Thursday 7 September 2017 – Thursday 30 November 2017

Exhibition: To Honour a Great and Good Man – Newcastle University

“The story of Dr Martin Luther King’s award of an honorary degree from Newcastle University. Drawing on material from the archives of Newcastle University’s Special Collections, this exhibition will tell the story of Dr King’s visit to Newcastle. It will look at what led to his nomination for an honorary degree, the communications and preparations building up to the visit and what happened on the day itself, as well as the aftermath and legacy of Dr King’s visit.”

Find out more here

Read the Guardian Review here


Sunday 10 September 2017 & Sunday 17 September 2017

Theatre: Black is the Color of My Voice – Kings Head Theatre, London

“Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, Black Is The Color Of My Voice follows a successful jazz singer and civil rights activist seeking redemption after the untimely death of her father. She reflects on the journey that took her from a young piano prodigy destined for a life in the service of the church, to a renowned jazz vocalist at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement.”

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Tuesday 12 September 2017 – Friday 20 October 2017

Exhibition: ‘Black Exodus: Act I-Materia Prima’ – Amar Gallery, London

“…the first solo exhibition in the UK by British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor. The exhibition will feature her existing abstract works in a black and gold color palette. The exhibition renegotiates the artistic and socio-political definition of “blackness” and explores the existing narratives of race and the African diaspora. This exhibition is the “Act-I” of the evolving series by the artist.”

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Saturday 16 September

Talk: Black Poppies – Britain’s Black Community and the Great War – Surrey History Centre

“Stephen Bourne presents an illustrated talk about his book Black Poppies which has been published by The History Press. Entertaining and informative, Black Poppies explores the military and civilian wartime experiences of black Britons, from the trenches to the music halls. For Black Poppies Stephen received the 2015 Southwark Arts Forum Award for Literature.”

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Sunday 17 September 2017 – Thursday 26 October 2017

Exhibition: At The Heart Of The Nation – India In Britain – Edinburgh, London & Leeds

“The histories of Britain and India have long been interwoven. Embedded within this complex relationship are fascinating yet forgotten stories of how the historic Indian presence in Britain has critically shaped the island nation we know today. ‘At the Heart of the Nation: India in Britain’, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence, will celebrate these unknown narratives through a stunning photographic exhibition. The exhibition, led by the Open University, in collaboration with the Indian High Commission, the Nehru Centre, and the University of Exeter, launches in August 2017, and will tour until December 2017 and will be showcased around the United Kingdom, including in London and Edinburgh.”

Find out more here


Tuesday 19 September 2017

Theatre: Against Prejudice – A celebration of Ira Aldridge – Shakespeare’s Globe

A celebration of Ira Aldridge, with a panel discussion and staged reading of Against Prejudice: Ira Aldridge, Theatre Manager – 1828.

Arriving in England in the early 1820’s, Ira Aldridge became Britain’s first black Shakespearean actor and Theatre Manager. Brutally attacked for daring to act in Shakespeare’s plays in America, he rose to fame in the UK and became sensationally successful, though he was never accepted by the major London theatres and critics. He died in Poland, just as he was about to return and challenge America after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.

Opening with a series of speeches and songs by members of the Coventry Belgrade Youth Theatre, Tony Howard leads a panel of performers and scholars in considering the importance of Ira Aldridge’s achievements for his time and ours.

Panellists include: David Olusoga (BBC Historian), Joseph Mydell (Actor), Martin Hoyles (Biographer) and Joseph Marcell (Actor).

Find out more here


Wednesday 20 September 2017

Seminar: Partition, Calcutta and the Crisis of Masculinity – SOAS University, London

“The partition of 1947 transformed Calcutta, the erstwhile first city of the British Empire. Almost overnight the margins of the city swelled and broke its banks and Calcutta metamorphosed into a seething and volatile post-partition city of millions of people, nursing the grief and despair of lost homes and identities of the bastu-hara, and the dream of finding life and living in the gigantic metropolis. This paper will be mapping the changing demographics as well as the sociology of spaces in post-partition Calcutta, to read shifting social relations in terms of class, caste, religion and gender. The focus will be primarily on the films of Ritwick Ghatak and the novels of Sabitri Roy while also referring to other fictional and autobiographical representations of the experience of Partition.”

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Thursday 21 September 2017 — Thursday 28 January 2018

Exhibition: Basquiat Boom for RealBarbican Art Gallery, London

“The first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960—1988). Discover the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the pioneering prodigy of the 1980s downtown New York art scene. This unprecedented exhibition brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works from international museums and private collections. Featuring rare film, photography and archive material, the show captures the spirit of this self-taught artist, poet, DJ and musician whose influence, since his death at 27 in 1988, has been enormous.”

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Wednesday 27 September 2017 – Saturday 30 September 2017

Theatre: Freeman – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

“Freeman is inspired by the true story of William Freeman, a black man who was put on trial in 19th Century New York, and the first case to raise ‘insanity’ as a defence in America. The story of William Freeman is used as a platform to explore the relationships between people of colour, the criminal justice system, and mental health; spanning from segregated 1846 America right up to the death of Sarah Reed in the UK in 2016.”

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Thursday 28 September 2017

Discussion: Kamila Shamsie in Conversation with journalist Razia Iqbal – Tara Arts, London

“Prize-winning novelist Kamila Shamsie discusses with BBC journalist Razia Iqbal her contemporary retelling of Sophocles’ Antigone, “Home Fire”; a powerful, urgent tale of love, politics, family and enmity, confronting one of the defining issues of our age.”

Find out more here