Notting Hill Carnival Matters to Black Britain and Nation, says Pioneer

Alex Pascall, a former administrator,  demands “respect for our roots”

By Thomas L Blair  Notting Hill Carnival weekend 25 August 2018 (copyright)

The craven politicians and media think we have forgotten the Black roots of Carnival. But as Alex Pascall reports, Respect our Roots and prepare for a cultural war for survival.

It was once the preeminent Black Persona in Britain. Now it’s dubbed “Europe’s largest street festival” numbering 1.5 million of multi-coloured masqueraders.

This media hype is all too common, fuelled by business and the town hall. That’s why we need to fight back against “commercial exploitation, and the growing number of ill-informed capitalistic armchair opportunists who overnight profess to become music authorities” says Pascall.

Three decades after his chairmanship, Pascall OBE is working to revive Carnivals’ cultural-political  legacy for modern youth. He is one of 70 Carnival pioneers named on the celebration Blue Plaque

The truth is clear “Carnival is we ting” says Pascall, the internationally recognised former  Chairman of the Arts Committee for the Notting Hill Carnival 1984-89 and a Founding Vice President of the Foundation for European Carnival Cities (FECC).

Pascall, one of the 70 Carnival pioneers on the new Blue Plaque by Nubian Jak, says “The roots of “Black” music are unquestionably African derived with its branches spreading throughout the world, wherever Black people settled”.

alex-nh-carnival-2018“ Its infectious rhythms and free expression go hand in hand with the lifestyle of the people and is ever changing to absorb new forms, which they encounter in their nomadic movements worldwide, “says Pascall awarded an OBE in 1996.

“CARNIVAL MATTERS says Pascall. It’s more than a weekend gala of performance art, music and costumes. It is an every year tribute to its strong African influence—a radical inclusion in British culture for everyone to enjoy and experience at all stages of life.


Nubian Jak is an African and Caribbean community organisation that provides products and services to the generic population of the UK and internationally. Nubian Jak Community Trust

Photo credits

Alex at the microphone:

Alex at Blue Plaque

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