Published by Tangent Books in association with Bristol Archive Records, I Ain’t Mad at Ya by Owen Broomfield (aka Hulk) is a document of the social, cultural and political realities of growing up black in Handsworth, Birmingham in the late 60s, 1970s and 80s.
Owen exposes the issues faced by the black, predominately African-Caribbean, community and the daily racism they faced in school, on the streets and in the workplace.
He takes us through his seminal years of growing up, from the physical fights with white racists to the battle of wills with teachers and sports coaches. But the book really comes into its own when Hulk writes about his three constant companions and passions: sport, music and his family.
Hulk excelled at a number of sports and could have been a professional basketball player if fate (and a rehearsal) hadn’t interfered. Instead he turned to music, which came naturally to him, and for a few fleeting years was part of an extraordinary movement in Birmingham’s and indeed the UK’s, reggae scene.
I Ain’t Mad At Ya offers a rare insight into Birmingham’s black community and shines a light on the incredible amount of black music culture produced in the vibrant suburb of Handsworth and the role its musicians and entrepreneurs have played in shaping and influencing popular music in the UK.