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Black History Month 2014


Southwark has an exciting and varied programme of events that contribute to Black History Month celebrations across the UK. It's an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness of black cultural heritage, history and experiences today, no matter who you are or where you live in the borough. Find out more at Southwark's Black History Month pages or pick up a programme from your local library.


by Andrea Stuart
Sugar in the Blood sees Andrea going back to 1630 to follow the thread of her own family's involvement with the sugar trade through successive generations, telling a story of insatiable greed and forbidden love, of abuse and liberation. The Independent said "Stuart fashions a rich family memoir that also serves as a vivid history of Caribbean slavery, and a moving account of migration." The Telegraph said "In her new book... you can almost taste "the cloying scent of burnt sugar" from her grandfather's plantation. With both slaves and whites popping up in her family tree, the taste is bittersweet."

Hear Andrea talk about her book at Canada Water Library on Wednesday 29 October at 7pm. This is a FREE event but booking is essential. Book your places by emailing: southwark.libraries@southwark.gov.uk


by Lloyd Bradley
Black music has been part of London's landscape since the First World War, when the Southern Syncopated Orchestra brought jazz to the capital. Following the wave of Commonwealth immigration, its sounds and styles took up residence to become the foundation of the city's youth culture. Lloyd Bradley's book tells the story of Black music in the capital , journeying from Soho jazz clubs to Brixton blues parties to King's Cross warehouse raves to the streets of Notting Hill - and onto sound systems everywhere. The NME described the book as "Epic ... chock-full of fascinating, often forgotten characters ... a major work, and a worthy tribute to a vibrant and innovative culture".

Hear Lloyd Bradley and Dr. William 'Lez' Henry, poet - writer and pioneer British Reggae-dancehall Deejay - talk about the history of Black music in the capital at Peckham Library on Wednesday 8 October 2014 at 7pm. This is a FREE event but booking is essential. Book your places by emailing: southwark.libraries@southwark.gov.uk


by Maya Angelou
When Maya Angelou passed away earlier this year aged 86 her family released a statement describing her as a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. I know why the caged bird sings is the gripping first volume of her moving autobiography, and covers the early years of her life up to 1944 when she was aged 17.

Find out more about Maya Angelou's amazing life at Peckham Library on Tuesday 21 October 2014 at 7pm. Writer and storyteller Sandra Agard will take us through Maya's amazing journey with readings from key works such as I know why the caged bird sings and selected poems including Still I rise. This will be an inspirational and life-affirming evening. This is a FREE event but booking is essential. Book your places by emailing: southwark.libraries@southwark.gov.uk


edited by Paula Burnett
Over the last few decades Caribbean writers - performance poets, newspaper poets, singer-songwriters - have created a genuinely popular art form, a poetry heard by audiences all over the world. At the same time, even at its most literary, Caribbean poetry shares the vigour of the oral tradition. Writers like Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott, and many other exciting new voices, are exploring ways of capturing the vitality of the spoken word on the page. Both of these traditions are represented in this lively anthology, which traces Caribbean verse from its roots to the present.

If you'd like to hear some of these inspirational poems performed and discussed come along to Blue Anchor Library on Tuesday 7 October at 10.30am. Sandra Agard will be reading poems by authors featured in this anthology as well as American and African authors. Poems from Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Ben Okri, Audre Lorde, Derek Walcott and many more will be featured in this free event. No advance booking required. Book your places by emailing: southwark.libraries@southwark.gov.uk


starring Cathy Tyson
Much-loved gritty TV series Band of Gold features a stand-out performance from Cathy Tyson. Cathy had already made an immediate impact in her film debut, starring alongside Bob Hoskins in Neil Jordan's Mona Lisa. Her film and TV work also includes Priest, Business As Usual and The Serpent and The Rainbow.

Cathy will be talking about her life and reading poetry and prose inspired by her childhood, at Canada Water Library on Tuesday 28 October at 7.30pm. Cathy is joined by her son, Jack, whose music creatively blends and updates the vintage soul sound of his influences. Originally a drummer, now a pianist and singer, Jack has been described as "part Gil Scott-Heron meets Funk troubadour." Cathy's work, intermixed with Jack's songs will make for an intimate blend of poetry, music and spoken word. The evening will conclude with an audience Q&A. This is a FREE event but booking is essential. Book your places by emailing: southwark.libraries@southwark.gov.uk