October is Black History Month in the UK and it has been celebrated nationwide for almost 40 years, since the 1980s. This month was originally founded to recognise the contributions that have been made to this country by people of African and Caribbean backgrounds over many generations. It was also initially used to challenge racism and encourage education surrounding the aspects of History that were not taught in schools.
As we’re in the middle of Black History Month, there are many events being held in Exeter and the South West throughout the rest of October to celebrate black history, artists, creators and to just educate ourselves in a more general sense.
Here are some of the many events being held here in the South West:
21st of October:
BHM Reading Group – Peter Lanyon Seminar 2, 18:00 onwards at the University of Exeter Streatham Campus
Panel Discussion: Diversity and Leadership – 18:00 onwards, Streatham Court TLT B, Unviersity of Exeter Streatham Campus
23rd of October:
Black British History and South Asian Solidarities –10:30-12:00, Forum Seminar Room 08, University of Exeter
- Interactive workshop with Florian Stadtler, Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures
Black Thinkers on the Politics of Discrimination – 15:30-17:00, Forum Seminar Room 09, University of Exeter Streatham Campus
- A workshop and discussion with Professor Christine Hauskeller and Clara Hick
Why Is My Curriculum White? 6:00pm-7:30pm, Forum Auditorium, University of Exeter Streatham Campus
- A panel discussion featuring keynote speakers from a variety of academic and political backgrounds, who will be discussing the absence of non-white academics from higher education curriculum, and the disadvantages that it brings.
24th of October:
Alright Petal? – 7:10pm, Thornlea Building, Studio 3, University of Exeter Streatham Campus
- A sunflower, a lily or a rose? Which flower do you see yourself as? Flowers are beautiful, they come in different shapes and sizes. We appreciate their beauty just simply for what they are. It’s time we all did the same for black women. Alright Petal? is Beyond Face’s new piece of work from their emerging artist ensemble.
Celebration of Black Art at Bristol University: Open Mic Night – 19:00-20:00, The Anson Rooms Bar, Bristol
- From drama, spoken word and stand up, to singing, dancing and instrumental performance, we’re looking to celebrate Black Art at the University of Bristol. We welcome Black students to perform original work, and anyone who wishes to perform art of Black origin.
25th of October:
AfroBeats Club Night – ft. DJ EDU – 9:00pm, Exeter Lemon Grove, Exeter University Streatham Campus
- African Music Ambassador and broadcaster on BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Edu will join us for a night of non-stop eclectic Afro-beat infused tracks.
30th of October:
What would Martin Luther King do? Class, Race and a Message to the Academy and Testing the effect of historical representations on collective identity and action -13:30-15:30; IAIS building LT1, University of Exeter Streatham Campus
- a talk and workshop hosted by Dr Jo Sweetman and Dami Mackay.
Diversity Champions Networking – 09:00-11:00, Room 106 Rolle Building, Plymouth University
- The Diversity Business Incubator (DBI) is a Business Hub for Minority Ethnicity entrepreneurs. DBI offers comprehensive and sustainable business support for the Black, Asian Minority Ethnicity (BAME) community living in Devon to help them thrive in business and integrate effectively into their wider community.
2000 Stories – 19:30 onwards, AMATA Penryn Campus, Cornwall
- show about the stories that have stayed with us, the ones we have forgotten and the ones we have been forced to hear
6th of November:
Injury Reserve + Jockstrap, 19:30, The Fleece, Bristol
- The rap trio from Phoenix have started the year off with a bang, dropping track ‘Jawbreaker’ in January. Injury Reserve, who recorded their debut mixtape in a dentist’s office (and titled it ‘Live from the Dentist Office’), have had an interesting journey from the USA suburbs to a coveted “A MINUS” from Robert Christgau, the “Dean of American rock critics,” in his column for Noisey. From playing house shows to being played on Beats 1 Radio by Ebro. How did it all happen?
Queens of Sheba – 8pm, Tabacco Factory Theatre, Bristol
- Queens of Sheba is based on a real incident at the DSTRKT Nightclub in 2015 when four women were turned away for ‘being too dark.’ It draws attention to misogynoir, identifies it and begins to figure some way forward. It departs from the traditional method of Western storytelling and uses elements of spoken word, physical theatre, dance and music from African diaspora. The play confronts the status quo, tackles the truth and speaks it.
16th of November:
Neville Staple + Troy Ellis – 19:00 – 22:30, The Fleece, Bristol
- Neville Staple’s thirty-five-year career in the music business is well documented, from the early days with The Coventry Automatics, The Specials & FunBoy3 in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, to The Special Beat and various other collaborations during his solo career from the ‘90s up to the present day.Troy is one of the sons of the legendary Alton Ellis OD. He was born in Trench Town, Kingston, Jamaica. He used to perform on the streets from a young age when he realised what he wanted to achieve in life.
20th – 23rd of November:
Burgerz presented by Hackney Showroom – The Western Studio, Bristol
- Hurled words. Thrown objects. Dodged burgers. After someone threw a burger at them and shouted a transphobic slur, performance Travis Alabanza became obsessed with burgers.