6 Things To Do This Black History Month in Birmingham 2023

Looking to celebrate Black History Month 2023 in Birmingham? Get ready for a month filled with rich cultural experiences and powerful events that highlight the city’s diverse history and celebrate the achievements of the black community.

This year, the Black History Month theme is “Celebrating our Sisters, Saluting our Sisters, and Honouring Matriarchs of Movements,” which pays tribute to the extraordinary black women whose legacies have shaped the diverse history of the UK. Birmingham, in particular, has a wide range of activities that provide people with the chance to celebrate and learn about the impact that black people and their culture have had throughout history. From art exhibitions to live performances, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So mark your calendar and make this Black History Month a memorable one by participating in these six must-do events in Birmingham 2023.

Credit: Windrush Collection by Tihara Smith (Photo: Kayleigh Pace)

1. Dorcas Stories from the Front Room

Date: Wednesday – Sunday until October 29th, 1pm – 6pm

Location: The Mailbox, Birmingham

Craftspace’s exhibition, Dorcas Stories from the Front Room, is a captivating celebration of 75 years since the Windrush generation arrived in the UK. This immersive experience explores Caribbean textiles, craft, and fashion while telling the story of Dorcas Clubs. The exhibition features historic documents, fashion garments, domestic crafts, photographs by Vanley Burke, contemporary fashion, audio stories, and films. It’s a brilliant opportunity to delve into the vibrant history of the Windrush generation, many of whom are still with us today.

Credit: Haywood Magee/Getty Images

2. Staying Power: Unity through Community

Date: October 11th, 6:30pm – 20:30pm

Location: The Exchange, University of Birmingham

Following the 75th anniversary of the Windrush Generation earlier this year, you can explore the remarkable exhibition, Staying Power: Unity through Community, at the University of Birmingham. This event celebrates the powerful contributions of the Windrush community when they arrived in the UK over 75 years ago. The exhibition includes the new film, “Staying Power: Unity through Community,” offering insights from academics, students, and artists.

Credit: Clarke Sanders

3. You, Me and Our History

Date: October 12th, 9:30am – 3pm

Location: Wallace Lawler Centre, Birmingham

You, Me and Our History is a thought-provoking event that addresses the question, “Historical Mental Health Inequalities in Black Communities: Has Anything Changed?”. It aims to educate, advocate, and raise awareness by fostering impactful conversations about mental health struggles within black and brown communities. The event includes presentations, drama, interactive sessions, spoken word performances, as well as lunch and refreshments.

Credit: Birmingham Museums

4. Centring Black Lives: The People Enslaved by Lady Sarah Holte 

Date: October 12th, 7pm – 9pm

Location: Aston Hall, Birmingham

During this enlightening event, Dr. Kaufmann will share stories of the people enslaved at the Newton plantation in Barbados by Lady Sarah Holte, the third wife of Sir Lister Holte. Discover how the actions and experiences of enslaved people and their enslavers impacted each other, challenging the traditional narrative of whose stories we tell in historic houses like Aston Hall. The event also includes a performance by Aaliyah Mclaughlin and a Q&A session where attendees are encouraged to share their views and engage in discussions.

Credit: A still from Nadine White’s documentary, Barrel Children

5. Black History Month Barrel Children Screening

Date: October 19th, 1pm – 3pm

Location: Blakesley Hall, Birmingham

This Black History Month event features a special screening of the film “Barrel Children: The Families Windrush Left Behind” by journalist and filmmaker Nadine White, a tribute to the history and achievements of the children who were left behind during the Windrush.

This event promises to captivate audiences of all ages. Through thought-provoking films and documentaries, its goal is to both enlighten and entertain, shining a spotlight on the rich cultural heritage of these children. It is a unique experience where everyone has the opportunity to learn, reflect, and celebrate diversity.

Credit: Africa Liberation Day Handsworth 1977 Vanley Burke

6. Blood & Fire: Our Journey Through Vanley Burke’s History

Date: Thursdays and Fridays until November 4th, 11am – 4pm

Location: Soho House Museum, Birmingham

This exhibition provides an insightful journey through the life and work of the renowned photographer, Vanley Burke. It offers a unique perspective into the experiences of Black Britons, with a particular focus on the Birmingham community. Delve into Vanley Burke’s personal collection and explore its historical significance, providing a deeper understanding of the Black British experience.

Whether you’re interested in art, history, entrepreneurship, or community engagement, Black History Month 2023 provides a wide range of opportunities for all to participate and learn. Let’s embrace this month as a chance to not only celebrate black history, but also an opportunity to think about what can be done moving forward to ensure the remarkable impact that the black community has had on Birmingham, and the United Kingdom as a whole, is appreciated all year round.

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