Black Britain: the long history
There was a deep discussion about the relationship between the failures of the way British Black history – including long Black presence and antiracist activism – is told, the policing of stop and search and the prevalence of youth violence. We considered the idea of an event next spring aimed at local young people and addressing these issues. Big thanks to all at the Ringcross Centre for the warm welcome, the delicious food and the strong support they gave.
‘I really enjoyed the inclusion we had and the very interactive atmosphere. Additionally, I love the new experience of meeting like-minded people and demonstrating our ideas and research to them. Overall, it was a great success and I would definitely want to do that again.’ (Esme)
‘I believe Tuesday was amazing because what I learnt boosted my will and power to perform and love my history.’ (TC)
‘I really enjoyed our performance at Ringcross Community Centre because of the feedback we got from the audience and our Q&A. It helped me to understand people’s feelings towards our performance and the knowledge not only they, but also I myself, gained from it.’ (Shanaz)
‘I really like how we’ve managed to profoundly touch the audience. The conversations altogether were stimulating and raised a lot of questions and thoughts in my mind. Everyone felt comfortable to share what they had in their hearts and minds. We listened to each other carefully with understanding, love and appreciation. What a great afternoon with some delicious biscuits at Ringcross!’ (Tania)
“It was great to meet Martin and Tania and see how a session works. It was a really vibrant and interesting conversation with interesting points of view shared and informed between the different age groups around the room. Starting the session with a positive look at Black History gave the whole session an uplifting feeling in a month when there is a lot of focus on the more negative elements of recent Black history.” (Camilla Churchill)
Taster Day at Resource for London where our exhibition will be in April-May 2019
People from education, Disabled People Against Cuts, Room to Heal for refugees, Race on the Agenda, City University and Stand Up to Racism attended our taster on July 12th 2018. It was planned and delivered by JtoJ’s young volunteers Tania, Arianna, Richard, Maz and Michael. We were joined by Amina Gichinga who spoke about her experience of JtoJ in Newham. And Oonagh Gay, a LB Islington guide who told us less told stories of local people involved in struggles for rights and freedoms with the Chartists, Suffragettes, Spanish Civil War and against apartheid.
For the full programme see here.
Aims of the session
- Introduce participants to the work of JtoJ: mission, activities, projects, approach
- Showcase our projects: exhibition programme, work with young people
- Discuss bringing the JtoJ exhibition programme to Islington in 2019
- Identify potential steering group, audiences, activities, funding sources
- Begin to explore some local, untold stories of struggles for rights and freedoms
After a discussion about priorities for the borough – economic inequality, the impact of austerity, cultural divisions – we were delighted with the number of people who want to be part of making the project happen in Islington and look forward to working together.
We asked: Was there an aspect of the session which inspired you or was most memorable? and participants’ answers included:
Amina’s presentation plus the approachability and welcome from Tania and other the volunteers; I really enjoyed Oonagh’s talk about people in Islington and found it powerful to connect with others in the group over shared issues/ideas; It was all inspiring and memorable; I want to write songs with choirs on social justice and facilitate arts projects and perform with Journey to Justice; Yes, when looking at the pictures and trying to build a story; the last discussion, about Islington; most memorable was connecting to the Hillsborough tragedy; Hearing from Newham organiser.
Blog by Michael Asamoah, JoJ volunteer
The Islington Taster was delivered by the human rights education charity Journey to Justice. The aim of the event was to gain support for and awareness of issues regarding equality in the London Borough of Islington. It was an introduction to Journey to Justice’s, mission, activities and approach, showcased JtoJ projects and was about bringing the JtoJ exhibition programme to Islington in 2019. The charity’s aim is to galvanise people to take action for social justice.
There was a presentation about the history of less well known people who campaigned for freedom and supported victims of unfair treatment in Islington. It included information regarding the campaigners and supporters and what they undertook to change policies and practice. The people they campaigned for were treated unfairly, sometimes due to their characteristics, belief and culture. There was an activity focused on stories about challenging injustice, prejudice and discrimination using photos and interpretation.
There were refreshments and other speakers and questions from the audience including a discussion about running JtoJ in Islington There was a high amount of positive feedback.