In 2009, a special launch for Black History Season took place for the young people in the community in order to engage new audiences with Black History. 2009 was an important year for Black politics with the election of Barack Obama, the first Black President of the USA. The BHS theme for 2009 was ‘My History, Our History is Black History’ and the discovery of Afrikan written text at Timbuktu Mali.
Photo above shows exhibition at the Peepul Centre about Barack Obama in 2009.
The schedule started with a welcome speech from Black History chairperson Carol Leeming, an introduction by Black History Season coordinator Victoria Obodoagwu, followed by workshops, performances and a Black History quiz.
Below are some quotes from evaluations for the Black History Season Young People’s Launch…
‘I think this was a really positive way of bringing the young people into BHS. You did a really good job. Well done!!’
‘Some of the students said they thought the workshops could have been more interactive and also some performances in the afternoon would have been good. Overall, a very good inspiring, motivational and well led event. I would definitely come next year with another group of lads.’
‘The theme of the day, Leadership and Black Achievement came across to young people. The students I took found the role models easy to relate to and inspiring.’
What 3 things did you like about the day?
‘Being taught about Black History.’
‘Talking to Black Achievers.’
‘Learning about people’s life story.’
‘Learning about Rastafarians.’
‘Learning about our history.’
‘True life facts and the commitments and sacrifice.’
‘Knowing to follow my dream and making decisions as Black people.’
‘Meeting new people.’
‘Learning about my heritage.’
‘Learning the good things about my heritage.’
‘Hearing and viewing successful Black role models.’
‘The different type of Black people you had speaking.’
‘Some of the questions that the children were asking.’
‘Bringing young people together from all communities.’
‘Social time and food was very positive and friendly.’
‘Some workshop speakers were really good speakers and role models.’
‘Quiz was good at developing atmosphere (should that have been first?).’
‘Enjoyed Rastafarian presentation.’
‘Fascinated by each speakers’ speech.’
‘Opportunity to see our students out of their “comfort zone” and coping.’
‘Hearing our students’ opinion of the day and their experiences.’
Would you like to be involved with Black History Season again?
‘Yes – because I feel I could be a huge person in the community – by standing up for ourselves and telling other people about the Black History.’
‘Definitely, I think avoiding religious references/sessions would help to focus on communities rather than differences – have active workshops where the common theme is about being Black, about Black History and with varied role models from all cultures of Black ethnicity.’
‘Bringing schools on-board is vital too – perhaps a venue in city centre might produce a higher profile too?’
‘A real key would be the active part – there was a lot of sitting and listening – how about each group prepares something in advance next year.’
Mainstream Partnership, evaluation forms, 2009.
Mainstream Partnership, Young Persons Launch event schedule, 2009.
Donated by Mainstream Partnership Ltd: (Serendipity have worked in collaboration with Mainstream Partnership Ltd, with Representative Douglas Beoku-Betts who have given permission to re-publish documents).