Black History Month: Family Fun Day
For the past 30 years in the UK, October has been designated Black History Month (BHM). This has traditionally been a time in which people of black African and Caribbean heritage stage events and hold activities highlighting the historical, cultural and social contributions made by black people to the UK and beyond. In recent years this month of celebrations has also included contributions made to the UK of people from Asian, Arabic and far eastern backgrounds.
On Sunday 30th October, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery’s Africa Arts Festival, held a Family Day Celebration as part of Brighton and Hove’s Black History Month.
The event literally started with a bang! albeit a highly rhythmic one as a trio from Djembe Thunder (a West African Drumming ensemble) led a procession from Brighton Dome around the Museum Gardens and back. The procession concluded in Museum’s Café Bar with a thunderous finale. There after throughout the day there was singing, storytelling, dressing up, dance workshops, print-making, sewing and much more. Esteemed national poets Grace Nichols and John Agard regaled an attentive audience with some beguiling poetry. Brighton’s Bert Williams gave a fascinating tale set in the 17th century about a young African boy saved from a life of slavery by a British naval officer who came to live in Brighton. The day ended with a high energy Zumba session, that had many of us eager to joint in.
This was a vastly successful event, superbly organisations that attracted a very large number of people from all walks of life and cultural/social backgrounds.
Trust for Developing Communities (TDC) was invited to have a stall at the event to highlight our work with culturally and ethnically diverse communities and groups. One of our major projects with these local groups focuses on promoting the everyday benefits of maintaining wellbeing and looking after one’s mental health. Our work in this areas seeks to tackle stigma commonly associated with mental ill health and to ensure all who would benefit from support to maintain good mental health or address existing mental health problems know where they can get help and how to access it.
As the Community Development Worker leading on our work in this area, attending this event was a great opportunity to talk with people in a convivial atmosphere and environment about a subject that is not always easy to raise. Although this was a ‘family fun’ event it was encouraging to note how many people came up to our stall and were prepared to enter into conversation about wellbeing and mental health. This was a wholly enjoyable day, a great way to work and get our messages out.