Black History Celebration
To celebrate Black History Month, a wide array of visitors came together to share their stories with students in Years 9, 10 and 11.
We were lucky enough to have a very diverse range of speakers. Some of their inspirational words have been summarised below:
Horace Barnes ‘H’ – Why are West Indians in this country?
‘Everyone has a story to tell – you need to speak to people around you, fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Share with other people- speak to the person next to you, your neighbour. We are all related somehow. Fill your bucket with so much knowledge – until it is full to the top.’
Jenny Bartley – Representing the local community
I spent time in the bottom class at my school, I didn’t learn much. I discovered reading; my love for reading has helped me learn. My family were my biggest support as I got older, always encouraging me to learn what I could’
Ken Brown – Ward Support Officer
‘The world is open to all of you – don’t wait as long as I did to study’
Heather Farrell – Birmingham City Council
‘Look at yourself as a whole person- continuous learning is key’
Karen Hamilton – Councillor
‘I wanted to go into Accountancy; I had O levels and A levels, but no experience. I took jobs I did not want. For a time, I gave up on my dreams, don’t give up on yours – follow them. The only thing that is stopping you is you….’
Luke Fuller – Community Fusion/past pupil
‘Listen to what you are told, listen to the advice adults give you. Someone always sees something good in you, that is all you need…..Mr Turnbull helped me, saw something in me that no one else did…my mom said the job you enjoy is the one you would get up and go there for free! I love my mine’
Karen Geddes – West Midlands Police
I always wanted to go to University; I ended up working in KFC for a time! I did lots of different jobs and saw an advert in the paper, I applied to the Police. I studied for a degree at work; I missed all the partying at Uni and all the social life that goes with it. Do what is inside you to succeed’.
Leroy Richards – Community Fusion
‘I left school with no qualifications. I wanted to be a professional footballer. I got involved with the wrong people. I ended up in HM Prison; I didn’t recognise my own children. No one ever stopped me and said I could achieve. Never stop believing, you can be anything you want to be in the future.’
Jennifer Startin – Birmingham Libraries
When I went to school I got my O levels and an A level. I wanted to be a journalist. I was told I couldn’t be, and that I should be a nurse. It was a good career to have but not the one I wanted. You need to do what is best for you….follow your dreams….’
Sharon Vaughan – Why are West Indians in this country?
‘I wanted to join the Police Force too when I was young I ended up working for a Government department. I taught yoga for 19 years, and also served as a special for WM Police in Handsworth. I think it is better to try and fail something than to not try at all…Ask yourself each day what difference have you made….’
Enid Rose Weir – Poet/Author/Song writer
‘I am 76 years old. I learned everything that came my way. In 1951 the hurricane came and I lost my home. My education stopped and I had to learn what I could when I could. I have had so many opportunities. When I was 61 years old I did my first album! You are never too old to learn, but learn when you are young. You retain it and it sticks with you. You can do it’