The Most Powerful Black Women in Europe in 2012
Apparently, this has become a yearly thing from Black Women in Europe. I featured such a video in 2010, and this is the latest and third video list that was released in November 2012.
The new list includes luminaries such as Doreen Lawrence, the Baroness Cécile de Massy, Bola Agbaje, and Loreen. Who are they? Let’s look at the first honorée:
Doreen D. Lawrence, née Graham OBE is a British campaigner and writer who first came to public attention in 1993 as the mother of Stephen Lawrence, a black British teenager who was murdered in a racial attack in South East London.
Following the murder of her son Doreen Lawrence believed that the Metropolitan Police investigation was not being conducted in a professional manner, citing incompetence and racism as prime flaws. She has been praised for her courage during her campaign against racism. Her campaign resulted in the conviction of her son’s murderers this year. She is the winner of a special award at the 2012 Women of the Year ceremony and the 2012 Campaigner of the Year European Diversity Award.
In 2003, she was awarded an OBE for services to community relations and this summer was chosen as a flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics in London.
The Baroness Cécile de Massy is the fourth wife of Christian Louis de Massy, son of the late Princess Antoinette of Monaco, the sister of Prince Rainier III. Christian Louis de Massy is 11th in line to the throne of the Grimaldis. (The titles of Baron or Baroness de Massy, however, are a courtesy and are not inherited.) The former Cécile Gelabale is from Guadeloupe, and is the daughter of Denis Gelabale and his wife Lucie Darius Denon. Thus, she is the highest-ranking black noble in Monaco.
The Baroness is the founder and president of Ladies Lunch Monaco which raises money for children’s charities in Monaco.
Their children are Brice Souleyman Gelabale-de Massy and Antoine de Massy. Antoine, who is now 16, has become quite a tennis player and has hopes to rise to Olympic level.
Bola Agbaje is a British playwright of Nigerian parentage. Her day job is as a social housing officer:
Her first play, Gone Too Far!, premièred at the Royal Court Theatre in London in February 2007 and won the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliated theatre (2008). Due to the play’s success it was revived at a number of theatres in 2008: the Royal Court Theatre, Albany Theatre and Hackney Empire. She is currently adapting Gone too Far! into a film script and has received development funding from the UK Film Council.
In July 2008 her second play, Off the Endz, opened the Tiata Delights season at the Almeida Theatre. She was nominated for the 2008 Evening Standard Charles Wintour Award For Most Promising Playwright. This, however, went to Tarell Alvin McCraney. In 2009 Agbaje was commissioned by the Tricycle Theatre alongside Roy Williams and Kwame Kwei-Armah to be a part of the “Not Black and White” season. Her play, Detaining Justice, opened on 25 November 2009, and the show sold out.
Singer Loreen was born Lorine Zeineb Nora Talhaoui outside Stockholm, Sweden to Morroccan Berber parents. She was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest held in Baku, Azerbaijan in February 2012, singing “Euphoria.” Previously, she had enjoyed commercial success with “My Heart is Refusing Me.” What confuses her is that she is described in Sweden as an R&B recording artist.
”The music I get inspiration from is music that gets you into kind of a trance. Both musically and vocal vice. Artists like Björk, some of Enya’s music, and especially Lisa Gerrard.”
It’s fitting that Loreen learned to play the piano by imitating the very minimalistic Michael Nyman score to the 90′s film ”The Piano.” Loreen continues: ”I want to make music that really connects to my soul. I think that’s when my music affects the most.”
She describes herself: ”Somewhat a loner, a seeker that steers away from the information overload of today. I have no tv set. I have a laptop but I only use it for e-mails and music programs.”
Her general aim? ”To unite people in the thought that there is much more to life than the materialistic aspects. I know that it may sound hippieish and overblown. But is that really a reason to give up on this ambition? I’m certain the answer to that is no!”
Check out these new faces in courage, achievement and accomplishment, and see Europe in an entirely new light.
- Greece 2013: Ivi Adamou & Eleftheria Eleftheriou Added in the Line Up (oikotimes.com)
- Women in theatre: how the ‘2:1 problem’ breaks down (guardian.co.uk)