Black History Month (BHM) takes place every October and provides ample opportunity to get together and celebrate the achievements of the black community and delve into its history and culture. 30 years old this year, BHM also promotes important dialogue about current and past forms of oppression both in the UK and abroad. The origins of BHM go back to 1926 when the editor of the Journal of Negro History, established African Caribbean celebrations in America.
Here in London, the comprehensive programme of events spills well into November and beyond and cover everything from science, art, food, literature, film and music. The Radio 1xtra website is a mine of information with excellent links for getting to know more about black history, both past and present.
Last weekend saw the Museum of London's "Black writers and radicals walk". Starting off at Paternoster Square, where Celestine Edwards became the first black editor of a white newspaper in the 1880s it ended up in Portsmouth Street where, in the 1780s, tens of thousands of black servicemen waited on pensions promised, but never received.
The official guide to Black History Month contains a fascinating tribute to Michael Jackson, now sadly part of history himself.
You might also want to check out:
The Hidden History of Black Classical Musicians
Which African became Beethoven’s best friend? Which Caribbean did Mozart travel miles to copy? Find out how black musicians influenced over 500 years of classical music in a fascinating audio-visual presentation. Age 11+ - no booking required.
Thursday 22 October, 6.30 - 8pm
Sci-fi film festival
Screening and discussion of ‘Cosmic Africa’ and ‘The Brother from Another Planet’, exploring the sci-fi world of constellations and aliens.
8 Nov,1pm - 6.30pm
The Whole World is Africa
‘Why are seven out of eight 100m Olympic finalists African or of African descent? And why is the opposite true of swimmers?’ In order to create an equal society we first need to understand why it is unequal. Discussion led by Steve Jones, a professor of genetics.
16 Nov 6.30pm - 9pm £6 / £4 concession
Everything you need to know is online at www.blackhistorymonthuk.co.uk