Black History Month 2021 in Bristol: 10 of the best events to celebrate Black history in October

Events are being held around Bristol this month to recognise and celebrate the contribution Black people have made to the city, while also examining the challenges they have faced and overcome.

People from many different backgrounds come together during this time to celebrate the positive role of Black people in shaping our communities.

Black history masterclasses, discussions about Bristol’s ties with slavery and open mic nights are just some of the events being held with the aim of promoting knowledge and understanding of Black History and culture.

Sunday, October 17 - A Long Walk to Freedom: Bristol Black Public Sector Workers in Solidarity (from 1.45pm)

Bristol’s Public Sector Workers in collaboration with Steppin’ Sista’s will be celebrating the benefits of a diverse workforce at all levels. Bristol public sector Black staff groups are invited to join the ‘walk to freedom’. The aim is to provide a space to reflect, and to meet others working in the public sector.

Where? Walk starting at Bristol Hippodrome, just turn up

Tuesday, October 19 - Gold Dust in Black (7.30pm - 9.30pm)

BLACK* artists on the move return for another scintillating global adventure. The focus this time is to acknowledge the present moment and its historical significance. The evening features live performances in the rear hall at Bristol Museum, joined by live artists in Zambia, Martinique and Mauritius via the magic of Zoom.

Where? The rear hall, Bristol Museum

Tuesday, October 19 - Breaking the Silence on the Slave Trade (7pm - 8pm)

A unique immersive theatrical tour for Black History Month, performed in historical churches up and down the country and fictionalizing a meeting by key members of the 18th and early 19th Century British abolitionist movement.

Where? St Mary’s Parish, Church Close

Wednesday, October 20 - Black History masterclass in family history (1pm-2pm)

Learn how to trace your family history in an online talk with genealogy specialist Paul Crooks, who is emboldening calls for reparations speaking about his search for his African Caribbean ancestors. Paul will discuss his personal journey to trace his African ancestors enslaved in Jamaica, finding evidence of compensation linked to the enslavement of his ancestors on the Cousins Cove Sugar Plantation.

Where? Online with Bristol Libraries

Thursday, October 21 - Bop Against Racism with RSVP Bhangra Band – A Love Music Hate Racism Event (7.30pm - 11.30pm)

A Love Music Hate Racism event to oppose racism with music and dance. The event is supported by Stand Up To Racism. RSVP areBhangra musicians who have played pretty much every festival in the UK and widely in Europe. In addition to two live Bhangra sets there will be an after party DJ session by Dance Guru.

Where: Exchange, Market Street

Thursday, October 21 - Courtney Pine presents SONG (from 8pm)

Ground-breaking saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Courtney Pine CBE joints award-winning pianist Zoe Rehman for an intimate show. The musician has played some of the largest stages in the world with a career spanning four decades and now shares his 16th studio album, SONG (The Ballad Book), created alongside Rahman. At the cutting edge of the UK jazz scene and constantly pushing boundaries, Pine has worked with Tate Modern and UNESCO, is a professor of Music at Westminster University, and is a widely respected TV and radio broadcaster.

Where? St George’s Bristol

Saturday, October 23 - Dance showcase for Black History Month (from 7pm)

Local groups including Rise Youth Dance, World Fusion, Mundi Dance and Movema Bristol will come together to perform short pieces. Join in at the end and learn a few moves if you like. Proceeds from this show will go to the dance groups taking part and South Gloucestershire Race Equality Network.

Where? Park Road, Staple Hill

Tuesday, October 26 - Community Meeting / Black History Month Event with St Pauls Carnival (6pm - 8pm)

Get the chance to see the work of St Pauls Carnival over the past two years, share food and meet the new chair of the carnival board, Mr Levi Roots. Guest speakers will share their experiences of working with St Pauls Carnival with some entertainment to enjoy to help the evening along.

Where? Full Circle @ Docklands

Wednesday, October 27 - Lola Akinmade Akertstrom: Bristol launch of In Every Mirror She’s Black (from 6.30pm)

Stockholm-based Nigerian author Lola Akinmade Akertstrom comes to Bristol to talk about her eagerly awaited novel. If you liked Queenie and Americanah – this is for you.

Where? Bookhaus bookshop, Wapping Wharf

Thursday, October 28 - “Can You Hear Me?” Spoken Word Night (7pm - 9pm)

As part of their ongoing ‘Celebrating Culture’ campaign, The Students’ Union at UWE present this open mic night on the theme of ‘Can You Hear Me? A Celebration of Cultural Identities’. The event aims to celebrate Black History Month and features local poets such as Malaika Kegode, Sophia Harari, and Ella Otomewo, followed by a short open mic section. The event will also host Jikoni, a Bristol-based food truck serving delicious East African food.

Where? The Drama Theatre, Bower Ashton Campus

For a full list of events taking place in Bristol for Black History Month, click here.