The independent London newspaper

Putting the record straight on Black History Month

31 July, 2020

• IN response to Kwaku’s July 23 letter concerning a statue for Claudia Jones:

As a former Greater London Council worker during its final years, I would like to point out that the Greater London Strategic Policy Unit (LSPU) was set up by the GLC to ensure that its final policy initiatives would survive its abolition by Margaret Thatcher.

This included those of its Ethnic Minorities Unit whose plan to launch Black History Month was supported by the GLC.

The council ring-fenced funding for the LSPU and it was former senior GLC workers, Ansel Wong, Linda Bellos, and Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who were responsible for Black History Month’s eventual launch.

As a former colleague of theirs, I attended many of the early Black History Month planning meetings. Kwaku seems to suggest that the GLC and LSPU had nothing to do with each other. This is far from the case.

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