Celebrating the contributions of the Black community in Hastings this Black History Month
Hastings Borough Council and the St Leonards and Hastings Alliance for Diverse Ethnicities (SHADE) are joining in the celebration of Black History Month this October.
The council have changed the lights at Bottle Alley and at Hastings Museum the final Black Lives Matters submissions will be on show. Meanwhile SHADE & Black Butterfly are organising a 'We Are Here' cultural trail.
Cllr Kim Forward, leader of the council, said,
"Although Black history should be recognised and celebrated all year, Black History Month is an opportunity to focus our recognition and celebration of the outstanding contributions people of African and Caribbean descent have made to our country, and more locally our town, over many generations. From business, law and education to technology, sport and the creative arts. You can find more information about Black History Month nationally on the Black History Month website.
"We are unable to hold any events to celebrate locally this year because of COVID-19, however we are lighting up Bottle Alley throughout the month of October to celebrate Black History Month. At Hastings Museum and Art Gallery the final two submissions from the Black Lives Matters will be on show. Locally, SHADE & Black Butterfly are organising a cultural trail 'celebrating the past and present of black people in Hastings & Rother'."
Anna-Maria Nabirye & Dawn Dublin of SHADE & Black Butterfly, said,
"WE ARE HERE is a collaborative programme of COVID-friendly events, created by members of SHADE, Black Butterfly and the local Black community. The pandemic and global racial reckoning highlighted the need, more than ever to come to together as a community to combat the systemic inequities faced by the Black community.
"WE ARE HERE is both a celebration and a statement of fact. It is a declaration of our rights to be seen and acknowledged as contributors to British Society, of how we are entwined historically and how we would like the history books of the future to be written.
"'Someone is sitting in the SHADE today because a tree was planted a long time ago.'
"Please visit www.we-are-here.org to take part in the programme of free events."
Cllr Kim Forward added,
"The council acknowledges and recognises the disproportionate impact that Covid-19 has had on members of the Black community. We are committed, and will be undertaking work, to reassess the changing needs of all of the town's communities in light of the impact of Covid-19. The point of this work is to ensure we better understand these needs can create a fairer society. As part of this work, which will underpin the town's recovery efforts, the council will be updating its equalities and human rights charter.