MERSEYSIDE BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2013 CELEBRATIONS HAILED AS THE BEST YET
As the 2013 Black History Month drew to a close on October 31st the Merseyside Black History Month Group announced that its calendar of events for 2013 was the most successful to date. The full month of activity featured scores of events across the region, highlighted by a brand new urban youth station Beat FM, the Cultural Food Feast at Sefton Park Palm House and the prestigious Black Achievers Awards at St George’s Hall on October 26th.
Chair Clint Agard said, “It is indeed testament to the strong partnerships that we have managed to maintain in the region, through difficult economic circumstances, that allowed us to still put together a calendar of events that excelled on previous years in its depth, variety and inclusiveness across the entire city region. We are very grateful to our many sponsors and organisations that contributed by organising events throughout the Black History Month”
The month kicked off with the launch of the youth music station, Beat FM, completely managed by young people aged 14-25, funded by Everton Free School and Merseyside Black History Month Group. The 28-day historic broadcast featured countless aspiring young broadcasters with mentoring and training from more experienced professionals who were more than happy to guide these young people in the art of radio broadcasting.
Other highlights included an “Equality in Policing” half day conference at the Al-Ghazali Centre, Earle Road that discussed how to increase the numbers of BME officers in Merseyside Police; a Cultural Food Feast at Sefton Park Palm House, the biggest free food event in Liverpool’s cultural calendar that saw eight professional catering firms hired to provide free food throughout the day; and the 9thannual Black Achievers Awards at St George’s Hall.
Black History Month Event organiser Garth Dallas said “The 2013 awards ceremony is the best so far. We had a very creative entertainment programme with the likes of top comedian Richard Blackwood, Taylor Fowlis, the exciting new young singer/songwriter from Liverpool, and the fantastic and versatile London-based soul singer Randolph Matthews who wowed the audience with his one-man show which seemed like he had a full 10-piece band on stage.”
14 awards were presented on the night, including a special award to Father Robert Gallagher to commemorate his reluctant retirement from active service as a clergyman, and the inaugural Black Pioneer of Liverpool’s Music History Award presented posthumously to Derry Wilkie, the great musician whose influence on the Merseybeat had previously gone unrecognised. The highlight of the awards was the Legacy Award, presented to Wally Brown CBE, for services to the black community that will leave a legacy for future generations.
Honorary Freedom of the City of Liverpool 2012 awardee Wally Brown said “I have received numerous awards throughout my career but this one is very special. I am very grateful to the Black Community for this honour.”
The main sponsor for Merseyside Black History Month 2013 was Your Housing Group. Brian Cronin, Chief Executive said: “Your Housing Group is proud to support Black History Month on Merseyside, which celebrates the diversity, success and history of the black communities in the region.
The Awards event provides a perfect platform to recognise the history, culture, heritage and positive contributions that black and culturally diverse people and communities are making across Merseyside today.”
The full list of award winners are:
EDUCATION AWARD – sponsored by Liverpool John Moores University – Zak Adams
HEALTH AWARD – sponsored by Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust – Dr Katy Gardner
JAMES KLASS ARTS & MEDIA AWARD – sponsored by Spaine Music – Movema
BUSINESS AWARD – sponsored by Liverpool Chamber of Commerce – Maria Julienne
SPORT AWARD – sponsored by Everton in the Community – Marcel Braithwaite
YOUNG PERSON AWARD – sponsored by Calderstones School – Sam Ikpeh
YOUNG PERSON IN EDUCATION AWARD sponsored by EMTAS – Clay Benjamin
PUBLIC SECTOR AWARD – sponsored by Plus Dane Group – Steve Biko HA
COMMUNITY ORGANISATION AWARD – sponsored by Steve Biko HA – Merseyside Association of Ghanaians (MAG)
MALE ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR AWARD – sponsored by Sanctuary Housing – Marcus Drummond
FEMALE ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR AWARD – sponsored Liverpool Mutual Homes – Debbie Wright
BLACK PIONEER OF LIVERPOOL’S MUSIC HISTORY – sponsored by Diverse Magazine – Derry Wilkie
LEGACY AWARD – sponsored by Your Housing -Wally Brown