Black History Month UK
“Education is the key to open doors. Faith is what you need to move forward.”
For the month of October the United Kingdom (UK) celebrated Black History Month. The annual event which started in 1987 was to highlight Black people and Black events throughout history, and to remind the Black Diasporas that we still play an important part in the affairs of this world today. Black people are not observers they are participators. Included in October’s celebration was 70 years of the Windrush Generation. The Ship, Empire Windrush arrived in the UK in June 1948 bringing workers from Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean. This was to address labour shortages in the UK after World War 2. Others followed from the Caribbean after this date and up to the start of the 1970’s they were called the ‘Windrush Generation’.
I cannot talk about the last 70 years because I was not born. However I can talk with pictures about what has happened during the some of these years up to now 2018.
Above is the image of a Radiogram (we call it ‘gram’) which was a radio and automatic vinyl record player. This item was present in the majority of Black homes in the UK. This system used ‘thermionic valves’ to produce the amplification for the speakers. I enjoyed looking into the back of the gram as a child to see the glowing valves. For more information look these up in your search engine.
Back in the 1970’s Black people had their own records and sleeves produced.
My description is brief because there are so many images to display in this blog. The opening image is a graduation I attended in Leicester. I spent the day in Leicester exploring the whole area but I cannot comment on this now. Only to say that with the more you know is the more you have opportunities.
Your contribution to yourself and Black History is education. It may be Academic via Universities, Colleges and finishing School! On the job training is just as good. If the job is taking you nowhere in terms of increasing your skill sets, you have to enrol on evening classes or correspondence schools. If an opportunity comes up to find a better job with better prospects take it. To do nothing is to become nothing. Sometimes it involves moving to a new location to do your studying. If it is 2, 3 or 4 years it will go quickly. Go! Sometimes you might be scared to say goodbye to someone and expected better words of encouragement from them. The love is still there and that is all that matters.
I will begin with the Church.
The Church and worship played an important part in the UK.
Above is the Calvary Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Tottenham. COGIC Tottenham has been around since 1972. Below is COGIC Fentiman Road. This was the Church that held all of the major conventions for COGIC in the 20th Century.
Below is COGIC Luton, the head quarters for COGIC UK. This is where all the conventions are held for the 21st Century. COGIC has come a long way and is still marching on for Jesus Christ.
The late Bishop R.C. Bell was the Bishop for COGIC UK until 1998. The presiding Bishop for COGIC UK is Bishop Alvin Blake. An appreciation service was held in October for 20 years of service.
The food for the evening was not just physical it was also spiritual.
It was a wonderful evening. The food was excellent. If I have time this will be another blog.
The location above is Little London, Westmoreland, Jamaica. I travelled to Jamaica for the first time in 1990. I had to bring so many rolls of film to capture everything. This was captured on an Ilford’s HP5+ black and white negative. I scanned it for this post. I experimented with so many negatives and slides before digital came along.
They were not joking when they said that I was going to ‘bush’. Would somebody please cut the grass.
I discovered my first ackee in the wild. The above was taken on a Kodak Gold 100 colour negative.
After leaving my mum with her mum I decided to discover Jamaica. I enjoyed travelling on the buses.
I started in Portmore, Saint Catherine. The above was taken on an Agfa XRG 100 or a Fuji 100 colour negative.
Portmore was in the early stages of development. The above was taken on a Kodak Gold 100 colour negative. Way back then it was all about capturing the image. Composition and planning did not exist.
Havendale, Kingston was my next stop. The above and below was taken on an Agfa XRG 100 or a Fuji 100 colour negative.
I finally made it to Negril, Westmoreland. Spot the English man wearing socks and track suit bottoms on the beach!
Look at the seven miles of undeveloped white sands.
This was before the coastal erosion started.
The three above were taken on an Agfa XRG 100 or a Fuji 100 colour negative.
Above is the West End of Negril, Westmoreland. The above was taken on a Kodak Gold 100 colour negative. They say you always enjoy it the first time but I now go every year. Could it be the weather?
The year was 1986 and this was from my bedroom window at my parents place.
The whole garden was covered in snow. My first nature pictures were of the snow.
It is time to do some sport.
In 1986 the BKK National knock down competition was held at Crystal Palace. This was an all day event.
The Women’s Clickers were also held in 1987.
There could only be one winner.
Bodybuilding Shows attracted my camera.
The pictures are from 1988.
I liked working with black and white negatives to show the black skin as different shades of grey. Ilford XP1 400 black and white negative was used. The advantage of this negative was that it could be developed using the colour process called C41. There was no longer a requirement to develop black and white negatives separately if you were using Ilford XP1 100, 400. It was such a good negative so an Ilford XP2 was produced.
Black and White images were the start of photography and are still around today. It is an art form.
These babies have grown up.
They look so cute.
The weddings are so many so I will just show you the hands which have joined together as one.
I always enjoy mixing colour with black and white.
The year was 1987 and Reggae Sunsplash came to London.
I cannot remember which park this was held at.
I attended my first camera show in 1988. Black models were hard to find.
The show was about the cameras and equipment. My SLR camera had Kodak GA 100 negative loaded. This negative stood the test of time when I removed it from its sleeve for scanning.
The roll of film was not finished so I went to London Zoo. Here are some pictures of animals in captivity.
This was a good test of my zoom lens. In my early years I just wanted to take pictures. In the latter years it became a business to make money.
My first fashion show was at Southgate Technical College, London in 1985. It was the students fashion show. Everybody liked the pictures. This is where I returned to do Black and White Photography.
This one is from 1986. It was a local fashion show.
The year was 1991. I attended my first Afro-Hair and Beauty Show at Alexandra Palace, London.
This show is still happening as Afro-Hair Live at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London. Kodak Gold 100 colour negative was used for this show and a Metz flash gun. That flash gun was a powerful weapon.
I returned in 1992 to take pictures.
The brothers looked good in their outfits. Fuji colour negative was used for this show.
Everybody was looking good in the 1990’s.
I still attend Afro-Hair Live and now everything is taken with a Digital Camera.
In 2007 I attended the Mahogany Bridal Show. This was the show for the bride of colour.
A compact Digital Camera was used for this event.
The advantage of the compact digital is that I did not need to change lenses. I could zoom from 28 mm to 300 mm to get close up pictures of the subjects.
This is just a brief introduction of what I have done through the decades up to now. It will bring back memories for those of you who are living Black History. Remember it is not just for the month. Black History is every day that passes.