(c) Oxford Mail. 4 November 2014
Stephen Bourne, author of Black Poppies, is finding a lot of favourable reaction from younger people.
Here’s what two sisters of Black African heritage said in their feedback.
Z (age 19-25) attended a talk by Stephen in Deptford “to learn more about African-Caribbean participation in the World Wars.”
Her sister S (a primary school teacher) was there because “My sister suggested as she knows I am interested in so called ‘Black Interest’ events.”
Best bit? Z: “All of it. Not one moment when I lost interest. The talk was backed up with all types of information, but was more engaging with audience when anecdotal evidence was included.” S: “Every part! I have never attended a similar event and Stephen’s obvious passion for his area of historical expertise is contagious.”
What it all meant to me? Z: “ It was very interesting to come here. As a 19 year old I had an interest in history at school but was discouraged from choosing it as a GCSE subject as the curriculum only included Victorian/Medieval history, World War and vaguely African American history. I learnt things tonight I’d have never learnt at school.” S: “ A lot: As a Black woman, I’m too often left with the feeling that Black Brits and our contributions, are too often left out of history and the classroom.”
Meanwhile in Oxford on 4 November 13 young people from the Leys Community Development Initiative (CDI) performed one-minute tributes to the forgotten citizens of the war. The performances took the form of poems, raps and spoken word pieces.