Black People : 'AFRICAN BORN AGAIN' White art director gets grant intended for ‘people of colour’

OldSoul

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'AFRICAN BORN AGAIN'
White art director awarded chunk of £400k grant
intended for ‘people of colour’ after adopting black identity

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Anthony Ekundayo Lennon, who describes himself as "African born again", struggled to find roles early in his acting career so chose a new persona. He has since benefited from taxpayer support to aid his development as a black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) leader in the arts, the Sunday Times reported.
Last year he was named as one of four "theatre practitioners of colour" awarded a £406,500 grant from Arts Council England as part of a two-year residential traineeship. One black actor said: “When I discovered his background I thought it was unfair that a white man had taken a black person’s place on a Bame scheme.” Lennon was actually born Anthony David Lennon in Paddington, west London, in 1965 to white Irish parents, according to the book Photo ID.
But his curly hair set off jibes in the street from people who thought he was mixed race and he started to wear a Rastafarian hat. He soon discovered a passion for acting and was "shoved in a minibus" by his mother and taken to the Cockpit Theatre in west London.
As he got older, Lennon struggled to get the white parts but soon found success with groups like the Black Theatre Forum. It was then that he decided to fully adopt a new identity and chose a name from an African book - Taharka Ekundayo. Taharka is the name of an Egyptian pharaoh and Ekundayo means "weeping becomes joy".
He wrote in Photo ID: “I was at a stage in my life where to address myself as Anthony Lennon did not fulfill me; it didn’t seem to allow me to express myself as I saw fit. “Some people call themselves a born-again Christian. Some people call me a born-again African. I prefer to call myself an African born again.” He told an audience in 2012: “Although I’m white, with white parents, I have gone through the struggles of a black man, a black actor.”
After receiving the Bame funding, Lennon started as trainee artistic director at Talawa, a black-led theatre company in Shoreditch, east London. The scheme was advertised as “open to people of colour” and Lennon applied as a “mixed heritage individual”.


https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/76546...nthony-ekundayo-lennon-adopts-black-identity/
 

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