Sunday, 29 September 2013

Black History Month 2013 Events

  1. Paul Robeson Art is a Weapon Festival

Monday 30 September – Saturday 26 October. Organised by Tayo Aluko of Call Mr Robeson. Tristan Bates Theatre, 1A Tower Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2. Box Office: 020 7240 6283. See full programme at; Most of talks are listed below and they accompany performances of Call Mr Robeson. Also other events and performances.
My art is a weapon in the struggle for my people's freedom and for the freedom of all people' - Paul Robeson.

Basingstoke BHM

Birmingham BHM brochure

Brighton BHM

Croydon BHM brochure

Haringey BHM brochure

Hull BHM Programme

Lambeth BHM  brochure

Leicester BHM Programme

Lewisham BHM Porgramme

Mersyside BHM Group

Southwark BHM Programme

Wales BHM programme

Wandsworth BHM brochure

Black History 2013 website This has links to full programmes of a few local authorities – mainly London Boroughs.

Monday 30 September - Sunday 13 October. ‘To Tell My Story’ exhibition
Shakespeare is at the heart of British culture  and the ways in which we stage his plays help to define our understanding of ourselves. For many years brilliant Black and Asian actors have played a major part in shaping and enriching our relationships with Shakespeare.  ‘To Tell My Story’ is a visual history of some of those performers researched in a three year project based at Warwick University and led by Professor Tony Howard. Clapham Library, Mary Seacole Centre, 91 Clapham High Street, SW4.  Lambeth BHM event. Free but advisable to book: 020 7926 0717.

Monday 30 September. 6.30pm.‘African British Civil Rights Since The 1960s
Lee Jasper highlights African British histories, followed by Q&A, and presentations to winners of ‘What civil rights mean to me, and why they are important’ youth essay competition by Harrow Mayor Cllr Nana Asante. Harrow Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow HA1. Harrow Black History Month 2012. Free.
For more information or to book:
The organisers say: ‘The theme is particularly important, because this year is 50 years since the March on Washington for Civil Rights and Jobs where Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, which provides an opportunity to reflect on Britain’s civil rights activism within that period, and beyond. The recent peerage of Doreen Lawrence, for example, does not end the fight for justice for the murder of her son Stephen Lawrence and others who’ve died under suspicious circumstances. Her campaign, and the Bristol Bus Boycott  which triumphed over racist employment policy 50 years ago and led to Britain’s first equality law, are examples of activism. However, there are also countless less well known stories of activism within the community and the work-place, by extraordinary people such as Ealing residents Jessica and Eric Huntley, and Harrow resident John Roberts QC, all of whom have spoken of their contributions to activism at previous Harrow African/Black History events.’

From Tuesday 1 to Monday 28 October. London Schools Remembrance Project Exhibition
The exhibition is the work of four London schools in a project to discover the impact black musicians have made on the capital from 1900-1920, covering the work of classical music pioneer Samuel Coleridge Taylor and the band that brought Jazz to Britain after WW1 - the Southern Syncopated Orchestra. For information contact Nubian Jak Community Trust on 0800 093 0400. Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill, SW11. During library opening hours: / (020) 7223 2334.

Tuesday 1 – Friday 4 October. Black Cultures and Identities in Europe: Continental Shifts in Perception
George Padmore Institute and London University.  Senate House,  Malet St/Russell Square, London, WC1. Further details and to register see

Tuesday 1 -  Thursday 31 October. Dig My Archives Schools Project Exhibition
A pop-up exhibition of the two-year “Dig My Archives Schools Project” by George Padmore Institute. which aimed to bring the archives of John La Rose to young people, raise awareness of the Black civic contribution to post 1960s Britain and inspire young people and their group leaders to access services they may have previously not know of. Marcus Garvey Library, Tottenham Green Centre, 1 Phillip Lane, London, N15.

Tuesday 1 October. 6.10pm. Here I Stand? Paul Robeson and the Jewish Question, then and now
Talk by Selma James. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Tuesday 1 October 6.30-8pm. Black in the British Frame by Stephen Bourne
Stephen Bourne will give an illustrated talk about his work on black actors and actresses on film and TV. His Aunt Esther, the biography of his adopted black working class aunt is published by History & Social Action Publications. Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill, SW11. Free but ring 020 7223 2334 to book seat.

Tuesday 1 October. 7.30pm. Crime & Punishment. Black People at the Old Bailey 1674-1913
Robin Walker and Avril Nanton will present a little known chapter of Black London history. The Old Bailey trial records of the period 1674 to 1913 give an idea of just how many Black people were living in London back then. The records cover not just Blacks who committed crimes but those who had crime committed against either their person or their masters! Wood Green Library, 187-197A High Road,
London, N22. 

Tuesday 1 October. 7.45pm. Celebrations of Aime Cesaire Birth and Arrival of Windrush
Lewisham Ethnic Minorities Partnership and the Windrush Foundation. Free. Lewisham Library, Lewisham High Street, London SE13.

Wednesday 2 October to Sunday 2 February 2014. 1-5pm. Origins of the Afro Comb Exhibition
An exhibition in association with the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University. Bruce Castle  Museum.

Wednesday 2 October. 1.30 - 3pm. “Gateway to Windrush”
Discussion led by Cllr Pauline Gibson in partnership with the Haringey U3A, offering a brief glimpse into the lives of the pre-Windrush generations who inhabited Britain. Wood Green Library, 187-197A High Road,
London, N22. 

Wednesday 2 October. 6.30pm. ‘Facing Up To The Colonial Past’
Ngugı wa Thiong’o ( Kenyan and African writer and radical political activist. George Padmore Institute and London University. Senate House, Malet St/Russell Square, London, WC1.  Entrance £5 payable in advance at

Wednesday 2 October 7-8.30pm. John Banting, London art and Black interwar histories
Caroline Bressey and Gemma Romain (Equiano Centre, University College London)  explore the interwar art world and its relation to black local and international histories. They will focus on the life of John Banting, a surrealist artist who lived in Roehampton and was a friend of the anti-racist writer Nancy Cunard. Through an examination of his archival collection held at the Tate, they will  discuss what these
documents and photographs reveal about his links to black anti-racist activism and the black British presence of the 1930s. Putney Library, 5/7 Disraeli Road, SW15. Free but ring 020 8780 3085 to book seat.

Thursday 3 October. 6pm–8.30pm. SANKOFA. The truth behind Black History Month 1926-2013
Guest speakers from 7pm. Hackney Museum, Technology and Learning Centre, 1 Reading Lane, London, E8. GQ . RSVP:

Thursday 3 October. 6.10pm. Black People and British Drama
Talk by  Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Friday 4 October. 2pm. Struggles in Manchester before & after 1945’s Pan African Congress
Talk by Marika Sherwood. Working Class Movement Library, 51 Crescent, Salford, M5 4WX,

Friday 4 October.  6.10pm. Who were the Moors? Why were they important?
Talk by Robin Walker. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Friday 4 October. 6.30-9.30pm. Film screening, followed by film-maker and media lecturer Imruh Bakari
who will facilitate post-screening  Q&A topic: How far have we come in the quest for civil rights? Light refreshments available. Flash Musicals, Methuen Road, Edgware, HA8. Edgware station. £5
For more information or to book: 07956 846375/020 8930 993.

Friday 4 October 7-9.30pm. Cricket, food and music evening

Colin Babb talks about his book, They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun, a study of the impact of West Indian cricket on those of Caribbean birth and descent in Britain. During the evening there will be quizzes, mystery prizes, snacks and live music headlined by singer Hajar Wright. Balham Library, 16 Ramsden Road, SW12. Free but ring 020 8673 1129 for seat.

Saturday 5 October. 12noon-1.30pm. Mother Country/The Motherland Calls
Stephen Bourne presents an illustrated talk about his two History Press books: Mother Country and The Motherland Calls. These document the participation of Britain's black community on the home front and in the armed services during the Second World War. Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London, SE11. (Admission Free). Further information:

Saturday 5 October. 2.30-4.30pm. Lambeth Caribbean family history surgery
Run by Black Cultural Archives. Carnegie Library, 188 Herne Hill Road, SE24.  020 7926 6050.

Saturday 5 October. 5.30-11pm. Basingstoke  Community Celebration Event
This event will launch the newly formed Basingstoke Caribbean Society & Friends Organisation and Celebrate BHM. Entertainment will be provided by a professional singer, steel band and sound system. There will also be a children’s cultural event, domino tournament, raffle prizes, information stalls and delicious Caribbean food. Adults £10 / Family £15 (up to 2 adults & 3 children). Ticket provide admission to event and meal. There is also a paying Bar at the venue. For further information and to purchase tickets: please contact Grace Powell/Basingstoke Caribbean Society and Friends: 07505 153046. Popley Fields Community Centre, Carpenters Down, Popley, Basingstoke, Hampshire. RG24  9AE.

Sunday 6 October. 11.30am & 3pm. Peckham black history re-enactment walks
Take an historical walk through the streets of Peckham, led by S I Martin, meet some influential black people in history along the way, and listen to them recount their stories. Meet at Sojourner Truth Centre, 161 Sumner Road, SE15. Free

Sunday 6 October. 2-4pm. Culture and Black History
Interview with  me  on Janet Smith’s Croydon Radio Culture Show. It will then be available as a podcast.

Sunday 6 October. 2-4.30pm. Black History Walk: What were Black People doing in  World War One? Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Rd, SE1. To book go to   

Sunday 6 October. 3.10pm. Robeson and Othello: Britain, America, Moscow
Talk by Tony Howard. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Monday 7 October. 6.30-8.30pm. History of Black businesses and entrepreneurs in Britain
Mayor of London Black History Month event  exploring the past, present and future. ‘This is a topic which resonates with many of London's communities, and the Mayor will use this occasion to highlight the work he is doing to support the small and medium sized enterprise sector in the capital.’ Speakers  include Ade Sawyerr (Equinox Consulting), Damon Buffini (Permira), Natasha Faith LA DiOSA), Ric Lewis (Tristan Capital Partners), Sonia Brown (National Black Women's Network.) This event is open to business leaders, entrepreneurs, the general public and will include a question and answer session which will be followed by a reception. People wishing to attend this free event should register their interest at For additional information, please call the Public Liaison Team at the Greater London Authority on 020 7983 4100. Visit SistaTalk at: Editorial comment. In the Q&A session it would be good if people asked what progress there has been to implement the recommendations of the Commission on African and Asian Heritage, published when Ken was Mayor.

Monday 7 October 3-4.30pm. Mental Health and positive change for BME communities
Showing of the film ‘Minority Matters’ exploring the real life stories of people behind the facts and figures of mental health statistics including perspectives from Irish, Asian, South Asian, African-Caribbean, Black African and asylum seekers. This will be followed up by a discussion exploring the current mental health and wellbeing state within BME communities and the steps needed to promote positive change. Earlsfield Library, 276 Magdalen Road, SW18. Free but ring 020 8946 2088 to book seat.

Monday 7 October 6.30-8pm. Living Archive by Leon Robinson
Filmmaker and archivist and founder of Positive Steps Archives Leon has amassed a variety of memorabilia about past productions which map the existence of Black theatre productions and give a fascinating journey through layers of Black Victorian and Edwardian entertainment history in London. Explore and handle original archival material. Discover how archives can be used as a tool to inspire and excite audiences of today. Leon shows his archive in schools in the London Schools Remembrance Project (see above). Battersea Park Library, 309 Battersea Park Road, SW11. Free but ring 020 7720 4122 to book seat.

Tuesday 8 October. 6.10pm. Out of the Shadows: Eslanda Robeson the Anti-Colonial Activist and Global Citizen
Talk by  Imaobong Umoren. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Tuesday 8 October 6.30-8pm. Black Hair Culture, Style and Politics
Hair and grooming have always played an important role in the culture of Africa and the African Diaspora. In many African societies, ancient and modern, the hair comb symbolises status, group affiliation, religious beliefs and is encoded with ritual properties. Dr. Michael McMillan’s talk will include material from the exhibition: My Hair: Black Hair Culture, Style and Politics at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (2 July – 28 September 2013 -, and the Origins of the Afro Comb project Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill, SW11. Free but ring 020 7223 2334 to book seat.

Tuesday 8 October. 7pm. Black British and Asian Shakespearean actors
Mary Seacole Centre, 91 Clapham High Street, SW4.  Lambeth BHM event. Free but advisable to book: 020 7926 0717. Full programme at

Wednesday  9 October. 6.10pm. The Colonies and Colonials in World War II
Talk by Marika Sherwood. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Wednesday 9 October. 7-8.30pm. Black History in an Hour
From slavery to the Civil Rights movement, writer Rupert Colley provides an overview of Black History. He is the founder, editor and writer of the ‘History in an Hour’ series of e-books, audio and apps that summarise key areas of world history in digest form, with each title taking no more than sixty minutes to read. Putney Library, 5/7 Disraeli Road, SW15. Free but ring 020 8780 3085 to book seat.

Wednesday 9 October. 7.30pm. Black Cultural Archives: Past Present and Future
with Hannah Ishmail. Herne Hill United Church Hall, Red Post Hill, SE24. A look at the history of BCA and its work as it prepares to move into its new home in Raleigh Hall, Brixton. Refreshments available.

Wednesday 9 October. 7.45pm. Freedom Riders
UK Premier screening of film of the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism. There is an after-film discussion  facilitated by Kwaku from Black British Music (BBM) and Sean Creighton. ‘Freedom Riders has been championed by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and gained a special Whitehouse screening for President Barack Obama. From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till). Presented by Kush Promotions. Trailer: Tickets: £9.50. The Riverside Studios, Crisp Rd, Hammersmith, London, W6. Tel Bookings: 0208 237 1111.

Thursday 10 October. 7pm. Crime and Punishment Black people at the Old Bailey 1674 to 1913
See 1 October. Coombes Croft Library, Tottenham High Road. London, N17.

Thursday 10 October 7-8pm. Black in the British Frame
Stephen Bourne gives an illustrated talk about growing up in Peckham; his adopted Aunt Esther (the subject of his first book); and how he came to write black British history books including The Motherland Calls – Britain’s Black Servicemen and Women 1939-45 (The History Press, 2012) and the forthcoming Black Poppies – Britain’s Black Community and the Great War (The History Press, 2014). King’s College Hospital (Boardroom), Denmark Hill, London, SE5. Admission £5. A Black History Month fundraising event for King’s College Hospital.

Thursday 10 October. 7pm. Family History workshop led by Patrick Vernon
The workshop will provide an introduction into how to do research using the local resources available, and tips for tracing your family tree, and will include the following.
• Developing family learning around heritage and cultural identity
• Sharing of advice, information and good practice in tracing your family tree and cultural heritage
• Top tips for family history research
• Tapping in to expert opinion from genealogist, local archives and historians
• Use of websites such as for doing family history research
Please email to book your place..Wood Green Library, 187-197A High Road, London, N22. 

Friday 11 October. 11.30-12.30. Coming to England
Come and meet Floella Benjamin. Community Space, Bernard Wetherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon. Ring 020 8726 6900 (ask for Central Library).

Friday 11 October. 7-10pm. Young Gifted and Black Awards
Walthamstow Assembly Hall, Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17. Adults - £8. Aged up to 17 - £8. Under 5 - Free. Established in 2003, the annual Young Gifted and Black Awards (YGAB) celebrate the academic achievements of pupils of African/Caribbean heritage from secondary schools and colleges in North East London. The year's event is hosted by Kreative Culture Klub (KCK ) as part of Walthamstow's Black History Month programme. Contact Yvonne Bailey

Saturday 12 October 12.00-1.30pm. Black Poppies
Stephen Bourne presents an illustrated talk about the progress he has made with his latest book Black Poppies, to be published by The History Press in August 2014. Spanning the First World War through to 1919, Black Poppies explores the military and civilian wartime experience of black Britons, and the loyalty they held for their mother country both on the front line and the home front. Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London, SE11. Admission Free. Further information:
Friday 11 October 6.30-8pm. Black History in the National Curriculum
Recent proposals to reform the National Curriculum were strongly opposed and the status quo has been restored to some extent. Dan Lyndon-Cohen  will look back at the history of teaching multicultural history in the UK, explore some of the key individuals and events that are taught in schools and will open up a debate about what may happen in the next decade. He is an Advanced Skills History teacher who has written many books for young people about black history and has delivered workshops and training on creating and teaching a multicultural curriculum. Dan is also the webmaster of Balham Library, 16 Ramsden Road, SW12. Free but ring 020 8673 1129 to book seat.

Saturday 12 October. 12noon. Laurie Cunningham, Nubian Jak Plaque Unveiling
6 Brisbane Road, London E10. Laurie Cunningham, pioneering football superstar is to be honoured with a commemorative blue plaque. The plaque will be placed on a new build apartment block adjoining Leyton Orient stadium where Laurie made his historic debut 39 years to the very day. From Leyton Orient to playing for the biggest club in the world, en route he would also become the first black footballer to play for a senior England side scoring on his debut in an U21 fixture against Scotland in April 1976. Laurie's stunning career would see him become the first English born player to sign for Real Madrid shirt, some of his other clubs included Manchester United and Marseille, and even winning an FA cup winners medal with Wimbledon FC. Nubian Jak Community Trust in partnership with Leyton Orient Football Club, Kick it Out and Waltham Forest Council.  A reception will then be held at Leyton Orient Supporters Club, Oliver Road. For more info; 0800 093 0400.

Saturday 12 October 12noon-1.30pm. Black Poppies
Stephen Bourne presents an illustrated talk about the progress he has made with his latest book Black Poppies, to be published by The History Press in August 2014. Spanning the First World War through to 1919, Black Poppies explores the military and civilian wartime
experience of black Britons, and the loyalty they held for their mother country both on the front line and the home front. Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London, SE11. Admission Free. Further information: See his Black Poppies article in October’s History Today.

Saturday 12 October.3-4.30pm. Crime & Punishment: Black People at the Old Bailey 1674-1913
See 1 October. St Ann’s Library, Cissbury Road, London, N15. 

Saturday 12 October. 3.10pm.  Duse  Mohamed Ali
Talk by Sean Creighton on the North African London based actor, manager and journalist.  Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Saturday 12 October. 6.10pm. On discovering Coleridge-Taylor
Talk by Jonathan Butcher (Artistic Director Croydon Samuel-Coleridge-Taylor Festival 2012). Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Sunday 13 October. 2-4.30pm. Black History Walk: What were Black People doing in  World War One? Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Rd, SE1. To book go to   

Tuesday 15 October. 6.10pm. Paul Robeson’s British Films 1935-40
Stephen Bourne gives an illustrated talk. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Tuesday 15 October 6.30-8pm. Shapurji Saklatvala
A Parsi of the patrician tendency, he was born in Bombay in 1874 and sent to Britain in 1905. Elected to the House of Commons as MP for Battersea, he held the seat until 1929, sitting until 1923 as a Labour Party member and then as a communist. It says a lot for the working class voters of Battersea that they could trust a "coloured foreigner" to represent them. In the Commons Saklatvala proved an awkward man, forever behaving according to his conscience and speaking his mind. He caused a stir by addressing the Speaker as "Comrade". His biographer Marc Wadsworth will talk about Saklatvala’s life and times. Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill, SW11. Free but ring 020 7223 2334 to book seat.

Wed 16 October. 6.10pm. Before Paul there was Ira
Talk by Oku Ekpenyon on Ira Alridge. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Tuesday 15 October. Workshop - Historicising and re-connecting rural community: Black presences and the legacies of slavery and colonialism in rural Britain
Final workshop of AHRC project. Panel 1: Historicising Rural Communities will reflect on ideas of rural communities in light of historic connections to colonialism. Panel 2: Re-connecting Rural Communities will consider how ideas of community and belonging are being reworked in current rural heritage initiatives related to Black presences, slavery and colonialism. How (if at all) are such histories being made public in countryside venues and by whom? How do such presentations engage with ideas of community and rural belonging? Are new senses of community and belonging being created? During lunch and coffee there will also be opportunities to look at display materials relating to the project, including case studies of country estates and rural textiles and the on-line source mapping for Angus, Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. The workshop will end with a discussion on ways forward. See project webpage at Workshop venue Room A09, Highfields House, University Park Campus, University of Nottingham. Further information inc. about attending contact either or

Wednesday 16 October. 7pm. Sounds Like London – 100 Years of Black music in the capital
Talk by Lloyd Bradley about his book. Brixton Library, Brixton  Oval, SW2. Lambeth BHM event. Free but advisable to book: 020 7926 1056.

Wednesday 16 October. 7-8.30pm. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: His popularity with British Music Lovers
within the context of the composer’s life and musical compositions, Sean Creighton will discuss the popularity of Britain’s Black Composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) with British professional and amateur musicians and their publics. Putney Library, 5/7 Disraeli Road, SW15. Free but ring 020 8780 3085 to book seat.

Thursday 17 October 6-7pm. Beautifying the body in ancient Africa and today
This workshop is about sharing useful tips about beauty industry's practices for both customers and potential beautypreneurs. Attendees may bring their own beauty products. Christelle Kédi
is a  make-up artist and fashion editor for black business magazine Knowledge Fountain. In her book Beautifying the body in ancient Africa and today  hair, skin, colour, textiles and ornaments are analysed within their cultural context. More info on and Wandsworth Town Library, 11 Garratt Lane, SW18. Free but ring 020 8877 1742 to book seat.

Thursday 17 October 6.10pm. Paul Robeson and 'Black Bolshevism'
Talk by Hakim Adi. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Thursday 17 October. 7.30pm. The Palace Concerts. Music From Then and Now at the Crystal Palace
Pianist Waka Hagesawa will play music by Coleridge-Taylor’s  From Forest Scenes  No.1 The Lone forest maiden, No.3 The phantom tells his tales of  longing and  Moorish Dance; Elgar’s In Smyma  and Skizze, Hilary Robinson’s  10.10.10, and Dvořák’s  Dumka and Furiant.
The multi-instrumentalist  Orphy Robinson will play marimba improvising on Martin Luther King’s
I have a Dream Speech. St John, The Evangelist Church, Auckland Rd, Upper Norwood. £10
(under 16s free).

Friday 18 October 6.30-8pm. Sounds like London: a history of black music in the capital
Journalist and music writer Lloyd Bradley discovered Jamaican music in his teenage years, while going out in the North London based sound systems and created his own named Dark Star System in the end of the sixties. He will discuss his new book Sounds Like London: 100 years of Black music in the Capital which tells the story from Soho jazz clubs onto sound systems everywhere. Also how the musical history of London shaped a whole nation through music. Balham Library, 16 Ramsden Road, SW12. Free but ring 020 8673 1129 to book seat.

Friday 18 October. 8.30pm. Twelve Years a Slave
Film about Solomon Northrup starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt, will be shown at the Odeon, Leicester Square as part of the BFI London Film Festival: It has already been shown at the Toronto Film Festival; see:

Saturday 19 October. 2.10pm. Paul Robeson and the Unity Theatre Movement
Talk by Harry Landis. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Sunday 20 October. 10.30am-1pm & 2-4.30pm. Black History Studies Tour of British Museum
The British Museum has extensive collections from historic societies of Africa. Some of the highlights of the tour are the Bronzes of Benin and artefacts in the Egyptian Gallery. £10 per person. Numbers on each tour are limited, so allocation will be on a first come first served basis and we anticipate that there will be a lot of demand for this tour. If you would like to attend the tour of the British Museum, please email for a booking form.

Sunday 20 October. 3.10pm. The Speech: The Story Behind Martin Luther King's I have a dream speech
Talk by Guardian journalist Gary Younge. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Tuesday, 22 October.4.45pm.  ‘The “Glory and the Shame”: The dissonant legacies of slavery, memory and identity in Liverpool’
Jessica Moody (University of York). Chair: Alan Rice (University of Central Lancashire). Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, 4 Princes Road, Liverpool, L8. Alan’s book Creating Memorials,
Building Identities: The Politics of Memory in the Black Atlantic (Liverpool UP Paperback, Spring 2012. Website with content by Alan:

Tuesday 22 October. 7pm. Gateway to the Empire Windrush
Interactive discussion/debate with  Cllr Pauline Gibson about the Black Communities that lived in England prior to the Windrush in 1948. Reflecting on the pre Windrush generation who played a big role in British History that has largely been forgotten, such as the community that used to live in Cable Street, London, which was active as late as 1955. Marcus Garvey Library, Tottenham Green Centre, 1 Phillip Lane, London, N15.

Tuesday 22 October. 7pm.  Family History Workshop led by Patrick Vernon
See 10 October. Please email to book your place. Wood Green Library, 187-197A High Road, Wood Green, N22.

Wednesday 23 October. All Day. Black History Cultural Event at Basingstoke College of Technology
The purpose of this event is to encourage students to reflect on their cultural heritage and actively participate in activities from a range of cultural backgrounds as a learning and development initiative.
For more information please contact Sam Harding / Learning and Development Co-Ordinator, Basingstoke College of Technology: . College: Worting Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 8TN.

Wednesday 23 October. 10am-1pm. How Important is the BAME Vote?
‘Discussion on the impact, importance, patterns and relevance of votes cast by UK citizens of African/Caribbean & other BAME heritage. A consequence of the Government’s current austerity measures is the increasingly scarce resources available - it seems though that some communities continue to lose out more than others. Communities with a high percentage of BAME citizens are being targeted by vans looking for illegal immigrants . Confidence in the police is at its lowest level for decades. The 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games were won by London mainly because of the emphasis put on the capital’s diverse cultural mix. However there are an ever decreasing number of jobs and educational, arts or sports resources available or accessible to people from those communities. Yet at the same time major parties are developing strategies on how to attract votes from perhaps the most diverse electorate ever. With the younger generations in particular ever more reluctant to exercise their democratic options, the question being posed more and more often by BAME communities is: WHY VOTE?  In 2014 it will have been 100 years since the outbreak of WW1 which saw millions of people from the old Commonwealth contribute to the British war effort. This is an opportunity to discuss the degree to which these communities have achieved proportionate representation in Parliament; and the extent to which cultural diversity has been reflected in the formulation and implementation of 100 years of Government policies.’ Panel includes Patrick Vernon, Duwayne Brooks, Simon Woolley (Operation Black Vote), Diane Abbott (Chair) Admittance only by booking through Eventbrite – book on line at: Venue: House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1. 

Wednesday 23 October. 5.30pm. Lyrics And History
History consultant Kwaku and Music4Causes rapper/songwriter Kimba facilitate youth workshop (no limit!) where participants see how music can engage with history and conscious themes, before collaborating on producing rap lyrics or spoken word that speak to African British history themes, which they perform, plus freestyle performances. Lift, 45 White Lion Street, London, N1.

Wednesday  23 Oct. 6.10pm. Unearthed: Tracing Legacies of British Slave Ownership
Talk by Nick Draper of the UCL Legacies of British Slave-ownership project. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Wednesday 23 October 6.30-8pm. Why John Archer is Important
In April the Royal Mail issued a stamp to commemorate the election of John Archer in 1913 as  Mayor of Battersea. His  biographer Sean Creighton will explain why Archer is important in Battersea and in black rights politics. He will set the scene for a year long commemoration starting in November (the month of Archer’s election) about Archer’s life and activities, including the last months covering the start of the First World War. Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill, SW11. Free but ring 020 7223 2334 to book seat.

Wednesday 23 October 7-8.30pm. The Dawn of a Black British Jazz 1918-1935
Though people of African ancestry were present in all major cities in Britain and Europe in the early twentieth century they were not able to make a living as musicians in the idioms of their ancestral cultures. More often than not they expressed themselves in African-American idioms, reflecting audience expectations. Howard Rye will look at the ways in which musicians and singers from very varied backgrounds developed and played their own music. Howard is an independent scholar and writer on African-American music. He is currently involved in the  ‘Black Europe’ project which aims to reissue all pre-electric recordings by members of the African diaspora in Europe. Howard was a consultant to the London Schools Remembrance Project (see above). Putney Library, 5/7 Disraeli Road, SW15. Free but ring 020 8780 3085 to book seat.

Thursday 24 October. 1pm. Africans in Medieval & Renaissance Art

Thursday 24 October 6.30-8pm. Black Victorian Britain

Talk by Jeff Green. Victorian Britain had a widespread population of African descent. In the 1850s hundreds of African Americans found sanctuary and opportunities denied them in the USA. There were Africans and Caribbeans who qualified in law, medicine, engineering and music, some settling permanently. Others worked alongside whites, in mines, factories, and at sea. They shared Christian worship in cathedrals, chapels and the Salvation Army. Not confined to cities and ports, black Victorians have been traced in rural Suffolk, Colwyn Bay, Bournemouth, Colchester, Frome (Somerset) and Exeter. Jeff is a an independent historian. His books include Black Edwardians and a biography of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.  Jeff is a founder member of the Samuel-Coleridge-Taylor Network. Northcote Library, 155e Northcote Road, SW11. Free but ring 020 7223 2336 to book seat.

Friday 25 October 6.30-8pm. Looking for Transwonderland
Noo Saro-Wiwa was brought up in England, but every summer she was dragged back to Nigeria – a country she viewed as an annoying parallel universe where she had to relinquish all her creature comforts. Then her father, activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, was murdered there, and she didn't return for 10 years. Recently, she decided to come to terms with the country her father loved and wrote Looking for Transwonderland – a
dark comic memoir/travelogue of a country of great beauty and variety. Noo will discuss her book. Balham Library, 16 Ramsden Road, SW12. (020) 8673 1129.

Friday 25 October 6.30-8pm. Is the way Science and Medicine practiced today our own world view?
Part of the solution to our health crisis is to understand the differences between Western Science and African Science. Mama D and Miz Foody will attempt to define and break down the relationships between science, research, scientific methods and the relationships we have with ourselves. Mama D has lived and worked in Africa. She is active in sustained empowerment research. Miz has worked with those afflicted with AIDS/HIV; is a patron for African Continental foods and is a food science/technology researcher. Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill, SW11. Free but ring 020 7223 2334 to book seat.

Saturday 26 October 3-4pm. Bollywood 100 years
Cinema has become an integral part of Indian culture binding the country together. Ashanti Omkar will talk about the beginnings of Bollywood to the current happenings. She is a freelance journalist, compère, consultant and curator. Tooting Library, 75 Mitcham Road, SW17. Free but ring 020 8767 0543 to book seat.

Saturday 26 October. 2.10pm. The Importance of Identity when sharing a common cultural heritage
Talk by Jak Beula of Nubian Jak Community Trust. Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Saturday 26 October. 6.10pm. Caribbean Migration: It Was Not The Windrush Alone!
Talk by  Donald Hinds.  Part of Paul Robeson Art if a Weapon Festival – see above.

Sunday 27 October. 11amff. National Association Of Black Supplementary Schools Bike Ride Fundraiser
NABSS was started in March 2007 after Mr Nia Imara saw how successful his children were in mainstream school after attending a Black supplementary school in 2001. There was a lot of media attention with the under achievement of Black boy's but not so much in the way of constructive solutions. Nina didn't understand why so many Black parents complained a lot but didn't utilise the services of a Black supplementary school. When parents were asked by Nia why they have not sent their children to a Black supplementary school the first usual answer was "I can't find any". Nia decided to at least try and bust that excuse by setting up a national directory and forming the National Association of Black Supplementary Schools to try and highlight the services available to parents, children and schools. NABSS has since held its first National Conference on 6th April 2007 and was jointly responsible for the very first National Black Supplementary Schools Week during August 2010 which continued every year since with a different theme every year with 2013 being themed "Business and Science" with 8 days at Birkbeck University. Click here or copy link to your browser:

Sunday 27 & Monday 28 October.  The Black Jacobins Revisited: Rewriting History Conference.
*           Sunday 27 October, International Slavery Museum, Liverpool

Robert A. Hill (UCLA and C.L.R. James's Literary Executor), Truth, the Whole Truth, and Revolution-making in The Black Jacobins; Bill Schwarz (QMUL), Primitive Emancipation; Christian Høgsbjerg (Leeds Met), 'The Artist Must Elect to Fight for Freedom': Paul Robeson and the Haitian Revolution; Rachel Douglas (University of Glasgow), Making Drama of the Haitian Revolution From Below: C.L.R. James's The Black Jacobins (1967) Play; Raj Chetty (University of Washington, Seattle), Can a Mulatta be a Black Jacobin?: James, Feminism, and the Place of Collaboration; Raphael Hoermann, (Giessen University), The Eighteenth Brumaire of Toussaint Louverture? C.L.R. James's Poetics of Anti-Colonial Revolution in The Black Jacobins and Marx's Eighteenth Brumaire; Joanna Tegnerowicz (University of Wroclow), 'And now tell us that we are not worthy of freedom ...': Revolutionaries, Race and 'Civilization'; Fabienne Viala (University of Warwick) Sabotage, commemoration and performance: The Black Jacobins and Maryse Condé's An Tan Revolysion; Kelly Brignac (Vanderbildt) 'His Most Paternal Chest': Bourbon Royalism and the Death of Paternalism in Nineteenth-Century Martinique; Daniel Nethery (University of Sydney) The Black Jacobins, Aimé Césaire and Frantz Fanon; Sharon Elizabeth Burke (European University Institute, Florence) 'Reading The Black Jacobins as Pan-African': C.L.R. James and the Greater Diasporic Historical Consciousness; Peter Fraser (Institute of Commonwealth Studies), Generalising the Message of The Black Jacobins: The History of Negro Revolt; Nigel Carter (London Met), Educate-Co-operate-Emancipate: C.L.R. James's  A History of Pan-African Revolt; Raphael Dalleo (Florida Atlantic University) 'The independence so hardly won has been maintained': C.L.R. James and the U.S. Occupation of Haiti; Rafael Gómez (SUNY), In-between the Saints and the Spirits?: Toussaint L'Ouverture's curious relationship with Voodoo reexamined; Rawle Gibbons (University of the West Indies, Director of three Caribbean Productions of The Black Jacobins Play), Dechoukaj!: The Black Jacobins and Liberating Caribbean Theatre; Yvonne Brewster (Director of London Production of The Black Jacobins Play; Founder of Talawa Theatre Company), From Page to Stage.

*           Sunday 27 October 6-7.30 Buffet/wine Reception, Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool. 7.30 Toussaint  Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History. A Reading of Extracts. First performance since 1936 of precursor to C.L.R. James's classic history of the Haitian revolution The Black Jacobins, which started life as a play with Paul Robeson in the lead.
*           Monday 28 October, Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool

Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall (California State University, San Marcos), Beyond The Black Jacobins: Recent Historiography on the Haitian Revolution; Courtney Gildersleeve (University of Minnesota), Facing a Revolutionary: Toussaint Louverture in Bordeaux and Historical Reckoning; David Featherstone (University of Glasgow), The Black Jacobins, Contested Universalities and Insurgent Geographies of Connection; Nick Nesbitt (Princeton), Paradoxes of Production: Labour, Revolution, and Universality in The Black Jacobins; Matthew J. Smith (University of the West Indies), 'The Spirit of the Thing': The Black Jacobins and  Caribbean Discourse on Haiti;  Class Wargames  with Fabian Tompsett (London Psychogeographical Association and Author), Richard Barbrook (University of Westminster), Stefan Lutschinger (Middlesex and State University of Saint Petersburg), Battle of Bedourete: Table-top Simulation of The Black Jacobins; Joseph J. García (University of New Mexico), The Windward Passage to Charismatic Revolutionary Leadership; Scott Henkel (Binghamton), 'There are 2,000 Leaders': C. L. R. James from Slave Revolt to Direct Democracy; Patrick Sylvain (Brown University), Architects of Coup D'état: Bitter Rivalry Among Early Haitian Revolutionary Generals; Jeremy M. Glick (Hunter College), C.L.R. James looks at St John the Baptist Preaching: Bodily Compression and Oceanic Logic of Un-gendering in Robeson, Rilke, Rodin; Jerome Teelucksingh (University of the West Indies), Rise of the Black Jacobins: Impact of the Haitian Revolution; Selma James (activist and writer), Black Jacobins: History as a Political Weapon; Frank Rosengarten (CUNY), The Interplay between Literature and History in C.L.R. James's The Black Jacobins; Selwyn Cudjoe (Wellesley), C. L. R. James and his Intellectual Background (Trinidad & Tobago).
*           Conference organised with support from: the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the International Slavery Museum, the Bluecoat, Society for the Study of French History, Society for French Studies, the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France, University of Glasgow, University of Liverpool, the Royal Historical Society, and the Alliance Française de Glasgow. Conference organisers: Dr Rachel Douglas, University of Glasgow (; Kate Hodgson, University of Liverpool (

Monday 28 October.  Diwali festival
Balham Library: 10.45 -11.45 am. 16 Ramsden Road, SW12.
Tooting Library: 2-4pm. 75 Mitcham Road, SW17.
Diwali is the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu, Sikh and Jain festivals. Its the festival of lights. Come and celebrate Diwali with rhythm and dance with local community choreographer Ragini Rajgopal and her Natiya Alaya students. They will take you on a journey through the Asian cultural celebrations with folk and classical dances. Free but booking essential through Tooting Library. 020  8767 0543

Monday 28 October. 7pm. Race and racism in a post-racial age: 20 years on since the murder of Stephen Lawrence
Dr Nicola Rollock. Claudia Jones Lecture 2013. Nicola Rollock is deputy director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education. Her interests lie in examining race inequity in British society and in understanding how minoritised groups navigate and survive racism. She is best known for her recent research The educational strategies of the black middle classes, which received widespread coverage in the press, and the seminal report The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 10 Years On, the conclusions of which were debated in parliament. Dr Rollock was head of education of The Runnymede Trust. Venue: Thomson Reuters HQ, Auditorium, 1st Floor, 30 South Colonnade, Thomson Reuters, Canary Wharf, London, E14. If you would like to attend the lecture, please email Lena Calvert, NUJ equality officer at

Tuesday 29 October. 6.30-8.30pm. Word Power: Together We Can!

