Black History Month celebrations end with reggae, boxing and fire heroes at Whittington Hospital
- Credit: Archant
Islington’s Black History Month celebrations concluded in style with a bash at a hospital.
The event at The Whittington, Archway, was organised by DJ Eddie K – full name Edward Kent – who has worked there on security and hospital radio for more than a decade.
The event, established by Eddie 10 years ago, focuses on the celebration and acknowledgement of African and Caribbean culture as well as bringing different cultures together.
Guests at the event included Steve Hitchins, chairman of Whittington Health NHS board, and Islington Council’s assistant chief exec Lela Kogbara.
Ms Kogbara – who is also an advisor to NHS England – said: “A month is not enough. We need to make sure children are taught not just about the history, but the geography, literature, maths and what we’ve done and where we’ve come from.
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“For me, black history month is about campaigning for a full and complete history in which black people are acknowledged like everybody else in terms of contribution.”
London Fire Brigade also pitched up, with borough commander Patrick Goulbourne giving a speech about life as a firefighter. “When I first joined there were 200 fire fighters in London,” he told the group. “Now there are around 800.
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“Black people have an enormous, rich history of people that have succeeded and this year we have successfully campaigned to honour the first black firefighter, George Arthur Roberts, with a blue plaque.”
Mr Goulbourne also took time to commend Winston Douglas, who is currently the longest serving black firefighter in the UK.
Winston Douglas, station commander for Islington, is retiring in eight weeks after 32 years’ service.
“I’m really disappointed I don’t see enough black parents turning up at the fire station with their kids interested in learning about what it takes to be a firefighter,” he admitted.
The event also included performances from reggae artist Bobo Blackstar and singer Everett, as well as a health and fitness demonstration by Anthony Wright from Islington Boxing Club.
Guests were even treated to complimentary African and Caribbean cuisine at the end of the night.
Eddie, 43, described the event as a “great success” and spoke of his pride at organising it.
The time and effort he has put into organising Black History Month festivities over the years has earnt him the label of an unsung hero by veteran One Harmony Radio host Vasco Stevenson.