An event for Black History Month to celebrate the achievements of black people in Britain featuring MP Chuka Umunna took place at Jubilee Community Hall on Tulse Hill Estate on Friday 30 October.
The event was organised by the Tulse Hill Tenants and Residents Association (TRA) and included a theatre play – Linstead Market – celebrating Jamaican traditions; a lecture about African history by Khareem Jamal of the School of Africology in Bromley; an exhibition of traditional artefacts and Caribbean food-tasting.
“It is important that we celebrate the battles which were fought and won by our parents and grandparents” said MP Umunna, whose father arrived from Nigeria in the Sixties.
“We know there are still barriers to our progress and to our getting on, but we are in a much better place now thanks to those battles.”
Speaking on the stage, he told the story of African and Caribbean people in Brixton, linking their arrival in the Forties, Fifties and Sixties to the Labour Exchange (jobcentre) on Coldharbour Lane: “We settled here because we wanted to be near to the source of jobs and to make a contribution.”
He addressed the many children and teenagers who attended the event and said: “You are the future, we will be here to support you so that you crown this history and achieve the things that you can achieve because of your talent, but your part in this is that you work hard and focus and don’t mess around.
“We are going to honour our history by doing well and setting examples for the future generations.”
Organiser Hazel Turay of TRA expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the event and told the Brixton Blog: “People seem to have enjoyed whatever was going on. The MP’s speech was particularly appropriate to the needs of the young people and Mr Jamal provided us with extra knowledge on black history. It was nice for them to be here. ”