Malcolm X visit brought to the stage
Published on 3rd October 2012
Sandwell Council is bringing to the stage Malcolm X’s visit to Smethwick to teach people about using historical archives.
The local authority has secured £19,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to commission a play and workshops for secondary pupils and community groups.
The play will touch upon the American activist's visit to Marshall Street in 1965 while the workshops will focus on using archives to research the event and its wider context.
The aim is to boost people's research skills and give them an insight into immigration in the 1960s and Sandwell's place in the story.
Malcolm X arrived in the UK to address the first meeting of the Council of African Organisations in London.
He came to Marshall Street, Smethwick, amid severe racial tensions following a bitterly contested general election campaign.
Cabinet member for neighbourhood services Councillor Ian Jones said: "We wanted to show young people and community groups just what a fantastic resource the archives are and Malcolm X's visit is a great way to do this.
"Pupils can watch the play and then go through the records to learn how the visit was reported at the time and the wider context.
"Community groups can watch the play and then watch a dvd about Malcolm X."
The project begins on 8 October, and will run for two weeks to coincide with Black History Month.
A plaque to Malcolm X was erected in Marshall Street earlier this year.
For further information telephone Maureen Waldron, assistant archivist, on 0121 5582561.