Women celebrate Black History Month
Black women make their mark on Black History Month.
To celebrate Black History month this month, a series of events are taking place – many of them organised by women and exploring women’s issues.
From walking tours in Glasgow led by women of refugee backgrounds, via a discussion of Andrea Levy’s book ‘Fruit of the Lemon’ in Nottingham, to a fashion and style extravaganza in London, Black History month is celebrating the contribution and history of black people in British life.
MP Diane Abbott, pictured, said that the month is important because there is a need for shared history.
Abbott, who studied history at Cambridge University, writes in a foreword to Black History Month guide:
“At no point in my academic career, from the age of five to 21, was I able to study any black history at all. As far as the English educational system in the eighties was concerned, black history did not exist.
“But what effect does it have on your pride and your self esteem if you are told that you have no history? And, in a multi-cultural society, how are white people supposed to respect black people if they believe that we have no history or culture that is worth studying and that we have never contributed anything?
“It is important for black people. But it is even more important for white people. Mutual respect means that we must know each other’s history.”
Abbott is giving a lecture in Liverpool at John Moores University questioning whether British universities cater for black and ethnic minority students on October 25.
The Women’s Grid lists other events including a Black Feminist workshop in Brixton Library, London on October 24 at 7pm. The aim is to give women space to discuss the racism and sexism they experience and the forms that patriarchy takes in their own communities. It also lists further details about the Andrea Levy event in Nottingham.
The walking tour of Glasgow delivered by women of a refugee background is back by popular demand. Vicky Beesley from the Scottish Refugee Council said: “It takes the audience into Glasgow’s Medieval and Victorian history and explores the tour guides’ personal histories.
“It’s an opportunity to walk, talk and drink tea with three inspiring women from Africa and to hear stories that will hopefully live with you long after Black History Month is over.”
The Windrush Style Block fashion show takes place on October 28 in Windrush Square, Brixton. As explained on blackhistorymonth.org blackhistorymonth.org, this event has been set up to celebrate the Windrush generation’s contribution to British style and fashion.
Designer Georgina Harley-Smith decided to dedicate her collection for London Fashion Week 2012 to the 50th year of Jamaican Independence and show it in Windrush Square rather than at Somerset House, the hub of fashion week.