Celebrating Black Voices – 24 May 2023
Last week, we hosted our fifth bi-annual Celebrating Black Voices event. This event aimed to also acknowledge and appreciate the contribution and achievements of the Windrush generation and their descendants, as the 75th anniversary is this June.
The event featured a presentation on ‘Black History Makers & Achievers’ by John Azah (OBE), CEO of Kingston Racial Equality Council (KREC). John gave a brief history of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, the reaction to the arrival of those Caribbean citizens and the longer term impact. For example, Sam King, who was an RAF serviceman, one of the founders of the Notting Hill Carnival, and the first black Mayor of Southwark. You can see the presentation slides here and a video on local Black Achievers here. John also shared his own personal experiences of coming to the UK, being a pioneer with the KREC in Kingston, and the example he hopes to provide for his children. The presentation and John’s own experiences resonated very strongly with a number of participants, who shared stories of their own families’ journeys to the UK and the obstacles their parents had faced in doing so. This was very powerful and it was a privilege to hear them.
As usual, this was followed by a montage to celebrate prominent current and historical Black figures, particularly focusing on the Windrush generation. To view the montage slideshow, please click here.
The comments from those who attended were positive, with many people saying it had been a valuable experience and that they had learned a lot from attending. Others said it was “interesting and inspiring”, they “never get tired of these talks” and “let’s keep celebrating black voices”.
A huge thank you to John and all attendees who shared their own experiences with the group, as well as everyone who attended and got involved in the session.