Black History Month 2022 - all of the best events taking place in Manchester for the rest of October

Featuring theatre at HOME, a Carnival Workshop at Central Library and a celebration of black artists at the Royal Northern College of Music.

By Emma Davidson | October 19th '22

Black British Film and Television in the 1970s at HOME

Monday 17th – Wednesday 26th October
For Black History Month 2022, HOME focuses on groundbreaking Black British filmmaking talent on screen and behind the camera. Featured filmmakers include director and writer, Menelik Shabazz, whose landmark debut film, Burning An Illusion was one of the first explorations of black women’s experiences within British cinema.

An Evening with Lemn Sissay at Manchester Metropolitan Union

Thursday 20th October
This is a MMU Union Black History Month event featuring award winning Author, Poet and Broadcaster, Lemn Sissay. Sissay is a British author and broadcaster, who shot to fame as the official poet of the 2012 London Olympics. He has also been chancellor of the University of Manchester since 2015, and joined the Foundling Museum’s board of trustees two years later, having previously been appointed one of the museum’s fellows. He will discuss his rich and diverse career, that’s constantly seen him advocate for Black rights.

Blak Whyte Gray at HOME

Thursday 20th – Saturday 22nd October
Fierce and affecting, this galvanising hip-hop dance performance reflects themes of identity, oppression and transcendence. A personal response by dance group, Boy Blue’s founders to their experiences and observations of the world, Blak Whyte Gray is set to the resonating sounds of a multi-layered score. The powerful choreography and staging make for an image-rich production with political bite.

One Da at Canvas

22nd October
Taking over new city centre venue, Canvas this weekend, Manchester-based multi-disciplinary artist OneDa shares her latest project Rude Girl Sound System, accompanied by the linked promos. OneDa’s Rude Girl Sound System sees OneDa teaming up with; Metrodome (Mouse Outfit), SNO (NTS), Jazzy Lioness, DJ Stylie, DJ Presh and Alkohol Republik. 

More Fiya Poetry Evening at Contact

Saturday 22nd October
Featuring Jackie Kay, Malika Booker, Kayo Chingonyi, Jason Allen-Paisant, Rommi Smith and Keisha Thompson, this event is an exploration of poetry from the 2022 book release, ‘More Fiya’. Through the pages, Kayo Chingonyi brought together the current generation, exploring ‘re-makings of the Caribbean, the wisdom of diasporic philosophy, the cold and rain of Blighty, the sky viewed from the African continent, and the rhythms of language shifting before your eyes and in your ears.’

In Conversation with Edward Enninful and Bernadine Evaristo at RNCM

Sunday 23rd October
From a childhood in Ghana watching his mother’s dressmaking, to teenage years in London modelling and styling, Edward Enninful has led a rich and vibrant life, which also saw him become the first Black editor-in-chief of British Vogue. He will be in conversation with fellow game-changer Bernardine Evaristo about his life, his work, his experiences in the world of fashion and his commitment to inclusion and representation. 

Halo at Contact

Monday 24th – Wednesday 26th October
Inspired by the Halo Code, a campaign fighting for the protection and celebration of Black hair and hairstyles, Halo explores young people’s experiences in schools and workplaces in regards to their hair. Featuring songs and movement inspired by the Halo Code itself, the company will also bring to the narrative their responses to writer Emma Dabiri’s book, Don’t Touch My Hair and the well-known Solange Knowles song of the same name.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo at Bridgewater Hall

Tuesday 25th October
South African vocal powerhouse Ladysmith Black Mambazo play their first UK tour for many years. Since they shot to global stardom on Paul Simon’s Graceland album, Mambazo have been recognised as one of the world’s great vocal groups. Mambazo sing powerful uplifting songs – once named ‘South Africa’s cultural ambassadors’ by Nelson Mandela – and they tour now to celebrate Black History Month.

We Are Carnival Workshop at Central Library

Wednesday 26th October
Taking place next Wednesday, We Are Carnival, run by the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre based in Central Library, will feature a live music session with DJs, book displays, spoken word poetry by local artists, alongside food and craft sessions for residents of all ages. The workshops will be a celebration of the history of the carnival, educating residents on the important origins of the Afro-Caribbean communities in Manchester. Attendees will also be able to make their own carnival crowns and two guests will also be crowned carnival King and Queen. 

RNCM Session Orchestra: A Tribute to Black Artists

Saturday 29th October
Curated by student Jean-Paul Asumu in collaboration with Nate Holder and tutor Wayne Ellington, the RNCM Session Orchestra is back this autumn to celebrate the music of Black British Artists. Jean-Paul said: “I wanted to bring some attention to the contributions of the Black community to music. Initially, I thought of asking Session Orchestra to do a couple of songs for their show in late 2021. However, it occurred to me to approach the Head of Popular Music Andy Stott about my idea, and he suggested to make it an entire show.” 

Image / Daniel Oyegade

SEEN Magazine Launch

Saturday 29th October
SEEN is a new Manchester-based music magazine, created by global majority and marginalised communities. Conceived of in 2021 with a bold anti-racist manifesto, it was founded to counter the London-centric narrative that often dominates music journalism. Celebrating unheard voices, it hopes communities can narrate their own stories and heritage, while connecting with global scenes linked to Britain’s colonial history. The magazine’s launch party will take place on Saturday 29th October at The Whitworth’s Bound Art book fair from 2pm – 3pm.

Grandad Anansi at Z-Arts

Sunday 30th October
Grandad Anansi is set to premiere at Z-arts on Friday 30 October, ahead of a 25-date nationwide tour. It stars Manchester actor, Marcus Hercules, as Grandad Anansi, while Jazmine Wilkinson takes on the role of his preteen grandchild, Abi. The story, which is told using a mix of English and Jamaican Patois, is set on Grandad’s allotment, where Grandad and Abi play games and sing songs as they work. However, as the story unfolds, we realise that Grandad is trying to find a way to tell Abi about his plans to return to his Jamaican homeland.

Comedy Shutdown Black History Month Special at The Frog and Bucket

Sunday 30th October
If you’ve never been to one of these nights before then get ready for an evening of rip-roaring belly laughs! It’s a comedy night that is not only packed to the brim with jokes but also celebrates the vast array of comedic talent throughout Black History Month. The line-up features; Richard Blackwood (EastEnders, Hollyoaks), Lovell Smith (Best New Act 2019), Daliso Chaponda (ITV The Royal Variety Performance 2020 & Britain’s Got Talent, BBC) and Marlon Davis (BBC Live At The Apollo, Comedy Central).