Stars from the arts lead Black History Month presentation at Willesden primary school

Kelly and Jacaide singing. Picture: Supplied

Kelly and Jacaide singing. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

Willesden primary school kids learned about the “explosion of creativity” within the African-American community in the 1920s on Monday.

Yosi, Beverly, Jacaide and Kelly. Picture: Supplied

Yosi, Beverly, Jacaide and Kelly. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

Playwright and documentary producer Beverly Andrews, pianist Yosi Marshall, and actors Kelly Nicholas and Jacaide Simpson visited St Mary's Church of England Primary School, in Mayo Road, for a Black History Month presentation.

Students learned about the first blues recordings, the Harlem Renaissance literary movement and a little known period of Black filmmaking headed by African-American film directors from around the country, including the pioneering Oscar Micheaux.

The group presented clips from Beverly's forthcoming documentary Women in the Blues, which seeks to highlight the achievements of Black female singers. They also performed an extract from her acclaimed new musical The Coloured Valentino, which honours one of the era's biggest stars Lorenzo Tuckor. Kelly and Jacaide performed a scene and sang a song, accompanied by Yosi.

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