A pleasure to attend a “celebration of a generation”., to speak and to represent Lilian Greenwood MP at the event and at the emergency Windrush surgery in April, during a crisis which saw a Home Secretary fall.
“Celebrating the heroes and heroines of the Windrush Generation that laboured in the NHS,factories, brought up families, whch contributed to the civic and cultural life of the UK.” The celebration included stories, poetry and songs.
A pleasure to be asked to speak but had to be wary, as a football fan, of being asked to pick out a group of people, especially after a 6-1 victory, when football fans lose perspective and see yourselves as part of some kind of super race.
A super race that now includes Danny Rose, Fabian Delph, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young, Keiran Trippier, Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard.
My, how England has changed! Huge since our own Viv Anderson became the first black footballer to play a full international for England.
So much has already been said about the African-Caribbean community centres and the various people who have played big roles. Such as Eric Irons, the first black local magistrate, and Milton Crossdale who played a big role in the City Council. Currently we have 6 black city councillors – Leslie Ayoola, Merlita Bryan, Marcia Williams, Patience Ifediora, Corral Jenkins and Eunice Campbell. Previous City Councillors – Hylton James, Des Wilson, Tony Robinson and Ron Mackintosh. And George Powe – the first local black Councillor, who served on the County Council.
There is so much to say about so many, so to narrow the scope, let’s explore who helped when I was Lord Mayor?
The All-Stars: performed at the Lord Mayor’s Ball, which had a Caribbean theme; and at the Carnival in The Meadows, along with
The Ancestors: the local St.Kitts & Nevis masquerade troupe; launched with an event a Queens Walk Community Centre and took over the Lord Mayor’s parade;
The National Black Archive and Panya Banjoko: celebrating the overlooked achievements of black servicemen and reminding us of their commitment and service with a black poppy and a black poppy wreath;
Merlita Bryan and the Black Achievements awards;
ACNA: with their own 40th anniversary and celebrating Jamaica’s independence and 55th Anniversary;
Bishop James Stapleton: served as Lord Mayor’s Chaplain; introduced me to Psalm 133 – unity is a wonderful thing; and a member of the Windrush Generation;
Jane Jeoffrey: secretary of Queens Walk Community Association, member of The Ancestors, read a prayer at the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carol service and a member of the Windrush Generation.
And whose voice was so alike the lead in Shebeen; from which the romance between the young black man and white woman brought to life what George Powe and Jill Oswald must have gone through in Nottingham’s 1950’s.
One last thought – from Lenny Henry’s Mum. Will never forget it. Cos Lenny Henry said it so clearly. What disappointed her so much on her arrival in Britain was the lack of respect.
Respect is one of Nottingham’s watchwords. So let’s show it and keep on showing it.