October is Black History Month. And while the history and contributions of people of African and Caribbean heritage should be recognised all year round, the month plays an important role in bringing Black British history into sharp focus.
Following the murder of George Floyd in May, the subsequent resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, Covid-19 revealing persistent levels of societal inequality, the 2020 BHM programme is particularly pertinent with academics, performers and artists exploring Black representation at a time of such upheaval.
This year, Culture Liverpool, BlackFest, Writing On The Wall, Liverpool City Region Music Board and a plethora of other organisations are hosting events and projects which brings vital history to the fore. Here are a few of the highlights from Liverpool’s Black History Month programming taking place across October.
BLM Digital Soundscape
23/10 – Online
BlackFest produced this amazing piece of work earlier this year featuring a wide variety of voices which channel the Black experience. For BHM, artists will come together to perform the piece live. blackfest.co.uk
ON RECORD – Untold & Retold
23/10 onwards – Online and various venues
Through performance, debate and exclusive content, this project in partnership with LCR Music Board will celebrate, honour and showcase Merseyside’s Black music past, present and future. More details are to be announced on this programme soon.
14/10 – Online
The Man Booker Prize winning author will talk about his life and work with fellow writer Irenosen Okojie as part of Writing On The Wall’s BHM activity. wowfest.co.uk
Rising Pheonix: Music, Race and Disability
3/10 – Online
WOWFest will also be bringing together some of the stars of forthcoming Netflix documentary Rising Pheonix to discuss the role of music in the representation of disability. On the panel is Keith Jones, Toni Hickman and George Doman. wowfest.co.uk
Decolonise The Curriculum
7/10 – Online
This event will address a topic which has again come to the fore following the toppling of the William Colston Statue in Bristol as Britain has been forced to reflect on its shameful past. Dr Leona Vaughn and Dr Lucienne Loh look at the case for calling for a presence on school curriculum. wowfest.co.uk
Black History Month Lecture Series
7,14 and 21/10 – Online
Liverpool Hope University are hosting a series of three free lectures. Historian Florecen Adeoye, author Dave Clay, who wrote 1919-2019 A Liverpool Black History, and Hakim Adi, Britain’s first Black history professor will deliver the talks. For a ticket email Associate Professor Bryce Evans.
Celebrating Liverpool’s Black Artists
6-25/10 – Bluecoat
Liverpool based artist Sumuyya Khader is showcasing the work of five Black artists from Liverpool along Bluecoat’s Blundell Lane facade. The project responds to a lack of visibility for Liverpool Black artists and features Khader, Amber Akaunu, Kiara Mohamed, Salma Noor and Millie Toyin Olateju. thebluecoat.org.uk
For full listings visit cultureliverpool.co.uk/bhm/