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Black history month

In October, Solent University will celebrate Black History Month in Southampton, working with organisations from across the city to raise awareness of stories and achievements from black history, arts and culture.

Last year, the University hosted a photography exhibition titled "Faces of the Windrush", a collection by Don John (Founder of Black History Month South) which explored the experiences of the Windrush generation.

This year, we will be marking the month with a variety of exciting events, projects and activities for staff, students and the local community. With photo exhibitions throughout the month in the Solent Showcase Gallery, a public lecture and the creation of the Solent University's BAME network, there is something for everyone to get involved with.

Key highlights from Solent...

Public Lecture:

“Is Anti-Racism an outdated concept in society today – what role does music play in building cohesive communities?”

When: Wednesday 9 October 2019.
Where: Solent University, Spark Building.

This free public lecture (part of the University’s Insight Series) will explore how Southampton’s cultural scene has evolved in reflection to today’s society and how the role of music can play in the future of building a more culturally cohesive city. 

Book your place

Photo Exhibition by Don John:

‘God Created Black People & Black People Created Style’: Photographic Exhibition.
When: Throughout October.
Where: Solent University, Spark Building.

The theme for Black History Month this year is “Identity” and a sense of style has always been an important ingredient!

The inconvenient truth is that art in the western world has been massively influenced by African and Eastern cultures and sometimes this is not recognised in the way it should be.

This exhibition has chosen moments over the years in Southampton Black History where the evidence of style in incontrovertible.

Solent University staff BAME network – coming soon.

We are pleased to share the news that Solent University will be supporting a BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) network, open to all Solent staff who identify as a member of one of these groups. This is a fantastic opportunity for colleagues across the University to collaborate and shape the new network and contribute to social justice at Solent. Further details of the group to follow.


Solent Showcase Gallery events throughout October:

Un:Common Knowledge’
When: 4 October – 20 December.

Solent Showcase Gallery is developing two new commissions for Southampton, working in collaboration with community leaders, Don John and Abdoulie Sanneh to tell two stories of Black History in the city. Artists Olivia Twist and Gerard Hanson will work with local communities and archival material to bring to the fore interesting stories about Southampton that are not widely acknowledged, making the uncommon, common.

Matabeleland to Southampton to London
When: 4 – 13 October.

Oliva Twist, an illustrator from east London, graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Visual Communication. She is working with The United Voices of Africa Association and the Zimbabwean Society on a story that links Southampton to the colonisation of Africa in the 1880s. Twist’s work retells the story of a trip to Southampton in 1889 by the emissaries of King Lobengula at a key point in the history of Zimbabwe.

Rebel Music: The Story of the Blues Parties in Southampton
When: 19 October – 20 December.

Gerard Hanson was born in Bradford to Jamaican and Irish parents, and much of his art explores his heritage and identity. He will be working in collaboration with Don John to creatively explore the impact of Jamaican music on British culture, particularly through the story of the ‘Shebeens’ or ‘Blues’ clubs that were a key part of Southampton’s music scene in the 70s and 80s.