Next, I attended the session on African communities. I was disappointed that the topics had already been decided and I would like to know how and when they were decided, as I certainly do not recall being consulted.
The topics included:
- Education and employment
- The portrayal of African people in the media
- Refugees and asylum seekers
- The need to speak with ‘one voice’.
There was clearly not enough time for all of these topics to be covered adequately. We could have done with a full day just on the subject of African communities in London. In addition, the Mayor was unfortunately not present for this session. Lee Jasper was on the panel again, but he did not share any more about his musical and fashion preferences.
I was disappointed that Toyin from Ligali.org was not allowed to speak. Ligali is an organisation which monitors the representation of African people in the media, so it would have made sense for Toyin to be on the panel. The way he was treated was shocking, and all the time the Chair was talking about ‘respect’. Respect is a two-way street. Of course, Toyin is big enough and bad enough to look after himself!
One sistah gave me a phone number for the Heritage Lottery Fund,
(020) 7591 6042. They have produced a booklet about projects that are being planned for 2007, so check it out.
See also: 2007 Commemoration
State of London Debate