By Thomas L Blair © 25 February 2013
Confidence-raising Black journalists in the diaspora have boosted minorities’ place in schoolbooks and archives. Their reports, lectures and films are a blow against inequalities in the education system.
“Our fighting spirits saved icons of Black history”.
“Victory! Famous Black icons saved from exclusion in school books,” trumpeted Elizabeth Pears in Journalists Revive Black Britain’s Spirit. Thanks to nearly 36,000 signatures from politicians, writers, unions and activists, “we celebrate the fact that our children and the next generation of children will be taught about the great contributions of both Mary Seacole and Olaudah Equiano”.
Furthermore, co-sponsor Simon Woolley, Director of Operation Black Vote, stated in his newsletter, ‘The victory of this campaign is not just a great day for education, but also one for the Black community and many others who demanded greater racial justice within our education system”.
“Seacole and Equiano would both be saying our fighting spirits lives on through the campaigners of today,” Wooley concluded.
“Divided by race, united in war and peace” — a film to remember.
Citizen journalist and first-time film producer Marc Wadsworth has sparked interest in Black veterans of World War II. At its core are the testimonies of 14 veterans among them West Indian and African young men and women volunteers.
“They risked their lives to serve under the Union Jack in times of war”, said Wadsworth, editor of The-Latest.com. However, their contributions to winning the war and changing the face of British society have not been fully recognised”.
“Our film seeks to both redress that balance and explore the sometimes painful evolution of a multi-cultural society,” said Wadsworth at the screening in early 2013.
West Indians keep Lord Pitt’s hopes alive.
Lord David Pitt of Hampstead London and Grenada gave us the forewarning. Social injustices whether in Britain or the Caribbean must be met with courage and talented achievement. That was Alex Pascall’s message in his memorial lecture at London’s city hall October 2012.
Fellow Grenadian, senior journalist and educator, Pascall headlined an evening of praise for the “gentle giant” and new talents. Pitt was the longest serving
Black Parliamentarian, having been granted a life peerage in 1975.
He championed the ground breaking Race Relations Act 1976 and campaigned against apartheid in South Africa. Young talented individuals who like Pitt “can make a difference” deserved awards.
Pascall’s lecture connects the dots between the icon Pitt and today’s talented individuals, perhaps role models, who “can make a difference”.
Dwayne Fields gained an award for his exceptional contribution to polar exploration. The 29-year-old “from deprived Hackney, London turned his life around after surviving a street shooting to become the first Black Briton to walk to the North Pole” – and he plans to tackle the South Pole next, said the local newspaper.
Future-focused careers advisor Sonia Meggie won her award for careers advising down-hearted aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals. She uplifted the confidence and skills of clients who were struggling financially or switching to jobs well-below their hard-won credentials.
The journalist’s reflected the equality goals of UK Africans and Afro-Caribbeans.
When interviewed, Pascall said, “In paying homage I also recognise others whose struggles have helped to fortify our presence as a Black minority in Britain”. Wadsworth hailed the “Great Seacole and Equiano victory after the sleeping Black political giant awoke”.
Thomas L Blair PhD writes on Black urban affairs in Britain and Afro-Europe. He edits and publishes The Chronicleworld http://www.chronicleworld.org, the premier public intellectual UK-based web site. His latest e-book is Decolonising knowledge: Expanding the Black Experience in Britain’s heritage. Ten (10) prepublication pdf copies are available for useful commentaries, e-mail Prof Thomas L Blair at email@example.com