Black History Month begins

BLACK History Month in Suffolk has kicked off with a VIP visit from the former head of the Commission for Racial Equality.Lord Herman Ouseley was in Ipswich to present the Nia Memorial Lecture at the town's New Wolsey Theatre last night.

BLACK History Month in Suffolk has kicked off with a VIP visit from the former head of the Commission for Racial Equality.

Lord Herman Ouseley was in Ipswich to present the Nia Memorial Lecture at the town's New Wolsey Theatre last night.

He spoke about the need to appreciate different cultural traditions in the wake of September 11 and as the likelihood of war in Iraq increases.

The former chief executive and chairman of the CRE said: "It's about realising better understanding with your neighbour through knowledge and education."


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Lord Ouseley described how, getting off an early morning train in Nottingham on the morning after the terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Centre last year, he spotted a muslim woman.

He said: "My immediate thought for her was how does she feel herself? This is a woman whose life had nothing to do with September 11."

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But he knew it was likely that she would become vulnerable because of speculation and questions that followed the event and the focus on muslim fanatics.

He said: "The whole idea of Black History Month here is about recognising and celebrating diversity and the notion of celebration is a happy one."

After 30 years in local government followed by seven years with the CRE he was positive about improvements in race relations in the UK though there was still more to do.

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