Black History Month starting early in Enfield

Enfield Caribbean Association kicks off the celebration of black history and culture with a series of free workshops in Enfield Town

The launch of the Windrush Voices book earlier this year
The launch of the Windrush Voices book earlier this year

Events in Enfield celebrating Black History Month will begin earlier than usual with a series of free workshops planned by Enfield Caribbean Association (ECA) later in September.

In October itself, a new Windrush documentary will be shown at Millfield Theatre in Edmonton, while Enfield Council is hosting a concert exploring African and Afro-Caribbean composers at Forty Hall Estate.

The ECA event at Enfield Grammar School on Saturday, 24th September, dubbed ‘Our Young People Are Our Future’ starts at 11am and includes a line-up of “amazing motivational speakers” to start the day, including headteacher of the year Arthur Barzey, from Heron Hall Academy in Ponders End. This will be followed by a series of free workshops tackling issues such as employability, entrepreneurship, and mental health and wellbeing.

On Tuesday, 4th October, Millfield Theatre will show a new documentary, Windrush Voices, 20 Stories of Determination and Triumph, which tells the stories of the men, women and children from the Caribbean who arrived in postwar Britain to help transform the nation. The film showing will be followed by a roundtable discussion with filmmaker Colin Johnson and some of the contributors to the documentary.

The Windrush Voices film has been produced alongside a book of the same name written by ECA trustee Roy Edwards. Fellow ECA trustee and chair Oveta McInnis said: “Learning about black history, and the hidden contributions of black men and women throughout history, helps us to understand how much we are really alike. It removes barriers and enables people to authentically connect with one another.

“ECA has been active in the local community since 1986. We run a luncheon club for elders every Friday at Green Towers in Edmonton and organise exercise classes for the elderly, careers fairs in local schools, bringing in professionals from Caribbean, African and Asian backgrounds to encourage school children and raise their aspirations.

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“We also run annual Black History Month and Windrush Day events commemorating our history and achievements.

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“We are proud to have launched our book Windrush Voices: 20 Stories of Determination and Triumph. This is significant book, which explores the ‘back stories’ and real lives of 20 members of the Windrush generation who came from the Caribbean and Africa in the 1950s and 1960s. Many continue to live in Enfield and north London.”

Later in October, a wealth of world class music and entertainment is heading to Forty Hall Estate. Headline performances on Sunday, 16th October, will see classical pianist Rebeca Omordia, accompanied by Victoria Oruwari, soprano and narrator Segun Martins Fajemisin and multi-instrumentalist, Moussa Dembele, performing a concert exploring African and Afro-Caribbean composers.

At an event at Millfield Theatre on Sunday, 30th October, there will be new artist commissions, a series of performances celebrating Enfield’s black community champions, plus storytelling by local performers and artists.

Chinelo Anyanwu, the council’s cabinet member for public spaces, culture and local economy, said: “Black History Month is an opportunity for us to come together and recognise the enormous contribution black people have made to our society and celebrate the success of black people in our borough and across the nation.

“People of African and African-Caribbean heritage make an invaluable contribution to our life in Enfield with leading figures in the world of arts and culture, in sport and academia, business and public service. They make our borough a better place for everyone.

“Alongside them, the contribution of black residents in communities across Enfield in the NHS and in our schools, running or working for a small business or volunteering in our communities helps to make Enfield the strong and diverse borough it is today.

”Black History Month is about acknowledging all that they do while working together to tackle intolerance and racism so that collectively we can build a better and more harmonious borough for everyone.

”I am delighted that we have been able to invite some truly world class musicians to our borough to help celebrate Black History Month with us and I’d urge residents to get out and experience all the fantastic entertainment on offer.”

For more information about the events Enfield Caribbean Association is hosting:

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