Reading Celebrates Black History Month 2018

Black History Month 2018

BLACK HISTORY MONTH returns to Reading this October, with a packed programme of special events coordinated by the Council working with voluntary groups and organisations from across Reading.

Reading can look forward to a wide range of community celebrations, theatre, poetry, music, dance, exhibitions, film and talks throughout the month for all to enjoy. There will also be a lively timetable of talks, debates and discussions throughout the month: On Wednesday 3rd October at 7pm in the Council Chamber at the Civic Offices, join an expert panel who will offer advice on starting up your own business, under the theme of ‘Self-Employment – the Real Deal.’ The panel will include members of Berkshire Black Business. On Friday 12th October, the Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality (Acre) and Utulivu Women’s Group are presenting a discussion on ‘Mental Health Awareness, Sharing Responsibility for Our Wellbeing’ at Reading International Solidarity Centre, London Street. Reading residents can look forward to a wide range of community celebrations: The Bengali Cultural Society is marking the festival of Sharad Utsav on 15th-18th October, with a host of workshops, music and dance. On Saturday 20th October, from 5pm to 10pm, Reading celebrates the worldwide festival of Dusshera; one of the highlights of the Hindu calendar. This year’s cultural entertainment includes fun fair rides, fireworks, food stalls and lots more. Both events take place at Rivermead Leisure Centre. Reading International Festival runs from Monday 15th to Wednesday 31st October, under the theme of ‘Unite and Act for Human Survival’, with a series of films and talks across Reading, including ‘Join The Zimbabwe Conversation’ a celebration with Zimbabweans in Reading at RISC, 35-39 London Street on Friday 19th October. Reading Central Library is offering an Anansi Story Animation Workshop on Tuesday 23rd October, suitable for ages 6-12. Tickets are available from Reading Central Library. Budding writers can benefit from an evening hosted by several local authors – with speakers including authors Una Chandler, Cecily Mwaniki, Keith Seville and Shirley Anstis at the Mayor’s Parlour in the Civic Offices, 7pm to 9pm on 17th October. On 18th October, as part of Anti-Slavery Awareness Day, the Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality is exploring the topic of Commonwealth Citizens leading to the recent Windrush Scandal and Reading Museum is hosting a talk by Bafa Reading on Saturday 27th October, 2pm – 3pm under the theme of ‘Windrush - A Reading Perspective.’ At the Hexagon, Reading Arts will be presenting ‘The Magic of Motown’ on Thursday 18th October and at South Street Arts Centre, African Night Fever presents Diabel Cissokho on Saturday 20th October, with his tantalizing traditional West African rhythms that stem from the roots of his vibrant Senegalese culture.

Cllr Sarah Hacker, Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said:

“Black History Month is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the important contribution that the black community has made to the diverse culture of this country and Reading. “There is so much going on throughout the month, with something for everyone. I encourage residents to take in some of the great events happening in the community and at venues around the town.” There is more information about these events and many more during Reading Black History month visit:


Notes to Editors

Black History Month was established in the USA by Dr Carter G Woodson, a black American historian who created a month (February) for African Americans to have the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge themselves and their achievements. In England, Black History Month was first celebrated in October 1987, African jubilee year, as part of a drive to improve racial harmony in London. It has since grown to encompass the whole country and to recognise and embrace the contributions and traditions of other black communities. Find out more at