'Taking it to the Max' - Maxie Hayles' Autobiography
Maxie Hayles' powerful autobiography launched at The House of Commons, London, England (UK) during Britain's Black History Month, is a historical, sociological and political standpoint as he has not minced his words in letting it known that racism cannot be maintained as the status quo.
Taking It To The Max is a riveting, revealing and thought provoking autobiography about Jamaican born Maxie Hayles who has lived in Britain for the past 55 years. He is a Birmingham based human rights activist and community champion who has laid bare, warts-and-all his personal struggles alongside his fight for equality and justice for all human beings locally, nationally and internationally and in particular for black and minority ethnic people.
"What is clearly evident is Maxie is someone who has stood for something, argued for the right to exists as a human being, and has refused to accept any form of subordination. In the telling of his story Maxie has also expressed regrets, been self-critical, as well as openly criticising publicly things he has felt were wrong. In doing so, Maxie is following a tradition of personal narratives, which have emerged from all facets of history related to displaced men and women. Most of all Maxie's story is an important 'legacy project' designed to give an insight into one person's experiences, engagement with, and connection to, a time and space which is seldom documented. In doing so Maxie has provided us with a template for discussion in barber shops, churches, colleges and universities, community spaces and so on. In doing so Taking it to the Max is a welcome addition to a community that at times fears expressing itself for fear of not being heard."
Dr. Martin Glynn
Writer, Criminologist and Lecturer at
City of Birmingham University
Maxie Hayles is the recipient of numerous awards along with other accomplishments having helped many others who have experienced racism and injustice including being ill-treated at the hands of the police and other law enforcement officers. He is noted for being at the forefront of challenging the Establishment in various ways and is held in high esteem by many who seek his advice on a regular basis. Not many people can vouch for having met the indefatigable Rev. Jesse Jackson of America on five separate occasions as indeed has Maxie Hayles, culminating in Jesse Jackson presenting him with a lifetime achievement award in Birmingham, England in 2008 for outstanding work defending human rights and race equality. He is also the 2000 winner of the Prime Minister's Regional and National Active Community Award 2000 for building a fair and just community.
'Taking it to the Max' Book Launch - Birmingham MAC Centre
Maxie Hayles' Autobiography was launched at Birmingham's iconic MAC Centre in Canon Hill Park
Maxie Hayles is a name synonymous with the fight for civil rights, justice from racism and oppression. As the former chair of (BRAMU) Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit Maxie Hayles has made a remarkable contribution using his NGO status to ensure and promote free speech with effective strategies to instigate positive change within a number of fundamental institutions.
BRAMU's positive input was welcomed round the world and Maxie has been among keynote speakers at such prestigious events as the United Nations Convention (CERD) Committee for the Eradication of all forms of Racial Discrimination. Alongside other NGO's he presented a paper on the 'Exclusion of African Caribbean Pupils' held in Geneva in 2000 and on 'Deaths in Police and Prison Custody in 2003.
Maxie Hayles has over 30 years' experience of working with race and human rights issues. During this time he has worked as a mentor for the /west Midlands Probation Service, where he proved to be a positive role model for African Caribbean men caught up in the criminal justice system.
In addition he has also worked in schools as mentor to assist in the prevention of mass school exclusions and expulsions, primarily in African and Caribbean communities.
An avid supporter of the Stephen Lawrence Campaign Maxie has played within the inquiry process. After persuading Sir. William MacPherson and his inquiry team to come to Birmingham and provide an oral and written submission to the enquiry panel of BRAMU. For more details see the book, which featured Maxie's contribution, 'Hidden Stories of the Stephen Lawrence of Inquiry' by Dr. Richard Stone.
Accolades & Awards
Maxie Hayles' deposited copies of 'Taking it to the Max' in the Jamaica National Library. This is a national act that requires publishers to deposit copies of their work with the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ) within two months of publication.
The launch was facilitated by the Culture and Entertainment Minister Olivia "Babsy" Grange. She went on to say:
"Artistes of all respects, you should make an effort to make your legal deposits of your work. Any national publisher who fails to comply with the regulations of the act commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction before a resident magistrate to a fine not exceeding $50,000, and I am tempted to go and ask for the law to be amended to say not less than $50,000. This is in your interest, in particular the archiving of audio recordings and film is critical to the development of our creative industries. Housing such a collection in one central space encourages scholarship and ensures historical accuracy,"
A number of recording artistes and authors were invited to make legal deposits. They included Carlene Davis, who handed over a vinyl copy of her very first album Paradise, which was recorded in 1984. She also presented a copy of her anti-apartheid hit single Winnie Mandela to the NLJ. Artistes Makonnen, Iyah Gift, and Garnett Silk Jr also made deposits of their work. Writers Maxie Hayles, Natalie Corthesy, and Barbara Blake Hannah also deposited.
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission also made a deposit to the collection of the NLJ. See pictures below.
Maxie specialises in dealing with hate crimes and race related matters. Maxie aims to address a wide range of issues relating to the following: