5 October 2016

Lancaster University is gearing up to celebrate Black History Month with a special day of festivities featuring a vibrant array of African talent, cuisine, culture and fashion.

The event, being organised by the African Caribbean Society, follows on from last year's hugely successful celebration which was attended by more than 200 people and featured stars including MOBO Award-winning rapper Akala (pictured above).

ACS president Tiffany Ehimiaghe said: "This event will be a celebration of Africa and aims to enlighten people about black history."

This year’s event will be held in County South at Lancaster University on Saturday 29th October from 3pm.

Meanwhile Bailrigg FM's One Love Radio show is holding a networking event entitled 'Black Excellence', with lunch, performances and an inclusive documentary screening. 

MSc Management student Sofia Akel, who organised the event, said: "Our aim for the day is to celebrate the African diaspora of the UK by creating a network in which to unite the black community of this nation."

The event will be held in the Management School Hub from 10am-4pm on 21st October and is free.

Black History Month, which has been marked in the UK since 1987, celebrates and promotes knowledge of black history, culture and heritage.

It aims to disseminate information on positive black contributions to British society, and heighten the confidence and awareness of black people in relation to their cultural heritage.

It is now a high-profile annual occurrence, attracting support from individuals across politics, the media, sports and culture.

Prime Minister Theresa May hailed this year's event, saying: "I am so pleased to support Black History Month which recognises, rewards and celebrates the contribution made to our society over many years by the African and Caribbean communities.

"It is an opportunity for us all to recognise the incredible achievements of successful African and Caribbean men and women across sectors including financial services, retail, media, the arts, science and technology and sport."

Lancaster city has a notorious role in black history thanks to its involvement in the slave trade. However there are bright spots in its past as well, for example performances by pioneering African American actor Ira Aldridge, who appeared at the Grand Theatre in 1827. 

In 2005 Lancaster became the first city in the UK to erect a permanent memorial to the victims of the slave trade.