Event Series

Black History Month

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Celebrating Black History Month

The origins of Black History Month date back to 1920s, when it was established in the US. Today in the UK we celebrate Black History Month in October and it has become important in the cultural calendar of many organisations including universities.

The event is intended to recognise the contribution and achievements of those with African or Caribbean heritage. It is also an opportunity for people to learn more about the effects of racism and how to challenge negative stereotypes.

Our University talks and events programme reflects and celebrates our community throughout the year. As part of this, we celebrate Black History Month with a wide range of SU and University events, including in Art Exchange as part of the current exhibition ‘A fire in my head’. 

This page will be continually updated throughout the year as events are confirmed.

Black History Month in Library and Cultural Services

To celebrate Black History Month we have created this reading list. It's full of classics, modern classics and factual works by Black authors or about Black history.

We have added in some interesting video accompaniments to our reading list, which you can view on Box of Broadcasts (available free of charge for all current University of Essex staff and students).

Decolonising the Library

We have been actively working on the Decolonising the Library project for the last few years. Last year, we worked with two student champions to engage students with the subject of decolonising the Library. We created a short introductory video and started ‘deep-dive’ activities, where students research and select titles to diversify selected areas of the Library collections. For Black History Month we are showcasing some of the titles chosen by students with our Black History Month book display.

Southend and Loughton

At Southend and Loughton come and check out our displays where we will be giving you ideas of content to read, watch and listen to from Drama Online and our ‘Black Drama’ collection which includes 1,700 plays. 

Events

A Fire in My Head

Date: Tuesday 4 October – Friday 16 December

Location: Art Exchange

Essex students Organise – Educate – Agitate

This exhibition brings together stories from the life of the University of Essex, as defined by its students.

Find out more on about the exhibition on the Art Exchange website.

 

A Fire in My Head Launch Party

Date: Thursday 6 October, 6pm-8pm

Join us to celebrate the opening of our latest exhibition, A Fire in My Head.

An exhibition that brings together stories from the life of the University of Essex, as defined by its students.

All welcome.

Find out more about the exhibition on the Art Exchange website.

 

Black Students Mixer

Date: Thursday 6 October, 7pm-10pm

Location: The Atrium

The Black Students Network Presents their first community mixer of the year. Join Jamane, Colchester’s black student community officer in celebrating your culture and heritage.

Find out more on the Students’ Union webpage.

 

Centre for Public History Black History Month Public Lecture

Date: Wednesday 12 October, 5pm-7pm

Location: EBS 2.65

Professor Lucy Bland (Anglia Ruskin University) will be giving this Black History Month public lecture on 'The War Babies of Black GIs and White British Women: racism, exclusion and the search; for belonging'.

Find out more about this lecture on the Centre for Public History event on their webpage.

 

Energy: Carnival Edition!

Date: Tuesday 18 October, 10pm-3am

Location: Sub Zero

Join us to party the night away to all your favourite R&B, Dancehall and Grime songs you can think of.

Find out more on the Students’ Union webpage.

 

Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship (CISC) Seminar

Date: Wednesday 19 October, 4pm

Location: Online

Dr Jacqueline Sanchez-Taylor (Department of Law and Criminology, Royal Holloway, University of London): ‘'Is it because I am black? Reflecting on Race, Sex and Gender in Research'.

 

Black History Month: CINE10 Presents - 42

Date: Thursday 20 October, 2pm-5pm

Location: CINE 10

Set in 1940's America, 42 follows the story of the great Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) the first Black athlete to play Major League Baseball.

Find out more on the Students’ Union webpage.

 

Black History Month: Open Mic Night

Date: Tuesday 25 October, 7pm-10pm

Location: Lakeside Theatre

Are you someone who enjoys live performances such as comedians, singers and poets? Then this event is something for you!

Find out more on the Students’ Union webpage.

 

Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Forum Launch

Date: Wednesday 26 October, 1pm-6pm

Location: Lakeview Room.

 

Centre for Public History Black History Month Seminar: Chiara Candaele

Date: Wednesday 26 October, 4pm-5.30pm

Location: Colchester Campus, 5N.3.2

Chiara Candaele will be giving this Black History Month seminar on 'Resolution Metris: A governmental inquiry into forced separations of mixed-race minors in Belgian Africa (1885 1962)'

Find out more about this seminar on the Centre for Public History event on their webpage.

 

Black History Month: Town Hall Event

Date: Wednesday 26 October, 4pm-6pm

Location: The Atrium

Find out more on the Students’ Union webpage.

