Celebrating Black History Month

  • Date

    Wed 29 Sep 21

A young Black man at a protest wearing a t-shirt that says: I love my history, I love my culture, I love my people, I love me

The Essex community will be coming together throughout October to celebrate Black History Month, with arts events at the centre of the programme.

Black British artists will be showcased between 4 October and 20 November in Art Exchange’s exhibition Breathing the Light.

Inspired by the vision and optimism of former Essex student and famed Nigerian poet Ben Okri, the exhibition will feature works by some of the most exciting and thought-provoking artists working in the UK today, including Larry Achiampong, Emma Hart, Daniel & Clara, Joy Labinjo, Urara Tsuchiya, Barbara Walker and Caroline Walker

The exhibition will be complemented by a series of events including a curator’s tour on 20 October and an artist’s talk with Joy Labinjo and Larry Achiampong on 10 November.

Researcher and playwright Dr Holly Maples, from East 15 Acting School, will be touring her new show, Breaking the Silence, around the UK celebrating the lives of British slavery abolitionists. The tour, which starts in Morecombe on 2 October, features site-specific performances at locations connected to the British slave trade.

Between 4 and 22 October The Minories in Colchester will host an exhibition celebrating the Black Lives Matter movement. Curated by Essex student Sophie Kabangu, The Art of Protest will feature over a hundred placards, photographs and commentaries from Colchester’s first Black Lives Matter protest, which Sophie organised in the summer of 2020.

Events at our Colchester Campus will include Black Primed, a Black-owned business market hosted by the Students’ Union on 23 October, and an exhibition of Ghanaian art.

There will also be events in Colchester that students and staff can take part in, including a Community Day Celebration on 2 October at Firstsite, the launch of a new book about minority communities and leadership by Rachel Walton at Firstsite on 12 October, and an evening of music and entertainment at The Mercury Theatre on 23 October, as well as an online discussion about Black men and mental health on 12 October.

Details for some events are still being finalised. See the full programme as it’s updated.