100 Black Men of London and Tiemo Entertainments pay tribute to Michael Jackson … Simply ‘Off The Wall’!!
Saturday 29th August 2009
Saturday, August 29th 2009, would have been Michael Jackson’s 51st birthday, and to mark the occasion, 100 Black Men of London and Tiemo Entertainments hosted a special tribute dinner to celebrate his lifetime achievements and commemorate his passing away.
Attendees at the sold out event held at a top restaurant in London’s West End included British actor/writer and TV presenter Kwame Kwei Armah and the esteemed writer & cultural commentator Dr. Lez Henry. The dinner, organised by the ‘100 Black Men of London’ in association with Tiemo Entertainments and Britafrique, was an occasion to ‘remember the time’ when the late singer’s unique contributions to music and dance made him the most prominent figure in 20th century popular culture.
Guests at Divo restaurant, observed a minute’s silence led by Winsome ‘Lyrical Healer’ Duncan. The event featured a host of high class entertainment, including performance poetry pieces by Winsome ‘Lyrical Healer’ Duncan, and Michael Jackson tribute dancers, stimulating and thought-provoking talks by Dr Lez Henry and Kwame Kwei-Armah, a superb 3 course meal and Michael Jackson’s greatest hits.
Kwame Kwei Armah, an honorary member of ‘100 Black Men of London’ reflected on Michael Jackson’s impact on his generation: ‘The Jackson’s made me proud to be black. They made me want to achieve and do better. I wanted to sing like them.’ Kwame also discussed the lessons that young people especially can take from the life of Michael Jackson, especially his unerring dedication to his craft and his business acumen.
Reflecting on the star’s cultural impact and relentless character assassination by mainstream media, Dr. Lez Henry remarked, “Michael was an astounding performer who was inexplicably dedicated to his art-form that spans through four generations. His redemption was based on sheer unparalleled people power, which is why he could not be destroyed, no matter how much anyone tried.”
Mr. Armah and Dr. Henry, both advocates for youth empowerment, discussed Michael’s mis-representation by an unforgiving media and re-iterated the need for black people to feel proud of who they are, observing amongst others, that Michael Jackson despite his latter-years appearance retained a very strong sense of affinity and identity with Black politics “We are always trying to make it up to someone else’s mark and there is no need for that if we know who we are and where we come from,” commented Dr. Henry.
The evening concluded with dancing into the early hours, to a selection of wonderful music including, of course, some of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits.
“This was a really fantastic evening. The 100 Black Men of London and Tiemo Entertainments really put on a great event, which informed as well as entertained”, said Joy, one of the revellers.
By Desiree Joule-Adam
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