Black History Month 2022 in Manchester: what’s on in October to mark the event

Theatre productions, art exhibition, cinema screenings and talks on current issues are just some of the events taking place across the city.

<p>Black History Month is being with events including an exhibition of work by Venessa Scott at HOME. Photo: Shirlaine Forrest/Venessa Scott</p>

Black History Month is being with events including an exhibition of work by Venessa Scott at HOME. Photo: Shirlaine Forrest/Venessa Scott

Every year Black History Month is celebrated across the UK in October - and there is always a packed programme of events in Manchester.

The annual month-long event is designed to celebrate Black people, culture and achievements both in this country and across the world.

The theme for 2022 is Time for Change: Action Not Words, which means working to tackle racism, reclaim Black history and ensure Black people, their pasts and their stories are included and represented all year round.

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    Here are just some of the things taking place in Manchester to mark this year’s Black History Month.

    Grandad Anansi

    Hulme culture organisation Z-arts is staging the premiere of Grandad Anansi, a play for children by emerging Salford writer Elayne Ogbeta.

    The work, which is aimed at audiences aged between four and nine, is a celebration of the love between generations, Jamaican culture and the experiences of the Windrush generation.

    Grandad Anansi is being premiered at Z-arts and then toured across the UK. Photo: Z-arts

    It features Abi and her beloved grandad as they tell each other stories while enjoying half term together on his allotment. They play games and sing songs as they work among the flowers and vegetables. But is Abi’s grandad hiding a big secret from her?

    Grandad Anansi is being put on in a co-production between Z-arts and Half Moon Theatre from 29 September to 1 October, and it is then being toured across the UK throughout Black History Month.

    To find out more or book tickets, which are priced at £9, visit the Z-arts website.

    Halo

    Contact is marking Black History Month with a production of new show Halo at its extraordinary-looking “castle of curiosity” on Oxford Road in Manchester.

    Keisha Thompson is sitting in the director’s chair for the first time since becoming the arts centre’s boss for a work which features the up-and-coming talents in Contact Young Company.

    Halo is being performed at Contact in October

    Halo is inspired by The Halo Code, a campaign signed by schools and businesses that promises members of the Black community that they have the “freedom and security to wear all afro-hairstyles without restriction or judgment”.

    It explores young people’s personal experiences in schools and workplaces in regards to their hair and features songs and movement inspired by the code.

    It’s on at Contact from 24 to 26 October and you can find out more or grab your ticket on the Contact website.

    Black Angel’s 25th anniversary

    A new theatrical production isn’t the only event Contact is putting on to coincide with Black History Month.

    On 8 October pioneering club night Black Angel returns to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

    Black Angel co-founder Claud Cunningham

    Black Angel provided a safe space for lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LBT) women of colour and their allies to express themselves and enjoy a night out, which also helped improve representation, diversity and visibility in the LGBTQ+ scene.

    Tickets for the anniversary night are £10 and are available from the Contact website here.

    A packed programme of events at HOME

    One of the city’s biggest cultural hubs, HOME is putting on an entire programme of events throughout October to mark Black History Month.

    Black stand-up comedy talent including Tez Ilyas and Dane Baptiste takes centre stage on 8 October and on 9 October the Melanin Markets Manchester are taking place for lovers of crafts and browsing market stalls.

    There’s a raft of film and cinema events celebrating Black British talent on both sides of the camera while visual art lovers can enjoy window commission City of Colour by illustrator Danielle Rhoda and explore the colourful works by Venessa Scott in her first solo exhibition at HOME.

    There are also conversations with Black creatives and an online storytelling event for families called When Animals Could Talk by Ruth Awolola.

    Find out more, including the full programme of what’s on, at the HOME website.

    We Are Carnival!

    Following on from the celebrations which marked 50 years of the Manchester Caribbean Carnival earlier this year, the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre at Manchester Central Library is devoting its Black History Month programme to the subject.

    It is hosting two workshops with noted Black History educator and researcher Linford Sweeney which will delve into Carnival’s long and complex history in colonialism, resistance to and emancipation from slavery and freedom.

    Manchester Caribbean Carnival is celebrating 50 years this year

    Then on 27 October it is hosting a We Are Carnival! party hosted by Kemoy Walker featuring an exhibition of archive footage from Carnival, film from the North West Film Archive, a family arts workshop by local artist Tina Ramos Ekongo, spoken word performances by Young Identity and Caribbean food courtesy of Buzzrocks Caribbean restaurant.

    Find out more at the centre’s website here.

    Storytime and craft sessions at the city’s libraries

    Manchester Libraries are putting on a series of events throughout Black History Month, including playing a role in We Are Carnival! and teaming up with HOME for some of its programme.

    There will also be free drop-in storytime sessions for children aged up to 10 at Central Library on Monday 24 October from 2pm until 4pm, at Longsight Library and Learning Centre on Wednesday 26 October from 2pm to 4pm and at Powerhouse Library on Thursday 27 October from 11am until 1pm.

    There are also history and craft sessions looking at when and why the first Carnival celebrations took place and creating headdresses to grace any Carnival procession.

    These are at Brooklands Library on Wednesday 12 October from 4pm until 6pm, at Moss Side Powerhouse on Thursday 13 October from 4pm until 6pm, at Arcadia Library on 19 October from 4pm until 6pm and at North City Library on Tues25 October from 4pm until 6pm.

    There will also be family craft activities at Forum Library on Monday 24 October from 2pm until 3pm and at Didsbury Library on Tuesday 25 October from 2pm until 3pm.

    Guilt by Association: race, culture and criminalization

    Earlier this year a case in which 10 teenagers and young men from Manchester were jailed for conspiracy-related offences in a trial and verdict which sparked furious accusations of racism.

    In Black History Month the controversial topics of conspiracy and joint enterprise, which a recent study found continue to disproportionately affect young Black men, is being put in the spotlight at the Whitworth Art Gallery.

    The hybrid event, between 2.30pm and 4pm on 10 October, will feature as speakers Professor Eithne Quinn from The University of Manchester who has researched rap music and the law, the university’s chancellor Nazir Afzal and founder of Kids of Colour, Roxy Legane.

    The event has been put together by Creative Manchester in partnership with the Global Inequalities research beacon.

    You can register for tickets here.

    A gala dinner and awards ceremony

    The Caribbean and African Health Network (CAHN) is celebrating its fifth anniversary with an awards ceremony and gala dinner which is also a Black History Month fund-raiser.

    The event takes place on Saturday 22 October at the Hilton Manchester on Deansgate, running from 5.30pm until late.

    There will be a three-course meal, awards, an auction and raffle, entertainment from stand-up comedian Christopher Savage and music from Natalie Floacist Stewart and a live band. Sky presenter Gillian Joseph will compere the night.

    Tickets are £75, with concessions priced at £60 for over-65s and £45 for children. It is £750 for a table of 10, which community organisations can get for £650. Find out more on the CAHN website here.