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Black History Month 2023

In this section

  1. Black History Month 2023
  2. Your Stories

What is Black History Month?

Black History Month was first observed in the UK in October 1987, with an event in London to celebrate the contributions of black people throughout history. It aims to celebrate black history, heritage and culture and the individuals that have contributed to them. 

Black histories are a key part of both our national history and the story of Stoke-on-Trent. We know there were black people in Britain from at least the third century, an African unit of the Roman army is remembered with a plaque at Burgh by Sands Roman Fort that reads: “The first recorded African community in Britain guarded a Roman fort on this site”. 

Today, Stoke-on-Trent is a proudly diverse city and Black History Month celebrates that diversity and the contribution of black people and communities to our local history. Stories are varied, including contributions of the black community to the Second World War, the Windrush Generation and today's inspiring athletes, artists, scientists and more.

 

Black History Month 2023 - Saluting our Sisters

The theme for this year's Black History Month is 'Saluting our Sisters' - celebrating the often forgotten history and achievements of black women. The theme highlights the key role that black women have played in our history and in our present day literature, music, fashion, politics and more. From Mary Seacole - who assisted the sick and wounded during the Crimean War - to Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon, OBE - founder of The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation.

What's on in Black History Month 2023

If you are running an event in or around the city to mark Black History Month please tell us by emailing communications@stoke.gov.uk and we will add it to our calendar of events.

Event

Date/Time

Location

How to get involved

More information

Ode To Nana

Open daily until Saturday 4 November The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery Visit the free event, no booking necessary. Suitable for any age. Ode to Nana is a Kwanzaa Collective UK* exhibition by Jioni Warner in celebration of Windrush 75. It explores the ideas of legacy, struggle, and change. As the granddaughter of a woman who was part of the generation of Caribbeans who answered Britain’s call for workers, this exhibition reflects on the British Caribbean experience placing Black women at the forefront. 

Arts Keele Exhibition: Origin of Inspiration by William Attieku Ntiamoah

1 - 31 October. Open daily 10am-7pm Chancellor’s Gallery, Chancellor’s Building, Keele University All are welcome to immerse themselves in the captivating world of artistic inspiration at William Ntiamoah's upcoming exhibition “Origins of Inspiration”. William Attieku Ntiamoah, as an artist has always been captivated by the beauty of nature. He recognizes painting as the most effective medium to capture its essence and finds great joy in using oil paint to depict people and scenes, allowing him to showcase the distinct character and charm inherent in each subject. For more information, visit the Keele Univeristy website by clicking the link here.
Black History Month film nights: Rye Lane Tuesday 3 October 6:00–8:30 pm Student Union, Keele University FREE showing of Rye Lane, starring David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah as two strangers who meet during a chance encounter whilst both reeling from bad break-ups. For more information, visit the Keele Univeristy website by clicking the link here.
LEGACY: Black History Celebration Saturday 7 October 11am - 5pm The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery You are invited to celebrate Black History Month at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in a free creative, cultural family day that will include a celebration of the art, music and food of people of African and Caribbean descent. There will be workshops and performances for all to enjoy. This event is a Black History Month Celebration brought to you as part of LEGACY: A Windrush 75 Programme run by Kwanzaa Collective UK* in partnership with Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and Appetite Stoke. The programme shares the stories of the Windrush Generation, their children, and explores ideas of legacy. It celebrates the contribution that people from the Caribbean have made to Britain with a focus on North Staffordshire and places in the North of England.
Black History Month film nights: Hamilton Tuesday 17 October, 6:00–8:30 pm Student Union, Keele University FREE showing of the hit musical Hamilton. A sung-and-rapped biographical musical written and starring Lin Manuel Miranda covering the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and his involvement in the American Revolution. For more information, visit the Keele Univeristy website by clicking the link here.
Guest Speaker – Dr Annabel Sowemimo Wednesday 18 October, 01:30 - 02:30 pm David Weatherall main lecture theatre, Keele University Join Keele University for a FREE interactive lecture from Dr Annabel Sowemimo. Dr Annabel Sowemimo is the author of Divided: Racism, Medicine and Why We Need to Decolonise Healthcare. Dr Sowemimo is a Sexual & Reproductive Health Registrar in the NHS and co-director. For more information visit the Keele University website by clicking the link here.
Black History Month film nights: Candyman Tuesday 31 October, 06:00- 08:00 pm Student Union, Keele University FREE Halloween special showing of Candyman written by Jordan Peele. A sequel to the 1992 horror film Candyman, that returns to the now gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began. For more information, visit the Keele Univeristy website by clicking the link here.


Tell us your story

We would love to hear from members of the black community in Stoke-on-Trent who are willing to share their personal stories. We're keen to hear:

  • What Black History Month means to you. 
  • Why is exploring cultural heritage important?
  • What is your or your family's story of black history or culture in the city?

To take part email communications@stoke.gov.uk. You can share your experiences anonymously if you wish.

 

Resources and further information

English Heritage – Black History

Black History Month – Great Black Britons

National Archives – Black British History on Record