TV’s Floella Benjamin visits Rye Hill

Baroness Floella Benjamin.
Baroness Floella Benjamin.

Prisoners and staff at HMP Rye Hill marked Black History Month with a visit from Baroness Floella Benjamin.

She gave a talk on the final day of activity to celebrate and recognise inspirational people from black and minority ethnic communities.

The actress, broadcaster, businesswoman, politician and children’s campaigner spoke about her experience in overcoming adversity.

The idea of marking events to coincide with Black History Month was led by the prisoners who have themed a series of education, art and food events to coincide with the annual month-long celebration of black and minority ethnic culture.

Floella said: “When my family first came to Britain in 1960, we faced racism and abuse from a hostile society.

“As a young girl I was spat at and told to go home. We had to have grit and strength to support one another to overcome this kind of adversity and it wasn’t always easy to make the right choices.

“This event is much more than a celebration to mark Black History Month, it’s about inspiring the prison community to have the courage to choose the right path – no matter the obstacle – and improve the outlook for the prisoners and ultimately 
the communities they will return to.”