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Islington's Black History Month festival highlights ties with fight for racial equality

PUBLISHED: 13:57 02 October 2014

Black History Month 2014 film - Benda Bilili

Black History Month 2014 film - Benda Bilili

Archant

A festival of cultural events, groundbreaking films and talks is set to celebrate Black History Month in Islington over the next four weeks.

Black History Month 2014 - Angela Davis from the Black Power Movement, who features in one of the documentaries shown during the celebrations - Black Power Mixtape. The film will be followed by a special Q&A discussion, reflecting on the legacy and influence of Angela Davis, and the voice and role of black feminists.Black History Month 2014 - Angela Davis from the Black Power Movement, who features in one of the documentaries shown during the celebrations - Black Power Mixtape. The film will be followed by a special Q&A discussion, reflecting on the legacy and influence of Angela Davis, and the voice and role of black feminists.

The theme for the month-long festival in the borough is social justice, raising awareness of the fight for racial equality in the UK and across the globe.

Islington’s own part in the global struggle for social justice is underlined in a two-week exhibition Forward to Freedom which opened yesterday at Finsbury Library, telling the story of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement.

The movement has strong ties with the borough as the African National Congress (ANC)’s headquarters were based in Penton Street, Islington, between 1978 and 1994.

Meanwhile a series of film screenings including question and answer sessions start tomorrow (Friday) with Young Soul Rebels – which touches on social and sexual tensions in the 1970s – at the Old Fire Station in Mayton Street, Holloway.

Another highlight of the film screenings will be Confusion Na Wa – winner of the 2013 best film award at the African Academy Awards – on Wednesday next week (October 8) in Kings Place, York Way, King’s Cross.

It will be followed by a question and answer session with the writer, Tom Rowland-Rees, and will be an opportunity to chart the rise of contemporary Nigerian film making.

Other films and events will explore topics from black feminism to the Grenadian Revolution, and from the emergence of Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat movement that opposed the Nigerian dictatorship to the rags to riches tale of Benda Belili, a group of Congolese street musicians.

Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: “This year’s theme of social justice for Black History month has a profound significance for us here in Islington. Social justice, equality and fairness are at the heart of what we do as a council.

“Black culture is intrinsically part of Islington culture and part of what makes Islington a special place to work and live. Black History Month is an important opportunity to recognise and celebrate this.”

Details about Islington’s Black History Month can be found at islington.gov.uk/bhm. Events are free or low-cost and some require advance booking.

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