Member Spotlight: Black Heroes Foundation Promoting a world where Black Heroes are acknowledged, respected and celebrated. Black Heroes Foundation is a community based charity, existing to promote pride through cultural awareness, education and entertainment. Their aim is to eradicate ignorance of Black Heritage to encourage better understanding and further enhance our multi-cultural society. The 2011 UK Census recorded 3% of the population were identified as “Black African/Caribbean/British”, however there is a disproportionate amount of discrimination faced by this group. Black people are; most likely to be diagnosed and forcibly detained with a mental illness, most likely to be stopped and subject to excessive force by police, and are less likely to be offered a job after graduation than their white counterparts...(Read more) Also, when Black History is studied in schools, it tends to have a very euro-centred perspective, that rarely deviates beyond the scope of slavery. This marginalisation has a negative effect on wellbeing and self-worth, lasting generations. Black Heroes Foundation aims to rewrite the regurgitated narrative and fight the negative portrayal of black people perpetuated by the media. By highlighting excellence and promoting the positive contributions black people have, and are currently making to the world, they are empowering people of the African Diaspora and beyond, to break barriers and be the best they can be. Take a look at Black Heroes Foundation short film here to find out a bit more about them: Background Black Heroes Foundation was founded by Flip Fraser, who alongside J.D. Douglas and Khareem Jamal created the internationally acclaimed “Black Heroes in the Hall of Fame”; – an epic 5,000-year black musical history lesson in one night of theatre. The show ran through the 80-90’s, and showcased a range of black excellence from Egyptian kings and queens, freedom fighters and political leaders to sports influencers and entertainers.It was ground-breaking simply because there was nothing like it of its kind in the UK, filling audiences with pride whilst entertaining them at the same time. It remains “the most recognised and successful Black British theatre production ever.” One fond tribute stated - “I walked out of the theatre with my head held higher, my pride clung to me like a second skin... thanks for the memories and for the validation of my Blackness in a sea of misunderstood stories about my heroic ancestors.” Whilst on tour in America, the show stopped at a Chicago prison, where it brought some inmates to tears; they were unaware of their history and the achievements of their ancestors. With the last showing being in 2007, there have been 2 generations who have yet to experience this unique insight into black history. Flip was in the process of setting up the Black Heroes Foundation, when he became ill and sadly passed away in 2014. It is his wife, Joyce Fraser, who incorporated the foundation in 2016. She works alongside her team to protect his legacy and carry on the important mission of empowerment and motivating communities to be knowledgeable. Projects Inspired by the theatre show, BHF received funding from the Wandworth Community Fund to run “The Black Heroes Soul Food Cafe"; a Black History Month event, that runs throughout the year! The event is held on the last Thursday of every month and attracts audiences from across the UK! It provides a creative space for individuals to showcase their arts and talents, celebrate Black Heroes and explore the historical and contemporary presence of Black Britons in London. Joyce Fraser believes it is the “sharing of values and helping each other to have a great quality of life” that makes a true community. The essence of this sentiment is certainly captured at the Soul Food Café. Their event on 26 October 2019 received great feedback: “..such a beautiful inspiring night. I came away feeling so powerful… it really made an imprint on my heart!” “Hopefully encourage others..to be their own hero if they are facing hard times” “We need more organisations like this and especially for the younger generation to.. share their talents and experiences. So empowering!” Why not go along to their next soul food café ready to share your thoughts, music, word, dance and drama regarding your favourite hero! What’s Next? The big dream for Black Heroes Foundation is to raise funds to enable the return of a theatrical stage show celebrating Black Heroes. However, in the very near future BHF wish to kick start the ‘Black Heroes School Roadshow’; offering programmes and workshops within London schools. It will give a more holistic and interactive education on black history, and teach children practical and creative skills such as research, costume making and design for theatre. The work produced by the students would be showcased at an end of year gala, but to make it possible… They need your help! How can you get involved? Black Heroes Foundation is 100% run by wonderful volunteers, working hard to make things happen. There are very limited resources and BHF is dependent upon support from the community. You can help by either Donating or Volunteering! Donate Here – Every little helps Volunteer Today – The most valuable gift you can give if your time. BHF are particularly interested in volunteers with the following skills: Fundraising, Administration, Web Design and Social Media. Would you like a spotlight? Please get in touch if you would like a spotlight film and/or website article created by our Community Southwark communications team on your charity, or if you have a 'Good News Story' to share: [email protected] You can showcase these films or articles on your website and social media to help you to showcase the work that you do and recruit more volunteers. Also, if Community Southwark has supported your organisation in some way, whether that be with a funding application, your monitoring & evaluation, volunteer management, or any other area, we would love to hear from you! Please use the same above email address.