On Friday 27th October, our under 11s squad spent the day in Brixton celebrating Black History Month, as a part of our wider ‘Respect for Everyone’ education programme and Hale End’s Lifelong Learner programme.
Across the day, our academy players gained greater insight into the challenges faced and overcome by Caribbean people in Britain, as well as the positive impact they continue to have on British culture.
The day began in Windrush Square where our players laid an Arsenal scarf on the African and Caribbean War Memorial to pay their respects to the brave men and women who served in WW1 and WW2.
The young Gunners then took part in a workshop at the Black Cultural Archives and explored the historical collections stored there, to better understand the aspirations, experiences, and legacies of Caribbean communities in the UK.
After lunch at the Fish, Wings & Tings restaurant in the heart of Brixton Village, the under 11s then had a chance to visit three Black-owned businesses. The first stop was Shimirose, a luxury, vegan beauty brand that ethically sources its products from a women’s cooperative in the North of Ghana.
They then paid a visit to Round Table Books, an inclusive bookshop that celebrates underrepresented authors, writers and illustrators while curating and stocking books from the widest variety of publishers possible.
The final stop on the tour was Lion Vibes Record Shop, one of the oldest established retailers of original reggae vinyl in the world. The day closed with a trip to Electric Avenue - the first market street to be lit by electric lights that now specialises in selling a mix of African, Caribbean, South American and Asian products.
After a fruitful day of learning, our under 11s squad shared their reflections on the importance of Black History Month with their coaches. One of our young Gunners, Leo, had this to say: “Black History Month is so important because we need to connect with everyone in our Arsenal community and celebrate the differences we have.”
“I think that the contributions of Black people should be celebrated and valued always,” added Jaymin.
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