A host of events planned for Black History Month in Nottingham

Edith Bellot wearing the traditional costume of Dominica, based on French eighteenth century fashion.

A photography exhibition about life in the Caribbean and a lecture by a former Black Panther are just some of the events being held in Nottingham this October as part of Black History Month.

At New Art Exchange in Hyson Green staff are inviting people to help them commemorate the rich history, culture and heritage of black communities and to celebrate their contributions to British culture.

This year’s Black History Month marks the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and Glenis Williams, who is the Community and Engagement Officer at New Art Exchange, says it is the perfect time to stop and reflect.

“Black History Month has become one of a few vehicles where we can stop, reflect and focus our cultural programming; a time where African and African Caribbean people can drive and continue to commemorate their presence and achievements in Britain and the rest of the world,” she said.

“New Art Exchange champions Black History Month because remembering this history is not only an important journey but remembering key milestones of the past can only strengthen and inform our future.”

There will be an opportunity to explore the issues that affect African and African Caribbean communities in Nottingham at NAE’s free VOCAL event which takes place between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Thursday. Everyone is encouraged to engage with this critical discussion by asking questions, responding to comments and listening to the perspectives of academics, professionals and community members. The event will be opened by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Mertilla Byran.

On Friday, New Art Exchange will screen Better Mus’ Come, an award-winning film from Storm Saulter. Better Mus’ Come is a tale of rebellion, revolution, struggle and redemption and is set in Jamaica during the political turmoil of the late 1970s in the climatic lead up to Green Bay Massacre.

This is followed by a screening of John Akomfrah’s acclaimed documentary Stuart Hall Project at the Broadway cinema on 14th October at 6pm. In the film, Akomfrah recognises the accomplishments of Stuart Hall, a Jamaican-born academic based in England, who was influential in founding cultural theory as a discipline. Roger Bromley, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham, will introduce this screening.

A new exhibition which explores life in the Caribbean will launch at New Art Exchange on 24th October and runs until 4th January. For this project, NAE invited members of Nottingham’s Caribbean community, including young people and elders, to reimagine photographs from the National Archive through expressing personal memories, feelings, and stories. The launch event will take place on 24th October between 5pm and 7pm and everyone is welcome to attend.

Meanwhile, at the University of Nottingham, members of the public are invited to a lecture by the ex-Black Panther, activist and author JoNina Abron Ervin who will be talking about her book Driven by the Movement.

Speaking ahead of the event, which takes place on Thursday, Dr Claire Taylor, Associate Professor in the Department of History at the university, said: “JoNina Abron Ervin is one of the most interesting women to have emerged from the Black Power movement in the US. Her reflections on it provide a unique way for students to understand it historically and politically. We are grateful to her for including Nottingham in her tour dates, coinciding with Black History Month.”

Alongside this, the university will be hosting a number of lectures and film screenings. On 16th October, David Blight, Professor of American History at Yale University, will give a lecture called American oracle? Remembering the civil war in the civil rights era. In addition, Professor Cecile Wright, honorary lecturer in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, will give a lecture entitled Black youth, neo-liberalism, possibilities and limitations of individual agency and resistance on 30th October. There will also be screenings of the 2011 film The Help today (Tuesday) and Freedom Song tomorrow (Wednesday) as well as talks by Professor Sharon Monteith and Professor Zoe Trodd.

For details on any of the events at NAE call (0115) 9248630 or visit www.nae.org.uk. Tickets for the Stuart Hall Project www.broadway.org.uk screening are available from Broadway by calling (0115) 9526 611. Further details about events  at the University of Nottingham are available via blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/blackhistorymonth.

Posted on 08 October 2013
Featured author: Catherine Allen Marketing Assistant

Arts fan, runner and cyclist who has been living in Nottingham for more than a decade. Loves real ale, craft beer, good food, travelling and sausage dogs.

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