The 2000s marked a period of rapid change and growth as the world entered the new millennium. New leaderships, new partnerships and new hopes.
The Darfur conflict began in 2003 in western Sudan. Then, rebel groups began fighting the government and its allied Arabic-speaking Janjaweed militia. The outcome was mass murder and displacement of civilians leading to a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. Across the African continent, economies flourished with telecommunications, banking, retail and private investment. Real GDP rose by 4.9 percent a year from 2000 to 2008. A period of stability provided opportunities for trade to grown, and alongside this to strengthen regulatory and legal systems, build infrastructure and compete on the international stage.
CARICOM is established in the Caribbean after government heads sign the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas in 2001. A significant step forward for the establishment of a single market and economy across the Caribbean with 15-member states; Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Although already an established festival since 1972, CARIFESTA, the Caribbean Festival of Arts, took on a new focus with the instigation of CARICOM becoming a biannual event aimed at artistic, cultural and economic growth in the Caribbean to awaken regional identity and allow artistic practises to flourish. CARIFESTA VII was held in St Kitts and Nevis in 2000, Trinidad and Tobago in 2006 and Guyana in 2008.
The eyes of the world focused on America on January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama established himself as the forty-fourth president of the United States of America. This ground-breaking moment established for the first time in history, an African American ensconced in the White House. Obama won the election, capturing nearly 53 percent of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes.
The world also mourned the death of Michael Jackson, the shock and total disbelief that “wacko jacko”, who had revolutionised music and dance industry had passed away caught the world of guard.
Bernie Grant passed away in April 2000 as one of the first Black council leaders during the 1985 Broadwater Farm riot, Grant brought national attention to plight of relationship between the police and Black youth as he was quoted saying “what the police got was a bloody good hiding”.
The struggling Voice Newspaper which had been established in 1984 is taken over in 2004 by the Jamaican Gleaner, this was the beginning of seeing alternative newspapers struggling to keep a float with the Caribbean Times morphed into New Nation then name of the newspaper being sold again leaving the question about whose perspective is being put forward.
November 2008 Leicester hosted Jesse Jackson on his tour promoting Equanomics UK, with the aim to tackle the issues of wage inequality, international trade policy, credit, loan and debt distribution amongst BME communities. This was early stages of austerity for the UK and impact locally was organisations such as LCAF, LUCA, Spectrum, all losing their funding creating a gap in the community as it continues to be dismantled isolating individuals and breaking down community activism.
Kick It Out became a big campaign for Leicester with over 12,000 people attending an event a filbert street with a view to tackle racism the contradiction for Leicester it had one of the most diverse teams in the country and the negativity on the terrace was not restricted to visiting companies.
A man on a mission. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/aug/23/race.usa (Accessed on: 30 September 2019)
Bernie Grant, Black Champion Dies Aged 56. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bernie-grant-black-champion-dies-aged-56-281862.html (Accessed on: 29 September 2019)
Caribbean Community. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Caribbean-Community (Accessed on: 29 September 2019)
Gleaner group acquires the Voice. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2004/may/21/business.pressandpublishing (Accessed on: 30 September 2019)
Kick It Out. Available at: https://www.kickitout.org/about-us (Accessed on: 30 September 2019)
Michael Jackson has died. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2009/jun/25/michael-jackson-dead (Accessed on: 29 September 2019)
What’s driving Africa’s growth. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/middle-east-and-africa/whats-driving-africas-growth (Accessed on: 29 September 2019)