October is the start of Black History Month. Black History Month initially began as a movement to explore black history in the USA. It commemorates and explores the contributions of the African diaspora world-wide, and there’s a special set of events this year for Black History Month in Wales.
Carter G Woodson, an African American historian, originally came up with the idea, but as Black History Week. This became later expanded, before it headed over to Europe.
History is written by the “victors”: the people that “won” or are deemed to have won. To quote Indian institute author Arundhati Roy, the voiceless don’t exist: they are deliberately silenced, or preferably not heard. For example, did you know that the A Level WJEC A Level English literature syllabus offers 26 authors to study in their set texts list, but none of them are black writers?
Cardiff, Wales is home to the oldest surviving and continuous black community in the United Kingdom. It’s no surprise that this month there’s an extra special set of upcoming events for and around Black History Month in Wales. It looks to be one of the most exciting and diverse events in recent Cardiffian history.
Saturday 1st October is the first large event of Black History month, kicking off at the Wales Millennium Centre. It’s set to be an extravaganza of music, food and entertainment at the theatre. There will be other similar events happening in Swansea to close BHM.
October will see a focus on black film exhibited in Wales. The Watch Africa – Wales African Film Festival was launched in 2013 to showcase the best of African cinema. This year the festival will be taking place across four venues with 17 different screenings in north and south Wales in Chapter and Pontio. There will be different events, too: Q&As, panel discussions with special guests and various workshops.
The WOW Film Club will also be showing George Amponsah’s The Hard Stop with the WOW Women’s Film Club. The documentary looks at the after effects of the London Riots where Mark Duggan was shot and killed by the Metropolitan police. Nobody has been convicted for his death. It’s certainly a rare opportunity to see this on the big screen, as it was given a very small release in Wales. Aimed at young people, it will also include a panel discussion on the film that will address topics of racism, politics, immigration and policing in Cardiff. With so much going on this month, there’s really no excuse – in fact, it would be rude not to!
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