Current Projects

Seasoned UK Black Queens - SBQ Feature

Over the past 6 months, I've had the pleasure of leading on a project with the working title of Black Women in Action; a stunning visual and biographical piece of work commissioned by The Ubele Initiative.

As part of the project, I was asked to find some of the UK's most inspirational (and often uncelebrated) Black women, aged 60 yrs and above. Once found, my next task was to connect with them in-person so that I could elicit and document their personal and professional  stories in a way that honours their beauty, strength and unique struggles.

I can tell you, this whole journey has given me immense joy and pride thus far and I'm excited for the completion of this important archive as it comes to life and can be shared with others.

The Backstory...

Before Ubele was even created as Ubele, at that brainstorming stage before projects rise, Ubele CEO Yvonne Field and I used to talk of the many elders or *seasoned women, who had made such differences in our communities. We often ruminated, that despite all the strife we faced, indeed, often BECAUSE of the rejection we faced as Black  people in the UK we still did the work, shone through and dug deep.

Our talks and rants over our kitchen tables led us to reminisce, that we only tended to hear about the good things women do as part of their eulogy. Much too late!

We wanted an organisation that celebrated the living and gave legitimate voice to the work and skills we bring to the table as community workers who deliver to our communities in a range of ways, but who have made a difference, as pardna managers, writers, cooks, project managers, dance coordinators, educators of youngsters, business women and such like.

Of course Ubele has gone a long way since our table top planning, but we never forgot the idea to celebrate those women who often get forgotten or missed out from wider recognition and who can often be stood right before or alongside of us.

It's been a few years in the making but  2024 is here and this year The Ubele Initiative has chosen International Women's Month to launch the project and celebrate our chosen ‘Seasoned UK Black Queens’.

The brief was to seek out, capture and record some women in their chosen glamour outfits. Make up, music, time out, fun and chatter being the order of the day and i think it worked, if the women's feedback was anything to go by.

Quotes from project contributors

The women that we are highlighting are from as far afield as Scotland. Also northern cities such as Wigan, Stockport, Manchester, and the Midlands, namely Nottingham and Birmingham.

During March 2024, we hope that getting to know some of the thriving & striving heroines that are amongst us will inspire many more of us to appreciate and ‘keep on keeping on in our personal and professional endeavours.

— Yvonne Christie

Watch out for these movers & shakers during the month of March 2024, as we proudly present:

  • Loreen

  • Mia

  • Rameri

  • Ruth

  • Aba

  • Deanne

  • Elizabeth

  • Palorine

  • Bertha

  • Joyce

  • Loretta

One more very important point.

As a *seasoned earth traveller myself, this programme would not have been possible without buddying up and working alongside some very talented and creative youngers (than me and our targets!) that brought this work to fruition.

During the last months, we have worked, produced and created so well together, I call us -

The Dream Team

Peggy Warren - Work Team Support and Advisor

Lorna Phillip - Work Team Support and Advisor

Shanice Brown - Make Up

Denise Maxwell - Photographer

Olubukola Akinmadeyan - Makeup Artist- Scotland

And of course, ME! - Yvonne Christie. Work Team Programme Lead

Ps it's hard to find comfortable all embracing generic terms, for people over 60…many of us reject the term elderly- ok I do!

So Peggy, Lorna and I brainstormed words, meanings  and terms and we all loved *Seasoned. It means so many positive things, as well as linked to Black people's love of proper food in our age groups, we thought it fitting. What do you think?

Yvonne Christie
Project Lead

Black Women in Action

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