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PREVIEW: Black History Month 2014, Central Library

Plays, performances, poetry, exhibitions and film screenings from Thursday 9 October

Written by . Published on October 9th 2014.

PREVIEW: Black History Month 2014, Central Library

THE LIVES and achievements of both local heroes and international figures are to be celebrated within Manchester's Central Library for this year’s Black History Month - full programme here

Central Library is the perfect place to celebrate Black History Month in Manchester. We’re taking the chance to highlight some of the huge range of archive materials

From Thursday 9 October to Saturday 1 November there'll be plays, dance performances, poetry workshops, exhibitions and film screenings on show including an examination of the famed works of late poet, Maya Angelou (pictured below).

Best of all, all the events are free.

Maya AngelouLate poet Maya Angelou's works will be examined and celebrated.

Central Library will take full advantage of their new Performance Space, as well as its vast archives throughout the month long celebrations. 

On Monday 20 October, Moving Memories: Tales From Moss Side And Hulme will be screened for audiences. The film focuses on people of Caribbean, Sikh and Irish heritage, covering the period from the 50s to the 80s, and uses historical BBC footage held at the North West Film Archive alongside contemporary interviews with local people.

The screening will also include a Q&A with BBC producer and director Karen Gabay.

Other highlights include a performance of Call Mr Robeson. Performed by actor and singer, Tayo Aluko, the show details the turbulent and remarkable life of American actor and civil rights campaigner, Paul Robeson. The play features fiery oratory and some of Robeson’s famous songs, including a dramatic rendition of Ol’ Man River (Tuesday 14 October).

Tayo AlukoTayo Aluko performs as American actor Paul Robeson

Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Rosa Battle, said:

“Central Library is the perfect place to celebrate Black History Month in Manchester. We’re taking the chance to highlight some of the huge range of archive materials we host here, in both our Archives+ Centre and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre - and we're also playing host to a wide range of artistic shows and family activities."

Black History Month events in Central Library throughout October are all free.  Pre-booking is recommended. For more information or to book your free place at an event, visit www.archivesplus.org/events. 

Full list of activities below:

Lecture: Thursday 9 October (5:30–7:30pm) - Understanding the US Civil Rights Movement.

Understanding the US Civil Rights Movement – lecture by Professor Lou Kushnick (Professor of Race Relations at the University of Manchester / Director of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre & Education Trust) 

Poetry: Monday 13 October (1-2:30pm and 3-4:30pm) - Maya Angelou Poetry Workshops.

Two poetry workshops led by spoken word collectives Commonword and Young Identity will use the work of the late Maya Angelou as inspiration to help attendees as they create their own poetry. Seasoned poets and beginners are welcome to perform, or just to listen.

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Open MIC: Monday 13 October (5:30-7:45pm) - Open Mic poetry evening

Whether you are a seasoned performance poet or a complete novice, you are welcome to come along and share your words. If you’d prefer to just listen, that’s also fine. 

Theatre: Tuesday 14 October (6–8pm) - Call Mr Robeson.

Starring actor and singer Tayo Aluko.

Central LibraryCentral Library

Film: Monday 20 October (6–7pm) - Screening of Moving Memories: Tales from Moss Side and Hulme

The screening will also include a Q&A with producer and director Karen Gabay. 

Exhibit: Monday 20-Friday 31 October - Nana Bonsu Exhibition

Known as Chief Nana Bonsu (the honorary title conferred on him by African Mancunians), Beresford Edwards was one of the founding fathers of the African Caribbean community in Manchester  

Archives: Wednesday 22 October (12:30-1:30pm) - Carnival Archive Handling Session (Archives+ Centre)

Drop-in session for visitors to look at archive materials from the Moss Side Caribbean Carnival. 

Live Performance: Monday 27 October (1-3pm) - Kumbu Kumbu

This live performance from Tameside African Refugee Association takes you on a journey through African dance, culture and history. The specially commissioned family event begins with poetry and storytelling, then combines twenty dancers, a traditional costume fashion show and live music and drumming. There's also a traditional African Masquerade Ball and join in with the African drumming workshops or watch the culture clash of African and Western tap dancing. No need to book, just turn up on the day. 

Theatre: Saturday 1 November (1:30–3:30pm) - The Curious Incident Of The Gurkha Knife

Based on a true story of a Gurkha knife on display in a shop in Deansgate, Manchester in 1915, we journey to Holland, South Africa, Nepal and India celebrating unseen heroic characters and stories in times of war. Written and performed by Anjum Malik, multilingual poet, scriptwriter and teacher of creative writing. 

Central Library, St Peters Square, Manchester M2 5PD

Central LibraryCentral Library

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