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Applause for first 'Bring on the Vote' concert

VOTE ON: Artist Peter Spence

ALMOST FOUR hundred people took part in the first ‘bring on the vote’ concert at a Birmingham church with the aim of uniting the community, while also driving home the important message of registering to vote.

The event at Cannon Street Memorial Baptist Church in Soho Road, Handsworth, supported by the Voice newspaper, attracted people from eight to 80 as several generations joined forces to sing and enjoy a host of local artists.

Organised by Desmond Jaddoo, founder of the lobby group the Birmingham Empowerment Forum, said he hoped to hold a second similar event at the end of May.

Jaddoo helped to launch the national voting registration campaign in Birmingham last October and has kept up the momentum ever since, stressing the importance of the black community being ‘vote ready.’

“It was good to see such a mix of people at the event, where the audience was not just from Cannon Street,” said Jaddoo. “We had a lot of young people, who performed their own spoken word pieces and poetry.

“I think the event highlighted the fact that this is not a time to sit back – it’s time for real action. This is just the beginning. If people feel their own church is not doing as much as it could, then why not join in and help them to do something as opposed to just asking.”

Artists such as Doctor Love stressed the importance of voting, telling the audience that people had given their lives in the fight for the vote. Artists included Owen Uriah, Annette B, Peter Spence, Lytie, Suriya. Liam Francis, Kadeem, Chosen, Sweet Harmony, Bobby Woods and Sax.

Pastor Peter Pennant, who chairs the Council of Black-Led Churches (CBLC) said his organisation was fully behind the voting registration scheme and church leaders would be encouraging congregations to make sure they were registered over the coming months.

The event was supported by Dave Prince and NewStyle Radio, Sting FM and Perry Beeches Baptist Church.

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