AFRICAN CARIBBEAN Heritage Season, which has been touted to replace Black History Month has kicked off in the West Midlands.
The African Caribbean community across Birmingham and Wolverhampton celebrated the start of the season, which is going to be observed from March 1 – September 30.
This changeover came after academics and community leaders met in London earlier this year to re-examine Black History Month and its relevance.
The event was held at Satchmo’s in Bilston where singers, poets, and community movers and shakers came together. Dr Joe Aldred, of BBC Radio WM’s weekly Chatback programme hosted the three-hour event.
Dr. Derrick Campbell, a newly appointed operational commissioner for the Independent Police Complaints Commission, (IPCC) said: “This is a great opportunity and an occasion for us to stand together. Black History Month has lost its potency and its impact – it feels tokenistic.
“An African and Caribbean Heritage Season feels more appropriate and will fit the needs of the black community. It’s a much better way of celebrating our culture, our history and our impact on society.”
“All of a sudden we are fashionable,” he added. “Everyone wants our colours, our food – everyone wants to eat rice and peas. All of a sudden it has such an impact.”
Former Drifters singer Brooklyn-born Clyde Spencer, who now lives in Droitwich, sang the Ben E King classic Stand By Me and told the event of his shock, when in the 1980s he experienced racism while on tour in Arkansas.
NEW APPOINTMENT: Dr Derrick Campbell
The aim of African Caribbean Heritage Season is to celebrate African and Caribbean culture and history and in doing so create a continuum of progression, diaspora awareness and self actualisation.