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Black History Month events explore poetry, comedy and writing with local writers


The University of Wolverhampton is celebrating Black History Month throughout October with a series of high profile events featuring a range of speakers including the former Birmingham Poet Laureate, Roy McFarlane and local comedian and writer Daliso Chaponda. 

Black History Month takes place in October every year and is an annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of Black people in the UK. 

The month of celebrations kicks off with local Poet and University Creative and Professional Writing Lecturer, R.M.Francis in conversation with Roy McFarlane who is author of ‘Beginning With Your Last Breath’ and ‘The Healing Next Time’ and who edited ‘Celebrate Wha?’ – an anthology of Black Poets from the Midlands. 

Roy is currently poet in residence for the Birmingham Midland Institute.  At the event, which takes place on Monday 5th October between 6.30 pm and 8.00 pm, Roy will read from his collections and talk about his new work which explores and celebrates Black British culture and identify. Book onto the event via Eventbrite. 

The University is also hosting an online talk with Daliso Chaponda on Friday 16th October between 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm when the subject matter is ‘Joking about Race, Politics and Your Lovelife without Offending People’. 

The talk covers the power of comedy in difficult discussions, but also touches on the line that can be crossed and explores if it should it ever be crossed, looking at why laughter is important. 

Daliso appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2017, Britain’s Got Talent Champions in 2019, QI, The Apprentice: You’re Fired, Good Evening Britain, The News Quiz and the Now Show on BBC Radio 4. Daliso is also the writer, creator, and host of his Rose d’Or nominated BBC Radio 4 show ‘Citizen of Nowhere’ that has aired for two series. Book onto the event via Eventbrite. 

As well as other virtual events featuring guest speakers such as Honorary Graduate, Patrick Vernon OBE and Dr Nira Chamberlain, President of the Institute of Mathematics, the Students' Union will be screening films, holding quizzes and celebrating Black history, culture, and community as well as helping educate the wider community in the different cultures, foods and traditions within African and Caribbean nations. 

The University will also be celebrating the achievements of our students, staff and alumni on its Social Media channels. 

Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor, said: "This October will be a Black History Month like no other, with Covid-19 restricting the events that can be held in person. Still, the University is committed to Black History Month as an opportunity to highlight the challenges that Black people face and to celebrate the unique contribution Black people have made not only in Britain and around the world but right here in Wolverhampton where our students, staff and alumni are celebrating monumental achievements every day. 

"Colleagues from across the University have developed a varied programme of events, including virtual talks, performances, and debates. I would urge everyone to attend these events and learn more about the history of Black people." 

Graphics student, Martin Stewart, studying for a degree in the Wolverhampton School of Art, designed a logo for use throughout October by the Faculty of Arts.  He said: "My research is really what inspired my design. I discovered a lot of people had gone for the obvious, no one had really pushed the boundaries, for example, using all the letters in the logo was a common style I kept coming across, and using the ‘Black Lives Matter Fist’ was another repetitive style I kept coming across.  Instantly I knew that if I differentiate myself from those two styles my design would stand out, so the willingness to stand out in a creative but simple way, is what inspired my design. 

"I think Black History Month is very important, especially after the year we’ve had with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. It’s been proven that people aren’t been educated enough on black history, and we should really use this month to celebrate all the great things black people have achieved. But personally, I feel like this is only scratching the surface, we need to make sure black history has got a strong sustainable place in education, so that the next generation will not have to experience some of the things past generations and myself have experienced." 



For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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