From insightful guided walks to a lively quiz night, Glasgow is marking Black History Month in many ways.
October is Black History Month and, while Black history should be championed for more than just one month, this time of year really gives us the chance to acknowledge, celebrate and learn about the impact Black people and culture have had on Glasgow and Scotland as a whole.
The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (also known as CRER) has coordinated Scotland’s Black History Month programme since 2001, and this year, they are bringing a diverse programme of activities to Glasgow.
Celebrate the influence of Black culture on music at one of these concerts.
🎤 The Glasgow Gospel Choir are performing two concerts, one on Thursday, October 14 and another on Saturday, October 30. The singers will showcase a wide-ranging repertoire, including lively gospel covers on modern classics. The first concert will take place at Stereo cafe-bar, and the second at Wellington Church. Find out more here.
🎻 Nevis Ensemble – in collaboration with London-based, Trinidadian composer Dominique le Gendre and American mezzo soprano Andrea Baker – has produced a selection of new orchestral songs, with text written by Glasgow and Edinburgh’s young people. The ensemble will tour multiple venues between October 27–29 to perform this music, as well as other pieces chosen to celebrate Black composers. Find out more about this free event here.
Captivating film previews
From documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters, you can sit back and learn with a film.
🎫 The independent Glasgow Film Theatre is dedicating each Monday in October to ‘Black Histories on Film’. Showings will include the hard-hitting documentary, Blacks Brittanica, on October 11, and 2021 blockbuster Judas and the Black Messiah on October 18. Each film will be followed by a panel discussion. Find out more here.
🎥 An annual event, The Africa in Motion Film Festival will return for its 15th year this month. Between October 15–31, the festival will screen a selection of films, bringing the best of African cinema to the cold climes of Scotland. You can read more about the festival here.
There are a whole host of talks you can listen to at various locations (including on your sofa), covering topics such as identity, education and Scottish Black history.
🔈On Tuesdays throughout the month, curators from the Hunterian Museum will talk about different artefacts from their collections, offering insight on their journeys and importance to Black history. You can find out more here.
💻 Tuesdays will also see a series of panel discussions that explore identity, intersectionality and race, hosted by the Glasgow University Student of Colour Network on the uni’s student Youtube channel. Talks include ‘being queer and Black’ and ‘being a Black woman in society today’. Find out more here.
🖥️ The CRER will be hosting lunchtime talks online to help broaden knowledge and understanding of Black history in Scotland. Lecturers from the University of Glasgow and the University of Aberdeen will speak on topics such as slavery, looted goods and education. Check out the list of talks here.
Rhythmic radio shows
Music, talks and live lectures will take place across some of Glasgow’s stations. Will you be tuning in?
📻 Awaz FM will be highlighting Black History Month events throughout October, and broadcast some special programming between 10am and 12pm every Saturday. The shows will feature guests talking about Black history and the various events going on in the city. You can find out more here and tune in across Glasgow on 107.2FM and DAB radio.
📡 Jambo! Radio will host a a series of live lectures and conversations with Black-Scottish people who are fighting for a more equal Scotland. These will take place between October 13–16 and you can find out more information here.
Riveting walking tours
See the city and learn as you go? Yes, please.
🚶CRER have organised a series of free city walking tours during Black History Month. Every Sunday (October 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31), meet your guide at the David Livingstone Statue in Cathedral Square for a two-hour afternoon tour that will provide insights into Glasgow’s past and examine the city’s connections to tobacco, slavery and the abolition movement.
👀 Another free city walking tour, led by Dr Michael Morris, will take place on Saturday, October 9, between 2pm and 3:30pm. This one, which starts in George Square, specifically focuses on the statues erected in the area, and reveals the hidden histories associated with them.
As well as teaching histories and opening minds, these events will get you involved in the narrative too.
🏆 The Great Black History Month Quiz Night will be a fun evening, which you can take part in solo or as a team. Test your knowledge of Black history at the free event at Soulsa Bar on October 12. The event will start at 6pm and go on ’til late, so get the drinks in – you’re in for a good night. Find out more here.
💃 Model and broadcaster Eunice Olumide, and National Museum of Scotland curator Georgina Ripley, will host a talk and live Q&A about the progressive changes in the fashion industry on October 8. The 45-minute session will be streamed on Zoom and you can find out more information here.