Black history celebrated at force's fun-filled showpiece
Main article content
Hundreds of people from all walks of life turned out for an ‘overwhelmingly positive’ fun-filled event to mark Black History Month.
Roller skating, face painting, music making and food tasting all took place during the celebration showpiece at the Brendon Lawrence Sports Centre in St Ann’s.
Last Saturday’s (7 October) event, which was organised by Nottinghamshire Police’s youth outreach team, attracted more than 200 people from a wide range of different communities.
Despite being primarily aimed at young people from across the county, there was a hugely diverse turn out as people of all ages showed up to enjoy the different activities and performances on display.
Attendees were able to try their hand at different sports, including hockey and boxing, see live rap, spoken word and dance performances, try some delicious Caribbean food, and also visit a range of stalls held by organisations like the Armed Forces and fire service to learn more about potential career opportunities.
Youth outreach worker Romel Davis, of the force’s Citizens in Policing Department, organised the free event, and was delighted to see so many people, especially youngsters, benefit from and have fun throughout the day.
“It was an overwhelmingly positive day and a great turn out too, when you consider that it took place at the same time as Goose Fair and that it was a police event, which I think is really significant.
“To look at the different communities and cultures that were represented, this event was as diverse as I’ve ever seen it, which is exactly what we wanted and shows the progress we’re starting to make in engaging with different communities. There were people there from all walks of life, different ages from every community, and all there for the same reason.
“Our main goal for events like this is to give young people an outlet and to open doors for them so that they benefit from the work we do, but it’s also about building trust within these communities towards the police and breaking down those barriers.
“There were a lot of people there who I know have had some negative exposure with the police, which for them means they wouldn’t ordinarily go to this type of thing, so to see them turn up and have a good time really made it all worthwhile.”
The three-hour celebration was organised by the youth outreach team to mark Black History Month, with Nottinghamshire Police joining the rest of the UK in championing the immense contribution made by Black people over time and in the present day.
While highlighting the undoubted positives of Black History Month, Romel pointed out the need to ensure the lessons taught throughout the month aren’t just limited to that but are maintained all year-round.
“If you showed pictures of inspirational Black people from the past to a room, the chances are not many would be able to identify many of them so that’s why we have to have these celebrations to bring attention to these people and other elements of Black history.
“While we have Black History Month currently, it should be a year-round thing really and Black history should just be taught as part of the history curriculum at schools.
“For me personally, what we do in youth outreach goes on all the way through the year, like the work we do with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation and the work we do proactively with young people, especially those that are from those communities.
“It is so important that we celebrate, acknowledge and highlight the contributions of Black people to our society, which is why there is a real need to hold events like this one.”