Reading Celebrates Black History Month

BLACK HISTORY MONTH returns to Reading this October, with a packed programme of special events coordinated by the Council working with voluntary groups and organisations from across Reading.

Reading can look forward to a wide range of community celebrations, theatre, poetry, music, dance, exhibitions, film and talks throughout the month for all to enjoy.

On 12 to 14 October, Barbados and Friends Association and Reading School in association with South Street Arts and University of Reading will be putting on a theatre show about the legendary West Indian cricketer Gordon Greenidge who arrived to live in Reading at the age of 14.  Appropriately, this will be held at Reading School of Cricket.

At the Hexagon, Reading Arts will be presenting triple MOBO winner, singer songwriter and actress Beverley Knight on 11th October. By contrast the rhythms of West Africa will be at the Hexagon on Saturday 21 October as Habib Koite, one of Africa’s most respected guitarists gives his first performance in the UK for over ten years.

Poetry performances and workshops focusing on the themes of black identity, black inventors, and the issue of justice are being hosted by My World Poetry at The Rising Sun Arts Centre, and Artigiano throughout the month.

There will be a series of lively talks and debates throughout the month. On 25th October, Alice Mpofu-Coles, a former Zimbabwean diplomat and former Chair of Reading Refugee Support Group will be  ‘in conversation’ at The University of Reading.

We celebrate Diwali Festival with entertainment, food and market stalls at Rivermead Sports Centre on 19th October between 4 and 11pm.

The Hexagon will again be the venue on 14th October as The Bengali Cultural Society present ‘Retro 2 Metro’ with Bollywood music covered from the 1980’s until present day featuring artists Sadhana Sargam and Debujit Saha

There will be a free talk and discussion on the theme of anti- slavery from The Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality (ACRE) who will be commemorating Anti-Slavery Day at Civic Centre on 18th October at 6.30pm.

Reading’s Jamaica Society will present a talk and discussion with the title ‘Investing in our Future’ at YMCA on 14th October. The Reading Caribbean Cultural Group, the organisation that brought you Reading Carnival 2017 will also be staging an interesting free event on 27th October in the Mayors Parlour at Reading Civic Centre   and inviting people to join us at “40. The History of Reading Carnival”.

Young people aged between 7 and 18 will have the opportunity to learn a percussion instrument with Culture Mix Arts hosting Steel Pan Taster Workshops on 24 and 26 October at Reading College. These workshops are free.

There is more information about these events and many more during Reading Black History month at:


Notes to Editors

Black History Month was established in the USA by Dr Carter G Woodson, a black American historian who created a month (February) for African Americans to have the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge themselves and their achievements.

In England, Black History Month was first celebrated in October 1987, African jubilee year, as part of a drive to improve racial harmony in London. It has since grown to encompass the whole country and to recognise and embrace the contributions and traditions of other black communities.

Find out more at

Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email or call 0118 937 3957