Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2003

The following statement has been issued by Hackney Black Peoples Association, London:

Black History Month (BHM) in Britain is becoming like Kwanzaa in he USA. Kwanzaa was drawn up by a committee and was said to be a holiday for North American Africans (African Americans). The US government paid a large sum of money to the alleged founder of Kwanzaa and thus it became a holiday for all Americans. So it does not matter whether a person is of European or Asian descent, they can claim Kwanzaa as their holiday too.

Local authorities seeking to ride on the tide of popularity engendered started BHM in Britain by public Black History lectures organised by Black Community Organisations. Its popularity led to some local authorities making budgetary arrangements for BHM while some others went through the motions of supporting BHM. For Example, Hackney Council appointed a white woman to organise BHM.

Then we saw the Home Office, through its arm the Commission for Racial Equality, publishing glossy BHM booklets targeted at recruiting young Blacks into the ranks of the army and the police.

Next came the National Lottery Commission, which put up 0.5million for BHM in 2002, with most of the money going to the British Museum and the National History Museum.

This year, we had the spectacle of London Mayor Ken Livingstone and his flunkey Lee jasper trying to bask in the glory of the history of the African peoples of the world with their First Voices Conference. They were forced by Jews and Zionists to withdraw an invitation Professor Tony Martin, the world's foremost scholar on the Honourable Marcus Garvey, thus causing outrage and anger within the Black Community.

What is also now creeping in is the discredited idea of multi-culturalism, so that Asians and mother none-Africans can be funded to organise BHM events. The demand of Black children that they be taught their history in English schools has been completely ignored.

Given that Carter G. Woodson established BHM in the USA for the education of Blacks about their own history; not as seen by whites as the story of the conqueror for the conquered, then Black organisations in the UK have a duty and a responsibility to maintain and defend that position. We should not let those with vast financial resources take control of BHM and then use it against us.

To this end, the Hackney Black Peoples Association proposes the following:

1. That a committee representing the widest spectrum of organisations be established to maintain the continuity of BHM for its original purpose.

2. That letters be written to the Mayor, the CRE and the national Lottery Commission telling them to butt out of BHM.

3. That every year, the Committee organises an African Peoples as a BHM event where we discuss a particular aspect of our history to determine what lessons can be learned for present times.

4. Given the furore over the dis-invitation of Tony Martin, that for BHM 2004, he be recalled to speak at a BHM African Peoples Assembly on the History and Legacy of Marcus Garvey and the UNIA, then lessons to be learned for implementation, and the APA decides to establish one project that everyone will work to establish.

5. That in the meantime, demonstrations/pickets be held outside the offices of the Jewish Chronicle and the Board of Deputies of British Jews to protest the ant-African racism of Jews and demand Reparations for slavery.

Proposed by: Hackney Black Peoples Association

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