Black History Month: Culture steps out of Africa and into Bolton
STREET dancers and African drumming will take over the streets as Bolton celebrates Black History Month.
More than 100 people of all ages and backgrounds gathered to celebrate the launch of the month-long celebrations yesterday.
The international event has been marked in Bolton since 2004.
Throughout October, schools, community centres and places of worship will stage events to celebrate the achievements, cultures and traditions of black people.
Bolton Mayor and Mayoress Cllr Colin and Mrs Dee Shaw were guests at the launch, together with the chief executive of Bolton CVS Karen Minnitt, PC Amjid Mohammed and former Bolton South East MP Dr Brian Iddon.
Nat Biney, chairman of the African Community Association of Bolton which organises the programme of activities in Bolton, said: “In October each year is designated at Black History Month across the whole world.
“Most of these achievements and contributions have been swept under the carpet instead of exposing them to the world and honouring those behind them.”
Mr Biney said: “We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of that historic speech by Martin Luther King ‘I have a dream’. Today that dream has been fulfilled. In 2008 the whole world witnessed a historic moment when Barack Obama because the first Black African American to be elected President of USA.”
In coming weeks, people can get involved in everything from street dance and African drumming to finding out about Freedom Fighters thanks to a grant from the CVS.
Mr Biney said: “We want the input of everybody to be recognised but until then it is our responsibility to expose people to these achievements and maybe one day there will not be a need for Black History Month.”
Dr Iddon, chairman of governors at Brandwood Primary School, said: “Events like this are important because they promote tolerance.
“It is important people understand different languages and cultures, particularly with what is happening today in Syria with Christians being massacred.”
Cllr Shaw said he was ‘delighted’ to promote the event, given Bolton’s long held tradition of being friendly and welcoming. He said: “I’m honoured to declare this event open.”
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