BLACK HISTORY MONTH: A Reason to Celebrate Our Diversity
October 1 2017 marks the beginning of Black History Month, that time of the year to celebrate the rich culture and history of the African, Caribbean, and Asian people.
Over the last 15 years our borough of Barking and Dagenham has become one of the fastest-changing communities in Britain. The population has not only increased from 164,000 in 2001 to an estimated 201,979 in 2015; a significant proportion of that change has come about through the migration of people from different backgrounds into the borough. Consequently, the proportion of the population from minority ethnic backgrounds has increased from 15% to 50%. This is projected to rise to 62% over the next 25 years. We are proud to be a diverse borough. Celebrating diversity. has therefore, become a key iniative in Barking and Dagenham.
In 2016, Black History Month was celebrated in style when some local women came together to run projects which showcased the richness of the ethnic groups in the borough. To ensure continuity, we are stepping up our game in 2017, to run this project as a major initiative with Hope Family Trust, Barking and Dagenham Council and some powerful, local women in business teaming up as collaboration partners. We believe as a borough that we are stronger when we work together and this is where we need your financial support.
The project aims to:
- Celebrate and showcase the rich cultural heritage of black and ethnic minorities in the borough.
- Recognise black men and women, past and present, who have lived, and are still living exceptional lives and whose achievements leave a legacy in their wake.
- Promote opportunities for open dialogue and personal interractions between the many cultures within our borough.
- Correct some of the misrepresentations of black and ethnic minority people with a view to understanding and appreciating who we are as black people.
- Educate the younger generation to understand their black heritage and embrace it.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson said: "If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated”.
For these reasons and more, please donate generously towards our Black History Month project and support us to achieve our objectives.
There is no doubt that this year's celebration will be an eclectic mix of inspiration, motivation, fun and enjoyment as you can see from our collage above. Here is a list of some of the events lined up:
- INTERNATIONAL SOUL FOOD CELEBRATION: Bringing the community together through celebrating African and Caribbean cusine, healthy food workshops, food tasting with music, dance poetry and food stalls.
- NOTTINGHILL CARNIVAL WORKSHOP: An interactive workshop about the history of Nottinghill carnival
- HISTORY OF CHANGE: Motivational Women Throughout the Ages: An event for young women, aged 15-20, which will educate them on their black history, from the beginning of slavery to the abolishing of slavery.
- UP-CYCLING CLASSES: A variety of sewing workshops teaching people how to recycle clothes using sewing machine techniques and hand sewing.
- CELEBRATING THE ELDERLY: Through an event that will take them on a boat cruise. In African history, the elderly represent wisdom and are a source of history that must be passed on and not be forgotten.
- STREET DANCE SHOWCASE: Showcasing street dance over the decades by AK Dance Academy.
- LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW WORKSHOP: The workshop will focus on assisting landlord and tenants understand the laws and regulations with the private rented sector, including Houses in multiple Occupancy (HMO). It will also provide tips for choosing the right letting & estate agents and tips on how to invest in a property.
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?: Inspirational and engaging talks in secondary schools educating the young people to understand their black heritage and embrace it. We'll look at African history, some African heroes of the past and link it to present modern day black heroes and heroines of our time. It's a great way to look back with a view to looking forward.