As part of activities making the celebration of Black History Month 2021 under the theme “Proud to Be”, the Hyson Green Youth Club and the Hyson Green Cultural Festival Group hosted a cross-section of Afro-Caribbean and BAME community groups.
The event, which was held on October 31, showcased an exhibition of some art works, children’s activities, and a display of African music instrument. There was also a musical performance by local artists from around Nottingham. One of the most interesting activities of the day was the film session.
During this session a collection of films were played to the audience focusing on black history notably, the three most renown empires in African history, Mali, Ghana, and Songhai. This session brought mixed feelings at some point to some of the attendants as one of the films centered around the Nigerian version of the slave trade which documented the history of Badagry. There was a movie on the history of the Masai people and culture of Kenya. A documentary on the Haitian Revolution was also aired. The reason for the Haitian Revolution documentary was meant to highlight the resistance, resilience, and tenacity in black people. The Haitian Revolution being the first and most successful uprising by a group of enslaved black people, is hardly talked about as compared to other Eurocentric revolutions taught in the curriculum.
The history surrounding Stone Circles was also caught in a documentary. These are archaeological evidence proofing them to have been used as places of burial. The Senegambian stone circles lie in The Gambia, north of Janjanbureh (formerly George Town, the first colonial capital of the British colonial rulers in the territory of The Gambia) and in central Senegal. With an approximate area of 30,000 km², they are sometimes divided into the Wassu (Gambian) and Sine-Saloum (Senegalese) circles, but this is purely a national division. The site consists of four large groups of stone circles that represent an extraordinary concentration of over 1,000 monuments in a band 100 km wide along some 350 km of the River Gambia. The four groups, Sine Ngayène, Wanar, Wassu and Kerr Batch, cover 93 stone circles and numerous tumuli, burial mounds, some of which have been excavated to reveal material that suggest dates between 3rd century BC and 16th century AD. Together the stone circles of laterite pillars and their associated burial mounds present a vast sacred landscape created over more than 1,500 years. It reflects a prosperous, highly organized, and lasting society.
The great African/South African freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela was also featured in a documentary with the view to inspiring the audience and instilling the spirit of upholding one’s personal beliefs and aspirations towards a worthy cause. The Organiser of the event Mr. Abdoulie Jah expressed his delight that the event was very successful and thanked everyone who contributed to it. He said Black History should not be tagged on a specific month of the year but should be seen as a continuous discourse because a lot of untold stories are yet to be discovered and revealed. Mr. Jah is contemplating holding such events on a monthly basis so as to raise black awareness around Nottinghamshire which could be replicated countrywide.