Old Trafford-based First Cut Media and Performing Arts Group have been awarded £49,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to produce an oral history celebrating the life and work of Beresford Edwards – a founding father of Manchester’s African Caribbean community.
The project will enable 50 young people and volunteers to discover, explore and learn about their history and culture in the UK, specifically from the 1960’s – 2000’s.
Money from the Heritage Lottery Fund will also help them develop skills through training in research, video and audio recording techniques, desk-top digital editing, website development and desk-top publishing. Skills learnt will be valuable skills that young people can use to pursue a career.
First Cut Media & Performing Arts Group is a registered charity with a long history of working with disadvantaged groups and individuals in order to develop their expressive, creative and technical skills in television, video and drama production.
Over the past 20 years, the focus has been on providing media training opportunities for the communities of Moss Side, Hulme, Old Trafford and other inner city areas of Manchester.
Ian Johns, Chair of First Cut, said: “We at First Cut are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will communicate how much British attitudes to racial diversity has changed since the 1960’s and will reflect on how much we all owe to the work of people like Berry Edwards in promoting equal opportunities.”
Sara Hilton, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, commented: “We at the Heritage Lottery Fund are delighted to be supporting this project, run by volunteers, that will empower young people to explore and celebrate the life and work of Beresford Edwards ‘Chief Nana Bonsu’, one of the founding fathers of the African Caribbean community in Manchester.”
Known variously as Baba Berry, Chief Nana Bonsu (the honorary title conferred on him by African Mancunians), was of huge importance to Britain’s African community, especially in Manchester, which became his home. He died in his native Guyana in 2003.
The oral history project will highlight his role in initiatives such as the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination, social justice, equal opportunities, and his struggles with racism and discrimination.