Wales Millennium Centre to host Black History Month finale

For the seventh year running, Wales Millennium Centre is proud to host the Black History Month Finale on 24 October in partnership with Black History Association Wales. The free, day-long music and dance showcase will celebrate the African Diaspora culture and its contributions to Wales and beyond.

Continuing the theme for this year’s Black History Month, ‘Great Black Women, Past & Present’, the finale will celebrate the bold, brave and successful black women throughout history with a day of free performances, exhibitions, food, dance and laughter. Highlights from the year’s finale include:

  • Showcase featuring portraits sketched by Welsh artist Chris Baker of three inspirational Black Women in Wales; Vernester Cyril OBE (celebrated for her work in the field of Race Equality and Midwifery), Charlotte Williams OBE (established academic, social commentator and acclaimed author of Welsh/ Guyanese heritage and Betty Campbell MBE.
  • Celebrated Tiger Bay performer Li Harding will be playing a special programme paying tribute to the great black lady singers of jazz, blues, soul, gospel, rhythm and blues; including Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown, Dakota Staton, Big Mama Thorton, Wynona Carr, Sister Rossetta Tharpe and Shirley Bassey.
  • BBC Young Dancer Hip Hop finalist, Sharifa Tomkin, will be performing a solo act with Jukebox Collective.
  • Local Caribbean chef, Geraldine Trotman, will be preparing her popular Caribbean menu for the third year running, offering dishes including jerk chicken, curry goat and salt fish and ackee.
  • Family activity includes a drum making workshop and a printing and textiles workshop.

On Saturday 17 October, Wales Millennium Centre will also be hosting Black Women, Black Heritage. Compered by the remarkable Uzo Iwobi, O.B.E (Chief Executive Officer at Race Council Cymru), the afternoon will offer a unique line up from jazz to storytelling, showcasing the traditional roles of African women. A highlight of the day, the Place of Victory Church will perform, through dance and storytelling, a traditional Nigerian Wedding, demonstrating the role of the mother in preparing her daughter to be a bride.

The origins of Black History Month stretch back to 1926 when Carter G Woodson established African Caribbean celebrations in America. Black History Month in the UK, which is celebrated in October, has now grown to over 6000 events that recognise the contributions and achievements of Black people to British society. In Wales, the family origins of many black residents link to a number of key ports and in particular Cardiff, Newport, Barry and Swansea Docks, which were once bustling coal ports. The sea brought people from all over the world; wherever coal ships plied their trade. BHM Wales aims to capture and share the contributions of African Diaspora people as part of our shared history, through a wide range of creative activity for people of all ages.

Hannah Wynn Jones, Community Engagement Manager at Wales Millennium Centre has said: “The Black History Month finale is one of the Centre’s most treasured festivals. We’re thrilled to welcome such a vibrant and important event back to the Centre and continue to hold dear our relationship with the Black History Month Wales Association.  What more can you ask of a festival; great music, great people, great food and all free!”

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