MOBOs and Martin Luther King factor into Black History Month Glasgow
The month of events also includes an insight into the city's history with slavery
October is not just for dressing up like Walter White and cramming your face full of sweets: it’s for making yourself a more rounded human being. ‘Black history is everyone’s history,’ says Carol Young of the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights. ‘But these stories aren’t usually included in standard history and heritage activities, so the programme of Black History Month events in October is a way to make them accessible to all.’
For Glasgow in particular – a city with a chequered mercantile past – BHM offers a chance to face the city’s role in the slave trade head-on. Stephen Mullen, author of It Wisnae Us: The Truth about Glasgow and Slavery, uses historical architecture to delve into the city’s tobacco and slave trades, as well as the abolition movement, on his free tours of the city centre.
Offering insights into the more recent past, the documentary Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights recounts the particular challenges encountered by black women activists during the 1960s and 70s – faced with both feminism’s racism and the black power movement’s sexism. Then there’s that little ‘I Have a Dream’ ditty. Fifty years on, Martin Luther King Jr’s words resonate as strongly as ever, as cultural commentator Richard Reddie explores in his talk on King’s influence in the UK and the state of racism and intolerance in the country today.
Switching gears from past to present, political to party-itical, the 18th Annual MOBO Awards kick off at the SSE Hydro on Sat 19 Oct, celebrating music of black origin and including performances from Laura Mvula and Tinie Tempah. Over at the African-Caribbean Centre, another, slightly lower-key, snapshot of contemporary black Britain is on offer: Ajamu’s photography exhibition Future Histories, which features portraits of people of black origin living and working in Scotland (until 31 Oct).
For more Black History Month events, see crer.org.uk.