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Black History Month in North Wales - October 2017


Press  Release - Sept 2017

Black History Month, celebrated each October, is getting off to a great start this year. Kicking everything off on Saturday 30th September will be a whole day of great activities in Bangor. Starting at 10am, Storiel provides the morning venue for a Cuban bata drumming demonstration plus presentations on the shared history between North Wales, Africa and the Caribbean.

A highlight will be spectacular performances by carnival drumming band Bloco Swn and martial arts/Brazilian dance group Capoeira Mocambo, which will take place at Bangor town clock at midday, followed by a parade back to Storiel. The afternoon at Storiel is filled with African/Caribbean food tasting by Maggie Ogunbanwo, a Capoeira workshop, Rhythm of West Africa drumming, stalls, displays and discussions.

Marian Gwyn, Regional Coordinator for Black History Month Wales confirmed that a special treat at this year’s event would be Anansy the Spider. ‘Anansy’, Marian said, ‘is a famous African/Caribbean spider character who tells traditional tales. I’m delighted that Joy Roxborough will be bringing Anasy to life in storytelling sessions morning and afternoon at Storiel on Saturday’.

‘Everything is free’, she continued, ‘and everyone is welcome, so just join in! The entire event is managed by local groups including the North Wales Jamaica Society, the African Caribbean Society and Learning Link International, and is supported by the Arts Council of Wales and Race Council Cymru. See our North Wales Black History Month website for more information and find us on Facebook’.

Black History Month takes place each October and is dedicated to celebrating not only the connections between Britain, Africa and the Caribbean but also recognises the contributions of black people to British society and culture. 2017 is the 10th anniversary of commemorating Black History Month in Wales and there will be lots of events and activities going on throughout October. ‘Help us celebrate it in style’, added Marian, ‘by putting on your own activities. See the Black History Month Wales/Mis Hanes Pobl Dduon Cymru website for more information’.

NB. There were also opportunities throughout the month for schools to book workshops on Black History, Drumming, and Caribbean Storytelling,
as well as Jamaica Wales Alliance School Links
see www.learninglinksinternational.com

The following dates are confirmed (unconfirmed) :

Saturday 30th September:  BHM Launch Event held @ Storiel in Bangor with drumming and presentations, with the main Drumming celebration held by the clock in the High Street at 12.00 followed by a procession back to Storiel for the official launch by the Mayor of Bangor – see press release click here

During October: Black History Month is to be recognised by the Bangor Cathedral team and other local churches and chapels

Sunday 1st October: Black History Month Launch @ Saith Seren, 18 Chester Street, Wrexham, LL13 8BG from 2.00pm – 6.00pm with Hip Hop, Rap, Dance, Beatbox, Amigos y Cymuned Choir and Guest Speakers see press release here

Friday 6th October: North Wales Jamaica Society Open Meeting @ Storiel in Bangor 2.00pm – 4.00pm Presentations on “Eisteddfod in Jamaica” with Marian Isherwood, "The History of Pennants, Jamaica" by Dr Marian Gwyn and the launch of "Pennants School Refurbishment Appeal" by Liz Millman from the Jamaica Wales Alliance

Saturday 7th October: African Caribbean Society BHM celebrations, fashion show, poetry and presentations @ Powis Hall, Bangor University. NB this is a student event and not open to the public.

Monday 9th October: "Welsh Woollen Cloth and the Slave Trade" Dr Marian Gwyn, at Dolgellau Archives/Library at 2pm, with including an opportunity to take a walk afterwards to see some of the examples in the local architecture (weather permitting) 

Wednesday 11th October: "Jamaican Evening" with Dr Marian Gwyn and Liz Millman from the North Wales Jamaica Society @ Anglesey Federation of WIs in Llanfairpwll WI Hall at 7pm. All welcome, with Jamaican style refreshments!

