that enabled him to set up his own London-based fashion house, Bruce Oldfield Ltd. Oldfield has always been attracted to the high standards and technical workmanship found in couture. He recognised that there was a market for understated, flattering clothes and aimed for a 'classic' timeless look. Oldfield is probably best known for his couture and 'ready to wear' evening dresses, with high-profile clients such as the late Princess of Wales, Joan Collins and Anjelica Huston. In 1990 he was awarded an OBE and made an honorary fellow of both the Royal College of Art and Durham University

Select bibliography

Oldfield, B. and Howell, G. (1987) Bruce Oldfield'sSeason, London: Pan.


Olton, Munirah

b. 1959, Middlesex, England


Olton has always shown some form of artistic talent. As a teenager, she used to make her own clothes and was able to cut and design intuitively. Olton moved from Hertfordshire to London in 1991, where she enrolled on an adult education class in ceramics. Six years later she started a degree in arts for community at the University of Surrey, Roehampton School of Art. Olton is now excelling in a field where black ceramists are few and black British women ceramists even fewer. Her work has been featured in Untold magazine and she exhibits on a regular basis, including at Brixton Art Gallery, which promotes black British art. Afrocentricity is reflected in her work with a modern feel, in pieces such as vases with cowrie shells in the middle. The message is to ensure that black people do not lose their symbols but rather understand what they mean and incorporate them, where possible, into everyday living. For Olton, art is part of a historical cycle that can be created and re-created. She is currently working on an art project for Charing Cross Hospital, London, which is one of her most challenging pieces to date, consisting of a stylised sweep of fish cast on waves. She is the founder member of Falongo Arts.


Onwurah, Ngozi

b. 1963, England


As the daughter of a Nigerian father and British mother, Onwurah's short film (see film andcinema) Coffee-Coloured Children (1988) is a raw semi-autobiographical study of two mixed race children in Newcastle. Her next short The Body Beautiful (1991) dramatically examined the profound effects of female body image, beauty and sexuality through the maternal bond between a white mother, undergoing a mastectomy, and her black daughter, embarking on a modelling career. Inspired by Maya Angelou's same-titled poem, Onwurah deconstructs stereotypical images of black women and their sexuality in And Still I Rise (1993), seaming together interviews, archival images and live action in an emblematic blend of spirited narrative and striking visual image. Monday's Girls (1993) forcefully explores the iria women's initiation ceremony in Nigeria from the viewpoint of two young Waikiriki girls, pitting modern individualism against community tradition. In 1994, Onwurah became the first black British woman to direct a feature. A political action thriller based on an old tribal legend, Welcome II the Terrordome explored black and white relations in a violent British dystopia but disappointed commercially and critically. Onwurah continued to direct and produce (with her brother Simon under their company Non-Aligned Communications) a number of documentaries and dramas including Behind The Mask (1996) and I Bring You Frankincense (1996).


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Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction xii
  • References xvi
  • Thematic Entry List xvii
  • List of Websites xxv
  • Further Reading 1
  • A 2
  • Further Reading 3
  • Select Bibliography 4
  • Select Bibliography 7
  • References 11
  • References 13
  • Further Reading 15
  • Further Reading 19
  • Select Bibliography 21
  • Select Bibliography 22
  • B 23
  • Select Bibliography 27
  • Further Reading 28
  • Select Bibliography 29
  • Further Reading 30
  • Further Reading 33
  • Select Bibliography 35
  • Further Reading 38
  • References 41
  • Further Reading 42
  • Further Reading 47
  • Further Reading 49
  • Further Reading 50
  • Further Reading 52
  • Select Bibliography 59
  • Further Reading 60
  • C 62
  • Select Bibliography 64
  • Further Reading 65
  • Further Reading 67
  • Further Reading 69
  • Further Reading 71
  • Further Reading 76
  • Further Reading 81
  • Select Bibliography 83
  • References 86
  • D 87
  • Select Bibliography 95
  • Select Bibliography 97
  • References 99
  • Further Reading 100
  • Further Reading 101
  • E 102
  • Select Bibliography 103
  • Further Reading 107
  • Select Bibliography 108
  • F 109
  • Further Reading 112
  • References 113
  • Select Bibliography 114
  • Further Reading 117
  • Select Bibliography 119
  • Further Reading 120
  • G 122
  • Selected Bibliography 123
  • Select Bibliography 124
  • Select Bibliography 125
  • Select Bibliography 126
  • Select Bibliography 127
  • Further Reading 130
  • H 134
  • References 136
  • Select Bibliography 137
  • Further Reading 138
  • Select Bibliography 139
  • Further Reading 144
  • Select Bibliography 146
  • I 148
  • References 149
  • J 154
  • Select Bibliography 155
  • Select Bibliography 158
  • Further Reading 159
  • Further Reading 160
  • K 165
  • Further Reading 168
  • Further Reading 169
  • Further Reading 171
  • L 173
  • References 183
  • Further Reading 187
  • M 188
  • Select Bibliography 193
  • Select Bibliography 196
  • Select Bibliography 197
  • Further Reading 198
  • Further Reading 199
  • Further Reading 200
  • Further Reading 201
  • Further Reading 203
  • Further Reading 210
  • N 211
  • Select Bibliography 212
  • Select Bibliography 215
  • Select Bibliography 219
  • Select Bibliography 221
  • O 224
  • Select Bibliography 226
  • Further Reading 228
  • P 231
  • Select Bibliography 233
  • Select Bibliography 235
  • Select Bibliography 238
  • Further Reading 240
  • Further Reading 241
  • Further Reading 243
  • Further Reading 253
  • Q 254
  • R 256
  • Further Reading 260
  • Further Reading 263
  • Select Bibliography 265
  • Select Bibliography 269
  • S 270
  • Select Bibliography 272
  • Further Reading 273
  • Select Bibliography 275
  • Select Bibliography 276
  • Select Bibliography 277
  • Further Reading 279
  • Further Reading 280
  • T 293
  • Further Reading 303
  • Further Reading 306
  • U 311
  • V 312
  • Further Reading 317
  • W 319
  • Select Bibliography 321
  • Further Reading 323
  • Select Bibliography 324
  • Further Reading 325
  • Further Reading 330
  • Y 334
  • Z 337
  • Select Bibliography 338
  • Index 339


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