Black History Month in Norfolk

Abigail SaltmarshBlack History Month is getting underway in Norfolk, with more than 80 events scheduled, aiming to bring together people of all ages and backgrounds.Abigail Saltmarsh

Black History Month is getting underway in Norfolk, with four weeks of events aiming to bring together people of all ages and backgrounds.

This year's Black History Month (BHM) promises to be bigger than ever, according to organisers, with more than 80 events scheduled to take place right across the county.

'Last year's BHM was such a success,' said Malika Rahman, of the Norwich and Norfolk Racial Equality Council.

'Our aim now is to keep getting bigger and better, so we can involve more and more people.'

Black History Month (BHM) was initiated by Carter G Woodson in America in 1926 as a way to respond to the often-expressed view that Black Americans and other peoples of African descent had made no significant contribution to human civilisation. It was first celebrated in the UK in 1987.

The event in Norfolk, which is organised by the Norwich and Norfolk Racial Equality Council, provides entertainment, but also aims to educate and to give people across the board the opportunity and confidence to look into and appreciate their own and also other people's history and heritage.

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'This year there will be lots of lectures and talks, as well as musical performances,' said Malika. 'There will also be people tying their events in with the 50th anniversary of Motown and plenty going on for children and families.'

Highlights of this year's BHM, she said, included the offcial launch event at 7pm on October 2 at Open on Bank Plain, at which leading female black director Paulette Randall is scheduled to speak. Paulette has directed renowned plays at the Royal Court Theatre and produced the highly successful black British TV sitcoms Desmonds and Porkpie. She is chairman of the board of the Clean Break Theatre Company and is a former artistic director of the Talawa Theatre Company. Entertainment will be provided by comedy duo Jefferson and Whitfield, and Jazz musician Pete LeTanka. Caribbean food will be served.

In Yarmouth, another BHM launch event will be held in the Market Square, between 10am and 4pm, on Saturday, October 3, that will include family entertainment and tasters of performances to be staged later in the month.

'The launch events will be great fun so we hope as many people as possible will come along,' said Malika. 'Then there is so much happening throughout the month. People should look at our brochure or website for more details and then book as soon as possible.'

For more information or to download a brochure visit


After the success of last year's Norfolk Black Film Festival, Community Arts East is screening an exciting selection of films.

t Karen Hill as DJ Hilary Spin - a 60s housewife who works in a typing pool and livies a boring routine. Then she hears soul music. Hilary is in a spin as she presents the iconic biopic Tina: What's Love Got to Do With It? (cert 18) on Friday October 2 at 7.30pm at Blofield Court House. Tickets are from 01603 715253 or S&S Mitchell newsagents. Also showing on Saturday, October 10, 7pm, at North Creake Village Hall. Tickets are �5 in advance from 01328 738959. The film will also be shown at Tittleshall Village Hall on Saturday October 31, at 7.30pm. Tickets from 01328 700952.

t Standing in the Shadows of Motown (cert PG) is a 2002 documentary film directed by Paul Justman. It recounts the story of The Funk Brothers, the largely uncredited studio musicians who performed on Motown Records' recordings from 1959 to 1972. Cinema City, Wednesday October 7, 8.30pm.

t Am I Black Enough For You? (cert 12A) This documentary tells the story about 70s Philly soul music artist Billy Paul, the city of Philadelphia and the lifelong companionship between Billy and his wife Blanche. Cinema City Wednesday October 14 at 8.30pm.