Alison Bennison - Windrush Generation

Black History Month 2018 Celebrations in Cumbria

October is Black History Month, many groups and organisations around the county will be celebrating the lives, experiences, and achievements of the people who have helped shape our history here in Cumbria.

This year's Black History Month’s main event will be held at the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in collaboration with AWAZ Cumbria, M-unit and Speakeasy Poets on Friday 12th October 2018, 6:30 -10:00 pm. It will be another inspiring evening of remembrance, culture, and tribute.

Join us for the launch of our pop-up photo biography exhibition of local Black and Minority Ethnic people who have made a difference here in Carlisle; a project led by Cllr Niall McNulty and photographer Shihangir Ali. 

Aftab Khan, Development Manager, AWAZ Cumbria highlights the importance of Black History celebrations:

“The presence of black and minority ethnic people in Cumbria is not new. Black, Asian and other minority ethnic people have had connections with Cumbria since 3rd century AD; working and contributing equally to the economy, culture and heritage of Cumbria. It is important to enhance the knowledge and awareness about the contributions of BME people in enriching the cultural diversity and heritage of Cumbria through education, arts and celebrating Black History Month."

This year’s event focuses on community and celebrating the heritage of people who have always made an impact on Carlisle, telling the story of the active roles Black people have played as part of the Carlisle Community.

 “My grandma was part of the Windrush generation,” says Lindsey Atkinson, the Community and Young Person Coordinator at Tullie House, “she moved to the UK from Barbados in the fifties to train to be a nurse and support our NHS. It is from her I’ve learnt how inspirational, powerful and surprising people’s stories can be”.

 Through photography, music and film the event will celebrate cultural diversity and heritage in Cumbria. As always, any contributions are welcome. If you have some art to show or some words to share responding to celebrating Black or Minority Ethnic identity, please contact lindsey.atkinson@tulliehouse.org. It is a free event with refreshments- booking is advised. An adult must accompany children under 16.

There are also other Black History Month events which will be taking place across the county. Aftab Khan, from AWAZ Cumbria, and Susan Allen, from the Wordsworth Trust, will be joining the Shap Poetry Group at the Old Courthouse, Shap from  7 – 9 p.m. on Thursday 11th October. The evening will focus on black writers, black writing and the often hidden black history of Cumbria. There will be an opportunity to share readings and work responding to these and other themes. All welcome are welcome.

University of Cumbria Students Union is commemorating Black History month through a range of activities, including an organised talk on Monday 15th October 1:00 pm at the Learning Gateway, Fueshill Street, Carlisle. Mr Peter Foley MBE will be the keynote speaker at this event. He was one of the first black professional footballers and is also the chair of AWAZ Cumbria.

Susan Allen, from, the Wordsworth Trust,  will be talking to Shap Mothers’ Union at the Old Courthouse, Shap from 2:00 pm on Thursday 18th October. She will be exploring The Wordsworths and the Abolitionists – an Unexpected History including: Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals and letters; William Wordsworth’s writings and the changing views of their circle of friends and associates. All are welcome to come along and join the discussion. There will also be an opportunity to see the Wordsworth Trust’s travelling exhibition about the connections between the Wordsworths and the abolitionist campaign of the early 1800s.#