 

Black History Month: CINE10 Presents - The Help

Date: Thursday 27 October, 2pm-5pm

Location: CINE 10

Set in 1960's at the heart of the Civil rights movement in Mississippi, The Help is the story of aspiring Writer Skeeter (Emma Stone) and her book detailing the African American maids' point of view of the white families they work for, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Find out more on the Students’ Union webpage.

 

Events in Colchester and the surrounding areas

Essex Cultural Diversity Project

ECDP is supporting events and activities taking place across the county of Essex for Black History Month. There are a number of events taking place across Essex, organised by their friends and collaborators.

 

Colchester Black History Month

The theme for Black History Month Colchester 2022 is Health and Well-Being” focusing on the celebrations of the acknowledgement and the achievements of Black people in the UK and addressing issues around safeguarding Mental Health in our BME communities.

Find out more about Colchester Black History Month on their webpage.

 

Mercury Theatre

LATES – Black History Month: Black Out

Date: Friday 28 October, 9.30pm

An event celebrating talent, culture and heritage we will showcase local Essex artists, Colchester’s finest wordsmiths and premiere a short film that pays homage to the ever-growing community in Essex.

Find out more about this event on the Mercury Theatre webpage.

Previous Black History Month events

2021-22

  • Breaking the Silence Tour: An immersive performance written and directed by Dr Holly Maples, educator and scholar at the University of Essex and Dr Inge Dornan, Historian at Brunel University London designed to raise awareness of the 18th Century Slave Trade in Britain and celebrate 18th century Black British Abolitionists.
  • Breathing the Light: The exhibition showcased work by some of the most exciting and thought-provoking artists working in the UK today, including Larry Achiampong, Emma Hart, Daniel and Clara, Joy Labinjo, Urara Tsuchiya, Barbara Walker and Caroline Walker.
  • Breathing the Light Launch Party: We raised a glass to the artists in the exhibition who utilised creativity as an act of resistance as they looked afresh at the world around us during these unprecedented times.
  • Lakeside Theatre-Audition workshops: BAFTA nominated and award-winning actress and playwright Yolanda Mercy does 6 weeks of audition workshops.
  • New Voices in Black British History: The Centre for Public History invited three of the most exciting new voices in Black British History to participate in a roundtable.
  • Breathing the Light-Curator's Tour: Curator Jess Twyman did a live online tour of Breathing the Light, expanding on the themes and ideas behind the artworks on show.
  • Navigating the challenges of Higher Education: the lived experiences of Black academics
  • Black Primed Market: A showcase of Black-owned businesses: Essex Students’ Union Present Black Primed, a showcase of Black-owned businesses coming to Colchester campus.
  • Black Primed: An exhibition that brings together Black artists working in Britain today.
  • Participatory theatre and production of cultures of equality with and by sex workers in Cape Town: An insightful seminar with Dr Phoebe Kisubi at the Centre for intimate and sexual citizenship.
  • Spotlight on: Ellis George: She spoke about what it was like to be a part of such a pivotal film for Black Brits, as it highlighted a forgotten part of history. 
  • A Black Renaissance (1924-1930): Reimagined Futures and Pasts: Dr Jak Peake examined the ways that a Black-led Renaissance in literature and the arts was conceived and its repercussion for conceptions of Black history.
  • Cine10 Presents: Moonlight: A young African-American man grapples with his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood.
  • Breathing the Light – Artist's Talk with Joy Labinjo and Larry Achiampong: They both showed work in the exhibition Breathing the Light- they expanded on the inspiration behind their work.
  • Race, Gender and Policing: An insightful online seminar with Professor Aisha K. Gill PhD CBE at the Centre of Criminology.

