I started researching what was happening in York for Black History Month a couple of weeks ago. I thought I would put together some choice events, even if they were online, for the people of York to engage in.
With so many anti-racism marches going on, and great turn outs in York, and a city that, let’s face it, can celebrate anything pretty passionately (Vikings, Hot Air Balloons, German Christmas Markets, for example) I felt a little sad that more wasn’t happening.
I had a look at the York Stand up for Racism’s Facebook page, but there wasn’t anything new on there, nor on York Racial Equality Network and nothing either on the Live Well York site, or the Council’s main website.
I looked on the Explore website and saw The Girl and the Snake was being performed by Jan Blake, one of Europe’s leading storytellers specialising in stories from Africa and the Caribbean. It wasn’t tagged as part of Black History Month and was on the 6th, just before Social Vision News went out, so I am afraid people may well have missed it.
So it was over to the Universities, to see what they had to offer. And thankfully, Black History Month hadn’t been overlooked at our two academic institutions. Below is a summary of the events happening this month:
Evening with Jeffrey Boakye, York St John
I found York St John’s Evening with Jeffrey Boakye some time ago, but didn’t find anything else at York St John.
Boakye, author of Black, Listed: Black British Culture Explored, joins Dr Fraser Mann, Senior Lecturer in Literature at York St John University, for a challenging dialogue surrounding issues of racism and social justice. He will examine the positioning and perception of black identity in a postcolonial society, as well as the nuances of institutional racism and subconscious bias.
Book an Evening with Jeffrey Boakye
Events at University of York
Since then the University have released seven events including an Isaac Julien exclusive screening of two films, Who Killed Colin Roach? (1983) and Derek (2009). Who Killed Colin Roach? is a poetic investigation into the murder of a young black British man outside a police station in East London. Derek is a documentary exploring the life and art of pioneering queer filmmaker Derek Jarman.
There’s also a public talk by Dr Traci Parker of the University of Massachusetts ‘Revolutionary love, revolutionary weddings: Marriage in the Black Panther Party. Dr Parker will talk about her exciting new book project, Beyond Loving: Love, Sex, and Marriage in the Black Freedom Movement. It will be followed by a Q and A and discussion.
You can check out here all the events at the University Black History Month.
I went on to look further afield to see what was happening regionally. Again, I realise people can go online for events, so it doesn’t need to just be regional, but on looking at the national website for the Yorkshire and Humber region there are only two events which includes the York St John Boakye event.
Thank goodness for the Universities!