Black British History has been inspiring some amazing theatre recently. We'll be looking at this in Session Two with presentations from Testament, author of Black Men Walking- in which members of a Black Men's walking group trek through both the Yorkshire Peaks and a thousand years of Black History in Britain; from Sharon Watson, the Artistic Director of the Phoenix Dance Theatre, talking about a new Windrush- inspired ballet; and Joe Williams discussing his theatrical response to the life of Victorian circus owner Pablo Fanque.
An event in Huddersfield would not be complete without some local Yorkshire Black History so we'll be hearing from Audrey Dewjee, a pioneer of the field, John Ellis who's been researching Black British Soldiers in the 18th and 19th centuries, Jeff Green on Black Victorians in Huddersfield, and Milton Brown taking us right up to the present day.
We'll then have a brief interlude in which Corinne Fowler, Director of the Centre for New Writing at the University of Leicester tells us a bit about the exciting new Colonial Countryside project, which will be looking at connections between National Trust houses, Caribbean slavery and the East India Company.
The final session of the day will be exploring the musical legacies of slavery in Britain- from blackface minstrelry, to black British jazz in Tiger Bay via the slavery profits invested into musical patronage in 18th century Britain.
As usual we'll end with a Drinks Reception, with the added bonus of this segueing into the opening of the Let's Play Vinyl photography exhibition, celebrating a new generation of UK sound systems.
So all in all, it's looking to be an exciting and stimulating day- look forward to seeing you there!
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What's Happening in Black British History? VIII
Sue Onslow Acting Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies
10:40 Session One Black 'visitors' to Britain
Chair Miranda Kaufmann
‘The Honour of the Nation’: Black Prisoners of War at Portchester Castle, 1793-1814
Abigail Coppins (English Heritage)
‘With Almost Electric Speed’: Mapping Black Abolitionists in Britain
Hannah Rose Murray (University of Nottingham)
The “English Inning” of Claude McKay, Transnational Writer and Socialist
Owen Walsh (University of Leeds)
12:00 Coffee Break
12:15 Session Two Black British History on stage
Chair Michael Ohajuru
Reflections on Black Men Walking
Testament (writer, rapper and world record holding beatboxer)
Movement of the People: A journey through the development of Windrush: Performance and people
Sharon Watson (Phoenix Dance Theatre)
Pablo Fanque: pomp, pageantry and race in Victorian Circus
Joe Williams (University of Leeds, Heritage Corner, Leeds)
14:30 Session Three Black British History in Yorkshire
Chair Tosh Warwick
Here From Time: Stories from Yorkshire's Black History.
Audrey Dewjee (Independent researcher, Diasporian Stories Research Group)
Soldiers of African origin in British Army Regiments in England and Yorkshire, 1700s to 1840s.
John Ellis (Historian and Teacher)
British-born African Caribbean descendants in West Yorkshire, navigating race and identity from the 1960s to present
Milton Brown (University of Huddersfield, Kirklees Local TV)
My Search For Black British History: Black Americans In Victorian Huddersfield
Jeffrey Green (Independent Historian)
16:00 Coffee Break
16:15 Colonial Countryside: Reinterpreting English Country Houses
Corinne Fowler (University of Leicester)
Session Four The musical legacies of slavery in Britain
Chair Paul Ward
Blackface minstrelsy and Black Studies
Rachel Cowgill (University of Huddersfield)
The Use of the Profits of Slavery to Support Musical Activity in Eighteenth-century Britain and its Colonies
David Hunter (University of Texas at Austin)
Tiger Bay and the roots/routes of black British Jazz
Catherine Tackley (University of Liverpool)
17:40 Reception/ Opening of Let’s Play Vinyl Exhibition