Ever since The Africa Centre sold its premises in Covent Garden in 2013, there has been a vacuum in London with regard to peoples of African heritage having a centralised place to share ideas and be creative. This is not to suggest that there are not many individuals, teams and organisations doing admirable work to keep the flame burning, but it is clear to anyone who truly knew what the building at 38 King Street was like in its heyday, that something is missing.
If there isn’t going to be a bricks and mortar hub of this sort, should we be considering doing something similar in cyberspace?
How do we make sure that vital pieces of information about experiences and values are passed on from generation to generation? In an ideal world we would have a physical space and an online hub, but perhaps we need to visualise the type of organisation that can carry things forward.
The generation that is currently sidling into retirement and old age should feel empowered and encouraged to express views and share them with everyone, but it is also important that they take into account the fact that times have moved on and modes of communication have changed.
The younger people that are now running African based organisations also need to be aware that there can be a danger of throwing out the baby with the bath water, when they exclude the ideas and energy of those who came before them. Is there anyone out there with the wherewithal and inclination to bring these energies together for posterity?