Wednesday, 04 October 2017 00:00

October's Norfolk Black History Month Launched at City Hall Norwich

Written by  Paul Dickson
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Danny Keen and Molly Samuels-Leport with her portrait - photograph by Alessandra Lacaita. Danny Keen and Molly Samuels-Leport with her portrait - photograph by Alessandra Lacaita.

Norfolk Black History Month 2017 was launched at a reception at City Hall, Norwich on Friday, September 29. The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor David Fullman and Molly Samuels-Leport MBE both spoke at the launch.

The event included the unveiling of a portrait of Molly Samuels-Leport, painted by North Norfolk based Jamaican artist, Danny Keen, who is also Chairman of Norfolk Black History Month. The portrait will be on display in City Hall reception throughout October.

Molly Samuels-Leport MBE, who lives in Walthamstow, was seven times World Karate Champion during the late 1980s and early 1990s, Sunday Times International Sportswoman of the Year and was a recipient of the Jamaican Award for Excellence.

Commenting on her portrait, Molly said: “Danny has managed to not only capture a true likeness of me but, in my opinion, detailed the things that have inspired me in life, within the actual painting. It’s a highly personal thing to do, because people show things about you that you don't see in yourself. It is brilliant and I love it!”

Danny Keen said: “Molly gave us an inspirational talk about her life and humble origins. I am so pleased that she was able to join us for the launch of Norfolk Black History Month and that she liked my portrait of her! We were also honoured that the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor David Fullman and Sheriff of Norwich, David Walker were able to join us.”

“The Lord Mayor gave a speech about his pride in Norfolk's long history of welcoming 'strangers' and immigrants and that the county was the home of England's first black mayor, Allan Glaisyer Minns, who was elected Mayor of Thetford in 1904.” 

Danny Keen added: “The theme of Black History Month this year is 'Black history rooted in the past, shaping the future. Black history shapes the political agenda, as we have seen with the Civil Rights Movement, independence from European colonialism and the struggle for freedom in South Africa. Black History is also clearly the modernising force behind so many advancements across the arts, music, dance and theatre.”

“Many partners across Norfolk are involved in bringing together a diverse programme of music, film, dance and literature, featuring nearly 60 events, which celebrate the incredibly important contribution of Black History to the arts.”

For details of Norfolk Black History Month events go to, where you can also download the Black History Month events guide.

Last modified on Wednesday, 04 October 2017 18:05

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