Black History Month honours the invaluable contributions and innovations Black people have made in the UK and around the world throughout history. A time of celebration and commemoration, every October offers us a particularly special opportunity to learn as we continue working towards equality.
Our cultural landscape would be unrecognisable (and far less engaging) without the revolutionary work of Black communities. At Morley, we enjoy this opportunity to collectively celebrate the incredible impact on the arts, culture and history made by people of African and Caribbean descent.
Morley was founded on principles of social justice. Our mission is to empower people from all backgrounds and strengthen communities through the transformative impact of learning, and we believe that education should be as intersectional as possible. So this Black History Month we’re celebrating with courses, taster sessions and podcasts to educate and inspire. Here’s what’s in store:
African languages continue to thrive at Morley, and this Black History Month we’re giving you the opportunity to enjoy online taster workshops in a number of languages including Yoruba. Learn to greet people and tell them about yourself, order food and drink while travelling, and get to know some of the most widely spoken languages in Africa.
Love the Caribbean? Get to know the history, rhythms and phrases of Jamaican Patois in our online taster course, whether you’re preparing for a holiday or a fan of Jamaican music.
Learn about the pioneering and powerful art form of jazz and its roots in colonialism, slavery, civil rights and religion. Learn about the innovation of Bebop through the music of Jazz greats Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, as you listen to classic recordings and discuss their social, cultural and historical contexts on our two-day Listener’s Guide course, The Birth of Bebop.
The community of North Kensington is as vivacious as it is diverse with a rich cultural, political and social history. Our Grenfell Stories Podcast gets to know this community more in interviews with members and advocates, including Morley Governor Moyra Samuels and founder of Grow2Know Tayshan Hayden-Smith. We aim to highlight the work of the North Kensington community to look to the future with hope.
The Strangeness of Dub
Join Edward George, writer, researcher, and founder of Black Audio Film Collective, on a journey into reggae, dub, versions and versioning. The podcast draws on critical theory, social history, a deep and wide cross-genre musical selection, and live dub mixing. You can catch up with season 1 on Morley Radio, and tune in live on Thursday 15 October at 8pm for the new series.
The World of Science
Join Morley’s Head of Humanities and Applied Sciences, Dr Bolatito Ariyo, and Programme Manager for Science, Dr Fiona Murray, as they discuss the impact of Black scientists throughout history on this forthcoming podcast.
In this new podcast series, Morley students and volunteers meet with local role models in the creative industries to discuss how they got to where they are today and inspire the next generation of creatives. This series of interviews with leading Black creatives is brought to you in partnership with The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
Art at Morley
We’re incredibly privileged to hold pieces by artist Denzil Forrester in our gallery collections. A painting and drawing tutor at Morley prior to his relocation to Cornwall in 2016, his paintings of London’s 1980s reggae club scene and police brutality have been exhibited at Tate Britain and in New York. Denzil Forrester was awarded the Morley Fellowship in recognition of his impactful work and 30 years of teaching at Morley. You can view his pastel study ‘Boys in the Hood’ at our Waterloo Centre, where it is on permanent display.