Manchester University news

Black History Month: a round-up of events

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This month we celebrate Black History Month in the UK, and the University is taking the opportunity to recognise and appreciate our Black history at numerous events taking place across the University.

Live performance from Testament – 5 October

The programme of activity kicks off with a live performance from Testament, an acclaimed playwright, musician and performer, at our very own Martin Harris Centre on Wednesday 5 October. 

Lecture by Professor David Olusoga – 10 October

Professor David Olusoga OBE takes to the stage at the Whitworth Art Gallery on Monday 10 October to host a lecture exploring what it means to be Black and British and the role of Black History today. He will then be attending the Manchester Literature Festival on Saturday 15 October for a special ‘in conversation’ session hosted by Ellah P Wakatama. 

This month will also see the launch of a report into Racial Bias and the Judiciary by Eithne Quinn and colleagues in the School of Arts, Languages and Culture (SALC).

‘We are Carnival’ celebration at Central Library – 27 October

The University’s Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre & Education Trust, with support from ESRC Festival of Social Sciences, and Manchester Libraries are hosting a series of events during October focusing on the theme of ‘Carnival’, exploring how carnivals have become festivals and celebrations tied to freedom and emancipation from slavery. The main event – ‘We are Carnival!’ will feature a live music session with a DJ, a book display, spoken word poetry by local artists, food and a craft session for families.

Carnival history workshops – 5 October and 26 October

These workshops will be delivered by historian Linford Sweeney and will celebrate the history of the carnival and will educate residents on the important origins of the African Caribbean communities in Manchester. For the family workshop there will also be a craft session running alongside for younger children.

Black History Month at HOME 

Sound sessions live music night – 1 October and 8 October 

Comedy with Tez Ilyas and Dane Baptiste – 1 October and 8 October

Melanin Markets Manchester – 9 October 12pm-5pm

Melanin Markets Manchester is a travelling events company that celebrates and promotes Black-owned businesses, vibrantly, within unorthodox spaces, not usually frequented by the Black community.

For the first time ever, this event will uplift and spotlight Black men in business. There will be over 30 businesses taking over the ground floor of HOME on Sunday 9 October from 12-5 and there will be an exciting variety of East African, Caribbean and fusion food and drink businesses, as well as live art and hair services, alongside African clothing and adult and child accessories on offer.

All free to attend and we encourage ALL communities to come down and support!

About Black History Month

Black History month is an annual celebration of the achievements made by Black people. In the United Kingdom Black History month is celebrated in the month of October. It is used as a time to give appreciation and recognition of the positive contributions that Black people have made to British Society and Internationally. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate accomplishments, share learning, and allows us time to reflect on the past, whilst being proud of our culture and identity.

BAME Network Co-Chairs, Loraine Mckoy and Laverne Condappa-ward said: “The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network actively strives to raise the voices, visibility and representation of its network members, their experiences, and achievements all year round.

“Whilst we strongly believe we are all part of the shared history of Britain, Black History Month and this event in particular, allows us to centre the focus sharply on structural inequalities, in particular health inequalities for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, which were so stark over the course of the pandemic.”

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