Beauty, even in Death

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A person I loved died on Monday. The burial was yesterday in Uganda where she was from. She’d battled cancer for over a year, and just when it seemed she had overcome it, the doctors treating her exhausted the options to save her life. Though she’d lived in London for over 25 years, she chose to spend her final weeks …

Pamela Brown-PetersideBeauty, even in Death

Remembering…

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(First posted to my blog on April 4, 2016.) The first week of April… On this day (4/4) in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, shot on the balcony of a hotel in Memphis. (On this day in 1959, my parents, Gally Brown-Peterside & Elizabeth James were married in a registry office in South London.) On April 7, …

Pamela Brown-PetersideRemembering…

Familiar, Funny & Fantastic

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(First posted on my blog on March 4, 2016.) It may be the first time that 10 black female actors are appearing on Broadway (Eclipsed @ the Golden Theatre on 45th) or off-Broadway (Familiar @ Playwrights Horizons on 42nd) at the same time in the space of 3 blocks. We have the award-winning Zimbabwean American actor (The Walking Dead) and …

Pamela Brown-PetersideFamiliar, Funny & Fantastic

What’s in a Name?

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(First posted to my blog on Feb 13, 2016.) For someone with a Nigerian father, I have an unusual surname. Not only is my family name unAfrican and all together British but it’s also hyphenated. Hyphenated names, somewhat unusual in the U.S., are usually formed from the surnames of both parents. From time to time, people who know my background …

Pamela Brown-PetersideWhat’s in a Name?

Football Madness

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(First added to my blog on Feb 7, 2016). I love most sports. And I love sports movies though I don’t find myself going to movies much anymore. However, 10 days ago, when I heard that ‘Concussion’ was about a Nigerian pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, (played by Will Smith – who never did sound anything like a Nigerian/couldn’t Hollywood have …

Pamela Brown-PetersideFootball Madness

Encountering Europe

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This summer, I listened to a number of disturbing stories on the BBC about migrants, many of them African, undertaking horrific journeys filled with risk and terror. If they get far enough, their efforts usually culminate in a Mediterranean crossing, the result of a desperate attempt to reach Europe. Many are fleeing war-torn lives and economic hardship or both with …

Pamela Brown-PetersideEncountering Europe

Surviving Ebola: One Nigerian Doctor’s Terrifying Experience

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I continue to find myself gripped by the events surrounding the Ebola outbreak that continues to devastate Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. As 2015 begins, there are now 20,000 reported cases and 8,000 deaths – and counting. I also keep reflecting on how thankful I am that the disease was successfully contained (at least so far) in Nigeria, Africa’s most …

Pamela Brown-PetersideSurviving Ebola: One Nigerian Doctor’s Terrifying Experience

Nigeria’s Successful Response to Ebola

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Described as a “spectacular success story,” the World Health Organization declared Nigeria to be Ebola free on Monday October 20, three months after the disease arrived in Lagos, a vast city of 21 million. It was the first time Ebola had been contained in an urban context. Four days later, New York City confirmed its first case of Ebola. Ebola …

Pamela Brown-PetersideNigeria’s Successful Response to Ebola

Hazards of Travel in Mid-2014

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I just returned from a very full 3 weeks of road and air travel that took me to London, Uganda and Kenya. Yesterday as I was about to enter my apartment building in New York with my luggage, a neighbor who held the door open for me seemed relieved to see me. I recognized her but don’t know her personally. …

Pamela Brown-PetersideHazards of Travel in Mid-2014

Nigerians Don’t Get Depressed…oh really?

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The details came out in pieces. First I learned that a young woman in an elite public high school in Manhattan had taken her life. She was a junior (15 or 16 perhaps?) and the inciting incident appeared to have been that a teacher caught her cheating on an exam. The press had vilified the teacher, publishing both her name …

Pamela Brown-PetersideNigerians Don’t Get Depressed…oh really?

How I Wish My Father Were(n’t) Alive

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A week ago today in Jos, at a gathering where people were watching the Champion’s League Final, a hotly contested soccer match between Real Madrid and Club Atletico de Madrid, another bomb went off. This time only 3 people were killed. Tragic, but fortunately the loss of life wasn’t significantly greater. It was the third bomb in Jos in a …

Pamela Brown-PetersideHow I Wish My Father Were(n’t) Alive

Lead Us Through This Crisis

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Nigeria, where I was born, is in crisis. In the space of a few weeks, 200+ secondary (high) girls have been kidnapped and abducted from a school in the northeast of the country (by men dressed as soldiers) and this unprecedented horror has been sandwiched by two bombs in Abuja the capital, which have killed almost 100 people between them. …

Pamela Brown-PetersideLead Us Through This Crisis

Remembering Rwanda Differently This Time

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Monday April 7 was the 20th anniversary of the start of the genocide in Rwanda in which 800,000 were killed over a period of just 3 months. I was living in NYC then, and I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t recall the start of this terrible event. It was only in retrospect, when it was all over, and a …

Pamela Brown-PetersideRemembering Rwanda Differently This Time

My ‘Americanah’ Story

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  My favorite Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is in New York to promote her latest novel, Americanah, which just came out in paperback. Last night she spoke to a packed house at the Tenement Museum (www.tenement.org), today she’ll be a guest on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC and next week she’ll be at the Schomburg in Harlem. That …

Pamela Brown-PetersideMy ‘Americanah’ Story

“I didn’t get engaged until I was 76.”

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This trip to Newcastle was quite unexpected and pulled together in just a few days. I’d been wanting to visit Auntie P for some time now, ever since I learned she’d got married for the first time late in life and was now caring for her frail husband. But I couldn’t quite figure out how to get myself to Northern …

Pamela Brown-Peterside“I didn’t get engaged until I was 76.”