A UK Black History Month Post (2021)

I’m going to quote myself from last year because it’s still relevant:

It’s been a challenging year to navigate and, needless to say, Black people are tired.

I’ve not really written anything specific about Black History Month this year but I have thrown in some Black British content here and there. So I’m going to emulate last year’s BHM round up post for 2021. It’s been tough finding decent BHM content because so much of it is whitewashed or performative. People are retreading the same steps and the same “look at these famous slaves!” lists of influential Black people, often written by white people. Or pledges for more action that were made last year and the year before. I’m also not pleased about a few articles regarding more Black presence in the police force which is the most counterintuitive suggestion to make in any month, let alone Black History Month. But I digress.

Same format as last year—some stuff from the Web, some stuff from the Cultrface archives, and people you should follow.

From the Internet

From the Cultrface archives

People to follow

See 2020’s list for more people to follow

  1. Demi Colleen: Twitter | Instagram
  2. Kuchenga: Twitter | Instagram
  3. Emma Dabiri: Twitter | Instagram
  4. Sareta Fontaine: Twitter | Instagram | Website
  5. Lauren-Nicole: Twitter | Instagram | Linktree
  6. Nathaniel A. Cole: Twitter | Instagram | Linktree
  7. Matilda Egere-Cooper: Twitter | Instagram | Linktree
  8. Tanya Compas: Twitter | Instagram
  9. Nicole Crentsil: Twitter | Instagram | Linktree
  10. Ronke Lawal: Twitter | Instagram | Website

Black British people from the Windrush era are the focus of a new photo exhibition at Wrest Park

Two black people greeting each other in a museum.
Gestural Greetings © Kemka Ajoku

London-based artist Kemka Ajoku put together a photo exhibition highlighting the lives of Black British people living in the UK following the Windrush era as part of a wider exhibition.

Called England’s New Lenses, it’s part of a major exhibition at four English Heritage sites across the country: Wrest Park in Silsoe, Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, Middleham Castle in Yorkshire and Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, where photographers challenge the definition of heritage.

The exhibition started on 5th August 5 and runs until 31st October (likely to coincide with Black History Month) so if you can, get down to Wrest Park.

Wrest Park location on Google Maps

(via Bedford Today)

A UK Black History Month Post (2020)

Black people in a crowd

It’s been a challenging year to navigate and, needless to say, Black people are tired. Because of that tiredness, it’s meant that I’ve not been able to write as much about Black History Month this year. But rather than let it go without making the effort, I’ve decided to compile a list of articles about BHM and Black British people for you to read and people to follow.

From the Internet

From the Cultrface archives

People to follow

Stephanie Yeboah

Jason Okundaye

Bolu Babalola

Tobi Kyeremateng

Josh Rivers

Munroe Bergdorf

Isaac Eloi

Nicole Ocran

Kayela “LaLa Love” Damaze

Shahira Allen

Chanté Joseph

Jenn Nkiru on her work and Afro-surrealism

Jenn Nkiru

As part of the Jarman Award Touring Programme 2020, Black filmmaker Jenn Nkiru spoke with Sofia Lemos in conjunction with the Nottingham Contemporary.

They discussed her film Black to Techno (2019), Black musical histories and how the afro-surrealism in her work.

Jenn Nkiru is an artist and filmmaker. Pushed through an Afro-surrealist lens, her practice is grounded in the history of Black music and the aesthetics of experimental film and international art cinema. Her work draws on the Black arts movement and the rich and variegated tradition of cinemas of the Black diaspora and their distinct experimentation with the politics of form. Her work blends elements of history, identity, politics, music, documentary and dance.

Check out Jenn’s website for more of her work.

An interview with "Theo Huxtable"

An interview with "Theo Huxtable"

I interviewed the other Theo Huxtable so enjoy!

What is your favourite city in the world?

That’s actually a hard question to answer. It have to be New Orleans & Chicago.

What’s the most unusual item you take everywhere you go?

