Pages

Opening of the Black Cultural Archives

If you are a regular reader you will be aware that I live in and love Brixton. I moved here in 1995 after a few dull years living in Putney and I haven't looked back! Now, nearly 20 years on I can't imagine living anywhere else. At the Lambeth Country Fair I bumped into Mike who runs Brixton Buzz and the legendary Urban 75. He's a face I've known pretty much ever since I moved to Brixton, we even have some mutual friends, but for some reason we've never actually spoken to each other, it's funny old world! I've followed Urban 75 for years and have always loved his photos so we got chatting. I emailed him my flickr link when I got home which resulted in me doing my first post for Brixton Buzz: Opening of the Black Cultural Archives. For a bit more of a usual Martha Lovesesque post carry on readying..... Apologies if you have come over from Brixton Buzz as some of the words may be similar (I wrote the Buzz post too) but I've tried to mix up the photos so it looks a little fresh. Is it right to duplicate - not sure but I don't want to abandon my own personal blog and I write about Brixton events quite a lot. 

Anyway I've been watching the development of the site for a couple of years now. Here is the view (you can just see it next to the Bovril sign - a land mark in it's own right) back in 2012

And then in July 2013 
 With a close up of the work in progress. I was so happy that I had the foresight to take these! 
Here is the end product the morning of it's grand opening before the crowds began to descend.   
I was so excited about being present at the opening of such a significant building in Brixton. I felt that I was watching part of history in the making.
 And so to the main event. This is Paul Reid, the BCA's first Director giving a welcome speech. Boy was he happy. It's taken thirty years to get the archive a permanent home and he was one of those who made it happen. 
The one person who wasn't alive to see the opening of the building was Len Garrison, a historian whose life work was to catalogue the development of black British identity. This is his widow Marie who gave a moving song. 
The event had an International flavor. This is Dr Doudou Diene who is Sengalese and works for UNESCO giving a speech. He'd come over from Paris to attend the opening. 
Here is part of the drumming troupe Niles Hailstone and Afrikan Revolution opened up the evening's entertainment. Annoyingly  there were too many mic stands in the way to get a decent picture of the whole troupe. 
Afterwards the youngest member of the troupe was also aloud to show off his incredible rapping skills 
 The host of the evening was Henry Bonsu, him off of the telly and Colourful Radio 
 The whole event was given a Libation by Chief Omilade Oladele. I'm not a religious person but I found this profoundly moving 
  Local singer and spoken word artist FLOectic Lara gave a powerful
performance which was brilliant 
As you can see there were many people  there to welcome and celebrate the archive which felt as if it was finally home.  
 There have been many changes in Brixton in  the past few years, gentrification means that some of the soul of Brixton seems to be ebbing away. BUT the vibe in Windrush Square on Thursday evening was what Brixton is all about. Relaxed, good music, inspiring words, good conversation, heritage and a meeting of minds. Windrush Square now feels complete and the Archive finally  has a home so it can be shared with everyone so the past can help shape the
 future.


No comments :

Post a Comment