|Jayaben Desai outside Grunwicks in Chapter Road (now flats)|
I am delighted to see that Word Up! which now incorporates Black History Month has a talk on Saturday at Ealing Road Library entitled 'Striking Women' which is a talk on 'Asian Women in British Labour history from Grunwick to the Gate Gourmet dispute. There is a talk and Question and Answer session from 3.30pm to 4.30pm.
There is also an exhibition which will run until 7th October. I haven't seen it so I am not sure if it includes the powerful video on Grunwick made by Brent Trades Council. It ought to.
I am still critical LINK of the incorporation of Black History Month into the general seasonal Word Up! festival and concerned that it will lose its political edge. I am pleased to see this recognition of a vital event in UK history and I hope schools will organise trips to the exhibition and follow it up in the classroom.
Schools are also, by invitation only, able to attend along with adults a dramatisation of the story of Ellen Craft who escaped slavery by dressing up as a white man. The performance is on Tuesday 23rd October from 11.15am until 12.15pm.
There is a Family Black History Fun Day on Thursday 1st November 11am until 4pm at Harlesden Library plus and on Saturday November 3rd, Thamizh, a day of Tamil Culture will be held at Willesden Green library from 10am until 8pm.
Other events can ve found on the brochure below. (It is a large file so may take a while to load on slower computers). It can also be viewed as a slide show HERE
Welcome change from the days when Brent libraries were forbidden to hold a leaflet advertising the trades council's Grunwick commemoration.
When we went to the town hall to protest a young woman took a leaflet, and read it with some astonishment. "Gosh, I grew up around here and did not know anything about this!"
There were several justifications for us holding the event, but that was one of them.
The Exhibition was jointly organised with the Gujerati Literary Academy of which Mrs Desai was a member. It is well worth a visit. Sadly however the organisers have had no success as yet in persuading any Brent secondary school to host the exhibition for its students.
Pity no one recalls how local residents felt about it all - those of us who lived by the factory had to put up with protestors urinating in our gardens and vandalising properties for over a year. No one ever helped us, or apologised for it.
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