From Women's Lib to Black History - the Old Freedom Slogan Holds True; OPINION

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 6, 2009 | Go to article overview

From Women's Lib to Black History - the Old Freedom Slogan Holds True; OPINION


Byline: ElaineMorgan

WHEN Paul Robeson visited the British Isles, one of the biggest audiences that ever assembled to hear him sing was right here in Mountain Ash.

Wales is the land of song, and the people of the valleys loved his voice and passionately shared his political convictions. For most people in that audience, it was the first time in their lives - and would be the last - that they ever saw a black man. Not much has changed around here in that respect. Nobody would call this area multiracial, and having lived here most of my life, it follows that nearly everyone I know is white. (Tariq Ali once kissed me, on a public occasion in Edinburgh, but that's another story.) So when I heard about Black History Month being celebrated in Cardiff I welcomed the chance to broaden my horizons, better late than never. The main event was in the Millennium Centre on Saturday, October 31st. There was a lot going on. Downstairs was music and talk and entertainment. Other rooms upstairs had exhibitions of African art, and for the children there was face-painting and mask making (just in time for All Hallows/trick or treat night). Elaine Morgan thepensioner I don't know anything about music so I can't fill you in about that. Drums figured in it and I kind of recognised the rhythms from memories of the first calypso that everybody in this country learned to sing - the one about "Cricket, lovely cricket". I admired the exhibition of Gambian sculptures, and there was a Gambian who'd come over and was actually making some, and talking about his village as he worked. …

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