“A tree without its roots, will never know its history”
The community showed their unity and passion is still going strong last month at the West Indian Sports and Social Club, Westwood Street, Moss Side.
Youth worker Angeli Sweeney held the Save Nello James family fun day is order to continue to raise awareness and peak interest in the ongoing conflict surrounding the impending sale of the Nello James centre on Withington Road, whalley Range.
“It’s been a really cool turnout today,” said Angeli of the 100 plus people who turned up to show their support.
Youth ambassador Kemoy Walker and around eight members of his clan KYSO were designated DJs for the event. KYSO (Keem Youth Shout Out) have gone from having just two members when they started in 2011 to over 54 today, Kemoy proudly boasts.
Many of the younger generation in attendance stated that Kemoy and the likes of Akiem Mundell were in fact great role models. Kemoy was humbled, “It’s nice to know that I’m touching people as I’m young myself and glad they can see me as a positive role model.”
Young performer Liv, 17, gave a stellar rendition of Beyonce’s Drunk in Love- another shining example of what the next generation has to offer.
Angeli told of the importance that young people be involved in their history, “As a youth worker it’s my job to advocate for young people and empower them but most importantly to promote and support them.
“The community has got behind the movement and I’m pleasantly surprised and am really proud at how the community have embraced the Nello James campaign.”
Angeli and all involved can be proud indeed as they have promoted, empowered and actively given (albeit possibly unwittingly) some younger community members their first activist experience and a great lesson in local black history by imparting the full historical story of the Nello James building, CLR James and his wife Selma’s James who recently pledged to support the campaign where she can.
Blue Matthews, Campaigner, who is spearheading the campaign, told TNT Community, “The event was staged to get our youth involved in the Nello James project as we want a youth steering group because we don’t want to be telling the young people what to do, we want them to tell us what they would like for the future.”
When told that the contracted estate agents told TNT News last month they had sold the building, Matthews replied, “No, we’ve put in a community right to buy so that it gets put on hold ‘til around mid May.
“Manchester City Council have tried to help the old trustees for years and years and we have seen documented evidence of this but we are also looking at other buildings, regardless of whether we get Nello James or not we will keep moving forward with the planned projects!”
Look out for more events to come from Friends of the Nello James including something for the elderly.