Black History Month is a global event going back to 1926 in America.
Each year a theme is chosen and the theme for 2019 has been “Movers, Shakers and Legacy Makers”.
During October, Llanelli’s Multicultural Network has been delivering workshops and a community event as part of the celebrations. Black History Month Wales is coordinated by Race Council Cymru and is funded by Arts Council Wales and other supporters.
Regional Coordinator for Black History Month Wales for Carmarthenshire and West Wales, Llanelli’s Paolo Piana, told the Llanelli Standard, Black History Month in Wales acknowledges the contributions made by Black people to local, national and world history and culture. It does this through delivering an informative, educational and celebratory programme of events throughout the year through BHCymru365, culminating each year in the month of October for Black History Month. The aim is to encourage everyone, irrespective of ethnicity or colour, to take part in events, learn about our shared global history and celebrate diversity and cultural understanding.
Led by African Arts Facilitator, Gbubemi Amas the first workshop took place with the Llanelli Brownies, a mixture of storytelling, music and African Drumming. Amas and Paolo’s next stop was with the history students at Bryngwyn School, examining and exploring some of the deeper issues and learning about some well know Movers, Shakers and Legacy Makers. Paolo added, “Black history is a shared history, and it was wonderful being at Bryngwyn School talking to young people about the everyday issues around a sense of identity and our aspirations for a fairer more cohesive society in the very near future”
Later in the month Llanelli Multicultural Network, with partners including the Fusion Project (The Welsh Government initiative to tackle poverty through culture), St Paul’s Family, The Women’s Community Network and other organisations were at Llanelli’s Library for a fun family event.
Many local groups and organisations were there with stalls, stands and information, and the highlight of the day was raising the roof of the library with the sounds of drums from all over West Africa. Chair of the Women’s Community Network, Fozia Akhtar, was delighted to see so many people there, from so many backgrounds and ages, all enjoying and learning together. She said,” Llanelli needs more of these events, raising awareness, sharing information and bringing the community together in a shared celebration”
One of the stall holder Kathryn Devonald-Davies, owner at DPA Law, told us how she and her team enjoyed being at the event, and how proud she was that Llanelli was taking a lead putting on an event that was educational, informative, inclusive and most of all fun!
The final word goes to Annie Evans, Chair of Llanelli Multicultural Network (LMCN) “ we have been proud to host Black History Month events over the years, each year we have reached more people, had more people involved and more groups and organisations supporting us. Our thanks go to everybody who made Black History Month such a success, at LMCN we are all volunteers and its testament to the hard work and dedication of all the volunteers that Black History Month goes from strength to strength. We are committed to work with Race Council Cymru and others to raise awareness of Black History all year round and ultimately have it included in the school curriculum.
Source: The Llanelli Standard