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Musical and cultural celebration to mark Black History Month

09 October 2014 @TeesUniNews


A celebration involving world music musicians and performers is among events taking place at Teesside University to mark Black History Month.

Tees Valley Arts is behind the free music event, with support from Teesside University, the Northern Rock Foundation, national refugee arts network Platforma and Waka Waka North East which celebrates African music and culture.

Performers will include reggae maestro Dennis Bovell, musician Kanda Bongo Man with his Congolese Soukous band, world music ensemble Crossings Band and singer Shurooq Abu Alnas.

This free event, which takes place in The Hub at Teesside University’s Students’ Union, is open to the public from 8.00pm on Wednesday 29 October.

Margaret McFee, Equality and Diversity Adviser at Teesside University, said: 'Celebratory events such as this help to break down barriers and help to provide a better understanding of diverse groups from different cultures, while also providing access to positive role models.'

More details about the performers:

Crossings Band - the Newcastle based band developed from the Crossings Organisation, a community music charity project set up to support, engage and help integrate asylum seekers and refugees into the local community.

Shurooq Abu Alnas - Shurooq, whose name means ‘sunrise’, is one of Sudan’s most popular singers and is now resident in the North East. She and her band will perform a mix of traditional and popular Sudanese music.

Dennis Bovell - legendary reggae dub maestro who has made a huge contribution to British reggae as song-writer, performer, and producer.

Kanda Bongo Man - the foremost name of Congolese Soukous music was legendary radio presenter John Peel’s favourite African musician. Kanda has played all around the world, and headlined at London’s Africa Day in Trafalgar Square.

Also at Teesside University on Tuesday 21 October is a free public lecture by Ben Schiller, Senior Lecturer in Anglo-American History. His talk, Fashioning Black History: Twelve Years a Slave and the Burden of representing Slave Trauma, can be heard from 4.30pm in the University’s Clarendon Building. Places must be booked on 01642 342275 or

Other events which are open to the public include:

WWI exhibition, Stockton Central Library, Monday 13 to Saturday 18 October. An exhibition of the contributions of Africans and others to the First World War. A debate: Equality - truth or myth? Corporation Road, Middlesbrough, 14 October Moderated by ITV's Rachael Sweeney, this Cultures CiC event invites inspirational speakers to debate equality.

Stage star - 16 October A competition by Cultures CiC giving young people the opportunity to display their talent and build confidence.

Taste of Africa showcase - 16 October Taste of Africa celebration including traditional performances, African food, fashion shows, dancing drumming and more at The Arc, Dovecot Street, Stockton.

Artists’ conference – 29 October Tees Valley arts are also organising a mini-conference for artists of diverse origin and practice, and for people who support such work. It takes place from 4.00pm to 8.00pm at Teesside University’s Students’ Union. Places must be booked and to register your interest please visit or call Rowena Sommerville on 01642 264655 for more information.

In the News

Music Event to Celebrate Black History Month
Gazette Live - Online, 28/10/2014
Teesside University, working with Tees Valley Arts and Platforma, celebrate Black History Month witha night of great music.

Fashioning Black History: 12 years a slave and the burdening of representing slave trauma
Gazette Live Online, 21/10/2014
Event at Teesside University