Past event

Indaba X Festival, 2019

14 September 2019

As part of Southbank Centre’s Africa Utopia Festival, in collaboration with Indaba X, Letters Live presented a unique show over a weekend of exciting and thought-provoking events celebrating and showcasing Black culture.


The festival was a series of events comprising panels, workshops, talks, music, comedy and more. Letters Live headlined the programme on Saturday 14th September, presenting a stellar cast reading powerful letters with Black history taking centre stage.


In tribute to the late Kofi Annan, all Indaba X proceeds went to the Kofi Annan Foundation. The Kofi Annan Foundation mobilises political will to overcome threats to peace, development and human rights. It assembles those who are in a position to influence and bring leadership to the world’s most pressing problems.


Saturday, 14th September 2019
Adwoa Aboah

Don’t let anyone define who you are

Angelique Kidjo to Girls of the World


Ashley Walters

Dad is looking down at his family with a smile

Walter J. Leonard to Mamie K. Singleton

I have watched the growth of your nation with great pride

Martin Luther King Jr to Kwame Nkrumah

Long Live Africa!

Patrice Lumumba to Pauline Opango


Clarke Peters

Herbs is his Majesty’s

Lee “Scratch” Perry to Tokyo’s Minister of Justice

Good luck, my darling

Nelson Mandela to Winnie Mandela

My Dungeon Shook

James Baldwin to his nephew


Clint Dyer

You mean more to me than life itself

Earl Woods to Tiger Woods

Brown is as pretty as white

W. E. B. Du Bois to his daughter


Colin Salmon

To My Old Master

Jourdon Anderson to P. H. Anderson


Colin Salmon and Jordan Stephens

The struggle must continue

Eddie Glaude to Langston Glaude


Crystal Clarke

We are the gift

Melissa Harris Perry to Richard Mourdock

I have two handicaps

Florence Price to Serge Koussevitzky


David Lammy

I am so proud of both of you

Barack Obama to his daughters

A gross failure of responsiblity

Martin Hammond to Stanley Johnson


Eniola Sobowale

I am writing to you for the first time after my death sentence

Baya Hocine to Mother


Gina Miller

Don’t let anybody raise you

Maya Angelou to herself

The painting must go

Hannah Black to Whitney Archive of Art


Jocelyn Jee Essien

Wisdom is a gift

Toni Morrison to Barack Obama

Straighten up and fly right, Banky!

Billie Holiday to Tallulah Bankhead


Jordan Stephens

I’m still here, trying to make it

Jimi Hendrix to his dad


Sharon Duncan-Brewster

Leave the African women alone

Cherry Stephana Mogolo Sibeko to Rand Daily Mail

Dear Editor

Adrian Piper to Various editors


Yrsa Daley-Ward

We women are human beings like the men

Z and G to District Commissioner

How dare you

Aretha Franklin to Liz Smith