10 things to do this Black History Month

Eric Lynch, Educator and Activist, leads a tour of Liverpool as part of the Continuing the Journey project
October sees the country mark Black History Month with talks, exhibitions, workshops, performances and tours.

There’s so much going on that we thought we’d share some of our top things to do.

All of these events are part of, or hosted by, projects that have received HLF funding. So if you play the National Lottery you’ve helped make them happen. Thank you.

1. Join the Angelou Centre’s edit-a-thon

Help celebrate and raise the profile of inspiring black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee women in the North East. The BAM! Sistahood! Project are organising a Wikipedia edit-a-thon on 17 October, 11am-2pm to train women in editing Wikipedia so that they can create articles about inspiring women in history. Find out more at the Bam! Sistahood! Facebook page.

2. Visit the Black Cultural Archives in London

Brixton’s Black Cultural Archives holds a captivating collection of culturally important material and artefacts ranging from a coin depicting Septimus Severus, the African-born Roman Emperor, to interviews with members of the Black Women’s Movement of the 1980s. It’s open 10-6, Tuesday-Saturday. The Black Cultural archives website can help you plan your visit.

3. Take a closer look at IWM North, Manchester

IWM North is organising tours throughout October for visitors to discover stories of Black and Commonwealth service personnel from the First World War onwards. IWM North's website has all the information you need.

4. Embrace Africa at Coventry Festival

Embracing Africa is a project exploring the cultural heritage of the people from 24 African countries who live in Coventry. To mark Black History Month, they are hosting a festival on 17 October from 11am-6pm at Broadgate, Coventry. The programme includes cooking demonstrations, dance performances and live poetry and comedy. Find out more about the project and event at the Embrace Africa website.

5. Discover sweet Jamaica, Nottingham

Full Spectrum Productions have recorded people’s memories of traditional sweets and treats, made and eaten in Jamaica. These oral histories form the basis of the Jamaica Hidden Histories; Sugar was King exhibition now open at the New Art Exchange, Nottingham. Alongside photographs and work of notable Jamaican-born artists from Nottingham, the exhibition explores how sugar has left a legacy central to British heritage. See the New Art Exchange's website for more.

6. Continue the journey in Liverpool

Learn about the struggle of Merseyside's black community for racial equality and social justice from post war Britain to the 1980s. Stray Cat Media have put together the ‘continuing the journey’ exhibition, a multimedia collection of oral histories, photography and film, exploring issues which affect people of African heritage. You can see it from 3 October at the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool. The International Slavery Museum's website has all the details.

7. Celebrate black history in Leeds

Leeds City Museum is celebrating black history on 17 October, 11am-3pm at a special event that is also the closing of the 'My Leeds, My Culture' Angel of Youth display. See the Leeds City Council website for more information.

8. Uncover the routes of the riots on Cardiff TV

Writer, director and TV presenter Ndidi Spencer has been travelling across Britain to find out the root causes of the 1919 race riots. Focusing on Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Cardiff, she’s produced a documentary called Routes which sheds light on the social and racial tensions in Britain after the First World War. It will air on Made in Cardiff Television as a week-long special in the last week of October. The Life Venture website has more information about the project.

9. Debate the American Civil War in Glasgow

Glasgow played a major role during in the American Civil War when many paddle steamers from the city supplied vital materials to the rebel Confederacy. However a debate raged over whether to support a nation where slavery was still legal. This great debate is the topic for a talk and discussion at the Riverside Museum, Glasgow on 25 October 2-4pm. Find out more on the Glasgow Life website.

10. Track your ancestry at the Fitzwilliam, Cambridge

Hear from DNA experts at this lecture and track your ancestry back through historical events such as the transatlantic slave trade to the birth of the human species in Africa. Saturday 31 October 2-4pm. See this PDF for more events in Cambridge during Black History Month.

More like this...