Black History Month mini-carnival

100 children dressed up in colourful costumes and collages


Children from the White City after-school centre dressed in their carnival costumes outside Hammersmith Town Hall
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About 100 children from six of the council’s after-school centres dressed up in colourful costumes for a Black History Month mini-carnival at Hammersmith Town Hall.
The children, aged five to 12, enjoyed a buffet, disco and dance display at the event on Friday (29 October), for which they had made colourful costumes and masks of African faces and animals with the help of renowned carnival sculptor Carl Gabriel.

The centres, run by the council’s play service, have been running black history themed activities after school and during the half-term holiday. Black history collages made by children at the centres also went on display at the mini-carnival and were judged by BBC children’s TV presenter Sidney Sloane, from Cbeebies, who was among the guests at the event. W H Smith vouchers were awarded to all the centres for their costumes, masks and collages.

Other guests included the borough’s mayor, Cllr Charlie Treloggan; choreographer P J Dacas, who led a street dance display at the disco, and Fulham Football Club’s head of community Simon Morgan, who brought along posters to promote the Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football campaign.

The children’s mini-carnival was the culmination of more than 60 Black History Month events which have been taking place in Hammersmith & Fulham during October.

Kathy Pittaway, deputy manager of the Bradmore after-school centre, in Hammersmith, said: “Carl Gabriel has been helping the children with their costumes, which have been made with fabrics, card and paper, and we have been serving different cultural food at the centre all week. The children also visited Askew Road Library for a storytelling session and African music and drumming.
The carnival was a lovely way for them to celebrate the end of Black History Month.”

Children at the White City after-school centre used African print materials to make their costumes, while children at the Coningham centre in Shepherds Bush worked together to make a collage of two African faces.
Other centres taking part in the event were Distillery, Fulham and Castle.

Cllr Treloggan said: “The children have gone to a lot of trouble and the quality of their costumes, masks and collages is tremendous. This was a really exciting way to mark the culmination of Black History Month, which has brought together all sections of the community. We would like to thank Carl Gabriel and Sidney Sloane for their help in making this a special day for these children.”

November 7, 2004