In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.
But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.
Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.
Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.
The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.
Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.
The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.
Jennifer Hosten was a Grenadian radio announcer, a development worker, a Canadian diplomat, who earned two M.A university degrees. She also is the mother of two grown children and the grandmother of five grandchildren. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, outside Toronto, and retains her connection to Grenada and the Caribbean.
Miss World 1970
How I Entered a Pagent and Wound up Making History
1970 was the last year of the Beatles and the first year of the supersonic Concorde—a time of new possibilities and social upheaval, and Jennifer Hosten, a young airline hostess from the Caribbean island of Grenada, found herself in the midst of it. After winning a Miss Grenada contest, she travelled to London for the 1970 Miss World pageant and arrived at Royal Albert Hall determined to make her mark.
So, too, did members of the fledgling Women’s Liberation movement who chose that globally-televised moment to protest the sexual exploitation of women. They planted smoke bombs, stormed the hall, and chased comedian Bob Hope from the stage.
By the end of the night, the world had been introduced to both radical feminism and a new ideal of feminine beauty. Ms. Hosten was the first woman of colour crowned Miss World. Miss World 1970 is the story of the craziest and most meaningful pageant ever.
Her experience as a beauty queen is the subject of the 2020 film Misbehaviour, a delightful comedy starring Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Jennifer.
Ms. Hosten’s triumph in 1970 continued to open doors for her, including a post as Grenada’s High Commissioner to Canada. It was during this time that internal strife within the Grenadian People’s Revolutionary Government plunged her into the middle of a coup that would end in the murder of five members of the island’s ruling party. As a lone diplomat standing between the two warring factions in Grenada, she served until she was able to resign on a matter of principle. Her later journeys on the world stage on behalf of Canada included trade, diplomacy, and social justice assignments in aboard such as Ukraine, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
The book features historic photographs, movie stills, and a foreword by acclaimed actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw.