The best Black History Month events 2016

Happy Black History Month! Celebrate and explore the culture and history of black Caribbean and African peoples. Here’s a tiny selection of some of the best events happening around the UK

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1. Father Comes Home From the Wars: Play, London 15 Sept – 22  Oct

Watch this trilogy of short plays set in Texas, 1862, portraying the story of a black slave who is promised freedom if he participates in the war. Standard tickets start at £12

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2. #ImIrish Public Opening, London. 6 October

Marking the centenary year of Irish independence and Black History Month, this event launches an exhibition exploring the stories of non-white Irish people.

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3. Photographing Britain’s Black History, Manchester. 6  October 5.30 – 7.30pm

Visit Manchester Central Library to view Ian Johns and Charlie Phillips exhibition of curated photographs documenting black British communities and hear them discuss their experiences.

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4. Sorrow for a Cipher by Lynette Liadom Boakey at Corvi Mora, London. Closing 8 October

Take the opportunity to see the Ghanaian British artist’s arresting works on display at Corvi Mora. Her beautifully dark and detailing paintings depict sole, black subjects painted on canvas.

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5. Black Paris: Film Screening, London. 11 October 7-9pm

Immerse yourself in the world of Black Paris, a film portraying the exciting yet febrile inter-war period, where black American stars including Josephine Baker, and the creators of American jazz, found solace from the brutality of US segregation.

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6. Back to Our Roots, Bristol. 15 October 11am – 5pm

The Back to Our Roots day of drama, talks and music is just one of many events Bristolians have the chance to attend this month. Take the chance to learn how to research your ancestry with the help of archivists, researchers and authors.angelou_at_clinton_inauguration

7. Maya Talks, Liverpool. 21 October 2 – 3.30 pm

Courtesy of the Liverpool Museum, join Empresshjai, a lecturer and writer, for an evening of discussion and poetry in honour of the author, poet and teacher, Maya Angelou. It’s a drop in event, so no need to book – just turn up!

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8. Creative Café: Black History month and poetry, Manchester. 27 October 2 – 5pm

Creative Café’s afternoon of poetry and readings from a library of LGBT and feminist literature is a great and safe way to explore sidelined narratives in black history and literature. RSVP here.

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9. Cocktails and Conversation on Black History, London. 28 October 6.15 – 10pm

Black Ballad’s first ever event is an evening of talks over cocktails on the integral influence of black women in the shaping of black history. Speakers include poet and freelance writer Bridget Minamore, Ade Hassan, founder of Nubian Skin, and Fiona Rutherford, a Buzzfeed reporter. Early bird tickets start at £19.

14484722_940203969418763_2763732539876137980_n10. Black History Month Walk Tour, Glasgow. Sunday’s throughout October 1 – 3pm

Led by Deborah Ramsay and Marenka Thompson-Odlum, these walking tours guide their participants through the city, providing and insight into Scotland’s longstanding connections with black communities. Book here

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11. Black Community Trail, Liverpool. 1 October – 3 October

With the oldest black community in Europe, Liverpool is a city shaped by the stories of these ever changing peoples and their stories. Join the Museum of Liverpool for a free Black Community Trail starting from the 1700s until the present day.


If you’re looking for more, try visiting the Back History Month website to see if there’s anything happening in your area, or visit your local council website. You can even DIY your own Black History Month. Take the time to read works by black authors from across the diaspora. Host your own film night and watch films by black directors. Knock up a celebratory dinner with plantains as the centrepiece (naturally). Explore your own personal archives by pouring over old family albums, or starting up conversations with older generations of your family and/or friends about their experiences of being young, black and living in Britain. Celebrate your history everyday by staring in the mirror, acknowledging your heritage and yourself as both the presence of a new, unique experience, and the culmination of generations before you.

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