In poetry that sings from the page, Another Crossing recreates places that have been swept away by time, like the house on 56 Cowper Street where Kadijah Ibrahiim’s Jamaican grandmother lived, where there was black pride and Victorian respectability, or her mother’s house on Gathorne Mount, a place that moved to the looser beat of reggae, where there was strict discipline, love, good food – and blues parties in the cellar.
The poems tell of the days when youths were excluded from school for growing their locks, of the bonfire night riots, police harassment and overt racism. But they were also the days when black people in Leeds were creating their own culture in music, dance, dress – shaped by influences from the Caribbean, from Black American music, and from British punk, into something unique.
In rhythms that draw from the music being celebrated, with an unerring eye for the details of style that catch a moment, Another Crossing both recreates the recent past, and uses that recreation to ask questions about the present. Where has that political fire gone? Where the energies that danced to a political beat? But if there are notes of regret for a lost clarity of vision, there is also celebration of times that continue to inspire.