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St. Paul's Carnival to honour Windrush generation

CELEBRATION: St. Paul's Carnival

THE ST Paul’s Carnival theme for 2019 will be “Our Journey”, organisers have announced.

The iconic celebration of Bristol’s African Caribbean culture will return once again on July 6, after the success of last year’s event following a three-year absence.

Chosen in response to the well-documented journey of the Windrush Generation who came to England from the 1940s onwards, the “Our Journey” theme pays homage to the generation who came together in Bristol and set up organisations and groups to support their new lives in the UK.

The theme will be brought to life across every aspect of the event from dance, music and poetry to songs and the procession.

This year’s event will be led by the newly appointed executive director of St Paul’s Carnival, LaToyah McAllister-Jones, a Bristol-based change management consultant and former head of operations of the community interest company behind Ujima Radio.


The 2019 carnival will build on last year’s 50th anniversary celebrations, which saw the car- nival committee prioritise inclu- sivity and community engagement and successfully dispel the negative preconceptions built up over previous years.

LaToyah said: “St Paul’s Carnival is a vibrant expression of our city’s wonderful diversity and an event that brings dozens of communities together. It is a chance to celebrate both our similarities and differences, which is why we felt a theme of
Our Journey would work so well for 2019.

COMMUNITY: LaToyah McAllister-Jones is organising the event

“Through this theme, people can explore their own life journeys, backgrounds and heritage and, perhaps even more importantly, those of other people. “This fits with the ethos of carnival which is primarily a celebration of Bristol’s African-Caribbean culture but also bangs the drum for diversity and inclusivity on a wider scale.”

The event will chart the challenges faced by the Windrush Generation from the 1940s to the present day and will chart the historic significance of the SS Empire Windrush, which marked the beginning of the post-war mass migration after an invitation by the Queen to journey to the UK.

The theme will reflect the subsequent challenges faced – in- cluding the racism and inequality which led to the Bristol bus boycott – and subsequent valuable contribution to the city from Caribbean music, food, tradition, skills and dance, which led to the founding of the St Paul’s Carnival – a way to express and celebrate roots and culture and a way to break down barriers.

Last year saw around 100,000 people descend upon the area to admire the procession and enjoy the stages and sound systems on offer.

Arts Council England and Bristol City Council have pledged their support for this year’s event and further sponsors and financial supporters will be announced soon.

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