Our weekly series of news, events and recommendations.
This month is Black History Month, so throughout October we will be sharing articles, news and events which celebrate Black history and culture.
‘Proud to Be’ Black History Month 2021
Lynda-Louise Burrell, Creative Director at Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum, shares her Black inspirational figures.
‘It’s often said that the hand that holds the pen writes history and that’s certainly true when it comes to those who have written the historical records that have helped shape the narrative of British history. A narrative that has omitted the stories of black people in Britain throughout the ages.
Some writers have simply not recorded facts because they don’t fit the narrative they want to hear, or want others to know in fear that black people would take the power that’s rightfully ours. Some information has been ‘lost’, deliberately destroyed, or kept in buildings which have conveniently been burned down, their records destroyed forever.
But whatever the history books don’t say, black people have been visible, have had a presence, and have made huge contributions to Britain for centuries, since Roman times. Let’s put the spotlight on just some of the black people who were creative and talented, marvel at tales that stretch back hundreds of years, proud to be receivers of their wisdom today.’
Dance Can’t Nice: Exploring London’s Black music spaces
The 696 risk assessment introduced by London’s Metropolitan police in 2005 required the city’s nightclub and venue promoters to provide details of the events they planned to host, including the ethnicity of their target audience. This made it increasingly difficult for London venues to stage Black music events and caused many genres of Black music to move out of the public realm and into private spaces where it continued to thrive and grow.
This Horniman Museum exhibition features a combination of work by two contemporary artists: Naeem David and SignKid. Naeem Davis recreates the private spaces where Black music genres thrived, from bedrooms, barbers and living rooms, to community churches. This is complimented by an exploration into British Sign Language versions of key slang words and phrases from Black British music through interactive video by SignKid.
It interrogates the power and responsibility of public spaces to support and amplify local music, and celebrates the Black British music scene particularly in the museum’s local area of South London.
Dance Can't Nice: Exploring London’s Black music spaces - Horniman Museum and Gardens
Black Cultural Archives
Since 1981 Black Cultural Archives (BCA) has embarked on the journey to collect and preserve materials which redress the historical balance and representation of people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain. Their archive collection is now one of the most comprehensive collections that document the history and cultural heritage of Black Britain.
Originating as a community archive amassed over many years, the archive has been transformed into a professional archive that meets international quality standards and houses over 50 sq metrics of archival materials across two sites. With the support of Heritage Lottery Fund, archivists and trained volunteers continue to catalogue, contextualise and expand the archive collection. Their unique archive collection differs from conventional, traditional archives as it remains rooted in the community that created it.
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