Andrew Muhammad presents highlights African British civil rights, followed by Q&A. Creative writing and performance speaking to civil rights theme from youth workshop facilitated by Music4Causes rapper Kimba. Light refreshments available. Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1. Harrow & Wealdstone station or Harrow On The Hill station. Free. For more information or to book:

Wednesday 30 October. 2.30-3.30pm. Life of Mary Seacole
Through the eyes of her sister  Louisa Grant, we learn about the life of Mary Seacole, the Jamaican nurse who looked after soldiers in the Crimean War. Come along and also learn about her life growing up as a child in Jamaica and her ambition to become a nurse. South Lambeth Library, 180 South Lambeth Road, SW8. 020 7926 0705.

Wednesday 30 October 6.30-8pm. Legacies of British slave-ownership
Nick Draper and Kate Donington will talk about work underway at University College London on British slave-owners and their legacies, and demonstrate a new database that contains the project's work so far, highlighting local connections to slavery in and around Battersea, Lavender Hill and Clapham. The database as a whole sheds light on the connections between slavery and the formation of modern Britain in the 19th century, and represents a new tool for local and family historians, teachers, and community representatives. You will also have the opportunity to explore the database for yourself. Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill, SW11. Free but ring 020 7223 2334 to book seat.

Thursday 31 October, Friday 1 & Saturday 2 November. 7.30pm. "Troubled Island", the opera by William Grant Still (1895-1978)
with libretto by Langston Hughes (1902-1967). Thee Black Swan Theatre & Opera Company. Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate, N6. Call 0208 340 3488. Do not miss the first chance in the UK to see a taster presentation of this major work. Working in New York and Los Angeles as a performer and arranger of popular music and a composer of concert music and grand opera with over 150 works to his name, the Black American musician William Grant Still combined European, New World and African musical heritages to create a unique modernist style which fused and transcended the contemporary influences of classical and jazz.  "Troubled Island" (1949) tells the story of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, once a slave, then a rebel general and first Emperor of Haiti in the age of Napoleon. With dynamic scenes of heroism, love, betrayal and murder, as a commentary on the revolutionary life it parallels the better known tragedies of Spartacus and Emiliano Zapata. Tickets £7. Thee Black Swan can be contacted on 07747 770 722.

Friday 1 November. 2.30-3.30pm. The Journey of Gospel Music
Music industry and history consultant Kwaku provides an audio-visual and interactive presentation aimed at young people (adults are welcome) which tells the journey of gospel music from America to Britain, and London in particular. Join us, as we explore the meaning of gospel music. Find out about how it started, some of the early pioneers who introduced the music to Britain, the friendships and creative collaborations between the American gospel singers and British singers and composers and where gospel music is at in today’s British music scene. Do you know which gospel song introduced from America over 100 years ago is now a British sports anthem?  Carnegie Library, 188 Herne Hill Road, London,  SE24. 020 7926 6050.

Saturday 2 November. 2-3.20pm. Finding Your Caribbean Ancestry
Caribbean Ancestry island Research workshop. Norbury Library. To order ticket telephone 020 8726 6900.

Monday 4 November. 6.30-8pm. Among the Bloodpeople: Politics & Flesh
Born to Jamaican parents in the Bronx, Thomas Glave grew up there and in Kingston, Jamaica. He is Professor of English at the State University of New York teaching creative writing and courses on Caribbean, African-American, black British, postcolonial, and queer literatures, among other topics. His latest work Among the Bloodpeople reveals a passionate commitment to social justice and human truth. He is presently a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill, SW11. Free but ring 020 7223 2334 to book seat.

Thursday 7 November. 6.30-8.30pm. Claudia Jones & Amy Ashwood Garvey: Sisters In Civil Rights Activism
Esther Stanford-Xosei highlights the post-1960s work of the two female activists, followed by Q&A. Light refreshments available. Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow,  HA1. Harrow & Wealdstone station or Harrow On The Hill station. Free. For more information or to book:

Thursday 7 November. 7.30pm. Waka Hasegawa Plays Coleridge-Taylor
Waka will play Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Valse Suite "Three- Fours", Dvořák’s  Dumka and Furiant,
Hilary Robinson’s 10.10.10, and Rachmaninoff/Grainger’s  3rd Mov. of Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto. There will also be a singer. St George's, Bloomsbury.
Friday 8 & Saturday 9 November. 8pm. "Troubled Island", the opera by William Grant Still (1895-1978)
with libretto by Langston Hughes (1902-1967). Thee Black Swan Theatre & Opera Company. Catford Broadway Studio Theatre, Catford, SE6. Call 0208 690 0002.

Sunday 10 November.  7.30pm. "Troubled Island", the opera by William Grant Still (1895-1978)
with libretto by Langston Hughes (1902-1967). Thee Black Swan Theatre & Opera Company. The Wilberforce Theatre, The Museum of London, Docklands,  E14. Call 0207 001 9844.

Wednesday 13 November. 1.10pm. Waka Hasegawa  Lunchtime Concert
Waka will play Coleridge-Taylor’s  From Forest Scenes "Characteristic Pieces for Piano, The Lone Forest Maiden  No.3  The Phantom tells his tale of longing, and Moorish Dance, along with Dvořák’s  Dumka and Furiant , Chopin’s Nocturns Op.27 No.1 & No.2, Op.48 No.1 and Liszt’s Rigoletto-Paraphrase. St. Sepulchre, the Musicians Church, Holborn Viaduct, London EC1.
Thursday 14 November. 1.15-2pm.  The Motherland Calls
Stephen Bourne commemorates the RAF officer Ulric Cross and other black servicemen and women from the British Empire who enlisted to fight in the Second World War. National Portrait Gallery (Ondaatje Wing Theatre), St Martin’s Place, London, WC2. Admission Free.