After living in South Wales for the best part of 8 years now you’d think I would know about events like this. Not only do I work in Cardiff Bay but the month-long celebrations for Black History Month have been taking place over the last 3 weeks and I haven’t even noticed.
Full of cold, snivelling and feeling sorry for myself I thought it would be a good idea to start Saturday early and get out of the house for a while. Pumpkinella as-per usual was wide awake at around 6:30am so leaving the house at 9:30am was a pretty late start for her.
We went into the Odeon Cinema in Cardiff Bay so that Pumpkinella to experience her first ever cinema visit. We had a ball but I’ll tell you more about that later.
While taking a stroll afterwards we went into the Wales Millennium Centre for something to eat and saw a stage being set up. There were about 50 people sitting and waiting and a few people testing microphones. I saw people wearing African attire and was immediately excited to know more. Looking at the flyers, it would appear that there was a concert taking place all day along with children’s activities. If we’d have known earlier we would have come especially to be a part of the celebrations. Coming from Nigeria and having a bi racial child, I’m conscious that I want my daughter to understand both sides of her heritage. It’s wonderful to see celebrations like this and hear that they are happening all over Wales and for the entire month of October.
Cardiff, Swansea, Barry are just a few of the areas with ports where Africans and Caribbeans came to the U.K. and worked during the early 1900s. It’s amazing to think there was such a cultural richness in Wales that long ago. Many of the migrants came to work at the ports and some of them stayed on and made a life for themselves when trade began to decline later in the 1900s.
Wales to me is a beautiful country full of friendly and tolerant people who love their country and welcomes anyone and everyone to come and celebrate its beauty with them.
Check out the main site http://www.bhmwales.org.uk or the Facebook page about this year’s events Black history month Wales Facebook page. They celebrate a black icon every day, someone who has made a significant contribution to society in their lifetime. It’s wonderful to read about people like Nina Simone – a musician and civil rights activist, Gwendolyn Brooks – the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize, Eugenia Charles – the longest-serving female prime minister in the world, and more recently Kanya King, founder of the MOBOs. They and others paved the way for me and my family to live in peace and with equality today. I’m honoured to be able to read about their amazing achievements. To extend this list of black icons I’ve chosen 3 UK icons of my time that i want to congratulate for everything they’ve done:
Sir Trevor Macdonald – Broadcaster extraordinaire
Mary Prince – One of the first black writers to be published in Britain
Queen Phillipa – Wife to Edward III (bet you didn’t know that one)
*Check out afrokanlife for more information on black british icons
I’m proud to be African and although the struggle continues, I hope that in my lifetime, we can rid the world of inequality, racism and sexism, things I still see constantly around me but thankfully which appear to be in decline.
Spread the love of Black History month whether or not you share the same heritage! There’s so much to learn and fantastic recollections of historic moments both in the UK and across the world, that you probably never knew about.
Happy Black History Month all!!