Black History Month Events in London
Published 25 October 2010
Black History Month within the UK is once again upon us, allowing people of all origins to increase their knowledge of Black/African History, cultures and legacies.
As an institution thoroughly grounded in the exploration of languages, cultures and achievements of African peoples and peoples of the Africa Diaspora, one would expect no less of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) than to be promoting and participating in Black History Month events, such as a Black History Month discussion panel, which took place on Friday 22nd October in the Brunei Gallery.
The Panel was made up by Dr. Chege Githiora (Senior Lecturer in Swahili Language and Cultural Studies) and Dr Kwadwo Osei-Nyame, Jnr (Senior Lecturer in African Literature and Cultural Studies) who both presented their perspectives and recommendations on Black History Month as well as around 70 students from state schools and colleges, who were able to question the panellists. The enthusiasm of the students and their engagement with the topics discussed was refreshing and should leave no one in doubt as to the relevance and need for Black History Month.
Both speakers focused on the crucial role that education must play in making people of African descent conscious of their own history, as well as making non-African people aware of the existence of an alternative historical narrative to the dominant Eurocentric one which still runs through our schools, institutions and governments, both within Europe and America, as well as within the African continent itself. Additionally it was reiterated that there should not be a need for a Black History Month, if the histories and peoples of Africa were respected and promoted in their own right, standing side by side with their Western counterparts on a daily basis.
Events have been going on up and down the country over the whole month of October and there are still a few things that should not be missed in London, including a Nigerian Cinema day at BFI Southbank, a Jeff Stetson play “The Meeting”, imagining the meeting of two icons – Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X as well as an educational and cultural extravaganza by Africa Then and Now, showcasing some of Ghana’s richest talent in Music, Film, Fashion and Art.
Studying at SOAS gives myself and others a little inside knowledge in that we know there are a plethora of exhibitions, concerts, plays and other events going on in London, all year round; it is just a case of knowing who to speak to and where to look – the London Insider is a good place to start. The multi-faceted environment of London and it’s institutions can make it easy to take certain things for granted and Black History Month can serve us all as a reminder that there are still many things to do and strive for before full equality and recognition is given to all societies that have made up our world; past, present and future.
Nigerian Cinema Day
BFI Southbank, Sat 30th October, 11am – 5:30pm
Written by Jeff Stetson and directed by Chuck Mike
Running from 26th October till Sat 30th October, 7:30pm
Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF
Box Office: 02076091800
Africa Then and Now: An Odyssey to Ghana
Fri 5th November, 7pm – 3am
Adulis Restaurant Basement Bar, 44 – 46 Brixton Road, London, SW9 6BT
Further Information on these events and others can be found at http://www.black-history-month.co.uk