Saturday 14th October: Presentation by Dr Marian Gwyn, “Britain and Slavery, Coerced Labour in the 18th Century Caribbean” @ 10am at Labour Party meeting in Conwy

Sat 14th – Sat 21st Oct:  Hate Crime Week

Sat 22nd Oct: Drumming Workshop with guest speakers and African food @ Saith Seren, 18 Chester Street, Wrexham, LL13 8BG from 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Tues 24th Oct: Fio presents on BHM tour of Wales “The Mountaintop” production at Pontio in Bangor

Thurs 26th October: 2017 Learning Links International's 2nd Annual International Symposium on Black History, including update relating to research into the life and times of Rev. William Hughes, Colwyn Bay Town Hall 2-4pm 

Good article here about the presentation made at the Symposium by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (Royal Commission) on the story of the Black Sailors who died:  U-Boat Project, 1914-18: Commemorating the War at Sea   Click HERE

Thurs 26th Oct: Occasional Cinema at Blue Sky in Bangor for a showing of the brilliant film “Hidden Figures” which tells the story of the team of Black African American female mathematicians, who undertook a vital role in the early years of the NASA space programme.

Friday 27th October - 2nd November: African Film Festival held at Pontio in Bangor 

Saturday 28th October: "Celebration of BHM and Nigerian Independence" hosted by Maggie's Exotic Foods pop up restaurant at The Red Lion, 19 High Street, Penygroes LL54 6PL at 6.30pm. Bring your own bottles. Tickets £22, please phone Maggie to reserve places on 07949 589736

Sun 29th Oct: Wales BHM Finale @ Wales Millenium Centre – Book tickets on coach from Bangor, phone Marian Gwyn on 07738 570313

Saturday 4th November: North Wales Jamaica Society with Learning Links International presents a night of Reggae with “Macka B” @ Nueadd Ogwen, Ffordd Bangor, Bethesda tickets in advance from www.neuaddogwen.com £12.50 and on the night £15


Other activities planned during the year:

Learning Links International: Rev. William Hughes Project, supported by Bay of Cowyn Council:  filming workshops with the Rev William Hughes Family Research Team and workshops at Bangor Archives

Other bright ideas e had were: 

???? Jamaica Wales Heritage Links

Talk by Dr Marian Gwyn on Penrhyn Castle and Plantations in Jamaica @ Penrhyn Castle or in Bethesda or both

Talk by Dr Marian Gwyn on the links between North Wales and plantations in Jamaica @ Denbigh in Archives?

???? Colin’s various workshops

???? Evening Presentation and Discussion held in Bethesda with Dav Devall and colleagues

??? Bangor University Archives: Workshop exploring papers and artefacts relating to the life and times of Reverend William Hughes and the African Institute

??? Conwy Archives: Workshop exploring papers and artefacts relating to the life and times of Reverend William Hughes and the African Institute

??? Caernarfon Archives: Evening workshop introducing the story of Jack Ystumllyn

??? Black Boy Inn: Black History Month Dinner with guest speaker

??? Service or visit to St Cynhaern at Ynyscynhaern to remember Jack Ystumllyn

??? Thurs evenings? NWAMI / Centre for Cultural Engagement in Colwyn Bay, talks on Black History topics and “Bay FM” recordings for 2 shows

??? Maggie’s Exotic Foods: Event TBC

??? ACS – Nigerian event with OYINBO BANKI, Chief Elwyn Wiliams

Half term:

??? Jamaican Eisteddfod preparation workshops for dance and song @ Neuadd Ogwen and / or in Storiel

??? Jamaican Eisteddfod @ Neuadd Ogwen

??? Black History workshops @ Storiel with Anancy the Spider and Jamaican story teller, Joy Roxborough

??? Jamaica Wales Alliance – “The contribution made by Welsh Teachers and Ministers in Jamaica” The personal story of Rev. Jones and his fakily – Miriam Isherwood

??? North Wales African Society: Launch event and talk on “The Mali Empire and the Libraries of Timbuktu” by Lamin Touray


?? HLF workshop

??  Jamaican Jerk Festival @ Nueadd Ogwen, Bethesda from 12.00 noon. Tickets £?? From Nueadd Ogwen


?? a meeting of ACS students to talk about African history and the shared history of countries that students come from and Wales and to find out about the African languages spoken by ACS students.

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