History month enjoys bright launch

Dozens of Ipswich schoolchildren helped celebrate the launch of African History Month.

SUFFOLK: Dozens of Ipswich schoolchildren helped celebrate the launch of African History Month.

Pupils from St Alban's, Copleston, Chantry and Northgate High schools attended the event at Endeavour House in Ipswich, where there were a series of workshops and stalls.

This is the second year Suffolk has taken part in African History Month, which has been jointly organised by the Nia Project and Suffolk County Council.

The three workshops held yesterday were designed to fit in with this year's theme, Birthright - Celebrating Attainment. They explored the Obama effect and importance of civil duty, the aftermath of the Stephen Lawrence's murder, and the importance of music, particularly looking at Bob Marley.

There were also stalls and information stands in the atrium, which was renamed the Akuraa-meaning village in Twi, a language spoken in Ghana. Organisations present included the Caribbean Association, African Culture forum, Zimbabwe Women's Group, Hate Crime Service, CSV media and Karibu African Women's Support Group.

Del White, programme director, said: “Each event in its own way celebrates the achievements of people who have risen above their circumstances to claim their birthright and take their place in society.”

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Joanna Spicer, chairman for Suffolk County Council, said: “It is about developing awareness about African history for the whole month. African History Month has grown in success every year.”

Other events due to take place include two workshops on how to trace British, African and Asian-Caribbean ancestry. Paul Crooks, whose parents came from the Caribbean in the 1950s and has since dedicated 11 years of his life to uncovering the saga of his African born ancestors', was due to host a workshop at Endeavour House today. A second 'Birthright Journey' workshop will be held on Saturday, October 17, at the Suffolk Record Office, Gatacre Road, Ipswich.

For more information visit www.suffolkafricanhistorymonth.org.

Why do you think African History Month is important for Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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