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Engage with Black History, Stories and Culture

October 1 - October 31

Engage with Black History, Culture and Stories

October is Black History Month, so why not engage with some of the fantastic resources available to learn from and explore the history, stories and culture of black people? Here’s some recommendations and suggestions from the Made With Many team, which include both serious subject matter as well as joyful celebrations of black culture. Please get in touch if you have additions for our list.

  1. There are some great FREE National Theatre recommendations on the Black History Month website which take place throughout the summer, including Small Island and Les Blancs.
  2. The avid readers in the team recommended The Color Purple by Alice Walker and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
  3. Windrush Day happens on 22nd June each year to celebrate the contribution of people from the Caribbean to the UK – find out more about this day at www.windrushday.org.uk
  4. History lovers may also like exploring Northamptonshire Black History Association’s website or Facebook as they have been finding, sharing and preserving Northamptonshire Black History for more than two decades, as well as hosting regular community events and creating educational resources.
  5. Netflix now has a whole section dedicated to Black Lives Matter which is a treasure trove of enlightening, inspiring and sometimes harrowing stories such as When They See Us which is an absolutely gripping drama.
  6. BBC iPlayer also has made some brilliant thought-provoking programmes, such as Noughts + Crosses which turns racism on it’s head through a vision of a parallel world, as well as Sitting in Limbo, a drama inspired by the Windrush scandal, (there is a pre-watershed version you can watch with children) as well as a cracking soundtrack available on BBC Sounds. You can also find on BBC iPlayer The Unwanted Secret Windrush Files, a documentary by the historian David Olusoga.
  7. Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a book by Alex Haley, which follows the story of an African man sold to slavery and his descendants. It was first dramatised in the 1970’s and was recently readapted as a mini-series in 2016.
  8. BBC Sounds also has some great music documentaries, such as Black Music in Europe which tracks the early recordings of black music and explores a rare archive of early jazz, blues and spirituals from the early 1900s which has had a long-lasting impact on modern music.
  9. In the early 20th century on the other side of the pond there was a cultural movement called the Harlem Renaissance, which may be of interest if you enjoy Art History as it inspired huge advancements in art, music and literature in the 1930s.
  10. Head on over the DJ Kool Herc‘s website to learn all about the birth of Hip Hop and breakdancing.
  11. The Black Cultural Archives is a national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain. They have a special online exhibition for Windrush Day – Windrush Waves 2020 where they present a series of activities from podcasts to storytelling to learning resources about a significant part of British history.
  12. The V&A Museum have curated a selection of photographs taken by black photographers, from the Black Cultural Archives collection which document the lives of black people in Britain between the 1950s – 90s along with accompanying oral histories.
  13. Race Act 40 is a Northamptonshire REC oral history project, based in Wellingborough that recorded the stories of local people including their experiences of racism and their efforts to promote racial equality that was created to mark 40 years of The Race Relations Act 1976.
  14. Trojan Records are planning an online Summer Soundclash which promises to be a feast for the ears and will bring some Caribbean sunshine into your life – even if the British rain continues! Follow them on Facebook to hear about the date to dance around your kitchen or garden!
  15. Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest street festival with it’s origins in the late 50s and features spectacular costumes, steel drum bands, calypso and soca music, as well as reggae, ska, dancehall, funk, rare groove, hip hop, jungle and drum & bass. This August Bank Holiday weekend it’s going online – details to be announced!
  16. You can listen to Bonnie Greer’s In Search Of Black History podcast on Audible (they have a 30 day free trial available). Bonnie is also involved in conversations with The British Museum about the ‘Era of Reclamation’.
  17. Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum has lots of collections, some of which you can access online – you can learn all about the transatlantic slave trade as well as accessing a wealth of links to lots of other resources.
  18. History.com hosts a very comprehensive Black History timeline from 1619 onwards and there are many museums around the world which host artefacts and resources relating to black history and culture, such as The Apartheid Museum and Iziko Museums in South Africa, The Museum of Modern Art of Algiers, The Smithsonian, The British Museum, as well as a wealth of resources on Google Arts & Culture.

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October 1
October 31
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