Norfolk Black History

Norfolk Black History Month returns throughout October with a busy programme of art, music, film, talks and history events celebrating 70 years of the Windrush generation, and also marking the centenaries of the end of World War I and the Representation of the People Act, which gave women the right to vote. For the full programme of events see

Danny Keen, Norfolk Black History Month Chair explained: ““Our theme this year is Celebrating 70 years of the Windrush Generation. Coincidentally, it turned out to be the year that a British Prime Minister had to apologise for the dreadful mistreatment of black British citizens by successive governments.”

“I am Jamaican, from the same cohort who have been cruelly victimised. Fortunately for me in the early 1970s, I became aware of the Government’s announcement that Caribbean people living in the UK needed to become naturalised, as we were joining the Common Market.”

“Despite the injustice meted out to Caribbean immigrants, we won’t let the Government spoil the party! We are going to dance to Salsa and, groove to Jamaican Jazz during Norfolk Black History Month. There’s lots to celebrate! We invite everyone to enjoy and explore the joyous impact of black culture on British society.”

“This year we have two major historical landmarks,” added Danny Keen. “The centenaries of the end of World War I, and the centenary of women being able to vote. In World War I many black people volunteered to fight for King and Empire. As a Norfolk resident, I am proud that two sons of Thetford, both of whom had grandmothers who were African slaves, served with outstanding gallantry. Major Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, and Captain Noel Glaysier Minns MC, DSO, MD served during World War I when the military rule book banned black or coloured people from becoming officers.”

“During World War I Princess Sofia Duleep Singh opened a hospital and tended to wounded soldiers herself, she was also a prominent suffragette, and went to India to promote the rights of her people.”


Norfolk Black History Month Highlights

Monday, October 1, 10am at Norwich City Hall: unveiling of Jamaican artist Danny Keen’s portrait of Mary Seacole by Glenda Forde, Chair of The Mary Seacole Memorial Association. The portrait will be on display at City Hall throughout October. Mary Seacole, the 19th century Jamaican nurse had strong connections to Norfolk. Her husband, Horatio Hamilton Seacole was a member of the Suckling family. Horatio Nelson’s mother was Catherine Suckling.

October 1 to 31, Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, Ancient House Museum, Thetford: Discover the stories of Thetford’s black World War I heroes Major Prince Frederick Duleep Singh and Captain Noel Glaysier Minns and the work of Suffragette Princess Sofia Duleep Singh.

October 9 to 31, Norwich Millennium Library (ground floor): Windrush and the American Civil Rights Movement – Danny Keen art exhibition. A selection of work that Danny Keen created in the 1960s in response to the American Civil Rights Movement.

October 10, Stage 2, Theatre Royal, Norwich, 7.30pm: Britain on Film, Black Britain, featuring film from 1901 to 1985. Free event, but tickets must be booked in advance.

October 14, The Hub Cafe Bar, Sheringham Little Theatre, 7.30pm to 10pm, ticket £10: Jazz & The Windrush – a salute to the music of the 1940s with Vic Brown & The Band

October 16, Norwich Millennium Library, 7pm to 9pm: Caribbean Voices: celebrating a century of Caribbean women’s writing, hosted by Dr Claire Hynes, UEA.

October 18, Revolution De Cuba, Norwich, 9pm to 1am: Jose Ferrera & his Cubanda , Salsa Extravaganza.

October 24, Sheringham Library, 11am to 12noon and Cromer Library 2pm to 3pm: African Drumming with Millicent Chapanda. Workshop costs £3 per person. Book via Sheringham Library, t 01263 822874.

October 25, Horsford Cricket Club, 7pm, ticket £5: An evening with former England cricketer, Devon Malcolm with Jamaican buffet dinner. Please book in advance, email [email protected] .

October 28, Norwich War Memorial, 11am: Commemorating the black volunteers of World War I.

October 28, The Cafe Bar, St George’s Theatre , Great Yarmouth, 1pm to 3pm, ticket £6: Jazz & The Windrush – a salute to the music of the 1940s with Vic Brown & The Band.

November 3, St Miles Church, Coslany, Norwich, 5pm to 9pm: Pablo Fanque Norfolk’s Black Legend, celebrating 250 years of the circus, an evening of entertainment for all the family. T 01603 568364 for tickets.

For more information see