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Upcoming Events 2016

Dmac Showcase – Another brilliant performance showcase from the classes at DMAC – Thursday 27th of October at Hamilton House. More details coming soon!….

Dmac Showcase– Showcasing vibrant performances from DMAC classes – Thursday 2nd June, The Canteen, Stokes Croft, Bristol

Ata Bei Performance – Friday 3rd June, Corn Street, St Nicks

Cool Corner – 9th July, Hamilton House – Showcasing performances from Ata Bei, Inahwe and school children performances (see http://www.dmacuk.org/ame/ for more info)

 

 

 

October 2015

October has been an exciting month for DMAC. Nationally, its Black History Month, and DMAC has put a lot of effort into supporting our sister project, Mama Africa.

We’ve also had an article published in The Bristol Cable, detailing our view on the current state of Black History Month.

Cable Article

Below is Kabbo’s article for the Bristol Cable.

 

Black History Month? True or False? Who’s Fooling WHO?

Black History month = 7 million years of human evolution…Squeezed into 31 days

An impossible task we create, as we continue to limit our evolution…Asafo Gyata

 

As many of you may know, Black History month is celebrated in the UK during the month of October (February in America). A very important gesture, to some, yet there is this unerring feeling that it is a novel gesture without substance. This feeling of unease is deepened by this official celebration of black culture occurring in a multicultural context. This sets a potential problematic precedent, for it festers an environment of exclusion within the United Kingdom. An irony, is it not? Or can one defer in saying that it’s one month for Black history and eleven months for White history…

 

I, //Kabbo Ferdinand, took to the streets of Bristol to speak to people, all colours of the Earth, to get a more informed view. Many people engaged on the topic seemed perplexed by the meaning of Black History month. Some youth are confused by what the term black means in relation to a collective of people. Another issue expressed is that the same American Civil Rights Movement heroes are continually celebrated. There persists a sense that not enough is being done to celebrate the contributions that people of colour have and continue to make in the United Kingdom. What’s with the labels then if it breeds confusion?

 

Kirby, mother of beautiful multicultural children is upset with the government’s handling of the situation. She says; “It’s shameful, done out of British Colonial enslavement guilt, meaningless, for there is very little evidence of improvement in the lives of so called blacks. Our government must take more responsibility and tell a balanced and dignifying story. It must be introduce as part of the curriculum in educational institutions and on television. Teachers can’t be expected to do it. More money should be made available in training teachers on the topic of cultural awareness and sensitivity within formal education.”

 

Effion Ene-Obong, a young entrepreneur and History enthusiast says; “I was involved last year with an organisation celebrating Black History month and feel that nothing meaningful has happened since then. It feels too commercial, like pop culture, no mention of any of the amazing inventors, leaders and activist that have contributed so much to the world. They only talk about slavery and the American Civil Rights Movement. They are not allowing us to deal with slavery; instead they are creating an environment where the black person has a higher chance of developing an inferiority complex. Our history did not start with slavery and western explorers. On FB I post stories of amazing people of colour and their remarkable achievements. Least I can do…

 

There are only twelve months in a year. If this official template is to be abided by, only twelve cultures can thus be ‘celebrated’, creating a political conundrum. The UK is a Common Law Signatory after all. “Human rights in the United Kingdom are set out in common law, with its strongest roots being in the Bill of Rights 1689 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law). One of the basic principles of Common Law is the equality of all men and women within the rule of law. Is this then the case? Does it not seem that some people are more equal than others? Stop and search, Anybody?

 

However, taking into context all of the above. I acknowledge the Bristol City Council’s endeavours to actively address the issue. They have partnered with Multi Cultural Institutions Afidance, Ka-Zimba Ngoma, DMAC UK and KoiFuZen Youth Enhancement Collective. The project is called Mama Africa (Mama Africa-DMAC UK). My personal cultural entry point into this project is as an Indigenous Storyteller from South Africa.

 

I have been invited to be part of this invigorating project in schools in and around Bristol. Experiencing the positive impact that this project has on all involved is truly inspiring. We apply an eclectic mix of Ancient African and Global Cultural Disciplines and research. We share this with school children, teachers, families and other role players as an evolving, adaptable curriculum and online edutainment resource tool.

 

Mama Africa is the brainchild of Norman ‘Rubba’ Stephenson; “I felt this celebration was very tokenistic. I needed to do something to honour our ancestors and us. I want my children to grow up with a healthy sense of self worth, knowing their roots. I’m uncomfortable with the term Black History Month. It causes separation. Our project is called Mama Africa, but our focus is not African culture only. I call it Global Culture and want all people to learn about each other in the sense that we have a common bond.

 

Black History month will once again be celebrated. A debate is needed to discuss the relevance of ‘celebrating’ it in its current format. Coincidentally, it happens to fall on the same month as when Christopher Columbus ‘supposedly discovered’ the America’s and we know the devastating colonial process initiated. Who’s fooling who? We are more alike than different, each being born on earth. I say; “Let’s embrace our likeness as a human specie, reclaim our humanity from divide and rule tactics and do away with all cultural, political and economic devices still keeping us apart.” Humbly paraphrasing the courageous Zapatista Army of National Liberation of Chiapas, Mexico; “We walk slow, we walk together, for we got a long way to go…”