October is Black History Month (BHM) – an annual celebration and commemoration of the history, culture, diversity, contributions and achievements of Black people in the UK. Here is a round-up of the BHM events taking place at the University of Wolverhampton:

Please note that this list will updated throughout the month. Booking links and more details will be added as soon as they become available. If you wish to add and promote an event, please contact the BCSC via Twitter (@BCStudiesCentre) or email (blackcountrystudiescentre@wlv.ac.uk)

Tuesday 13 October, 7pm
Restoring Lost Histories of Black Theatre Performers in the West Midlands, 1900-1950
Dr Sarah Whitfield and Sean Mayes 

The University of Wolverhampton presents a talk with Dr Sarah Whitfield and New York music director Sean Mayes.

Explore and discover the extensive work of Black performers across the theatres and variety halls of the West Midlands: from Cassie Walmer’s visits to Walsall in 1900; comedian Eddie Emerson, born in Birmingham; Will Garland’s extensive tours of the UK; Mabel Mercer’s (born in Staffordshire) work as a performer and conductor; and the sound of jazz and swing music in the many theatres across the region. This work features research from Sean Mayes and Sarah Whitfield’s forthcoming book with Methuen Drama, An Inconvenient Black History of British Musical Theatre 1900-1950.


Friday 16 October, 2pm
Joking about Race, Politics and Your Lovelife without Offending People, Getting Cancelled or Arrested or Divorced
Daliso Chaponda

The University of Wolverhampton is pleased to present an online talk with comedian and writer Daliso Chaponda. This talk is about the power of comedy in difficult discussions, but also about the line that can be crossed (should it ever be crossed). It is also about why laughter is important and will be full of jokes and philosophical insights.

As seen and heard on Britain’s Got Talent 2017 (ITV), Britain’s Got Talent Champions 2019 (ITV), QI (BBC2), The Apprentice: You’re Fired (BBC2), Good Evening Britain (ITV), The News Quiz (BBC Radio 4), The Now Show (BBC Radio 4).


School of Art Black History Month Symposium – 22 October

Thursday 22 October, 12noon
Remembering Paulette Wilson

Paulette Wilson (1956 – 23 July 2020) was a Wolverhampton based British immigrant rights activist who recently fought her own deportation to Jamaica and brought media attention to the human rights violations of the Windrush scandal.

Paulette was a local resident of Heath Town, Wolverhampton. She came to the UK as a small child from Jamaica and lived here ever since. Over 50 years in the UK: she attended school, worked hard, paid her taxes and raised a family, everyone who knew Paulette, knew how beautiful she was. Being told to leave the country by the UK government after 50 years was an absolute shock for Paulette and many people like her.

Join students from the University of Wolverhampton as they discuss campaigning for Windrush and their personal stories of Paulette.


Thursday 22 October, 3pm
In Conversation: Dr Max Stewart and Glass Artist Christopher Day

The University of Wolverhampton is pleased to introduce Max Stewart from the School of Art in conversation with Glass Artist Chris Day, recent graduate of the University.

In this talk they will discuss Chris’s work and personal Story. Chris is a bi-heritage (Jamaica/ UK) artist and uses his craft to navigate what it means to be black in the UK. And also, white.

Chris Day recently graduated from the University of Wolverhampton where he studied for a Masters in Design and Applied Arts. In 2019 he was selected to exhibit as part of the prestigious British Glass Biennale. His work ‘Blown, Bound and Bold’ can currently be seen as part of London Craft Week at the Vessel Gallery.

Link to a BBC interview conducted by video journalist John Bray Glass blower Chris Day reflects Black Lives Matter in his art.


Thursday 22 October, 4:30pm
From Volunteer to CEO
Marcia Lewinson

The University of Wolverhampton presents a talk charting the journey of Marcia Lewinson who joined Women Acting in Today’s Society in 1993. With an aim to change the life of 3 women a year. Since then she has supported countless women to escape Domestic Abuse, Honour Based Violence and Forced Marriage.

This talk will include a Q&A on the issues facing women and girls in today’s society.

Marcia Lewinson is CEO of Women Acting in Today’s Society (WAITS), executive coach, mentor & trainer, and motivational public speaker.


Thursday 22 October, 6pm
We Want Our Bodies Back – Live Reading
Jessica Care Moore

All the way from Detroit, poet Jessica Care Moore will give a live reading from her latest book We Want Our Bodies Back.

The University of Wolverhampton is proud to present a live performance from poet, playwright and producer Jessica Care Moore from her poetry collection We Want Our Bodies Back. The event will include a talk and Q&A with the artist.

Over the past two decades, Jessica Care Moore has become a cultural force as a poet, performer, publisher, activist, and critic. Reflecting her transcendent electric voice, this searing poetry collection is filled with moving, original stanzas that speak to both Black women’s creative and intellectual power, and express the pain, sadness, and anger of those who suffer constant scrutiny because of their gender and race. 


Thursday 22 October, 7:30pm
Windrush Generation Experiences Online

As part of Black History Month the University of Wolverhampton presents an online discussion about the Windrush Generation Experiences Online display currently on show at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery until 20th December.

Twenty years ago 107 people who came from the Caribbean and South Asia to live in Wolverhampton recorded their experiences in over 80 hours of video and audio interviews. The recordings give an insight into where the settlers came from, their beliefs and backgrounds, where they lived, the work they did and the difficulties they faced.

This important historical collection is now being put on YouTube for everyone to experience.


UWSU Black History Month – events throughout October

Current students can get involved in the University of Wolverhampton Students’ Union (UWSU) BHM programme. It includes films screenings, discussions and workshops throughout the month.


Thanks to our colleagues at University Centre Telford for their support with these listings. 

READ MORE: See The Black Curriculum for free Black history learning resources for key stages 2 and 3. You can also find out more about their #TBH365 campaign which aims to embed Black history into education, 365 days a year.