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Islington Tribune - by PETER GRUNER
Published: 5 October 2007

Michael Boye - Anawomah
Ex-Mayor presses for Afro-Caribbean group

ANOTHER former councillor has joined the call for a new organisation to represent Islington’s Afro-Caribbean community.
Michael Boye-Anawomah, 72, a director of the African Youth Trust in Holloway, has joined broadcaster Alex Pascall and former Islington councillor Eddie Nyles in calling for a new group to be set up to tackle problems of crime and youth unemployment.
Mr Boye-Anawomah, a JP, was an Islington Labour councillor for 12 years in Holloway and then Mildmay ward before stepping down in 2002.
A former secretary to the Prime Minister of Ghana, he said: “I became a councillor because I always felt I had something to give to the community. As a black man I could reflect the large ethnic community and hopefully be a role model.”
Mayor in 1994-95, he focused on education, housing and race relations during his spell as a councillor. “It was always most important to me that children who saw a black councillor or Mayor would hopefully be inspired to go into public life,” he said.
“But sadly, at least on Islington Council, today there are no black councillors. We’ve got Asian councillors, of course, and there was an Asian Mayor last year.
“But in recent years there has been no councillors from the Afro-Caribbean community, which is sad.”
He believes many experienced people of all nationalities and cultures were being deterred from entering public life because political parties now seem to want young people. He still gets residents coming to him for help five years after he stood down.
“Labour was my natural home,” he added. “But after the invasion of Iraq, I and many others became disenchanted with New Labour. Also New Labour appeared very selective on who it wanted to appoint as candidates in elections. Quite often they wanted white middle-class people with established links to the party. A lot of black people don’t have that same link with Labour.”
The idea for a new organisation has been put forward by Desmond Riley, a voluntary worker at the Link-up Project in Seven Sisters Road who works with young black people. Anyone interested in forming an Afro-Caribbean organisation should contact Mr Riley at or by calling 020 7607 3197.

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