Norfolk Black History Month
Black History Month Art Show – work by Jo Cole

Norfolk Black History Month returns in October with the theme, Young Gifted and Black, celebrating youth, culture and identity. There are more than 80 events across the county featuring a packed programme of art, literature, film, music, theatre, talks, exhibitions and workshops.

For full details, pick up a Norfolk Black History Month events guide, or go to and .

Norfolk Black History Month
Roger Nsengiyumva and Illuminee Nganemariya (events to mark 25th anniversary the Rwandan Genocide)

A portrait of Norwich actor, Roger Nsengiyumva by Jamaican artist, Danny Keen will be unveiled in the foyer at Norwich City Hall, 10am on Monday, October 7 and will be on display until the end of the month.

Roger epitomises the Young Gifted and Black theme. Born in Rwanda, during the Genocide against the Tutsis (1994), he came to Norwich with his mother, Illuminée Nganemariya in 1996 and grew up in the city. He had his first acting break in the 2010 feature film Africa United and is currently in a production of Blood Wedding at the Young Vic in London.

A BBC Three documentary, Roger: Genocide Baby (2011), will be shown at 58 Bethel Street, Norwich on October 4 (1pm) and at Revelation Cafe, Redwell Street, Norwich on October 18 and 25 (5.30pm). It is the story of Roger Nsengiyumva’s return to Rwanda to discover the truth about his history and consider his homeland’s recovery from the Genocide.

There will also be a screening of Roger’s first film Africa United at New Routes in Norwich, 1pm on October 30.

The Millennium Library, along with Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and Thetford Libraries are celebrating great writers for Black History Month, including the American writer, Lorraine Hansberry, author of Raisin In The Sun, whose early death inspired her friend Nina Simone to write the song Young Gifted and Black.

Danny Keen, Chair, Norfolk Black History Month said: “Last year we focused on the Windrush generation. This year, with Young Gifted and Black, we consider the contribution of the children of Windrush who literally carry the flag for Britain. There are too many to name; Dame Kelly Holmes, Johnson Beharry VC and Lenny Henry are just three of the innumerable horde of high achievers who have put the ‘Great’ into modern Britain.”

Norfolk Black History Month
Norfolk Black History Month launch, Norwich City Hall, 26 September, left to right: Councillor James Wright, Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Caroline Ackroyd, Danny Keen, Chair Norfolk Black History Month, Abraham Eshetu, Norfolk BHM Committee

Event Highlights

Monday, September 30 to Friday, October 18, Norwich Millennium Library. Black History Month Art Show

Thursdays October 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, Revolucion de Cuba, Norwich. Black History Month Salsa Night with resident DJ Michael Gyapong.

SoulJazz Activists (event 6 October)

Sunday, October 6, 5pm, Louis Marchesi, Tombland, Norwich. Groove Jazz Sunday Special with The SoulJazz Activists.

Thursday, October 17, 6pm to 8pm, Virgin Money Lounge, Castle Street, Norwich. Youth and Mixed Race Identity in Modern Britain – talk by Jordan Harry.

Cheryl Roach (film 19 October)

Saturday, October 19, Norwich Millennium Library, screenings during the day. Soulful Art – a film by Martin Marshall. Norfolk based Cheryl Roach’s fascinating art and life story is the inspiration for this remarkable film

Saturday, October 26, 8pm to 12 midnight, The Boudicca Hotel, Caistor St Edmund. Nina Simone – Young, Gifted and Black with Jazz diva, Stella Goodey.

Wednesday, October 23, 5.30pm, Revelation Christian Bookshop, Norwich. Rwanda 1994, the Genocide against the Tutsis – 25 years on. My survival and life in Norwich, Illuminée Nganemariya in conversation with Paul Dickson

Monday, October 28, 8pm, Nick Rayns LCR, UEA. Join UEA’s African and Caribbean Society for their talent showcase.

Norfolk Black History Month is supported by Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS, Norfolk Music Hub, Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich Playhouse, UEA, ACS and The Forum.

Story: Paul Dickson
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