Upfront: Black History Month

First appeared in Buzz magazine – October 2011.

October is Black History Month, and in Wales, all manner of events, exhibitions and discussions have been organised to celebrate and recognise the history of black people in Wales – which is said to date back to the 16th century – as well as the invaluable impact they have had in Welsh society throughout culture and industry.

Education is a big theme of the month-long programme of events which starts with the Centre For Lifelong Learning’s first instalment of its history course Black History: The International Struggle for Freedom on Tues 4 and Butetown History And Arts Centre hosting a history workshop Black History And The Concept of Development on Thurs 13 and 20.

Fri 14 Oct sees the All Wales African Community Centre deliver their Black History Month seminar Understanding Black History: Community Cohesion and Engaging With People of African Caribbean Heritage In Wales. The event will take place at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.

The arts also play a big part in the month’s celebrations, and in Llanelli, where friend of the South Wales miners, singer, civil rights campaigner and thorn in the side of the US authorities, Paul Robeson, will have his story told in a play called Call Mr Robeson: A Life With Songs at the Theatre Eli on Weds 5.

Radio Cardiff host a special gig at the Coal Exchange, Cardiff Bay on Thurs 6 with reggae stars Tarrus Riley and Janet Kaye performing. In the capital’s oath Library, the book launch of Kiskadee Girl by Maggie Harris – which is her memoir about growing up in Guyana – will take place on Mon 24.

In Swansea, the National Waterfront Museum hosts a free Black History Celebration Day on Sat 15 with at, crafts and performances from around the world. On Sat 29, the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, hosts the free grand finale event set to include a broad and diverse range of entertainers, performers and workshops.

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