Events in Colchester and the surrounding areas

  • Essex Cultural Diversity Project: ECDP is supporting Black History Month.
  • Colchester Black History Month – Public Opening Day: One Colchester Community Hub shopfront had art exhibits, presentations, talks, "Live" Music and displays for all of the community.
  • Mercury Theatre-Antigone: The modern retelling of the classic Greek tragedy is a powerful thriller whose poetic passion transcends time.
  • Firstsite Black History Month Community Day Celebration: Hosted Black History Month Colchester 2021 for a day of celebrations and entertainment.
  • Black Lives Matters – The Art of Protest: Placards and Pens: Curated by trustee, Sophie Kabangu, The Art of Protest brings together over a hundred of the placards created for the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
  • Colchester Black History Month - The Festival of Navaratri: Navaratri is a Hindu festival that spans nine nights and is celebrated every year in the autumn. 
  • Colchester Black History Month – ‘The Spoken Word’: An evening of music and entertainment in the new bar and restaurant at The Mercury, with Omar Aziz, Antony Woodley and Poet Lawrence Savage.
  • Colchester Black History Month @ One Colchester Community Hub Youth Activities – Learn to Draw: Learn to Draw is a fun tutorial for young people to try easy techniques to learn and to improve their creative talents. 
  • Colchester Black History Month - The Prevention of Suicide Amongst Black Men – “A Time to Talk”: Black History Colchester and African Families in a UK Zoom meeting that aims to bring together Black men for “A Time to Talk.” 
  • Colchester Black History Month - AFiUK Community Surgery @ One Colchester Community Hub: Hosted the African Families in the UK Staff and volunteers to provide a community advice surgery.
  • Colchester Black History Month – Tilbury Bridge Walkway of Memories art installation video tour: Tilbury Bridge Walkway is an iconic location which has an historic significance to the Black community in Britain. 
  • Colchester Black History Month – Domino Tournament: The first, Colchester Caribbean Elders “V” Southend Caribbean community group “Dominoes Tournament” for all of the community.
  • Black History Month Dovercourt and Harwich: Why do we celebrate Black History Month and the arrival of Empire Windrush to Tilbury, Essex with power points, slide shows and video.
  • Colchester Black History Month – The Ambassador book launch at Firstsite: The official launch of a new publication “The Ambassador” by Author Rachel Walton.
  • Colchester Black History Month @ One Colchester Community Hub Youth activities - ‘Stop and Search – Know Your Rights’: The understanding of your individual rights and the correct procedures that a police officer should comply to when executing Stop and Search. 
  • Colchester Black History Month – Celebrating Tubby Hayes screening: Celebrating the talents of the late, great Tubby Hayes, Firstsite screened ‘Tubby Hayes: A Man in a Hurry’.
  • Colchester Black History Month – Celebrating Tubby Hayes concert: Celebrating Tubby Hayes: The Simon Spillett Quartet at the Colchester Arts Centre.
  • Black History Month Clacton: Why do we celebrate Black History Month and the arrival of Empire Windrush to Tilbury, Essex with power points, slide shows and video.
  • The UK Black Business Show 2021: The show will highlighted the achievements and contributions Black businesses have made to the economy.

 

2020-21

Ipswich Museum Decolonisation + Democratisation live-streams

  • Decolonisation + Democratisation: Historian, comedian, writer and museum curator, Subhadra Das talks to the Art’s Council’s, Liam Wiseman.
  • Reinterpretating Regions: We delve into the place-based projects ‘Snapping the Stiletto’ and the Museum of London’s, ‘Curating London’.
  • Community Created Permanent Displays: Manchester Museums and the Science Museum talk through their experiences, as they went from community contribution to co-creation.
  • Beyond the Museum’s Walls: Through loans and international partnerships, the Courtauld Institute and Brighton and Hove Museums take us further afield.
  • Sharing Power: Ipswich Museums, the South London Gallery and York Museums Trust reveal some of the hidden and, often hard histories being brought to the fore.
  • All together now: We welcome back all our speakers, as Subhadra Das chairs a wrap-up roundtable.

Colchester and surrounding areas

  • Essex Cultural Diversity Project: A range of events taking place across Essex, organised by their friends and collaborators.
  • Windrush pop-up exhibition: Colchester Castle displays banners from the Essex Cultural Diversity Project detailing information about the early days of the ship, the voyage and life in Britain for those that arrived by the ship as well as their descendants.
  • Black History Month at the British Library: A range of events reflecting the history, lives and contributions of people of African and Caribbean descent.
  • Colchester Black History Month – Being Black in Essex: Hi-lites of BHM Colchester activities, an interview with a local Colchester student and music from DJ Michelle Lu-Hang.
  • Mercury Online - Black, Essex and Here 2.0: We are creatives, we are from Essex and we are black and we’ll be asking where do we fit in? Where are the stories in live-performance that reflect our Essex heritage and experience?
  • Colchester Black History Month – Being Black in Essex: Hi-lites of BHM activities, an interview with Black Lives Matter Colchester Chairperson and Lead Activist, Sophie Kabangu and music from Michelle and Sydney.
  • Colchester Black History Month – Being Black in Essex: Hi-lites of BHM Colchester activities, an interview with student and LGBTQ activist Racheale Fontenella with music from Michelle and Craig.
  • Colchester Black History Month – Prevention of Suicide amongst Black Men: A closer look at mental health issues in BAME communities with guest speakers.
  • Colchester Black History Month – Being Black in Essex: Hi-lites of BHM Colchester activities and an interview with Educator and Entrepreneur Godwin Daudu.
  • Colchester Black History Month – Being Black in Essex: Hi-lites of BHM Colchester activities and an interview with the Chair of the Minority Ethnic Support Association and the General Secretary of the Black Police Association. Mac Neife. With music by Omar Aziz.