October 13th, 2011

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Who inspires you? Mayor Boris launches Black History Month competition

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has launched a competition to find the UK’s most inspirational black public figure, in conjunction with the Metro newspaper and the Press Association.

Over the next two weeks the public will have the chance to vote on the Metro website (www.metro.co.uk/heroes) for 61 influential nominees who have had a major impact across science, academia, politics, music and sport.

The competition takes part during Black History Month, which is a means of championing Black culture, history and heritage. It also seeks to spread and affirm the huge contributions the Black community have made to Britain.

The Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This is a snapshot of the myriad of inspirational Black men and women out there who inspire us all every day. The line up celebrates truly iconic figures spanning the last 200 years, from amazing leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King whose immeasurable hard work has changed the world, to the home grown talent of novelist Zadie Smith, and entrepreneur Damon Buffini, the choice is endless. It’s fantastic that Metro and the Press Association have joined forces with us to stage this prominent Black History Month competition and exhibition and I encourage everyone to get voting now.”

Follow the link for more details:

Alongside the competition, City Hall will be hosting a special photographic exhibition celebrating a selection of the nominees from 13th- 30th October.

I know there are very mixed views and opinions on this competition. I did not vote for Boris to be Mayor - I voted for Ken. But credit where credit is due, I think this competition will help to raise awareness of Black History Month and introduce people to a host of Black men and women who have made a real and lasting contribution to their communities and British and world society. That surely is something to celebrate, be positive about, and engage with, not to snipe at and criticise.
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Mixed Britannia, Thursdays 9pm, BBC2

Again, the second episode of this three part series was outstanding. I love this series - it is excellent. I am - yet again! - banging the drum for this series and recommending it highly to anyone who has an interest in history, British history, or social history.

Cut and pasted from the BBC website:

Mixed Britannia is a new three-part series for BBC2. George Alagiah explores the often untold stories of Britain's mixed-race communities. In this three-part series George Alagiah explores the remarkable and untold story of Britain's mixed-race community and examines through the decades how mixed race has become one of the country's fastest growing ethnic groups.

The series concludes next Thursday where it will cover the years 1965 to the present day. In the Seventies a new wave of immigration was settling in Britain, the National Front was on the march and mixed-race families faced violence on the street. George learns about the debates surrounding mixed race adoption and hears about a 21st story love-story as the couple struggle to overcome the cultural prejudice from the community.