Black History Month Experience at Addeys

 

Students, families and members of the Deptford Community came together to celebrate Black History Month in truly unique style at Addey and Stanhope on Wednesday 16th October. The after-school event took the opportunity to celebrate the achievements, culture and history of black people by creating the Black History Experience – a chance for everyone attending to immerse themselves in a host of black cultural experiences.  

Well over 30 vendors from the local community and beyond came to support and take part in the market place style event.  Taste buds were tantalised with an array of food from baked goods to traditional African dishes. The Global Fusion Vegan Creole Bakery and representatives from Vegan Chefs of Colour were a big hit in encouraging attendees to try out a different type of cuisine that many were unfamiliar with.

Other businesses offered wonderfully varied opportunities from relaxing with a massage, learning about how to pursue different career interests, engaging with literature, along with various artistic and creative pursuits, including hair & beauty.  There really was something for everyone!  Contributors to the event were full of praise:

“Just wanted to say a massive well done for yesterday’s event it truly was amazing and I’m glad I could be a part of it. It was so empowering seeing so many black professionals under one roof, I truly hope the kids left feeling inspired because I sure did. Once again well done and how are you going to top that next year?”

Monica Gilbert from Little Literatures.

“Congratulations on hosting such a positive event yesterday.  I loved the energy on the night and the young people blew me away.  Their talent, love and support of each other and respect for you was clearly evident. Great job!”

Carol Shepherd from CS Coaching & Development Ltd.

Lead organiser and Assistant Headteacher, Tyrone Sinclair was delighted with the turnout:

“We have been overwhelmed with the support of our vendors.  It has been an absolute pleasure to welcome such a range of companies and organisations to our school to give a flavour of black cultural experiences to our students and families.  Above all it has been a celebration of identity and we have embraced it in true Addey’s style.”

The event also featured an inspiring talk by motivational speaker Chineme Ezigbo who called on young people to never give up on their dreams of achieving bigger things and encouraging them to always give 100 percent effort and commitment, whatever the obstacles.

Further inspiration came from Shaunagh Brown, international Rugby player, and a previous student at Addey and Stanhope who returned to give her support to the school.   Shaunagh has had an incredible career journey which has included careers in athletics at international level, fire-fighting as well as a stint in boxing. 

The inspirational nature of the whole evening was topped off with outstanding performances from students who proudly celebrated their history and identity in a variety of forms including drama, music and even a fashion show.

Addey and Stanhope headteacher Jan Shapiro was full of praise for the entire evening:

This has been a truly joyous occasion.  The talent on display has been phenomenal and the sense of pride from the students is tangible.  To see our students, their families and our local community celebrate in such a genuine and authentic way makes me extremely proud. It was wonderful to open our school to so many organisations – and to make so many friends and connections. The event has been a huge success and we are already thinking about next year’s Black History Month celebrations.”


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