By Marcia Degia
Highlights – Theme: Influence/ Out 1st Sept
- Culture Autumn guide
- Travel Barbados eco-tourism
- Diversity Groups Directory
- Dance Nation Evolution in contemporary dance
- Banging the Drum AfroFuturist musical sci-fi
- Force of Nature Angela Ferreira blazing UK TV
- Flying High Theatre royalty Stephen C. Byrd
- Out of This World Artist Yermine Richardson
- The Good Fight Bolivia’s all-female wrestlers
- A Complicated Business Schoolgirls at a price
- KOL Social Beauty supplement – Free!
Now and again, a movie comes along that changes filmmaking for good. Many films have inspired, yet only a very few make it into the cultural canon. Those that do change the industry, the format – even pop culture – forever. Boyz n the Hood – with its iconic opening scene referencing the grim realities of LA gang culture – was one of those. That was 30 years ago, yet its insights and themes remain relevant today. It proved to be a pivotal moment for mainstream African-American film, the ripples of which are also still felt today.
Hard to believe that its producer – former investment banker, Stephen C. Byrd – was a first-timer. Yet Byrd quickly showed he was no one-hit wonder. Not only did he go on to produce a further string of box-office big-hitters, he went and did it all again when he moved into theatre, transforming Broadway with productions of classic American plays with all-Black casts. These days, Byrd is theatre royalty, with Tony and Olivier awards to prove it. The changemaker – who currently has shows running in both the West End and Broadway – shares his story on page 24.
On this side of the pond over roughly the same time period, Angela Ferreira, managing director of Sir Lenny Henry’s production company, was quietly making waves of her own. It would surprise many to know that a Black woman drove some of the most significant UK programmes and broadcast events of the past few decades. Yet that is exactly what Ferreira did – all while simultaneously creating career opportunities for those who look like her. Get ready to be inspired, on page 18.
As UK Black History Month approaches, it seemed fitting to feature the work of artist Yermine Richardson (page 32), whose Caribbean Galaxy series reminds us that the world is our oyster and that anything wished for can be achieved. As for KOL Social, we continue to share stories of those making changes in the world – not on the grand scale of the aforementioned perhaps, but with equally significant results within their own communities, such as Boliva’s wrestling cholitas (page 44), who have done much to challenge their nation’s views on gender equality and champion for change.
When we launched three years ago, our goal was simply to give unsung heroes a platform, to show that with the right mindset anything can happen – and to encourage and inspire readers to do the same. It would appear that it has had a knock-on effect on us as well – KOL Social itself has expanded its reach and is now also distributed in retailers across New York, as well as the UK. We were and are driven by conviction and it’s been worth it. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
Publishing Editor: Marcia Degia