Fortune cookie fortunes that I keep in my wallet.

Why do you do what you do?

To entertain myself & enrich the life of others.

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?

The other day. It was the 14th of February actually but nah quite often.

Where do you go to relax?

To the beach or art museums places that help inspire my creativity. 

69, 280, or 420?

69? I assume what this is :) but I’m just gonna say takashi. 280, I love that Benz especially if its a black or blue 280. 420 not actually my holiday.

How do you say goodbye in your culture?

Aight !!!!

The Time When Uncle Phil Brought Out "Lucille"

uncle-phil-lucille

I looked up to my dad even if we didn’t see eye-to-eye in my teen years. I saw certain similarities between our relationship and Will and Uncle Phil’s in The Fresh Prince. And like many episodes, Will got himself into some trouble and couldn’t get out. Until Uncle Phil came through once again. There were times you might have been on Will’s side in certain episodes but others, you were rooting for Phil. What made their relationship so strong was Uncle Phil always stood up for him and made sure he knew he loved him and he was there for him (when the time was right).

“Don’t mess with my boy again. You mess with him, you messing with me.”

Uncle Phil

In this clip, Will gets himself in trouble with some pool sharks and Uncle Phil has to come and bail him out. But there’s a debt to settle. Rather than just pay the money, Uncle Phil decides to take pool shark on with comical effect. Until Lucille makes an entrance. Who’s Lucille? You’ll have to find out.

Happy Black History Month!

An interview with Simon from Power In Discussion

Simon - Power In Discussion

It’s a pleasure to have Simon take part in our Black History Month festivities. Besides being a good friend of mine, Simon is also a speech-language therapist and founder of Power In Discussion, an organisation creating positive discussion in the context of mental health and well-being, identity, and experiences faced by Black communities in Britain and Black LGBTQ+ representation.

What is your favourite city in the world?

Las Vegas.

What’s the most unusual item you take everywhere you go?

Almond oil.

Why do you do what you do?

Currently, I’m working on Power In Discussion, a platform which recognises the importance of having conversations both on and offline. I do it because I love communicating and I recognise the value in sharing our stories.

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?

At the weekend.

Where do you go to relax?

The bath.

69, 280, or 420?

280.

How do you say goodbye in your culture?

A’right, we goh see…later!

An interview with Shanarà Phillips

shanara-phillips

Her love of visual storytelling has taken her around the world and she recently had her video, He’s Not Like That, featured at the BAFTAs as a finalist. We interviewed her for Black History Month.

What is your favourite city in the world?

To not be biased and say my own, I would say Oslo. I recently went there for a little weekend trip to visit one of my best friends and I wish I could have stayed longer. Such a beautiful city, friendly people and the food is great. Plus the flights are really cheap!

What’s the most unusual item you take everywhere you go?

There’s nothing usual that I take with me, although I’ve weirdly had a few people ask me before why I carry moisturiser with me all the time… I mean who wants ashy skin? Especially when you already have eczema.

Why do you do what you do?

I do what I currently do because I’m passionate about film and TV. So I currently have a full-time job as a logger for a production company and we’re working on a series about Formula 1 racing which will be on Netflix. I also do the odd videography/editing freelance job. It’s all to help pay the bills and fund my filmmaking hobby so that eventually I can start producing my own work for film/tv.

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?

I can’t remember and that’s terrible.

Where do you go to relax?

The only place I have to relax is my room really. I came back home last year and my room was still the same way I left it at 18 and so as I’m almost 23 now I decided it needed a makeover to match the woman I am now. So I’ve been slowly turning it into my own relaxing sanctuary where I can just edit and write, or watch crap on YouTube.

69, 280, or 420?

420, always.

How do you say goodbye in your culture?

Unfortunately, I don’t know Vincentian Creole, but my family have this habit of mostly saying ‘in a bit’.

He's Not Like That | Vlogstar Challenge Grand Final Entry