October is Black History Month and despite the continuing effects of Coronavirus, libraries are still hosting a range of events and activities to celebrate the rich diversity of our society and the contribution made by people of the African diaspora.
Here are just some of the activities that libraries are hosting but do check out your own service to find out more about what's happening in your area.
Hertfordshire are hosting an online talk on tracing African Caribbean ancestry with Paul Crooks on Thursday 15 October at 7pm. Their virtual reading group, Readers Connected, will also be reading/listening to The Color Purple by Alice Walker this month.
Lambeth Libraries has partnered with Black Cultural Archives and other local organisations, along with a selection of brilliant writers and artists, to deliver an exciting programme of events. These include the launch of Alex Wheatle's new novel Cane Warriors, Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason discussing what it takes to raise a musical family in a Britain divided by class and race, Pegasus Opera's online concert Legacy and Hope and Black Futures Month from the Black Cultural Archives: a season of programming which seeks to use our shared histories to look forward and dream.
Manchester have a jam-packed series of events for the month both online and in their libraries. Highlights include: a special video message from poet Lemn Sissay, Windrush Generations Manchester Voices Exhibition at Central Library, We Are Manchester: A Celebration of Black Poets and Spoken Word Artists, and Saturday STEM Clubs online that feature inspirational Black innovators in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
Newham's fantistic line up of events were launched by celebrated historian and TV personality, David Olusoga who discussed what Black Lives Matter means in the context of Black British history. Other highlights include special screenings of Les Misérables and White Riot, the dance performance Long Play Libation by Adam East London and an online photograpy exhibition of five inspirational black women from Newham,
Oldham are hosting two Facebook Live shows When I Think of Home on Wednesday 14 October at 7pm for older audiences and Celeste’s Sparkly Cat on Saturday 17 October at 2pm. Both by Cheryl Martin, in the first event for adults, Cheryl looks back in wonder at what her parents, two young black people facing segregated, unequal America, managed to create for their children. In the second event for families Cheryl tells the story of Celeste who has a Mum who wants her to stay home, follow the rules and be good. But she also has a sparkly cat who has completely different ideas. Guess which one Celeste listens to?
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Resources to support libraries do more to ensure they are open and welcoming to those seeking sanctuary. It provides guidance for libraries working towards accreditation as well as general information for all library services.